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September 19, 2019
When change processes get started, it is usually because of one or more individuals taking ownership and putting their own effort in that change process. Scrum Masters can start the process, but we quickly need to find our first “allies” or the “guiding coalition” for change. In this episode, we talk with Rachel about how we can help those individuals join the guiding coalition, and how to motivate them to help the change process progress. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Sprint Goal focused retrospective Rachel has slowly moved away from pre-formatted retrospectives and found that fostering conversations around the Sprint Goals is the way she can help teams more effectively. In this segment, we talk about what that looks like for Rachel’s teams and share some insights on how that approach might also work for you.
September 18, 2019
In this episode, we discover the approach that Rachel has found when she needs to help an organization adopt Lean Product Development. It’s not an easy process, but Rachel breaks it down for us. Through her experience, we learn a path that may help us when we help the organization we work with.   About Rachel Martz Rachel has been in digital product development for over 20 years, having performed every role imaginable. She entered the agile space 13 years ago, doing hands-on product strategy and development modernization.  Rachel is in the data and analytics industry at the moment and loves being a Scrum Master because it's the most impactful role she can have for helping improve people's lives. You can link with Rachel Martz on LinkedIn. 
September 17, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  When Rachel worked with this team, it had been banned from releasing to production. Never a good sign. But she quickly learned that the situation was even worse: the team members were distrustful of each other, people avoided each other and closed the dialogue quickly. What should a Scrum Master do in this extreme situation? We discuss this, and other insights that can help you work with teams that have lost trust in each other. Featured Book of the Week: The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform In The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform by Harrison Owen, Rachel found a new metaphor for organizational change. She also learned how important it is to invest in learning the history of why people do what they do in the organizations we work for. About Rachel Martz Rachel has been in digital product development for over 20 years, having performed every role imaginable. She entered the agile space 13 years ago, doing hands-on product strategy and development modernization.  Rachel is in the data and analytics industry at the moment and loves being a Scrum Master because it's the most impactful role she can have for helping improve people's lives. You can link with Rachel Martz on LinkedIn. 
September 16, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  As a new Scrum Master in that team, Rachel learned that other Scrum Masters had tried to help the team and failed. It was not an easy start for Rachel. At this point, many Scrum Masters would help the team “see the light”, why they needed the Scrum Master. But that’s not what Rachel did and it probably helped her have a much bigger impact than she would have otherwise.  In this episode, we explore what to do when you join a team that is feeling apathy and try to understand why that apathy might have developed in the first place.   About Rachel Martz Rachel has been in digital product development for over 20 years, having performed every role imaginable. She entered the agile space 13 years ago, doing hands-on product strategy and development modernization.  Rachel is in the data and analytics industry at the moment and loves being a Scrum Master because it's the most impactful role she can have for helping improve people's lives. You can link with Rachel Martz on LinkedIn. 
September 13, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Some PO’s want to give it all, and be as good PO’s as they can be, others are lost, and don’t even have a Product Vision. In this episode, we talk about these 2 contrasting types of PO’s and how they affect the teams they work with. The Great Product Owner: The committed PO A great PO knows when they need help, and continuously work to improve their understanding and performance in that role. If the Product Owner has a clear Vision, and is able to communicate it to the team, that’s half-way to being a better PO. We also discuss several other aspects that tell you if the PO is committed to the role or not. The Bad Product Owner: No-Vision PO When the PO comes to Sprint planning and asks the team “What do you want to work on?” that’s a worrying sign. When you see that the PO isn’t worried about priorities, and doesn’t have a Vision, that’s a very serious problem for the team. In this segment, we talk about the consequences this PO had on the team, and how Angeliki was able to help that PO and the team. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Angeliki Hertzfeldt Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum. You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter. 
September 12, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Is the team swarming? Are they talking to each other face-to-face, instead of e-mail? Those are just some of the questions that Angeliki asks when assessing the team’s ability to continue to work without the daily presence of the Scrum Master. We also talk about some of the worrying signs that sometimes Scrum teams show.  Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: 3 aspects to keep in every retrospective Angeliki uses many different formats for the Retrospectives she facilitates. But in all of those she tries to keep certain aspects fixed. She shares with us 3 aspects that help her constantly change the format, but keep certain things the same so that the retrospective also feels familiar.    About Angeliki Hertzfeldt Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum. You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter. 
September 11, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.    The role of Scrum Masters is to help the team improve. Those improvements are changes that we also need to help the team understand and implement. In this episode, we talk about what Scrum Masters can do to help the teams continuously improve and change.   About Angeliki Hertzfeldt Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum. You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter.
September 10, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.    When certain behaviors emerge in a team, the consequences can be catastrophic. In this episode, we talk about what happens when one of the team members tries to constantly push their perspective. We discuss what were the consequences for this specific team, and how we can ensure that the team does not fall into a negative spiral of conflict, rumors, and disengagement. Featured Book for the Week: The Scrum Guide Although The Scrum Guide is not a book, it is a reference document for everyone wanting to practice Scrum at work. While the rules in the guide are simple, the more we read them, the more insights we get into the heart of Agile and Scrum.   About Angeliki Hertzfeldt Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum. You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter.
September 9, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.    As Scrum Masters, our role is to help the team grow and continuously deliver valuable software. Sometimes we work with stakeholders to do that, but other times we must be able to set limits to how the stakeholders interfere with the team. In this story, Angeliki talks about a story where the CTO started interfering with the team, and how she learned that as a Scrum Master she needed to help the team set limits to that interference.  In this episode, we talk about the concept of “Powerful Conversations” which can help communicate with stakeholders when the stakes are high, and there’s a high likelihood of conflict.   About Angeliki Hertzfeldt Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum. You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter. 
September 6, 2019
From facilitation to stepping away from line-management approaches, how do we help Product Owners do a good job, and collaborate with the team and Scrum Master?  The Great Product Owner: The Facilitator of Product Conversations We often refer to the Scrum Master as a “facilitator”. Sure, but how about the Product Owner? Do we expect the Product Owner to be a “dictator”, and tell others what to do without ever listening to their input?  In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner as a facilitation role. Facilitating conversations with team and stakeholders about the product.  The Bad Product Owner: The line-manager turned Product Owner Some Product Owners expect that they “own” the team. They might even assign tasks to people in the team, and manage people’s time. This is expected if the PO has been - or is - the team’s line manager. But, in those cases, how do we establish a positive relationship and clarify agreements with the Scrum Master? In this segment, we discuss how to work with the PO to set expectations for the work of both the Scrum Master and the Product Owner. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Joost Mulders Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients. You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.
September 5, 2019
According to Joost, seeing our own value is a hard task. How to reflect, what to look at, and how to be sure?  In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can reflect on their contribution to the team, and what kind of behavior to look for that helps Scrum Masters be sure that they are having a positive impact on the team. Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lego retrospective that uses self-reflection When teams enter a retrospective, they usually expect to work on the process. Find improvements, plan some changes, and move on to action. In this segment, we discuss a different type of retrospective, one that focuses on the team’s own self-image, and how it helps the team learn about its team members in-depth. About Joost Mulders Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients. You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.
September 4, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  This episode is about the story of changing an airport company to use Agile. This provides a great background to talk about the essence of Agile, and the management practices that go with it. We discuss how to avoid the “buzzword” resistance to change, and how to engage a team that has never heard of Scrum before. About Joost Mulders Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients. You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.
September 3, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  This team that Joost was working with was confronted with top-down decisions over which the team had no control. As an example, Architects would tell the team what to do, and how to do it, but would not listen to the team’s perspective. Slowly the team lost motivation, and the bad results quickly followed. In this segment, we reflect on the impact that the environment had on the team, and what Scrum Masters can do to work with teams in that situation. Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Joost found the inspiration he needed to focus on the overall organization, as opposed to focusing only on the team. We discuss the example of Delegation Poker from Management 3.0, which shows that delegation is not a binary game, but can have many levels and approaches. About Joost Mulders Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients. You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.
September 2, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Scrum Masters are seen as the “process owners”. Some people will even explicitly assign that responsibility to Scrum Masters. But what happens when we focus on the process and forget the business side?  What would happen if redefined the Scrum Master responsibilities to explicitly include a business perspective?  In this episode, we talk about the business side of the Scrum Master work, and discuss the important question: “Are we doing the right things?” About Joost Mulders Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients. You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.
August 31, 2019
In this episode, we explore the role that checklists can have in helping teams improve their process, and their performance without adding more processes.  It is a normal tendency to “add more processes” to fix a problem a team is experiencing. In this episode, we challenge that view. Checklists, we argue, are a simple, effective tool that helps you reach a similar goal, but does not require the process to grow, and become bloated.  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Diana Getman Diana Getman has more than 25 years of experience as a project manager leading cross-functional teams, in both startup and non-profit organizations. Diana has held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach and is the current President at Ascendle, a custom software development firm in Portsmouth, NH. You can link with Diana Getman on LinkedIn, or visit Ascendle’s blog for more on checklists.  
August 30, 2019
The level of detail and involvement with the implementation decisions is a good indicator of the quality of the Product Owner’s work. The Great Product Owner: Focusing on the “why?” Great Product Owners are open to the team’s questions, and even encourage them to ask questions. They focus on communicating the “WHY?” of the product instead of narrowly focusing on the detailed functionality. The Bad Product Owner: Micro-managing the “how?” In contrast, the Bad Product Owner focuses on the “HOW?” and may even try to micro-manage the team’s technology and implementation decisions.  Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Remy Fletcher Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform. You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter.   
August 29, 2019
Can the team work well without you? This is only one of the questions that Remy asks when evaluating his own contribution to the team’s progress. But there are other questions. In this episode, we discuss questions we can ask ourselves that help us understand how autonomous the team really is.  Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Lean Coffee The Lean Coffee format has been a regular on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss how this format can help teams execute a retrospective in a short time, but still be focused on creating concrete improvement ideas to take on. In this segment, we also refer to the Kudos practice whereby the team members highlight positive behavior and attitude by other team members. About Remy Fletcher Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform. You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter. 
August 28, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Many Scrum Teams will, at some point, go through the process of improving how they run the QA process. Many start with the QA at the end of the Sprint, and then bump into the hard wall that is the timeboxed end of the Sprint. The consequences are many, from stories that spill over to the next sprint, to stressed out testers. In this episode, we walk through a change process that took a team from testing everything at the of the Sprint to testing much earlier and reducing the stress on the testers.  About Remy Fletcher Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform. You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter. 
August 27, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In some teams, the role of the leader or manager can be a blocker to the team’s adoption of Agile and ownership of the product and process. However, those same managers usually develop their command and control approach due to past successes. As Scrum Masters, we must learn to work with those teams, starting by creating a close relationship with the team members.  Featured Book of the Week: The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business In The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni, Remy learned about the concept of an executive team that he could apply to his own product when his team was struggling with direction.  In this segment, we also refer to Start with Why, by Simon Sinek, a book that helped him understand the importance of communicating the rationale behind the decisions and involving the team in owning those decisions. About Remy Fletcher Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform. You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter.   
August 26, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Scrum Masters often need to deal and help resolve conflicts in the teams and with the stakeholders. In this episode, we look at a case of conflicting priorities. We discuss the different approaches, and how the 1-on-1 conversations may cause problems that can be solved unless Scrum Masters get all the parties into the same room. In this episode, we also talk about the book Getting to YES! by Fischer, Ury and Patton.  About Remy Fletcher Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform. You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter.   
August 23, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  The topics Product Owners choose to focus on, impact greatly their, and their team’s effectiveness. In this episode, we contrast two types of focus, and how those different approaches affect the PO’s work. The Great Product Owner: The holistic PO Product Owners, as described in Scrum, are responsible for the success of the Product they own. In this segment, we talk about the whole ecosystem of the product. The PO role is not only about User Stories and Backlogs, and we dive into other critical aspects that are often forgotten. The Bad Product Owner: The tech-centered, order taker Product Owners can have a big impact on the effectiveness of the teams they work with. Some PO’s will take that seriously and invest in their growth in either technical or business knowledge. However, when that does not happen, we experience PO’s that take orders from business or want to dive into the technical details - because they are familiar with the technology. In this segment, we talk about the perfect storm of a PO: a PO that only takes orders and wants to dive into the technical details. Listen in to learn how you can help those Product Owners. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Micah Stamper Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master. You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter. 
August 22, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  The process of reflection Scrum Masters go through, helps us find our own personal and contextual definition of success. In this episode, Micah describes the types of questions he asks of himself when assessing his success as a Scrum Master. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 3 questions that focus teams on concrete changes Micah likes simple formats, and he recommends a format where we focus on 3 questions that help the team members reflect on concrete things they’d like to change. Listen in to learn about what questions he asks his teams. About Micah Stamper Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master. You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter. 
August 21, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In this episode, we explore the story of a team that was starting to adopt Agile. We discuss the successes, and also the need to accept Work-In-Process (WIP) limits before the team can succeed.  We discuss a possible set of steps you can follow to introduce WIP limits to your team. About Micah Stamper Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master. You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter.   
August 20, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  The focus that some teams have on “execution” can be a great resource. It helps teams get into the details, and push forward even when finding the inevitable setbacks. However, when teams are completely focused on execution there are other aspects that lose focus, and that can derail the team. In this episode, we talk about how the execution focus that some teams have lead them astray from certain critical aspects of the software development process. Featured Book for the Week: The art of doing twice the work in half the time, Jeff Sutherland In The art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland, Micah found a great reminder and introduction to the Lean principles he now applies in his own work. He also found a great reminder that software development has its own context, that needs to be taken into account in the work Scrum Masters do with software teams. About Micah Stamper Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master. You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter. 
August 19, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Many Scrum Masters are incredibly passionate about their work, and helping teams. That’s a great energy and inspiration resource unless… In this episode, we talk about what happens when we expect or ask too much from the teams and people we work with.  In this episode, we refer to the Lean practice of Kaizen, small, constant improvements. About Micah Stamper Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master. You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter.
August 16, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In this episode, we talk about 2 extremes of team engagement by Product Owners: from micro-managing to asking questions and involving the team. The Great Product Owner: Asking Questions to involve the team Good Product Owners allow the team to participate and contribute their views when planning the Sprint. In this segment, we talk about Great Product Owners, those that not only allow, but encourage the team to bring their view into planning and defining the product. We also discuss how asking questions is a critical tool for Product Owners to get teams engaged in the development of the product. In this segment, we talk about transactional analysis, a tool that can help Scrum Masters recognize when the Product Owner needs help in involving the team. The Bad Product Owner: The micro-managing Product Owner When Product Owners “take over” the planning aspects they miss the team’s contribution, and likely motivation. However, there is an even more serious anti-pattern for Product Owners: being a micro-manager. In this segment, we discuss the dangers of over-controlling Product Owners, and how Scrum Masters should react in those cases. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Rahul Bhattacharya Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback. He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier. You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter. 
August 15, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In this episode, we review 5 different aspects that Rahul follows with each team he works with. From how the team delivers each Sprint, to the interaction with the Product Owner, we discuss different aspects that Scrum Masters should pay attention to. In this episode, we also refer to the Agile Maturity Model. There are several maturity models you can follow, I’d recommend starting with the Agile Fluency Model by Diana Larsen and James Shore, which has been introduced here on the podcast. Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Radar chart for team self-evaluation There are many different exercises for teams to run a self-evaluation exercise. The Radar chart helps the team choose several (typically 5-7) items they want to follow-up on, and evaluate themselves in each topic. If you collect similar charts over time, you will have a graphical representation of how the team has evolved in those core skills or aspect. About Rahul Bhattacharya Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback. He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier. You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter. 
August 14, 2019
  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Rahul and Markus, another Scrum Master were helping the QA team move from QA at the end to a more involved QA approach, where QA engineers were to be involved earlier in the process. As you’d expect, this was not an easy change. How did they pull it off? They started by thinking that change happens as a result of new actions as described by John Shook and helped the QA’s and the teams experiment with new approaches. In this episode, we also talk about the importance of accepting that not everybody can accept certain changes, and how that affects your change management efforts. In this episode, we also mention Test-Driven Development and the concept of Pi-Shaped Skills. About Rahul Bhattacharya Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback. He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier. You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter.   
August 13, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  When Rahul started to work with a team that was new to Scrum and Agile, he noticed that the team members were very focused on their individual part of the product. Front-end developers only worked and worried about the front-end, and back-end developers focused on the back-end functionality. In the Sprint reviews, team members focused on their individual contribution, and the inevitable synchronization and coordination problems followed. In this episode, we talk about the risks of highly specialized teams and how to tackle those in your role as a Scrum Master. Featured Book for the Week: The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss In The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss, Rahul found an inspiring story about the choices we make in our daily lives. He learned about “time” as a spendable resource, and how to create more options for yourself as you seek a better life situation. In this segment, we also refer to the Tim Ferriss podcast. About Rahul Bhattacharya Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback. He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier. You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter. 
August 12, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In this episode, we learn about Rahul’s unusual route to being a Scrum Master, and how the initial focus on velocity led Rahul astray from what really affects a Scrum team’s performance.   We then explore how beginner Scrum Masters can learn to focus on the right aspects from the start and to be flexible enough so that the team does not reject the adoption of Scrum. About Rahul Bhattacharya Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier. You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter. 
August 9, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In this episode, we talk about one of the most common anti-patterns for PO’s: being too busy, and we also discuss how PO’s can get up to speed in one sprint when they join a new team. The Great Product Owner: The Goal-Oriented PO In this segment, we talk about a new PO. The PO had just joined the company and had to learn quickly. Instead of spending a lot of time reading and asking people, this PO did something different. This PO engaged the team directly and with their help got off to a great start in just one sprint. The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO  When teams don’t have direct access to the “customer” PO, they usually resort to using a “proxy PO”. Someone close to the team, that acts as a communication link with the end customer and real PO. However, sometimes those Proxy PO’s have to fulfill other duties, and may even need to serve multiple teams. How can we help teams when that happens?  In this episode, we talk about how to help super busy-PO’s and teams that suffer from their absence. We’ve also produced a guide, that helps you, step-by-step get to an agreement of how to collaborate with overly busy or absent PO’s. You can get the guide on how to work with absent or overly busy Product Owners here. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Ines Stuppacher Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people. You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter.   
August 8, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  One way to look at success for Scrum Masters is to ask the team about the contribution of the Scrum Master. Asking them directly, however, can lead to “polite” answers, and avoiding the problems that need solving. In this episode, we talk about other signs that tell us that the team appreciates the contribution of the Scrum Master, and we talk about concrete tools Scrum Masters can use to continue to grow and succeed with their teams. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Wonder Question Agile Retrospective Exercise When a Scrum team is stuck and needs help to find improvements, we can ask them to imagine that something “magic” has happened. Then, we ask what does the team look like now that the “wonder” has happened. With this exercise, we help teams “think outside the box”, without ever having to bring them outside the box. This exercise appeals to the imagination and helps teams imagine a better team that they are all part of. About Ines Stuppacher Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people. You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter. 
August 7, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  As more and more companies adopt OKR (Objectives - Key Results) as a management practice, it is critical that Scrum Masters understand how that tool is used in their organization. In this episode, we discuss how OKR’s can totally derail a company, and how Scrum Masters can join the process and help it improve. This is especially important because OKR’s - when effectively used - will have a large influence on the teams we work with. About Ines Stuppacher Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people. You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter.   
August 6, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In some teams, there are individuals that have a strong influence on the team. As Scrum Masters, we must be aware of that when it happens, and help the team learn to reflect as a group, instead of following the opinion of the strongest influencer in the team. In this episode, we discuss how single-individual influencers can completely derail a team. Featured Book for the Week: Loving What Is, by Byron Katie In Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie, Ines found a guide to help her understand the things that can be changed, and those that cannot. This realization helped Ines to be a better Scrum Master, and also in her personal life. About Ines Stuppacher Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people. You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter.   
August 5, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Scrum teams don’t exist in a vacuum, and in engineering-focused organizations, usually, the team leads are also engineers. This can cause problems when they need to collaborate with Product Owners. In this episode, we talk about such a team, and how Ines helped the team, the team lead and PO find better ways to collaborate. About Ines Stuppacher Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people. You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter.   
August 2, 2019
In this episode, we talk about 2 contrasting patterns, one that focused on allowing the team to grow and own the product, while the other was taking on too much responsibility and not letting the team feel ownership of the product.  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  The Great Product Owner: Empower the Scrum Team Sometimes, the PO has a Scrum Master perspective and is able to understand how to work with teams so that the teams feel empowered to pick up stories and collaborate better. We usually say “the team can be only as good as the Product Owner”, and in this segment, we explore what this great PO did to help the team feel empowered and engaged. The Bad Product Owner: Overly detailed PO’s take responsibility away from the team When the Product Owners come to the backlog refinement/grooming meeting with the stories completely fleshed out, it’s easy to accept the stories as they are. Not to challenge or further refine them. That’s not always a good thing. The team feels the Product is “somebody else’s responsibility”, the opposite of what we want. In this segment, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help the team take responsibility, and avoid having too much product knowledge locked in the PO’s head. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Ben Clark Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach. Ben is now an Agile Coach.  You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 
August 1, 2019
Scrum Masters are successful when they help the team when they can create the self-confidence in the team members that they can act, and make improvements on their own.  In this episode, we talk about how you - the Scrum Master - can easily check if the team is progressing in that direction.  In this segment, we refer to the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, as a model that can help Scrum Masters focus on small changes, and how to make them stick.  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format Using the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise helps teams get out of the “clinical” mindset and find improvement opportunities. When we use the drawing of the sailboat as a fun check-in exercise we also get the team in the mood to explore their ways of working in a relaxed atmosphere. These make the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise a complete retrospective for the team.    About Ben Clark Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach. Ben is now an Agile Coach.  You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 
July 31, 2019
When an organization starts adopting Agile, the temptation is to organize a “transformation” and to focus on the change process. In this episode, we explore what happens when we focus on small changes, grass-roots change.  How we can slowly get more and more teams on-board, and ultimately avoid a large and difficult transformation. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.    About Ben Clark Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach. Ben is now an Agile Coach.  You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 
July 30, 2019
Sometimes teams get started on the right foot and reach a high level of performance quickly. When that happens, it is critical that the team is able to continue to work together. Otherwise… In this episode, we explore what happens when a team is split up, and some team members are replaced after reaching a high level of performance.  Featured Book for the Week: It’s your ship! By D. Michael Abrashoff Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  In It’s your ship! By D. Michael Abrashoff, Ben found a story of how empowering the crew of a USA Navy ship helped to turn the ship around and transformed the ship and the crew. In this episode, we also refer to Doing Twice The Work in Half The Time by Sutherland and Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet, who has been a guest on the podcast. About Ben Clark Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach. Ben is now an Agile Coach.  You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 
July 29, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.    Sometimes teams struggle to get their backlog healthy. When that happens, it is easy to complain about the PO. That won’t fix the problem.  In this episode, we talk about how you can work with the teams to improve the quality of their stories, with our without a Product Owner in the room.  In this episode, we refer to Model Storming, a technique to help teams explore several options for implementing stories. We also refer to Lucid Chart, a collaborative online tool for teams.  We also discuss how, working on the “solution” may help clarify the acceptance criteria for the stories that are not clearly defined.    About Ben Clark Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach. Ben is now an Agile Coach.  You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 
July 26, 2019
From passionate Product Owners to the Product Owners that are MIA (Missing in Action), we talk about two aspects that directly affect the team’s performance. The Great Product Owner: The Passionate Product Owner Great Product Owners are often passionate about the product they work on. In this segment we talk about a PO that was able to give that passion to the team, making them an great team. In this segment we also about User Story Mapping, a method popularized by Jeff Patton (Jeff has been a previous guest on the podcast) that helps the team and PO understand the context of the User Stories they are implementing.  The Bad Product Owner: The Absent Product Owner Working with a Proxy Product Owner is bad enough, however, then that PO doesn't have time to work daily with the team, things get even worse! We’ve discussed this anti-pattern before here on the blog, and have created a guide for you to help those product owners. Get the guide on how to work with absent or overly busy Product Owners here. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Dragana Hadzic Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results. You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter. 
July 25, 2019
When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, a happy team is arguably the most common answer. However, for Scrum Masters, that is not enough. In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters should also focus on the product the team is developing. Is the product being successfully developed as well?  In this segment, we refer to a tool that helps the team focus on the impactful ways to help the product succeed: Impact Mapping.  Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Guess Who? A game to learn more about the Sprint It is sometimes hard to focus on the details of what happened during the Sprint. However, when we fail to do so, the team and the organization lose out on a big opportunity to improve how they work. With the “Guess who?” Agile Retrospective exercise Dragana helps the teams - in a fun and entertaining way - explore the detailed events of the Sprint, so that they are ready to discuss improvements and take concrete actions out of the retrospective. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Dragana Hadzic Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results. You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter. 
July 24, 2019
Of the many types of changes we need to go through, scaling up the use of Scrum may be one of the most common at the moment. When we go from one team using Scrum, to many teams collaborating and using Scrum together many things change.  In this episode, we talk about some of the challenges that scaling up Scrum brings, and how we - Scrum Masters - can prepare for those, so that we can help both the teams and the organization benefit from Scrum in larger projects. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Dragana Hadzic Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results. You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter. 
July 23, 2019
When working with teams that are starting their downward spiral, Dragana found that focusing on positive thoughts can have a great impact and help teams avoid going further down in that spiral.  We talk about Positive Psychology and the use of Kudo Cards as a way to focus the teams on what is worth emphasizing. Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink In Drive by Daniel Pink, Dragana found many insights on motivation and importance of helping teams work on, and define clearly their purpose.  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Dragana Hadzic Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results. You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter. 
July 22, 2019
Scrum Masters need to sometimes face the Agile islands in the middle of large organizations. How can we react to that? How to address the team, and the stakeholders? How to do planning? There are many questions that Scrum Masters must answer differently when working with “island” Agile teams.  In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can work with isolated Agile teams without having the teams to go back to waterfall.  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Dragana Hadzic Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results. You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter. 
July 20, 2019
When Ben moved to another team he faced some pretty challenging situations. A fully distributed team with a Scrum Master in another country trying to juggle the time zone differences.  It was only fitting that Ben would then take over the Scrum Master role shortly after. The journey from developer to Scrum Master is hard enough, but in this story, we talk about how to take on the Scrum Master role for a distributed team as well. Not an easy first assignment as a Scrum Master.  The major obstacles Ben faced in his Scrum Master journey As Ben started to learn the ins and outs of the Scrum Master role, he faced certain challenges that many of us face. We explore some of those as well as the lessons he learned during the process.  Many of the challenges we face as Scrum Masters are facilitation skills, so we talk about facilitation and how that helps us perform in the role of the Scrum Master. In this segment, we talk about Jassy’s journey from developer to Scrum Master. Jassy was a previous guest on the podcast. We also refer to the book by Jeff Sutherland: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. When it comes to stories of Scrum, we talk about how some authors use fantasy as a way to explain Scrum, we refer to the episode with Anja Bonatto-Minella, where she presents a fantasy book that explains Scrum.  For complete notes and references, visit https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.
July 19, 2019
In this episode, we focus on the collaboration between Product Owner and Scrum Master, possibly one of the most important collaborations in the Scrum team’s environment. And in the end, there’s a BIG SURPRISE. Listen closely to this episode! The Great Product Owner: Collaborating well with Scrum Master Scrum Masters and Product Owners need to collaborate well to help the team. And a great PO is also one that is able to push forward that collaboration. In this segment, we talk about the PO that was constantly trying to improve their understanding of Agile (even if they didn’t have a long Agile background), and was able to bring ideas to help the Scrum Master keep the team motivated and focused on the product.  The Bad Product Owner: the PO that sabotages the Scrum Master’s work  Nothing is harder for a Scrum Master than a Product Owner that actively disregards their ideas and advice. In this segment, we explore such a case and how that impacted the team and the Scrum Master. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Isaac Garcia Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey. You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter.   
July 18, 2019
Isaac focuses on the team’s self-image as a way to reflect on his success as a Scrum Master. For that he uses a survey-style NPS questionnaire where he asks the team members how likely they are to ask other people to join their team.  A simple approach that was discussed in a previous episode with Jeff Kosciejew, and explained further in a blog post by Jason Little.  Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Tools for dynamic retrospectives For Isaac, Agile Retrospectives are not only about finding the next improvement actions. They are also about building a team spirit that carries the team forward into the next sprint in a state of energized motivation. In this segment, we talk about many tools that you can use to keep your Agile Retrospectives fresh and high-energy. We refer to Retromat.org and Tastycupcakes.org, two sites that you can use to find formats that work in your team and your organization. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Isaac Garcia Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey. You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter. 
July 17, 2019
It is a scary change, when Scrum Masters must go from focusing on the team to focusing on the organization. However, this is something that most Scrum Masters will have to face in their career.  In this episode with Isaac Garcia, we learn about the circles of influence that help us understand what we can influence (and what we can’t); we discuss Causal Loop Diagram, a tool to understand organizational dynamics that affect our teams; and the ideas behind “flow”, a way to view organizations that focuses on allowing the teams to find their performance levels.  In this episode, we refer to the book The Goal, by Goldratt.  For more on Causal Loop Diagrams and their use for Scrum Masters, check this episode with Antti Tevanlina where we explore how you can use CLD’s to understand the causes of the problems affecting the team.  Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Isaac Garcia Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey. You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter. 
July 16, 2019
When Isaac joined this team, he encountered a team that had failed to deliver and was low on motivation. Isaac focused on helping the team find their motivation, organized a kick-off to get the team to come together around a goal, and a common vision, only to see management remove people from an already overwhelmed team… What should a Scrum Master do when that happens? We discuss that, and critical lessons learned about what we can influence (or not) as Scrum Masters.  In this episode, we refer to the circles of influence, a tool to help Scrum Masters focus on what they can influence and accept what they can’t. Featured Book for the Week: The Phoenix Project In The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford chronicle the story of a company that is on the brink. They walk the reader through the process of understanding what is holding the organization back, and what the hero of the story will learn to help turn the company around. For Isaac, this is a book that teaches important techniques and helps Scrum Masters make a difference in their place of work. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Isaac Garcia Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey. You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter. 
July 15, 2019
As Scrum Master, we are constantly paying attention to the team’s performance, and what can be done to help them progress. However, in some cases, the problems are beyond the Scrum Master’s reach. In this episode, we talk about the case when the Scrum Master must face the fact that the team just isn’t up to the task they have. What should a Scrum Master do in those cases? Listen in to learn about such a case, and the hard lesson Isaac learned about helping teams and their organizations when the team just aren’t up to the task. In this episode, we refer to the book Coaching Agile Teams, by Lyssa Adkins. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Isaac Garcia Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey. You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter. 
July 12, 2019
In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner role as a leadership role and explore the possible anti-patterns that emerge when the PO takes on a micro-management approach to his work. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. The Great Product Owner: The Product Owner as a leadership role Gilson starts us off with a quote by Marty Cagan: “the team can only be as good as the Product Owner”. After that we talk about how teams and Product Owners can collaborate better. From the daily meeting to the goals/responsibilities of the Product Owner. Finally we talk about the Product Owner role as a leadership role. The Bad Product Owner: The micro-managing Product Owner The Product Owner role is a critical role for Scrum. When we can’t get the right people, and the right mindset for the person in that role, we often face big problems. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner that was also a micro-manager, and how that affects the team, leading to a host of anti-patterns. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Gilson Souza Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it. You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.
July 11, 2019
Scrum Masters have the unusually hard task of helping others succeed. That’s something we must take into account when we look at our own success in the role of the Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about practical things we must do to help teams, and discuss the signals that tell us in advance if the team is progressing. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Powerful Check-in Exercises When a Retrospective starts, Scrum Masters face the challenge that team members are thinking of the million different things that happened recently, and probably in a hurry to get home or to the next work item. In those cases, it is critical to have a powerful check-in exercise that will help bring the team members to the right state of mind and focus for the Retrospective to have an impact. In this segment, we talk about the importance of check-in exercises, and how to prepare exercises that generate insights, therefore providing already critical input for the Retrospective. About Gilson Souza Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it. You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.  
July 10, 2019
It’s common to hear the “build a guiding coalition for change” mantra. It is part of a famous change management model (The Kotter 8-step change model), and a practical tip that we all can benefit from. However, how is that done in practice? In this episode, we talk about an Agile transformation at a large, distributed organization and how Gilson and others were able to build that guiding coalition for change. In this episode, we also refer to the book Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. About Gilson Souza Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it. You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.
July 9, 2019
We often talk about cross-functional teams on the podcast. We talk about the advantages when it comes to flow, and getting things done quicker. However, there are pitfalls we should be aware of. One of the pitfalls is when the team members in a team start to “cluster” and become like sub-teams inside the team. As Scrum Master, we must be aware of this possible anti-pattern and ready to tackle it quickly. Listen in to learn how Gilson detected and countered the sub-team anti-pattern. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. Featured Book for the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Gilson found an out-of-the-box explanation for the Scrum Master role that helped him get out of the traditional task-driven, project manager-like role that many Scrum Masters still take. In this segment, we also mention the book Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan. About Gilson Souza Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it. You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.
July 8, 2019
As Scrum Masters start their journey they only have the description of Scrum. However, even when a team we work with “does” all of the Scrum ceremonies, they may be something more important. In this episode, we analyze the case of a team that was “doing” scrum, but when Gilson left, they went back to the previous way of working. As Scrum Masters, we need to learn from those failures. We explore possible causes for this anti-pattern, and tips on how to help teams understand what Scrum really is about. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. About Gilson Souza Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it. You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.
July 5, 2019
This week we share simple, yet effective Product Owner patterns and discuss the anti-pattern that can emerge when the PO is also the team manager. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. The Great Product Owner: simple patterns with a great impact Great Product Owners have a strong identification with the product. They can say “no” to certain ideas, but above all, they see themselves as much more than owners of a list we call Product Backlog. These are just some of the good patterns great Product Owners exhibit, but there are more. Listen in to find out what are the other good patterns David has found in highly effective Product Owners. The Bad Product Owner: The Product Owner that was also the team manager Many of the Product Owner anti-patterns come from the role they play in the organization. In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner that was also a team manager, and how those two roles can become a source for problems when they are held by the same person. In this segment, we refer to Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts. Geoff has been on the podcast before to talk about great Scrum Masters and Product Owners. We also refer to the book by Bob Galen: Scrum Product Ownership: Balancing Value from the Inside Out.   About David Gentry David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility. You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.
July 4, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Is your team more like a Golf team or a Hockey team? That’s one of the questions David asks himself when assessing his impact as a Scrum Master. Checking the Scrum Guide, for a list of responsibilities may also be a good way to get started assessing your success as a Scrum Master, but don’t forget to adapt to the local reality, a core idea of Agile that also applies to the Scrum Master work. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish Retrospective The Starfish retrospective is a format that David finds leads more often to concrete actions, the final goal of a retrospective. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of having many formats in your toolbox, so that the retrospectives don’t get boring and stop delivering results. About David Gentry David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility. You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.  
July 3, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  There’s often a misconception in certain organizations that Agile is just shorter waterfall projects. That’s very far from reality. In this episode, we talk about how David’s team showed - by example - the power of an agile way of working, and how that inspired other teams to change. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. About David Gentry David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility. You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.
July 2, 2019
Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  When everything is going well, and there’s little to no feedback, the experiment Scrum Master should be a skeptic. Feedback is the fuel for great Agile teams. in this episode, we talk about the big problems that can emerge when the team forgets to collect feedback during development. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. Featured Book for the Week: The people’s Scrum In The People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer, David found a book that helped him reflect on the role of the Scrum Master, and change some of these ideas. About David Gentry David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility. You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.  
July 1, 2019
Having a project management background is a good experience for Scrum Masters, however, it can also be a problem. In this episode, we talk about the possible anti-patterns that come with a project management background and how to avoid them in your role as a Scrum Master. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. About David Gentry David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility. You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.
June 28, 2019
This week we talk about the dictator Product Owner and the Product Owner that enables his team by helping them set clear and understandable goals. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  The Product Owner Anti-pattern for the week: The mistrusting dictator anti-pattern Trust between the Product Owner and the team is critical. When there’s a lack of trust, the PO is tempted to control instead of listening to the team. As Scrum Masters, we must look out for the signs that there’s no trust between PO and team, and act on it. The Great PO pattern for the week: Focusing on clear and understandable goals There are many things that great Product Owners do, but one of the most relevant is to set clear, and understandable goals for the team. In Great Product Owner segment, we talk about goals and collaboration. We also talk about how Great Product Owners distribute decisions to the team and rely on the team to help them in their work. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Long Suciu Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working. You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.
June 27, 2019
Long suggests that Scrum Masters collect feedback from the team to assess their success. The method he suggests is the team NPS: “How likely are the team members to recommend that others join the team?” We also talk about how it is important to measure and reflect to reach a successful outcome for our work as Scrum Masters. In this Article, you can read how Jason Little (a previous guest on the podcast) used the NPS survey to evaluate his own work. In a previous episode with Jeff Kosciejew we also reviewed the use of NPS for Scrum Master performance self-evaluation. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Featured Retrospective format of the Week: Liberating Structures Retrospectives follow a specific set of activities, from the check-in to get everybody focused and in the mood to reflect, to the data gathering. These activities can be organized in many ways. In this episode, we talk about Liberating Structures, a set of activities that you can use in any of the steps of the retrospective. About Long Suciu Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working. You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.  
June 26, 2019
Change can happen at any time, it does not need to be large or involve many teams. As Scrum Masters, we help the teams change continuously. In this episode, we talk about a change of perspective in a Product Owner team that led to positive changes and create a collaborative environment. We also talk about what was the role of the Scrum Master when it comes to helping change happen in that team. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  About Long Suciu Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working. You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.
June 25, 2019
Although Scrum was developed in a software environment, the fact is that Scrum can be applied to many different types of teams. In this episode, we learn about how Long applied Scrum in a marketing team, and the anti-patterns he had to face in that environment. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  Featured Book for the Week: Lean Startup by Eric Ries If you got started with Scrum and then discovered Lean Startup, you probably found it to be in line with what you had practiced before. However, Long discovered the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries before learning Scrum, and it reshaped his thinking about what is possible. About Long Suciu Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working. You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.
June 24, 2019
Having helped a team reach a high-level of performance, it is easy to think that the team will continue to perform for a long time. In this episode, we explore how a team change (a new Product Owner) can reverse a positive trend, and impact the team’s performance. Listen in to learn why that happened, and how you can prevent it from happening to your team. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. About Long Suciu Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working. You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.
June 21, 2019
This week, the discussion about the Product Owner role is all about collaboration with the team. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. The Product Owner pattern for the week With two guests this week, we also cover 2 examples of a good Product Owner. Firstly, we talk about the importance of bringing information and data to the team to help them understand and be part of the decision making for the product. Secondly, we talk about the need for Product Owners to allow the team to give their input, and be heard when it comes to product decisions. Great Product Owners allow their teams to contribute their own ideas and therefore feel invested in the success of the product. The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week The two anti-patterns we discuss this week are related to the collaboration (or lack thereof) between the team and Product Owner. The first anti-pattern is about the Product Owner that was an outside “customer” (from another department) to the team. When that happens, there’s the temptation to let the PO lead, and not challenge them. Collaboration happens when the PO brings their view, listens, and then makes decisions together with the team. The second anti-pattern is about the Product Owner as an expert. When the PO is an expert, they might feel they have to bring in all the answers, and therefore make it more difficult for the team to feel ownership and contribute to the product. It can also happen that the PO becomes a micro-manager. All signs to look out for. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged. Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome. Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.
June 20, 2019
Scrum Master’s success is dependent on the team’s approach to solving their own problems. In this episode, we talk about how teams that take ownership of the process, make decisions on their own and find their own incremental improvements are a sign of a successful Scrum Master. But how do we get there? In the episode, we talk about tools that help Scrum Masters succeed. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles Joe and Katy share with us two retrospective formats. First, we discuss “Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles”, a format that turns the team’s attention to the items, or things they want to improve. The second agile retrospective format is the “Picture retrospective” (example: The Sailboat Retrospective exercise). In this segment, we specifically talk about the use of pictures or drawings as check-in as well as data gathering and decision exercises. About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged. Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome. Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.
June 19, 2019
Sometimes, new teams are formed where some team members still have “legacy” tasks in their to-do lists. When that happens, it is the responsibility of the team (with the help of the Scrum Master) to figure out how to handle that work. There are many options to handle that situation. What is not ok is to let it grow, and spiral out of control. Teams own tasks, not individuals, therefore the Scrum Masters should help the team understand that legacy tasks are a team issue, not a personal issue. In this episode, we refer to the concept of T-Shaped skillsets for individuals, and the Agile Retrospective format called “pre-mortem”. Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged. Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome. Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.
June 18, 2019
A common anti-pattern Scrum Masters encounter in their teams is the inability to say “No!” This becomes an especially impactful anti-pattern when the team is unable to say “No!” to the Product Owner. When that happens we run the risk of allowing the team to ver overwhelmed, and eventually decrease the quality of their work. In this episode, we discuss that anti-pattern and how Scrum Masters can help Product Owners and teams to avoid that from becoming destructive for the team. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. Featured Book for the Week: Scrum: the art of doing twice the work, in half the time by Sutherland & Unmarketing, Scott Stratten This week we have a tag team for guests and therefore we have two books to discuss. Katy recommends Scrum: the art of doing twice the work, in half the time by Jeff Sutherland. That book helped Katy understand better her role as a Scrum Master. Joe takes a different approach and recommends a book that is not about Scrum or Agile: Unmarketing - stop marketing, start engaging by Scott Stratten. This book helped Joe understand better the team he is working with, which is a marketing team. In this episode, we also refer to Who the Hell Wants to Work for You?: Mastering Employee Engagement by Tim Eisenhauer and Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators by Patrick Lencioni, a follow-up to a regular recommendation on the podcast: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged. Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome. Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.
June 17, 2019
When we want to help the teams we work with, sometimes we go too far. In this episode, we share a story of a Scrum Master that did just that, only to find out that it is critical that the teams take ownership over the solutions they choose to implement. No matter how much experience we have, as Scrum Masters, it is ultimately the team that needs to improve and live with their choices. About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged. Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome. Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.
June 16, 2019
There’s many insights to be had from looking at how Startups and Lean Product businesses develop software and bring products to the market. In this BONUS episode with Ash Maurya we learn about Lean Product Development from the author of Running Lean, one of the first published books around Lead Product Development. Developing a book, the Lean way When Ash got started he was not a famous author. He started a blog. By publishing his ideas on that blog and collecting feedback he understood the importance of the ideas that he was sharing and ultimately wrote his book: Running Lean: ITERATE FROM PLAN A TO A PLAN THAT WORKS. In the blog, he shared his learnings from trying and failing at product development. From those blog posts came a book, but also a new tool, the Lean Canvas. Lean Canvas, a better business modeling tool The Lean Canvas came from Ash’s own experience and learning when trying to define, design and launch products and new businesses. Lean Canvas is a 1-page business plan template that helps product developers come up with the key ideas or assumptions on which their business and product depend on. Ash adapted the Lean Canvas to improve the Business Model Canvas, developed by Alex Osterwalder. The Lean Canvas replaces elaborate business plans with a single page business model. Lean Product Development: Agile made real Lean Product Development is about iterating your product and business idea over time. From plan A to a plan that works, as Ash puts it. In that aspect, Lean Product Development became the embodiment of the original Agile idea of iterative development. We can argue that Lean Product Development continued what Agile started, but failed to realize: applying Agile as a philosophy of business and to all aspects of business, not just the software development process. How Ash followed his own advice: Lean Stack, a Lean Product company It is particularly fitting that Ash followed his own advice and applied his ideas to developing his own business. Lean Stack is a company that Ash created to market a Lean Canvas tool as well as to serve as the “home” to develop many more Lean Product Development tools. In this episode, we discuss some of those tools, but you can find many more at Lean Stack, which has a free trial for you to get familiar and learn about Lean Canvas. Going beyond Running Lean, the book: Scaling Lean Later on, a few years after publishing Running Lean, Ash wrote and published Scaling Lean, where he collects new tools and solutions to the most common problems he’s seen in the field when applying Lean Product Development. In that book he specifically discusses Lean metrics, and how to communicate ideas using leading metrics, not trailing metrics. We discuss why “revenue” is not a good metric for Product Development (even if it is a critical metric, albeit “lagging”). In this segment, we also learn about Ash’s new book the upcoming book on Product Discovery where he introduces new tools such as the Customer Forces, a new canvas for Lean Product companies to use when developing their products. Resources for further study For those interested in learning more about Lean Product Development, Ash recommends the Lean Analytics and Lean Customer Development books, which explore specific aspects of Lean Product Development not discussed in the Running Lean or Scaling Lean books. About Ash Maurya Ash Maurya, is a serial entrepreneur and author of the startup cult classic Running Lean, pairs real-world examples of startups like Airbnb and Hubspot with techniques from the manufacturing world in this tactical handbook for scaling with maximum efficiency and efficacy. This is vital reading for any startup founder graduating from the incubator stage and product developers working for growth businesses. You can find more about Ash Maurya at LeanStack.com where you can also find a free trial for the Lean Stack product.
June 14, 2019
We explore the technical-dictator Product Owner anti-pattern and also talk about how great Product Owners get ready and come prepared for the meetings with the teams. The Product Owner pattern for the week When Product Owners come prepared to the meeting, you know they are doing their job well. They bring numbers, the rationale behind certain decisions, maybe even different options for priority to be chosen based on the feedback from the team. In this episode, we refer to the work by Jeff Patton and Jeff Gothelf, who’ve both been on the podcast before. You can find Jeff Patton’s Podcast episode here. You can find Jeff Gothelf’s podcast episode here. The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week Many Product Owners come from a technical background. This means that they know a lot about the technical aspects the team needs to consider. However, when the PO starts to question the team’s estimates or decisions, that’s a recipe for failure. Listen to how Nick handles that situation, and get some tools and practices you can apply right away! Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Nick Vitsinsky Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis. You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.  
June 13, 2019
Is the team providing feedback openly to each other and stakeholders? That’s one of the key success questions that Nick asks when evaluating his own success as a Scrum Master. That leads him to find approaches to help teams open up and share their perspective on the work. In this episode, we also refer to a paper on how to help teams improve their performance. It is based on the same principle that top athletes apply every day: pushing, then resting. A cycle that is guaranteed to improve performance over time. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Island Expedition metaphor format Nick likes to focus on creativity for the retrospectives he facilitates. He’s found several metaphor-focused formats that work, but one he especially likes is The Island Expedition. Metaphor-focused formats help the teams be more creative by taking them out of their regular context and pushing them to imagine themselves in a different context. About Nick Vitsinsky Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis. You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.
June 12, 2019
Scrum Masters that move onto organizations that are just in the start of Scrum adoption may find that it is not an easy process, even when you have top-management support. In this episode, we talk about what goes wrong when we focus on change from the top, and forget that the teams (whom we work with), might be against the change. Top management support is not enough for Scrum adoption! About Nick Vitsinsky Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis. You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.
June 11, 2019
When adopting Scrum, some organizations focus on the process, the meetings that come with Scrum. But, unfortunately, they also often forget about the meaning and the reason for those meetings, ending up just renaming the old meetings with new names. This anti-pattern is common, and we should be able to detect it and counter it in our organizations. In this episode, we discuss how to detect and reverse the “same meetings with different names” Scrum adoption anti-pattern. Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Nick found a book filled with practical tips that help Scrum Masters (and managers) to work with the team every day, and make their work easier. In this episode, we also talk about the source for retrospective format ideas: Retromat.org; and about a book that inspires Nick every day: The Little Prince by Saint-Éxupery. About Nick Vitsinsky Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis. You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.
June 10, 2019
Scrum Masters work with teams every day. The way teams feel about the work they do is extremely important for them to be engaged and motivated. However, sometimes we overlook that and fail. In this very personal story by Nick, we learn about what happens when Scrum Masters overlook and even ignore the motivation and engagement of the team. About Nick Vitsinsky Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis. You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.
June 7, 2019
We explore the absent Product Owner anti-pattern and discuss a case when it was OK to have the Product Owner also play the role of a developer in the team. The Product Owner pattern for the week We often hear that the Product Owner cannot be a developer at the same time. However, in some cases, that’s not a problem. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner that was also a developer, and what made that PO a great PO despite the dual role. The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week When the Product Owner is too busy, the team suffers. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of the absent Product Owner, and how Scrum Masters can help the team and the Product Owner in that situation. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Mili Shrivastava Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.
June 6, 2019
One of the most common, and sometimes forgotten, sensors for a Scrum Master is the daily meeting. Mili asks us to consider how the team members show up for the daily. Are they excited about the day that is starting? Or happy about the results of the day that is ending? How are you using the Daily stand-up to assess your impact on the team? Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: KALM Keep your teams focused on the problems they want to solve with this simple format. KALM stands for Keep, Add, Less, More. These are the keywords that Mili asks the team to consider when reflecting on the previous Sprint. About Mili Shrivastava Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.
June 5, 2019
Planning for a Sprint is not an easy task. There are many unknowns, even at the Sprint level, and team members justifiably feel uncomfortable discussing commitments, when they know there will be unexpected events during the Sprint. How can Scrum Masters help teams learn the value, and the mechanics of planning? That’s what we discuss in this episode. About Mili Shrivastava Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.
June 4, 2019
Inevitably, teams will bump into problems over time. It is how teams and their stakeholders react to those anti-patterns that matters. In this episode, we explore the importance of retrospectives in helping teams identify, understand, and ultimately resolve the anti-patterns they fall into. Featured Book of the Week: Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well In Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, Mili found a good tutorial on how to give, and receive feedback. Handling feedback, whether it is giving or receiving, is one of the most common tasks Scrum Masters deal with, and help team members deal with. Therefore, this book should be part of the reading list of all Scrum Masters. About Mili Shrivastava Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.  
June 3, 2019
Often, teams get too eager to deliver. So eager, they end up planning too much for one Sprint. What usually follows, is that teams leave a lot of stories unfinished at the end of the Sprint, which in turn affects the next Sprint. In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can progressively get the teams to understand what creates that anti-pattern and how to overcome it so that teams start finishing more, if not all, the stories during the Sprint. About Mili Shrivastava Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.  
May 31, 2019
We explore the Product Owner anti-pattern of using the Scrum Master as a secretary, and the pattern of a PO that feels the ownership of the product The Product Owner pattern for the week The relationship between Scrum Master and Product Owner is absolutely critical for the success of the team. When the PO treats the Scrum Master like a helper, rather than a collaborator lots of things go wrong. We also discuss why this anti-pattern happens, and how to prevent / overcome it. The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week The Product Owner title tries to guide to a person in that role to “own” the product. To feel the responsibility and ownership of the product to a level that helps them identify with the product and customers. The goal: to have a PO that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. In this episode, we discuss how we can help PO’s feel that ownership. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development. You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.
May 30, 2019
Continuing the thread from Monday’s episode with Jassy, we discuss how feedback from the team is a critical source of information and inspiration for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we discuss how to collect feedback from the team, so that the feedback is not biased by your presence, and what are the 4 dimensions of Scrum Master success for Jassy Featured Retrospective for the Week: Games that inspire insights Jassy calls himself “not a friend of retrospectives by the book”. He claims to rarely use a “vanilla” format from somewhere else, but prefers to facilitate retrospectives that feel like a game, like a fun thing to do. We discuss metaphor games, and how they help teams find insights they would not find otherwise. About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development. You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.
May 29, 2019
We reflect on the time it takes to effect meaningful change, and how Scrum Masters can help teams learn to be patient in the process. We also discuss some critical tools that help change take hold. Specifically, how transparency and customer/stakeholder engagement can drive change in a team. About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development. You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.
May 28, 2019
In this episode, we talk about motivation and engagement. Jassy shares with us the most common anti-pattern he has seen in teams. It starts with a lack of identification or empathy with the product. Followed by the “we are doing this for someone else” dynamic, leading to further disengagement. Finally, we talk about some of the things that Scrum Masters can do to help their teams get out of that downward spiral. Featured book of the week: Momo, by Michael Ende In Momo by Michael Ende, Jassy found a story about time and effort that constantly inspires him in his role as Scrum Master. In the words of the then Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjørn Jagland, in his New Year Address to the nation on January 1, 1997: "People are persuaded to save time by eliminating everything not useful. One of the people so influenced cuts out his girlfriend, sells his pet, stops singing, reading and visiting friends. In this way he will supposedly become an efficient man getting something out of life. What is strange is that he is in a greater hurry than ever. The saved-up time disappears - and he never sees it again." About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development. You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.
May 27, 2019
When we move from a developer role to a Scrum Master role, many things change. In this episode, we talk about our relationship with our colleagues (the good and the bad), as well as the critical aspect of learning to ask for feedback from the team. About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development. You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.
May 26, 2019
Scrum Masters all over the world make a significant effort to get better at facilitating retrospectives… Until they have to host a Distributed Retrospective. At that point, we learn that all you learned about facilitating retrospectives is still useful, but not nearly enough! Preparing, hosting, and facilitating a Distributed Retrospective is a completely different challenge. The 4 things that you need to make Distributed Retrospectives work There’s no single recipe to make Distributed Retrospectives work. But there are certain ingredients you need to make sure you have in place. It’s important to try to have all of these 4 ingredients in place. Those 4 ingredients are: get people to participate actively get everybody on video (if at all possible) pace them forward all the time (e.g. using strict timeboxes) use round-robin (or some other technique) to get everybody to talk   The most common anti-patterns in Distributed Retrospectives As with all other ceremonies, there are some things that are hard to get right and often go wrong. Here’s a short list to keep in mind and prepare to counter-act: About Aino Corry Aino is a consultant and agile coach, and has Ph.d in computer science from the last century focused on design patterns and language constructs in programming languages, 20 years as a teacher in academia and industry You can link with Aino Corry on LinkedIn and connect with Aino Corry on Twitter.
May 24, 2019
Product Owners that have a command and control mentality can derail the team. We discuss this and other topics on this Product Owner focused episode. The Product Owner pattern for the week Product Owners that focus on command and control will quickly become too busy to be able to help the team, but that’s usually made a lot worse when the Product Owner has multiple roles. These are the 2 anti-patterns we talk about in this episode. The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week When it comes to good Product Owner patterns, we discuss the need to be open to learning from the team, the market and stakeholders. We also discuss evidence-based product ownership. In this episode, we refer to The Professional Product Owner by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Bradley Pohl Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com. You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.
May 23, 2019
There are many challenges teams face that require Scrum Master support. Some of those are related to cross-team dependencies (one of the core aspects for Scrum Masters), but they can also be related to basic improvements in the ways of working. In this episode, we discuss how the team’s outlook on improvement is critical for Scrum Masters and what to look at when evaluating our own contribution to the team. Featured Agile Retrospective format for the week: What are you looking for out of your work? When starting with a new team, the questions you ask are critical. Bradley shares with us a format that helps team members understand each other, as well as define the work agreements they need to get them started on the journey to high-performance. About Bradley Pohl Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com. You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.
May 22, 2019
As we work with organizations in transition, we need to help teams and Product Owners make sense of the new ways of working. In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can help Product Owners and teams find a way to collaborate when changing towards Agile. We share some tools that help large groups come together and learn to focus more on the impact they seek, rather than just the work they need to do. About Bradley Pohl Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com. You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.
May 21, 2019
Working with a team of contractors can be a saviour for some organizations. However, there are specific challenges that come with using “outsiders” to do significant projects in any organization. In this episode, we discuss one of the anti-patterns that come with teams of contractors: the lack of future outlook. We also discuss some of the important lessons Bradley learned and how to prepare for when you need to work with a team of contractors. Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink In Drive by Daniel Pink, Bradley found the 3 aspects of motivation that later helped him work with the teams he facilitates. In this episode, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins and Mindset Growth by Carol Dweck. About Bradley Pohl Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com. You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.
May 20, 2019
The relationship between PO and the team is critical. So critical that if it does not work, it has the potential to derail the whole effort. In this episode, we talk about how to identify possible problems in collaboration between the team and PO, and how to help teams and PO’s collaborate. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Bradley Pohl Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com. You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.
May 17, 2019
As usual on the Friday’s episodes, we explore Product Owner patterns and anti-patterns to help you work effectively with the Product Owner. The Product Owner pattern for the week This Product Owner was the manager for the team, but despite that, he was an effective PO. Listen in to learn how this PO stepped back to help the team contribute, and how he separated his PO responsibilities from his management responsibilities. The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week Product Owner’s personalities can have a big impact on the relationship with the team. In this episode, we explore what happens when the PO is self-centered and egotistical. We discuss the symptoms that indicate this anti-pattern and some of the things you may want to do as a Scrum Master to help the PO and team collaborate. Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Jeremy Willets Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer! You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.
May 16, 2019
Jeremy explains the questions that he asks himself when evaluating his contribution to the team. As Scrum Masters, these are some of the many questions that can help us assess our work and improve our approach to help make teams successful. Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Speed Car retrospective format The Speed Car retrospective format is one of the many metaphor exercises that helps teams get out of the details of what happened and think about the impact those events might have on their performance, just like many aspects have an impact on a race car. In this episode, we refer to the classic book: Agile Retrospectives by Larssen and Derby. About Jeremy Willets Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer! You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.
May 15, 2019
OKR’s are a management tool that is gaining wide acceptance in the tech industry and other industries. The ideas are simple and should be simple to adopt, except they are not. In this episode, we talk about what Jeremy learned about the roll-out of OKR’s at his company and how Scrum Masters can help adopt OKR’s the right way! Not a simple process. About Jeremy Willets Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer! You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.
May 14, 2019
A team was given a new assignment. They would finally start developing a cool new technology that they had wanted to focus on for a while. They were assigned full-time to this new project. What’s not to like? Well… It’s never that simple. Scrum teams don’t exist in a vacuum, and soon enough the “old” work started interrupting the “new and cool tech project”! Listen and learn what happened to that team. In this episode, we refer to the book: Principles of Product Development Flow by Don Reinertsen. Featured Book for the Week: Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David Anderson In Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David Anderson, Jeremy found that Scrum needs to evolve, and that following Scrum as such may not be the best option for you, or your teams. In Kanban, David Anderson answers the following questions: What is Kanban? Why would I want to use Kanban? How do I go about implementing Kanban? How do I recognize improvement opportunities and what should I do about them? About Jeremy Willets Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer! You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.
May 13, 2019
How we set up teams has a direct impact on their ability to deliver. As Scrum Masters, we should pay attention to the early signs that something is going wrong. In this episode, we discuss the “platform team” anti-pattern, the dependencies that it causes and how we can raise the issue early enough to have an impact. In this episode, we refer to the Marshmallow experiment blog post by Marcus Hammarberg, a great illustration that quick iteration with the result in mind can be much more effective and efficient for Scrum teams. About Jeremy Willets Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer! You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.
May 12, 2019
When Johanna visited Agile 2017, one of the largest Agile conferences that year, she was disappointed that the main advice people were giving on stage was: “don’t do distributed”. She then met Mark and started sharing her experience on how she had been able to make distributed agile work in her consulting work. From that disappointment and both Johanna’s and Mark’s experience, a book was born: From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver. The most important lessons about making Distributed Agile work for your team When working with distributed teams, it is important to go back to principles, and explore how to apply those in the distributed teams. The practices that you know from co-located teams may not be adequate to distributed Agile teams. Mark and Johanna shares some of the tips that they’ve seen work to help distributed agile teams. We talk about collaboration in a distributed environment, recruiting as a specific aspect that is different for distributed teams, and we talk about some of the metrics that may help you detect problems in a distributed team, even if you don’t “see” the whole team working like you do in a co-located team. The biggest difference between co-located and distributed teams Being apart from each other, oddly, is not the big difference. The big difference we talk about is the “affiliation”, how we feel connected. The aspects that drive or improve the connection between team members are much more important in distributed teams because there’s no space for occasional corridor conversations. Mark and Johanna share their tips on how to help team members connect with each other, even when they are physically separated. Tips for distributed team members: health and time off-screen are critical! Working remotely is also very different for team members individually. It is easier to spend more time on the laptop if you go from working on the screen, to having a meeting on the same screen! When you are in an office, you will get up and walk more often. We talk about scheduling some exercise in your day and other tips that make life better for the individuals in a distributed team. The most important Scrum Master tasks when working with distributed teams As you would expect, the work of Scrum Masters also changes significantly for remote teams. We talk about the work agreements that are even more critical for distributed teams, as well as other practices and tools that distributed Scrum Masters must adopt when working with remote teams. About Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development. Johanna is the author of fourteen books and hundreds of articles. Find the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter, and her blogs at jrothman.com and createadaptablelife.com As an agile coach, Mark Kilby has cultivated more distributed and dispersed teams than collocated teams. He’s coached as a consultant, an internal coach, and as a facilitator of distributed professional communities. His easy-going style helps teams learn to collaborate and discover their path to success and sustainability. See markkilby.com for his blog and articles. You can find Johanna’s and Mark’s book on Amazon and LeanPub.
May 10, 2019
New question! In this episode, we introduce a new question: examples of Product Owner anti-patterns, and examples of great Product Owners. We often get asked about what is a good Product Owner, and how to define the role so that success becomes clear. In this new series of TGIF questions we explore the role, and success of great Product Owners. Elena’s example of a Product Owner anti-pattern is the “Solutionizer despot PO”, a Product Owner that always has the solution and replaces the team’s own thinking by proposing detailed solutions. Elena’s example of a great Product Owner is someone that can bring Vision to the team. Help motivate and direct the team’s thoughts without imposing solutions. Learn from Elena about how to tackle the anti-pattern, but also how to learn from the great Product Owner example to help your Product Owner succeed. After all, the team’s success depends on the PO’s performance! Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate. About Elena Popretinskaya Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier :) You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.
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