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November 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.  As this story starts, the team is buried under technical debt. Why they got there is the topic of this episode’s story. We talk about finding the signs that the team is starting to drown in tech debt, as the recognition of that pattern is the first step to avoid major damage to the team, and the product. In this segment, we refer to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Featured Book of the Week: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Jim found a reminder of some practices that are useful for Scrum Masters. The highlight is the process of “decluttering”, removing the mess we often have to deal with in our teams, our backlogs or in relationships between team members. Jim challenges us to find those “cluttered” areas in our work and ask the team: “do you feel overwhelmed?" In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins. About Jim Sammons Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels. You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.
November 18, 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 we start our journey as Scrum Masters, we are bound to find situations and team dynamics to deal with that we were either not familiar or not responsible for handling before.  Everyone will face one of those situations. In this episode, we talk about one such situation in Jim’s career. There was a pattern of behaviour happening that was destructive to the team, but Jim was unsure how to deal with it. Listen in to learn what he learned from that story, that you can also apply in your team when facing a similar situation. About Jim Sammons Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels. You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.
November 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.  From a weak or lost Product Owner to one that cared deeply about the product, we explore some of the critical contrasts between good and not so good PO’s, as well as how Scrum Masters can help them improve. The Great Product Owner: The Product Owner that cared about the product When it happens, this Product Owner pattern can really help the team succeed. In this segment we talk about the Product Owner that cared deeply about the product. Made the Vision clear to the team and even if she did not know how to write User Stories (she got help from the Scrum Master), or about “limiting the work planned for the Sprint”, she was ready to learn. We also discuss how Scrum Masters can be really powerful allies for their Product Owners. The Bad Product Owner: The weak or lost Product Owner Although Martin has seen several Product Owner anti-patterns (the seagull PO, the absentee PO), the one he wants to highlight is the “weak or lost PO”. This anti-pattern is about the PO being only a mouthpiece for someone else, having little insight into what he asks from the team, and letting the team often without answers to their questions. In this segment, we also talk about how Scrum Masters can help these Product Owners overcome their anti-pattern. 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 Martin Lambert Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what". You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.
November 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.  When it comes to success as a Scrum Master, Martin asks us to consider the “little things”. For example: “how does your team react to adverse situations?” This and other questions help Martin assess his work as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the other questions that Martin asks himself to assess his own success as a Scrum Master. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Empathy Retrospective In this retrospective format, Martin focuses on helping team members understand their colleagues’ perspectives. We discuss how to “warm-up” the team to this format, as well as how to execute the format. Learn also why this format is important, and what you can expect from it. About Martin Lambert Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what". You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.
November 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.  Martin shares a story of an engagement which goal was to help a department adopt Agile. We review his first steps in that change, what he observed when the engagement started. We then discuss some of the tools he helped implement in that organization and how that was done.  In this episode, we refer to the Goal Roadmap by Roman Pichler, and one of the most critical skills for Scrum Masters working with change: to be able to distinguish what can be changed, influenced, and what cannot be changed. Are you trying to change too much?  About Martin Lambert Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what". You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.
November 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.  What happens when team members see themselves as specialists? We discuss some of the common anti-patterns of the specialized team member perspective and talk about the benefits of swarming, an approach where the whole team feels responsible for the deliverables they have to complete, instead of standing by and letting the specialists work alone. Featured Book of the Week: Martin wants to share some of the insights that he got from a book he read. The book allowed him to feel free from previous fears, and find space to express his curiosity. This lead to Martin finding a newly rekindled thirst for knowledge. The book? You may want to ask Martin directly on LinkedIn, his LinkedIn page is linked below, in his bio! :)  About Martin Lambert Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what". You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.
November 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.  When we take the role of the Scrum Master, many of us are jumping into a new experience. Something we’ve never done before. Whether you have a background in technology or project management, Scrum Master is likely to be a very different role.  In this episode, we discover through Martin’s story what are the most common anti-patterns that we take up as new Scrum Masters. Have you been too committed to the previous ways of working? Have you tried to teach, when the right stance to take was to listen and ask questions? Don’t despair, we’ve all been there and Martin shares his personal story, as well as what he learned from that about the core of the Scrum Master role.  About Martin Lambert Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what". You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.
November 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.  In this Product Owner episode, we talk about the importance of nurturing the collaboration between Product Owner and team, and we uncover The Secret Backlog, a Product Owner anti-pattern. The Great Product Owner: Accepting team input Having worked as a Product Owner for 2 years, Dirk has learned the hard way how difficult that role is. So, when he took the Scrum Master Role in a pilot project he wanted to help the PO. Worked to prepare the team environment, getting managers out of the daily meetings to give teams the freedom they needed. Once the team was ready, he worked with the PO to support him. He describes what behaviors made this PO a great PO, including how he treated the team members, interacted with stakeholders, and how the PO was able to accept and process team input. The Bad Product Owner: The Secret Backlog There are many things that can go wrong with the product owner. In this episode, we learn about a PO that wanted to micromanage the team, had a second (secret) backlog, and was not able to accept and process feedback from the team or others. We also discuss what Scrum Masters can do to detect early signals of problems and to keep themselves in check. Avoiding to escalate the situation even further. 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 Dirk Fabricius Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years. You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.  
November 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.  A question Dirk has heard often (and you might have too!) is: how should we measure the Scrum Master role? That led him to think about possible metrics to present to stakeholders. In this episode, we discuss possible Scrum Master metrics as well as the "self-check" questions you can ask yourself when evaluating your own success and evolution as a Scrum Master. Features Retrospective Format for the Week: Customizing your Retrospectives Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.  At some point, the formats you are used to may not be enough, and you need to find another format for the issues at hand. In those situations, Scrum Masters must be comfortable with customizing the retrospective format for their team. In this segment, we discuss tools and approaches you can take to customize your next retrospective to the team's specific needs. A useful tool, which has been referred to before on the podcast is Retromat.org. However, there are some caveats when using that tool. Listen in to learn about possible drawbacks and how to overcome those. About Dirk Fabricius Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years. You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.
November 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 this episode, Dirk shares with us his experience with the Scrum Master Journal, a tool that helps him reflect and survive large scale adoption. Dirk also has 9 other tools to share with us that will help your Scrum Master journey. About Dirk Fabricius Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years. You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.  
November 5, 2019
Sooner or later, Scrum Masters will face the micro-management anti-pattern. What should Scrum Masters do in that case? In this episode, we talk about the anti-patterns that can emerge in a team that is subject to micro-management and some of the tools that Scrum Masters can use in those situations.  We discuss the Game of Trust and the Niko Niko Calendar.  Featured book for the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts Geoff Watts has been a past guest of the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast, and is also the author of Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership. In that book, Dirk found out about servant leadership and how that could change his approach to the Scrum Master role.  In this segment, we also mention Scrum for the people by Tobias Mayer and Product Mastery by Geoff Watts. About Dirk Fabricius Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years. You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.
November 4, 2019
What can a Scrum Master do when they are part of Agile adoption in a large organization? In this episode, we explore some of the common problems you should be ready for. Dirk shares with us what he learned and how Scrum Masters can prepare for the predictable problems they will face.  In this episode, we refer to the technique “Battle Mapping (PDF at Scribd)” that can help Scrum Masters understand where to put their focus during a transformation. About Dirk Fabricius Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years. You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.
November 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.  What is Business Agility? In a time where it seems that every company wants to adopt Agile, there’s also the dark side of Agile: the belief that it only affects “people in the IT department”. That could not be further from the truth.  In this episode, we have Evan Leybourn sharing what Business Agility is about, and why it matters for your organization.  About Evan Leybourn Evan is the Founder and CEO of the Business Agility Institute; an international membership body to both champion and support the next-generation of organisations. Companies that are agile, innovative and dynamic - perfectly designed to thrive in today’s unpredictable markets. His experience while holding senior leadership and board positions in both private industry and government has driven his work in business agility and he regularly speaks on these topics at local and international industry conferences. As well as leading the Business Agility Institute, Evan is also the author of Directing the Agile Organisation (2012) and #noprojects; a culture of continuous value (2018). You can link with Evan Leybourn on LinkedIn and connect with Evan Leybourn on Twitter.
November 1, 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.  Stanislava has shown a keen focus on people, and their interactions this week, and to finish off the week we talk about how to apply that focus in the Product Owner role. First as a learning process, and helping a team member gain trust in their abilities. Later we talk about the great Product Owner, one that was ready to listen to the team, and answer their questions. The Great Product Owner: Listening to the team As an example of a great Product Owner, Stanislava mentions the ability to listen. To pay attention to what the team needs, and to be available to answer questions when they arise in the team.  We also talk about how important it is for teams to ask questions, and how Scrum Masters can coach teams to learn how to ask questions from the Product Owner. The Bad Product Owner: Learning to be a Product Owner from scratch Sometimes the “bad” Product Owner, is a temporary situation for a team member that wants to take on a new role. In this segment, we talk about how we can help shy, and inexperienced team members learn a new role.  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 Stanislava Potupchik Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles. You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter. 
October 31, 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 it comes to the success of a Scrum Master, Stanislava likes to focus on the conflicts that emerge in the team, and ask if they have been solved, and if people are collaborating again.  I the end the value we produce is fully dependent on what people contribute, in Scrum, we only produce value through people! Featured Retrospective of the Week: The simple matrix Stanislava likes to refer back to the previous action points from the previous retrospectives and examine what has changed. She asks, for all items listed: “has it changed in the previous 2 weeks?” This way she focuses the conversations on the core outcome of the retrospective: the changes we want to implement to improve our work.  About Stanislava Potupchik Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles. You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter. 
October 30, 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.  Are you working on an “agile bubble”? Agile bubbles emerge in organizations, where one or more teams are allowed to use Agile, but all other teams are stuck in Waterfall. How do we help organizations that have these Agile Bubbles?  In this episode, we talk about the Cynefin Framework and how visualization helps groups understand how they can change.  In this episode, we also refer to Michael Sahota’s work.  About Stanislava Potupchik Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles. You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter. 
October 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 team members have significantly different expectations of the Scrum process, or any other Agile process. Before we can help that team, we must detect when the team members are growing apart and understand what the expectations are for each one of them.  In this episode, we talk about the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni. Featured Book for the Week: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute In Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute, Stanislava found a source of inspiration on how to work with people that might be in a defensive mode. It’s a book that helped Stanislava understand better her team members and to communicate with people that are on the defensive About Stanislava Potupchik Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles. You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter. 
October 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.  When helping teams adopt Scrum, it is important to start with the concrete situation the team is in. In this episode, we discuss how you can help the team decide on their own improvements as a starting point to adopt Scrum and Agile.  In this episode, we refer to the Complexity Framework Cynefin, the Agile Manifesto, Clean Language and the week of episodes with Susanne Taylor, a previous guest on the podcast. About Stanislava Potupchik Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles. You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter. 
October 25, 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.  It’s not only how the Product Owners act at work that matters when it comes to great Product Owner examples. In this episode, we discuss how the private life of a Product Owner affects the team, and how the Product Owner’s private life is also affected by their approach to the role. The Great Product Owner: Product Owner role boundaries to help the PO and the team When we think about the Product Owner role, we often get stuck in the responsibilities of the role. However, it is important to understand what are the work-ethics, and work-life boundaries that great Product Owners have. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner role from a human, personal perspective, and learn how this Product Owner setup his life to be a great product owner. Listen in to learn the approach at work, and how he separated work from personal life.  The Bad Product Owner: The email micro-manager Product Owner Email management is one of the anti-patterns we often see. In this segment, we talk about the micro-managing email-driven Product Owner, and how that pattern of behavior created conflict and problems in the relationship with 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 Susanne Taylor Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.) You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.
October 24, 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.  While it is tempting to define success as an end state for the work of the Scrum Master, it is important to recognize that the journey (how we get there) is also important. In this episode, we talk about a method to reflect on our work, and how that can help us navigate the challenges we will face as Scrum Masters. Take this episode, and reflect on your role, learn from what you have faced in the past, and keep the journey going. Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Liberating structures, the 3 W’s We’ve talked about Liberating Structures in a past episodes, in this segment we talk about the “What?, So What?, Now What?” technique. We also discuss how we can bring team members into the retrospective so that they are present and focused on the retrospective.   About Susanne Taylor Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.) You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.
October 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.  This organization was proud of their achievements. However, their culture was not allowing them to collaborate, and move the organization to the next stage. That move was critical for them to survive a changing market.  In this episode, we discuss a non-conventional way to approach organizational change, and how that helped this particular organization. Listen in, to learn about why that approach worked and how you can apply that approach in your Scrum team.   About Susanne Taylor Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.) You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.
October 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.  Working with a team of leaders, Susanne was facing a tough situation. The team was not able to collaborate. When investigating the situation, listening to the team members, and doing her own reflection, she realized what the problem was. In this episode, we talk about a critical need for teams to successfully self-organize, and how the move from micro-management to self-organization is a multistep journey.   Featured Book for the Week: Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz  In Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz by Frank J. Barrett, Susanne learned to recognize the importance of having a clear framework for the team, but also letting the team members build on each other’s contribution. She learned that, once you have the right constraints in place, the team has an easier time being creative and clear in their decisions.   About Susanne Taylor Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.) You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.
October 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.  When organizations bring people together in a team and then add a “planning” factor on top of them to “steer” them in the right direction, they might be losing the most powerful contribution of a team.  In this episode, we discuss what Susanne learned from a situation where she overplanned things, and did not give the team enough freedom and space to bring in their skills and knowledge. A brilliant reminder that we, as Scrum Masters, must focus on the team, not the work! Let the team focus on the work, while you focus on the team.   About Susanne Taylor Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.) You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.
October 18, 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.  Although Proxy Product Owners may be an anti-pattern, there are cases in which that ability to be a bridge and translate the customer requirements will help the team.  We also talk about the case of the PO that needed to learn to speak the team’s language. The Great Product Owner: The translator Product Owner Proxy It’s easy to be tempted to hire a very experienced Product Owner. However, in some situations, what the team needs is a hard-working Product Owner with a good understanding of technology, to help translate user/customer requirements into small enough stories. In this segment, we talk about the newbie PO, that was technical-minded and was able to translate the customer requirements in a way that helped the team. The Bad Product Owner: The business PO, who did not speak User Story-language When a Product Owner joins a team, and has little knowledge of the product, the team may need to step in and help the Product Owner. However, that help can detract from the PO’s need and ability to learn the product. In this segment, we discuss such a case, and how Izis was able to help that Product Owner step up and take on more responsibility. 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 Izis Filipaldi Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does! You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter. 
October 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.  As Scrum Masters, we aim to help teams progress in their ability to deliver value. However, it is important that we ask a few questions of the team behavior when reflecting on our own performance. We discuss some of the questions that Scrum Masters can ask to assess their own impact on the teams they serve. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Focusing on action points Although Izis prefers to use the 3-question retrospective format, she tends to not follow that format strictly. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of having a strong focus on defining and following-up on the action points from retrospectives.   About Izis Filipaldi Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does! You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter. 
October 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.  Scaling the use of Scrum in any organization is not easy. In this episode, we discuss Izis approach to that challenge from the Scrum Master perspective. Scrum Masters in larger organizations end up having to work with multiple teams. We explore an approach that may help Scrum Masters serve more teams, while amplifying their impact.    About Izis Filipaldi Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does! You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter. 
October 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 Agile teams, Leadership has a different role. In this episode, we talk about the traditional approach to leadership in teams. From the technical lead, to the line manager, and how those roles should change to enable Agile teams.  Featured Book for the Week: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie In How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, Izis found a set of tools that help her in her daily work as a Scrum Master. The book was written in the 1930’s, on the back of the Great Depression, and shares some of the techniques that successful people used to achieve in their lives. Dale goes through many of those techniques and outlines simple approaches that can help Scrum Masters also achieve their goals and help their teams.    About Izis Filipaldi Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does! You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter. 
October 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.  Some Agile transformations are doomed to failure. In this episode, we talk about the signs that indicate when Agile is not likely to be adopted in an organization. We also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to work at different levels of the organization, not only at the team level.   About Izis Filipaldi Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does! You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter. 
October 12, 2019
Diana and I were kicking around a few topics for this episode, and we ended up selecting “Agile and Leadership, friends or foes?” The idea is to talk about how Agile and Leadership play together (or not) In this episode, we talk with Diana Larsen and Jutta Eckstein about what problems Leaders try to fix with Agile, what challenges they have when they try to adopt Agile, and we will do this with the focus on the Scrum Master role, and what they can do by working with the leaders of the organizations they work within. Full show notes are available at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. About Diana Larsen and Jutta Eckstein Diana Larsen co-founded and collaborates in leadership of Agile Fluency™ Project. Diana co-authored the books Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; Five Rules for Accelerated Learning; and the seminal “Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile” article. You can link with Diana Larsen on LinkedIn and connect with Diana Larsen on Twitter.    Jutta Eckstein works as an independent coach & consultant.  As a developer, she started with XP in 97/98, started scaling agile in 2001 (and published about that in 2004), and am now Jutta focuses on company-wide agility. You can link with Jutta Eckstein on LinkedIn and connect with Jutta Eckstein on Twitter.  You can learn more at Jutta Eckstein’s website, and check out Jutta’s books on Amazon and LeanPub. Jutta’s Agile Bossanova book is available here. 
October 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.  From an inexperienced PO to a PO with a clear Vision, in this episode, we explore two totally different types of Product Owners, and we learn from Nick what worked in those cases. The Great Product Owner: The Clear Vision PO This Product Owner behaved like a great PO from the start of the project. The PO had a clear vision for the end result and was able to filter all the requests and requirements. From the team’s perspective, the process felt seamless.  If it was only like this for all teams we work with. Listen in to learn what made this PO so productive and his approach motivating for the team The Bad Product Owner: The Inexperienced PO At one point Nick was working with a new and inexperienced Product Owner. This did not make things easy, and the anti-patterns quickly started to surface.  It was a coaching challenge for Nick. In this segment, we explore the techniques and approaches that Nick used to try and help this inexperienced PO. 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 Stewart Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value. You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter. 
October 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.  Nick shares the process a team went through to move from Scrum to Kanban. Their initial goal was not to move to Kanban, but through small steps and focusing on improving they found themselves using Kanban even without trying.  Do you wish all change process would be this simple? Listen in to learn what steps Nick went through with the team.   About Nick Stewart Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value. You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter. 
October 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.  This team that Nick was working with had trouble delivering on time. When Nick looked into it, he discovered that the team did not take into account all the work necessary to adhere to the Definition of Done. Once he found that, however, he had to work with the team to help them realize what was going on, and how they could become more predictable by simply taking into account what they had committed to: the Definition of Done criteria. Featured Book of the Week: The Goal by Elyahu Goldratt When reading The Goal by Goldratt, Nick had a lightbulb moment. In that book, the author describes the impact that one single aspect of work can have: throughput.  The book describes how not paying attention to that aspect may destroy the ability to deliver value.  In this episode, we also discuss The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim et al.    About Nick Stewart Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value. You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter. 
October 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.  Nick was working with a team that had just lost their Product Owner. The new Product Owner had a conflict of interest and was changing priorities mid-sprint. This is a common anti-pattern that many teams face.  In this episode, we talk through Nick’s efforts to help the Product Owner understand the consequences of his behavior. It’s never an easy situation to be in, but we must be ready.  About Nick Stewart Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value. You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter.
October 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.  In this episode, we discuss two very different Product Owner patterns. We talk about a PO that felt their role was to be the voice of the customer, and the PO who felt the team was merely a “service provider” and they were the “outsider” who would demand service.   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 Sebastian Reverso Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017.  Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer). You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.
October 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.  Are you a Scrum mom? When assessing our own success as Scrum Masters, we must look not only at how the team performs but also how we get there. How we contribute to that team’s success.  In this episode, we talk about some of the questions you can ask to learn if you are transitioning from that initial Scrum Mom role to an approach that allows the team to grow and continue on their own when you are not available. Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liquid organizations, and how to adapt When we reflect on our success or actions, we often focus on the task, and its success (or not). However, the way people contribute to the team may often be ignored. For example, a team member that is focused on helping others succeed may feel they are “not contributing”. In this episode, we discuss a different approach to retrospectives. An approach inspired by the concept of Liquid Organizations by Stelio Verzera, and that focuses on recognizing the contribution of each team member to the common success. Team members evaluate their peers’ contribution, so that the person who was focused on helping, may feel they contribute, even if they don’t work on many stories.   About Sebastian Reverso Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017.  Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer). You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.
October 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 introducing change to an organization, the way we present ideas and involve people become key aspects to our success. In this episode, we talk about how introducing ideas in different ways may have radically different results. We identify some approaches that have worked well, and we talk about the concept of “baby steps”, or relentless movement towards a direction. Finally, we discuss how to involve the team members directly in that process. As Scrum Masters we don’t need to tell the team what to do, they know. If they understand why the change is necessary, they can come up with the right steps.   About Sebastian Reverso Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017.  Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer). You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.
October 1, 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 Sebastian started to work with multiple teams, he started to note some patterns of behavior that might cause problems. In this episode, we focus on the “professional jealousy” that some team members showed towards each other. We discuss how to detect it, and what the possible consequences of that behavior might be. Learn to detect it, and listen in to learn how Sebastian helped the team move forward. In this episode, we refer to the Agile retrospective format: The Treasure Island, and to Solution Focused Coaching.  Featured Book for the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular: Notas para una Revolución Ágile (Spanish Edition) Por Un Scrum Popular by Mayer and Cyment is the Spanish edition of the popular: The People's Scrum by Tobias Mayer.  Sebastian found especially informative the aspects of the day-to-day Scrum that the authors go through, and how they compare what work looks like when using Scrum and when not using Scrum.  In this segment, we also refer to the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast episode with Claudia Toscano where the book “Por un Scrum Popular” is discussed in more depth.   About Sebastian Reverso Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017.  Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer). You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.
September 30, 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 Sebastian took up the Scrum Master role, he did not expect to face the trial by fire he was about the experience. A few months into that new role, he was facing a situation where the application was blowing up everywhere. As the team pushed to release quickly, they didn’t account for all the technical problems or even some of the non-functional requirements they had to adhere to. As a developer-turned-Scrum Master, Sebastian had to learn the hard way how to help teams “divide and conquer” their work. We discuss how we can avoid similar problems in other teams, and some of the techniques Sebastian learned to help teams in that same situation. In this episode, we refer to the Jassy’s episode where he also describes a transition from developer to Scrum Master.   About Sebastian Reverso Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017.  Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer). You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.
September 28, 2019
In this BONUS episode, Tom Henricksen, the host of the Agile Online Summit presents this unique Agile conference that you can attend from home.  The Agile Online Summit has been on since 2017, and is now in its third edition. From 500 participants in its first year, the AOS 19 will have 3000+ attendees from all over the world, and when you look at the list of speakers, it’s easy to understand why. AOS 19 will have, among others:  Andrew Stellman will talk about the people aspects, and how those affect Agile adoption Al Shallowly will explore the 3rd decade of Agile, and what it might bring Rebecca Scott will share her ideas on how teams can improve their connection with other teams Bob Gallen will speak about Product Ownership Anantha Natarajan will share lessons from implementing agile in a non-IT organization Richard Lawerence will share his experience and ideas about Behavior Driven Development Date and place: October 7th to 11th This session packed conference will take place online from October 7th to 11th. Beyond the recorded sessions that will be accessible in those dates, there will also be live sessions organized to help you ask direct questions from the participants as well as interact with your fellow conference attendees.  For more details stay tuned to the Agile Online Summit website, where all the sessions are described, and where the information about upcoming live sessions will be added.  A networking opportunity you can enjoy from home or at the office As any IRL (in-real-life) conference, Agile Online Summit is a networking opportunity, which will help you get to know the speakers as well as other participants. There will be a slack channel available for all who sign-up at this link (NOTE: DISCOUNTED VIP TICKET for Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast fans).  The Slack channel will be the preferred community hang-out area with channels for you to interact with participants from all over the world, but there will also be live sessions where you can ask questions directly from the speakers. Sign-up for the conference to know when those sessions take place (NOTE: Tickets are FREE for live attendance, purchase the VIP ticket for life-time access to the talks).  About Tom Henricksen Tom Henricksen is a technical professional and coach. After working for many years as a developer, Scrum Master, and manager he has made a lot of mistakes and wants to help others achieve their goals. Tom has a passion for sharing wisdom with other agilists. Tom is the founder and host of the Agile Online Summit.  You can link with Tom Henricksen on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Henricksen on Twitter.  You can find Tom Henricksen’s website at MyITCareerCoach.com.
September 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.  From a confident Product Owner, the team can get a feeling that they are working on the right things, and use that to ask the right questions from the PO. However, sometimes that PO confidence can morph into an autocratic, micro-managing approach. We discuss how to identify when that happens and what to out for when working with confident Product Owners. The Great Product Owner: Confident enough to be vulnerable When a Product Owner understands well the product they are managing, it becomes easier for them to interact with the team. But that’s just the start. A great Product Owner is also able to say what they don’t know, and invite the team to bring their own knowledge and contribution to the process of defining what to work on.  The Bad Product Owner: Second-guessing the team Product Owners benefit from having technical knowledge of the product they manage. However, when they use that technical knowledge to second-guess the team, it’s easy for conflict to emerge. In this episode, we talk about how to work with PO’s that start by trying to micro-manage the team and second-guess their decisions. It’s not easy, but there are certain techniques we can use to help those PO’s 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 Jaime Bartol Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy! You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.
September 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.  It is usually a sign of progress and success when the team is able to execute the Scrum process without needing the presence of the Scrum Master. However, that’s only part of the success definition we discuss in this episode. We also talk about the need to focus on value and to have the team feel that they own the solution they are working on.  Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish retrospective When we start experimenting with new retrospective formats, the Starfish retrospective is a good place to start. It allows for several “degrees” in the responses we get from team members, and can easily be adapted for different team contexts. The 5 categories, help consider different aspects from the more traditional: what went well? Not so well? What should we try?   About Jaime Bartol Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy! You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.
September 25, 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 discuss how Scrum Masters can introduce Scrum to non-software teams. Specifically, we share the story of a marketing team, and how Scrum was introduced.  We discuss the differences between Scrum for Software and Scrum for non-software teams. We share tips on how to introduce Scrum to non-software teams. Finally, we review how Agile principles can help Scrum Masters find the right practices for non-software teams. About Jaime Bartol Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy! You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.
September 24, 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, Jaime introduces a project that started off on the wrong foot. The team was 15 people, including some new people. Quickly the team entered the “crunch mode” to try an meet an ambitious schedule. That’s where our story starts, but there’s a lot more to share. From the small impediments to the behaviors the team developed that ultimately led to bigger problems. This is a tale about a team that was doomed for failure until we step in. We discuss some of the steps you can take if you face a similar situation as a Scrum Master. Featured Book for the Week: Agile Coaching  In Agile Coaching by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, Jaime found important tips to help her learn the role of Agile Coach. The book is practical, and has chapters on how to introduce certain practices to the teams we work with. From tips that push us outside “the box” to the simple tips that help us define where to start before taking on more complex and ambitious practices in the team. The book is a complete guide for Scrum Masters that want to learn how coach their teams. About Jaime Bartol Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy! You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.
September 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.  Successful products start with small teams, but soon, and because of their success, the team grows. Growing teams present specific challenges to Scrum Masters. Incorporating the new team members is not easy, or quick. But there are a few things we can learn from and increase our chances of success. In this episode, we talk about Jaime’s story, as Scrum Master to a growing team, what happened, and what are the signs to look out for.  About Jaime Bartol Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy! You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.
September 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.  When PO’s give their full attention to the team, great things happen. In this episode, we talk about the hard-working, committed PO but also explore what happens when the PO forgets one of their basic responsibilities: communicate Non-Functional Requirements. The Great Product Owner: The hard-working, committed PO In our Coach Your Product Owner course, we have a module that specifically tackles the most common PO anti-pattern: not being available. However, in this episode, we talk about the opposite. The tremendous impact that a PO can have when they are present and willing to work with the team. Add a bit of trust, and see the team excel, with the help of the PO! The Bad Product Owner: Forgetting non-functional requirements Even when the Product Owner might have a Vision or a “story” for the product, the fact is that the PO role is much more than knowing what the product is about. In this segment, we discuss how forgetting simple things (like non-functional requirements) can totally destroy the effectiveness of the PO role. 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 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 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.
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