Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

www.scrum-master-toolbox.org
An Agile and Scrum podcast to help you master the art of being a Scrum Master
The Shopping list anti-pattern in Scrum | Kimberley Miller
Jan 22 • 13 min
I’m sure you’ve seen it before. The project is approved with a set of requirements, and the team is given the “list of requirements” (maybe as a requirements document even!) and told to estimate and deliver. Now, let’s not beat around the…
BONUS: From Project Manager to Scrum Master | Tanner Wortham
Jan 20 • 27 min
Many Scrum Masters have a past in Project Management. The growing adoption of Agile has brought Agile and Scrum to the attention of many Project Management Organizations (PMOs) in larger (and in some small) organizations. The PMO was the traditional…
4 perspectives that help identify systemic problems | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 19 • 13 min
We begin by sharing some of the anti-patterns that are caused by systemic problems, and then dive into 4 perspectives that help Christiaan identify and understand systemic problems. About Christiaan Verwijs Christiaan is passionate about…
Why self-organization is the metric for the team’s success | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 18 • 9 min
If we want to reduce the definition of success to one metric, then it is hard to argue with the “level of self-organization”. And that simple metric means so much, it drives so much of the improvements we want to see in the teams and organizations…
How a CEO became a better leader with the help of a Scrum Master | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 17 • 12 min
We see Scrum be used more and more to help manage teams in all industries. In this episode we explore a story of how a Scrum Master, Christiaan, helped a CEO step back and allow the team to flourish. This helped both the CEO and the team, and as a…
Facilitation as the critical art for Scrum Masters | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 16 • 13 min
Sometimes it is hard to keep the team focused in the ceremonies that we facilitate. That’s ok, and predictable. However, as Scrum Masters we must be ready for it. We must be ready to regain the attention of the team on the issue at hand. Remember,…
The importance of setting the example as a manager | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 15 • 12 min
Often, as Scrum Masters we see managers behave in ways that are counter the principles of Scrum. In this episode we review such a situation. A manager and the team are in the same room for a workshop that Christiaan is facilitating. The conversation…
Change Management: the benefits of all-in change | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 12 • 10 min
When a transition to Agile is ongoing there are a lot of aspects that are new to the organization. Those aspects may lead to problems later that are seen as “change resistance”. Krisztina shares with us an adoption approach that is quite…
Change: Measure and visualize everything! | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 11 • 11 min
Good facilitation is a major part of a good Retrospective. This week Krisztina introduces the Scrum Games format for the Retrospective, and shares a very special tip that makes Retrospectives the best moments of the Sprint for the team. About…
Change: Adopting Scrum in a Corporate Environment from scratch | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 10 • 9 min
Adopting Scrum is a hard journey for most even when the conditions are right. But how about driving change in an organization that is adopting Scrum from scratch, and is historically a top-down command and control organization? Krisztina shares her…
The complaining negative spiral of death | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 9 • 12 min
Teams complain. I mean, who can blame them? Often they have to deal with corporate policies that would destroy the motivation of even the most excited Agile adopter. As Scrum Masters we know this. But how do we get the teams out of the complaining…
Project Management anti-pattern: leading the conversation | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 8 • 15 min
Many Scrum Masters transition from a Project Management position. This transition is not easy. It requires a change in stance (towards facilitation, instead of management) which is not always easy to achieve. In this episode we talk with Krisztina…
The anti-patterns that drive fear | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 5 • 12 min
Are the team members afraid? Do you hear a lot of “blame” words, or “us against them” comments? This may be because some of the patterns that Viyoma describes are active in your organization. Listen to this episode to find out what those…
The “How” is more important than the “How Much” | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 4 • 9 min
When defining success we often look for metrics that help us assess the progress of the team. That’s ok, but are you looking at the “how”? How is the team achieving that success is also important. So Viyoma asks 4 different questions that help…
How to help stakeholders engage with the team | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 3 • 9 min
“Developing software for the shelf” is a common term that refers to the anti-pattern of developing software that no one uses. In this episode Vyioma shares with us the story of a team that was doing just that. Creating software that was not used….
How measuring individuals can destroy teams | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 2 • 10 min
The team was being asked to measure individual velocity and compare that with each other’s velocity. Problems ensued! In this episode we talk about the individual focus, and why that may be catastrophic for the teams. How do we get out of that…
Experiment to learn what works! | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 1 • 12 min
As new Scrum Masters we are sometimes overwhelmed with all the things that require our attention. It’s ok! You are not alone. When we start looking at the problems the teams are facing it is easy to be driven to act immediately. After all, many of…
BONUS: Johanna Rothman explains how you can create a successful agile project
Dec 29, 2017 • 41 min
Johanna Rothman is a prolific Agile author with at least 13 books at the time this is being written. She has worked as an Agile manager, and has consulted many Agile managers all over the world. In this episode she shares some of the hard-earned…
BONUS: Barry O’Reilly on What is Hypothesis-driven Development, and why that matters for Agilists
Dec 28, 2017 • 37 min
Far too many companies act as if Product Development was a shopping trip: they get a list of things to “buy”, typically Features. Then they create documents explaining that shopping list: Roadmaps, Backlogs, PowerPoint presentations, Post-its on…
BONUS: Karl Scotland on what is Agile Strategy?
Dec 27, 2017 • 35 min
Karl starts this episode by describing how he discovered the need to bring Agile to the level of strategic decision making. He tells the story of a team that was, by all measures, successful. They were delivering software, they were achieving their…
BONUS: JB Rainsberger on Fearless Agile Adoption
Dec 26, 2017 • 52 min
In this special episode we welcome JB Rainsberger. An experienced Agilist from Extreme Programing background. We start the episode discussing what are the patterns of Agile adoption that work in practice. During that conversation we discuss also a…
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Ryan Ripley on Scrum Masters and Coaches, and what that means in practice
Dec 25, 2017 • 98 min
In this episode we cover the very broad topic of coaching. We dive deeper in the meaning of the term, and what that means for Scrum Masters. We start by defining what coaching is, and Ryan makes the case for Coaching as a profession and a career path….
A pattern that helps pinpoint system conditions | Susan McIntosh
Dec 22, 2017 • 11 min
System conditions are patterns that happen over and over again in organizations but the teams can’t solve on their own. With Susan we explore an approach that can help us detect those anti-patterns that can be traced back to the system, the policies…
How to develop high-performing teams | Susan McIntosh
Dec 21, 2017 • 11 min
Our role as Scrum Masters is to help teams develop. Specifically, we need to help them become high-performing. Accomplish their mission in a way that they can be proud of. But how do we get there? How do we help teams develop that level of competence…
Conversations as a change tool | Susan McIntosh
Dec 20, 2017 • 11 min
When we have a huge change in front of us. The organization is growing. It can’t be stopped. How do we handle the change that is inevitable? How do we help the organization evolve and change? In this episode we review how conversations can help us…
How the best people can sometimes destroy a team | Susan McIntosh
Dec 19, 2017 • 14 min
Sometimes we don’t need a super-smart, get things done person. Sometimes we just need a person in the team that can help the team grow. But what happens when we don’t have that kind of person? How do we handle those super smart people that want to…
What psychological safety means IN PRACTICE | Susan McIntosh
Dec 18, 2017 • 10 min
The story that Susan has to share with us starts off as usual, a team, struggling. What happened next? Susan acted in a way that made her understand what psychological safety means in practice. No mumbo jumbo, no buzzwords. What it means for you!…
Communication and its impact on system conditions | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 15, 2017 • 7 min
System conditions come in many shapes and forms. In this episode we talk about the impact of communication (or lack thereof) on the system. We discuss the case of a team that had information withheld from them, and what that led to. And Sebastian…
How to detect true self-organization | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 14, 2017 • 7 min
The “obsolete” Scrum Master is a definition of success that many of our guests have described in the past: the Scrum Master isn’t needed anymore. But Sebastian has a different take on it. And he also shares concrete tips on how to assess if a…
Changing how we use roadmaps | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 13, 2017 • 12 min
In this episode we explore some of the anti-patterns that Roadmaps can create in a team. We discuss the process of change and some ideas on how to make the Roadmaps better for team and stakeholders. In this episode we also refer to a book that gives…
The “rushing” anti-pattern and its consequences | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 12, 2017 • 11 min
Being in a rush is a common anti-pattern in software development. When deadlines are tight, and there’s a lot to do people enter the “rush” mode. They start taking short-cuts, drop communication, and complain about meetings. In this episode we…
Missing Product Owner Anti-patterns | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 11, 2017 • 11 min
Product Owner is a critical role in Scrum. When it is missing there’s many things that don’t work. Prioritization, answering questions about the product quickly, you name it. But what is a Scrum Master to do? Listen in and explore with us the many…
The 3 Pillars of Scrum | Barry Overeem
Dec 8, 2017 • 9 min
Scrum Masters are familiar with the 3 pillars of Scrum or the values that are at the core of Scrum. In this episode we discuss how focusing on those 3 pillars of scrum, the Scrum Masters can help make the system conditions visible. The system…
How to enable and foster self-organization | Barry Overeem
Dec 7, 2017 • 9 min
What is success for a Scrum Master? This is the #1 question Barry gets in his trainings. In this episode we talk about his answer to that question and how we can enable one of they key patterns in Scrum: team self-organization. Barry shares his own…
From Big Upfront Contract to Co-creating with the Customer | Barry Overeem
Dec 6, 2017 • 10 min
Many organizations are stuck in the “let’s write a document, then a contract before we even get started” anti-pattern. Here’s the problem: no matter how careful you are with the original contract, there will be problems because the…
From Team Captain to Scrum Master | Barry Overeem
Dec 5, 2017 • 11 min
Scrum Masters are typically people committed to the success of the teams they work with. That’s great, but it can lead to problems. It may lead, for example, to the teams not making decisions on their own! In this episode we discuss anti-patterns…
From Project Management to Scrum Master | Barry Overeem
Dec 4, 2017 • 17 min
There are many paths to the Scrum Master role. One that is quite common in the IT industry is that of moving from Project Management to being a Scrum Master. As you’d expect there are quite big differences. In this episode we talk about those…
How to engage with Project Management in your Agile transformation | Joe Anderson
Dec 1, 2017 • 11 min
“Culture eats process for breakfast” goes the quote. Culture is one of the big aspects of the system of work we interact with, so we need to be aware of what are the cultural trends in the organizations and teams we work with. What are those? Joe…
Using Retrospectives for self-development as well as team development | Joe Anderson
Nov 30, 2017 • 10 min
As Scrum Masters we are intimately familiar with Retrospectives. We plan, organize and facilitate retrospectives for our team members and even larger chunks of the organization. But when was the last time you did your own personal retrospective?…
How to engage with Project Management in your Agile transformation | Joe Anderson
Nov 29, 2017 • 11 min
Many organizations adopting Agile as of today are in a transition. From the Project Management paradigm to the Agile paradigm. How can we engage with Project Management to help the organization evolve? This is the topic of today’s conversation with…
How to identify team “limiting beliefs” | Joe Anderson
Nov 28, 2017 • 10 min
The teams we work with are victims of their own limiting beliefs. They bump against the prejudices, and the lack of belief they have and need to break through before they can improve how they work. What do those “limiting beliefs” look like? Which…
The role of Courage as a Scrum value | Joe Anderson
Nov 27, 2017 • 12 min
In a big agile transformation there are many stakeholders, many expectations that affect our work as Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches. In those environments Courage becomes a critical value for us. Joe explains his story of failure, and the role that…
3 tools to help Scrum Masters understand the system | Arif Bobat
Nov 24, 2017 • 13 min
When joining a new team or organization we need to be aware of what is going on before we can start our efforts to help the organization. How can we do that? Arif shares with us 3 tools he uses regularly that help him understand the system and define…
Flirt the the breaking point for breakthrough results! | Arif Bobat
Nov 23, 2017 • 12 min
We want to help teams and organizations succeed. This is the focus of our work as Scrum Masters. But here’s the thing, sometimes the team needs to risk failure to go beyond the established patterns of behaviour. In this episode, Arif explains the…
A simple project management approach that can drive change | Arif Bobat
Nov 22, 2017 • 14 min
There are plenty of opportunities to help teams and organizations change and improve. In this episode we talk about how trying to help teams reduce project risk can help drive change. Arif explains the steps he took to help the team change the way of…
Anti-Pattern: Indigestion! | Arif Bobat
Nov 21, 2017 • 14 min
In this story that Arif shares with us, he explains how you can focus the team because if you don’t the teams might succumb to indigestion: wanting to do too much. But how can you help the teams escape that anti-pattern? Listen in as Arif describes…
Sometimes you need to get fired! | Arif Bobat
Nov 20, 2017 • 22 min
Working with a team that had very little going for them, Arif tried his best. He tried to raise awareness of the problem, he tried to help the team improve, he raised obstacles to management. Was that enough? Listen in as Arif describes his journey in…
A simple question to detect system conditions | Donald Ewart
Nov 17, 2017 • 10 min
System conditions - which affect our teams, but are outside their control - are not always simple to tackle, but with this question they will at least be simple to detect. In this episode, Donald shares with us a very powerful question when it comes…
3 steps to mastery for Scrum teams | Donald Ewart
Nov 16, 2017 • 11 min
Donald traces a path for the teams he works with. This path helps him assess his own success and helps him focus on the next steps that the teams need to go through. In this episode we discuss leadership, and recommend the book Turn the Ship Around!…
The Scrum theater we sometimes play | Donald Ewart
Nov 15, 2017 • 11 min
Donald joined one team and found that they only had a very superficial knowledge of Scrum. They knew the ceremonies, the meetings, the formalities, but something was off. In this episode we discuss how you can “test” if your team really…
Build a human connection! | Donald Ewart
Nov 14, 2017 • 14 min
Featured book In this episode we introduce a new Feature: the Featured book! A recommendation by our guests that will help you choose which books to read. Every week a new book for you to read. This week Donald recommends you revisit one of the…
Don’t try Agile if you are not setup for that! | Donald Ewart
Nov 13, 2017 • 13 min
We sometimes face situations where the teams are not ready to be Agile. In this episode we discuss such a story and talk about what we need to have in place to even get started with Agile. This is a great reminder that we should not try to make all…
The Integral Agile Model as a Systems Thinking Tool | Venetia Foo
Nov 10, 2017 • 10 min
When looking at the team and the system conditions that affect its performance we need tools that help us understand the team beyond its physical boundaries (people, room, tools). In this episode we discuss the Integral Agile Model, introduced by…
How to get teams to solve their own problems? | Venetia Foo
Nov 9, 2017 • 9 min
Scrum Masters are seen as problem solvers. But is it really what they are there to do? Venetia challenges us to think about how we can help the teams take over the problem solving process themselves. How can we do it? How can we motivate teams to…
A Project Management ninja trick: changing project teams in flight | Venetia Foo
Nov 8, 2017 • 11 min
Venetia, a Scrum Master got the order from project management: the project must be moved to a new team, hundreds of miles away in another city! Wow, what a challenge! When we discuss changes on the podcast we very often talk about Agile adoption,…
How one team member can destroy a whole team | Venetia Foo
Nov 7, 2017 • 11 min
Many of us have been in teams where there’s a “dominant” team member. But have we thought about the possible consequences that it may bring to the team? In this episode we explore the possible consequences that dominant team members can…
How to integrate new team members in a project team | Venetia Foo
Nov 6, 2017 • 12 min
A project is late and we think: let’s add more people. Project Managers all over the world use this technique to try to get their projects on schedule. However it’s not that easy… In fact, integrating new project team members in an existing team…
The Scrum Master must help manage the system | Jac Hughes
Nov 3, 2017 • 9 min
Jac shares with us a workshop he uses to help the teams he works with identify the system around them. This is the system that may be helping them (keep), or preventing them (change) to reach their goals. During this episode we talk about some…
People over metrics! | Jac Hughes
Nov 2, 2017 • 8 min
Jac starts by sharing his value that orients the definition of success: People over Metrics. That is, while metrics are important, we must always consider the people first, not the metrics. Jac describes some of the symptoms of a successful outcome…
Changing to Agile while having fun! | Jac Hughes
Nov 1, 2017 • 10 min
Change is a dreaded word in many work places. They may be associated with fads, change of management, new processes that make our jobs harder, etc. But sometimes - when adopting Agile for example - change is something that helps us all and our…
Fixed time, fixed scope, fixed cost projects | Jac Hughes
Oct 31, 2017 • 10 min
Sooner or later we will be in a situation where someone has committed to a goal that the team did not co-create. A schedule the team did not work on. A plan that the team wasn’t aware of. These are normal anti-patterns that we will deal with in our…
How to prepare for distributed teams | Jac Hughes
Oct 30, 2017 • 12 min
As Jac puts it: “it was a dream to have the whole team co-located”. But invariably, as Scrum Masters we will face distributed teams. So we must prepare for those teams. There are many possible problems. The lack of interaction, the cultural…
How to transform the intangible systemic problems into actionable solutions | Balasz Tátár
Oct 27, 2017 • 15 min
In the regular Retrospectives we find the symptoms of the systemic problems we have to face. We can use Retrospectives as the engine to find and create possible improvements to solve those systemic problems. Balazs shares his approach to…
Daily implications of our success definition | Balasz Tátár
Oct 26, 2017 • 8 min
When we define success for ourselves we are affecting how we see the work we do. Balazs challenges us to take things step-by-step and define success at the daily level. And only then move on to the work the team does and we do. Finally we should focus…
From boring to FANTASTIC daily meetings | Balasz Tátár
Oct 25, 2017 • 10 min
As Balazs puts it, you don’t expect public sector organizations to be the most Agile organizations ever. However, if you do things right - like Balazs shares with us in this episode - you can make a big impact with relatively small changes. In this…
How to CRUSH blockers | Balasz Tátár
Oct 24, 2017 • 8 min
Blockers are our most common obstacle. We face them, the team faces them. In fact, most of our time is spent on either solving or helping team and stakeholders solve the most critical blockers to progress. In this show Balazs gives us some tips on how…
Remote Scrum Master tips | Balasz Tátár
Oct 23, 2017 • 12 min
Being a Scrum Master to a few local teams can be challenging enough, but how do you support multiple distributed teams? Balazs shares his steep learning curve on working with remote teams and shares also some important etiquette tips on working with…
BONUS: David Marquet on the book Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Building Leaders
Oct 21, 2017 • 39 min
Captain L. David Marquet, author of Turn the Ship Around!, joins us in the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to discuss the lessons learned from his stint at the Santa Fe, a US Navy submarine that, when he took over, ranked last in retention and…
Go where the pain is, be an Agile paramedic | Samantha Webb
Oct 20, 2017 • 12 min
When we start our role of Scrum Master in a new team or organization, Samantha suggests, listen first. Pay attention to the interaction, the way people relate to each other, the language they use. When you know where the pain is, be an agile…
The critical importance of retrospectives | Samantha Webb
Oct 19, 2017 • 10 min
When it comes to defining success, Samantha shares with us a moving story that starts with a piece of feedback she once received from one of her team members. That’s what success looks like. But how do we get there? Samantha shares how she uses the…
Facilitation as a tool to improve performance of organizations | Samantha Webb
Oct 18, 2017 • 11 min
Scrum Masters are facilitators by definition. However, some might think that facilitation alone is not enough to have a large impact. Well, Samantha proves those people wrong by sharing with us a story of how she was able to help a team, and an…
How to succeed with Agile Transformations | Samantha Webb
Oct 17, 2017 • 14 min
Many organizations look carefully at where their people spend their time. This is, in general, a good thing. Problems start when we don’t give our people the chance to succeed. A very common anti-pattern in this context is the part-time Scrum Master…
How to succeed with Agile Transformations | Samantha Webb
Oct 16, 2017 • 18 min
Samantha shares with us a story of how agile transformations sometimes go, the pitfalls, that anti-patterns, and also what we need as Scrum Masters. Once we reach that level where we have our own skills in place, there’s still a lot of anti-patterns…
BONUS: Stefan Wolpers shares the results of the Scrum Master Salary Survey of 2017
Oct 14, 2017 • 29 min
There was an article in early 2017 stating that Scrum Master is one of the top 10 best paid jobs in IT in the USA (LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017) This inspired Stefan Wolpers to do a survey on the salaries that Scrum…
Turn every Friday into a retrospective day | Karthik Nagarajan
Oct 13, 2017 • 12 min
How do we learn how the system affects our teams? We study the system and the effects on our teams. And how do we do that? Why, retrospectives of course! Karthik shares his recipe for frequent retrospectives and suggests: turn every Friday into a…
The metrics we can use to assess our impact in the team and organization | Karthik Nagarajan
Oct 12, 2017 • 11 min
What is the value the Scrum Masters are bringing in to the organization? Of course the investors and management are going to ask this question. I would too if it were my company. So we need to be able to show how we are helping the teams and the…
How games can help you change the organization | Karthik Nagarajan
Oct 11, 2017 • 16 min
Karthik had a challenge. He needed to prove the benefits of Agile and Kanban to a team that wasn’t ready yet. Luckily he was aware of the Kanban game and he started showing the team how that works. Listen in to find out how the game helped him…
3 things you can do to make retrospectives more effective | Karthik Nagarajan
Oct 10, 2017 • 13 min
It is very common that teams stay in the cycle of no improvement. They go through the motions, even have retrospectives every sprint. But nothing happens. This can be very de-moralizing. How can we help our teams get out of the rut and start making a…
How to break-out of the super-hero anti-pattern | Karthik Nagarajan
Oct 9, 2017 • 12 min
As Scrum Masters we want to help our teams succeed. And we do everything we can to help them. Sometimes a bit too much. Sometimes we might become the bottleneck. Running from meeting to meeting, trying to answer all the questions, help everybody. But…
BONUS: What is TameFlow? Steven Tendon explains TameFlow, an hyper performance approach for software development organizations
Oct 7, 2017 • 52 min
Tools you need to understand the system you are part of | Adrian Kerry
Oct 6, 2017 • 14 min
When we work with organizations and teams that adopt Scrum, we need to have an understanding of what might be the inherent organizational and personal barriers to adoption. There are a number of tools we can use to learn about which barriers are…
The critical importance of releasing early and often | Adrian Kerry
Oct 5, 2017 • 13 min
All the teams we work with are doing their best. We believe so. And we also believe that certain mental models and practices are keeping them from doing much better, while still trying their best. In this episode we talk about the critical different…
Why coaching is so important for Scrum Masters | Adrian Kerry
Oct 4, 2017 • 9 min
In change processes many behaviours, habits and practices need to change. As we adapt to the new way of working we struggle to find our footing in the new reality. How can a Scrum Master help a team in that kind of transition. What are the skills we…
The Anti-Pattern of lack of stakeholder engagement | Adrian Kerry
Oct 3, 2017 • 11 min
Teams need to care about their work. If teams are the only ones that care, that can’t last for long. In this story Adrian talks about the role of stakeholder engagement and how critical it is to learn to engage the stakeholders. When that engagement…
Talking about failures helps us recover faster | Adrian Kerry
Oct 2, 2017 • 17 min
In this story that Adrian shares with us we explore our tendency to hide the failures, to cover for each other rather than addressing the problems we are facing. We discuss the consequences of that Anti-Pattern and how we should, as Scrum Masters,…
3 tools that help you understand the system conditions | Jacopo Romei
Sep 29, 2017 • 19 min
Systems affect the teams we work with. Systems develop certain patterns - the system conditions - that we must be aware of, and the people in the system also must be aware of. To find and understand those system conditions we need tools, practical…
2 key success patterns | Jacopo Romei
Sep 28, 2017 • 15 min
Jacopo describes in this episode 2 patterns that may lead to success, and can help you define your own success as a Scrum Master. In the scope of those 2 patterns we also discuss multiple metrics that could be useful in navigating our own evolution…
How Kanban can help visualize and promote the necessary change | Jacopo Romei
Sep 27, 2017 • 10 min
Change management, or as we like to call it, Change Leadership is a very difficult part of our job as Scrum Masters. There are great books out there that help people find the approaches to change management that work in an Agile context, however doing…
What is Conway’s Law and how it affects our work as Scrum Masters | Jacopo Romei
Sep 26, 2017 • 14 min
Conway’s Law is a little known observation that organizations seem to mimic the architecture of the software they develop, and vice-versa. So what does that insight mean for us Scrum Masters? Jacopo shares with us his story of a team that was living…
Find the upper limit to your coaching skills and respect it | Jacopo Romei
Sep 25, 2017 • 16 min
When working in certain organizations we are challenged with contexts that we just can’t cope with. Whether it is a personality problem, or just a complex social conflict, it is crucial to understand where our limits are, and accept those. Being…
BONUS: What is #NoEstimates? Exploring the #NoEstimates movement in an interview with Dimitar Bakardzhiev
Sep 23, 2017 • 56 min
The #NoEstimates movement has been a hot topic on Twitter for several years. So, to investigate that and a few more topcics we interviewed Dimitar, who has published some work on forecasting as a way to remove expert-opinion based estimates and has a…
3 concrete tools that help you understand the system | Philiy Lander
Sep 22, 2017 • 11 min
When we analyse the organization, teams and other stakeholders we need to interact with we may miss crucial interactions unless we visualize the interactions. Philiy shares with us a story and 3 tools about how we can visualize the system we work…
The role of silence in the work of a Scrum Master | Philiy Lander
Sep 21, 2017 • 10 min
In our journey to impactful work, and our success as Scrum Masters, one of the key tools we have to learn how to use is silence. And it just so happens that our ability and need to be silent (or not) can be used as a personal metric for our own…
For change to stick: let people own the change | Philiy Lander
Sep 20, 2017 • 12 min
Nobody resists change, they resist being changed by others! Simple, yet powerful insight! How to take it into practice in our own change work? Philiy shares with us a story of how the visualization of work with team boards spread virally in an…
Anti-pattern: working hard, but nothing to show for it | Philiy Lander
Sep 19, 2017 • 13 min
Sometimes it feels like we are running as fast as we can just to stay in the same place. The feeling of overwhelm that many teams face comes from simply having too much work in progress. In this episode Philiy tells us a story of such a team. At the…
How to handle skeptic team members | Philiy Lander
Sep 18, 2017 • 13 min
“I hate Scrum!” they will say to our face. How do we respond to that. How do we tackle the skeptic team members. In this episode, Philiy tells us just that story, when a team member was actively against Scrum. She shares with us, her own mistakes…
Metrics to measure the system-wide performance | Mattia Battiston
Sep 15, 2017 • 15 min
One key aspect of working with systems is the ability to measure the system as a whole. In this episode Mattia shares an example of how he looked at the overall performance of an end-to-end system, and how that helped him identify impediments that…
How to measure the culture change in the team | Mattia Battiston
Sep 14, 2017 • 9 min
Mattia states that his success as a Scrum Master or team lead is related to the ability of the team to be successful. But he then goes further and relates his current job to the success of the team. As a team lead, Mattia looks at other aspects, like…
How #NoEstimates can make teams more predictable | Mattia Battiston
Sep 13, 2017 • 9 min
Mattia joined a team that was estimating their work. Invariably the estimates were off. Way off. So Mattia, being a self-proclaimed data geek, started looking at the data. The next project came, and the team estimated the project, while Mattia looked…
The “This is Not my Job” Anti-pattern | Mattia Battiston
Sep 12, 2017 • 10 min
“As long as the hole in the boat is on their side, we’re fine” - or so goes the cartoon. But that’s a short-sightedness that can have serious consequences to the team. Mattia shares a similar story that so clearly illustrates the importance of…
How to hire great team members | Mattia Battiston
Sep 11, 2017 • 13 min
Hiring great people is not an easy job. Mattia shares the story of how hiring the very capable, but not good team-player team members can threaten the very existence of the team. Mattia also shares what he learned about the hiring process, and how…
Anti-patterns that help detect system impediments | Saad Ali Jan
Sep 8, 2017 • 11 min
There are many things that affect the performance of the team. Deming famously stated that 95% of the performance of a team is due to systemic conditions, while only 5% are due to individual performance. In this episode we review some of the…
The many metrics we can use to assess progress as Scrum Masters | Saad Ali Jan
Sep 7, 2017 • 9 min
There are many areas of interest, and many aspects of success for us to consider. Saad Ali reviews the metrics he mostly looks at to assess his progress and also the progress of the teams that he works with. In this episode we talk about Scrum…
How to adopt Scrum from scratch | Saad Ali Jan
Sep 6, 2017 • 11 min
At some point in our careers we will probably face a situation when Scrum and Agile are being introduced to an organization that worked only with other approaches before. This kind of green-field adoption processes have specific challenges that we…
The story of the team that did not dare to take ownership | Saad Ali Jan
Sep 5, 2017 • 10 min
Often we deal with managers, product owners, stakeholders that want to control the teams we work with. This anti-pattern is so common that sometimes the teams assume that is what they are dealing with even when the stakeholders don’t want to…
How applying Agile is very different from learning Agile | Saad Ali Jan
Sep 4, 2017 • 13 min
We can read all the books, watch all the presentations, even listen to all the podcasts about Agile, but applying Agile is a very different business than learning about it. Saad Ali tells the story one of his first jobs as Scrum Master and how he…
The many systems Scrum Masters must be aware of | Blerina Ilia
Sep 1, 2017 • 13 min
When we work with teams, it is not only the teams we work with. We work with their line managers, their stakeholders, their departments, their companies (if they are externals), and we also must take into account their family or personal situation….
The 3 aspects of Scrum Master success | Blerina Ilia
Aug 31, 2017 • 9 min
In this episode we explore the different aspects of success for Scrum Masters according to Blerin Ilia. We discuss the importance, and impact of self-improvement for Scrum Masters as well as what to do when the team no longer needs you daily. What…
How to introduce an agile tool to support both Agile and Non-Agile teams | Blerina Ilia
Aug 30, 2017 • 11 min
When an organization starts the adoption process of Scrum, it will probably have teams working with Scrum, and other teams working with other processes. How do we introduce a new tool - that is supposed to help the Scrum teams - to the organization?…
Working with team members that don’t accept Scrum | Blerina Ilia
Aug 29, 2017 • 9 min
All Scrum Masters work, at some point, with team members that are against, or skeptic regarding Scrum. How do we tackle that resistance? How do we leverage the other team member’s acceptance of Scrum in the process? In this episode we discuss the…
How to introduce Scrum to organizations | Blerina Ilia
Aug 28, 2017 • 12 min
When we get started with Scrum we very often are in a situation where the whole organization is new to Scrum. In this episode we talk about introducing Scrum to organisations and what we should consider when doing that part of our work. About…
BONUS: Joshua Kerievsky introduces Modern Agile
Aug 26, 2017 • 61 min
In this Bonus episode of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, we explore the idea of what Agile needs to be to continuously adapt to what we have learned about what works and what does not work in Agile. Agile is soon 20 years old, the Agile manifesto…
EN FRANÇAIS : Le pouvoir du management visuel | Bastien Naudé
Aug 19, 2017 • 32 min
Raz la casquette de Jira? Les outils de management de tableaux virtuels sont pratiques, mais dans un certain sens, ils troublent la communication d’une équipe. Lorsque l’équipe possède une certaine maturité cela ne pose plus de problème, mais…
Fixing the system with Scrum | Josh Anderson
Aug 18, 2017 • 15 min
Josh is an experienced manager of technology organization. He’s used to be in organizations that have the pressure to perform and want to adapt, grow and step up their game. But how do you do that? He shares with us the method he uses when he joins…
Ri-level teams, and the challenge for us as Scrum Master | Josh Anderson
Aug 17, 2017 • 10 min
What is success for us as Scrum Masters? Josh’s view is that we must help our teams reach the Ri-level of performance. But what does that mean in practice? And what happens after that? Listen in to learn more about the Shu-Ha-Ri model for team…
The process of unlearning for teams and individuals | Josh Anderson
Aug 16, 2017 • 9 min
When building a team you want to hire the right people. With the right experience, and willingness to apply Agile in their work. That’s a great idea in theory, but in practice every workplace is different. Every team is new. And to adapt to the new…
The right level of pressure for a team | Josh Anderson
Aug 15, 2017 • 10 min
What is the right level for a team. Should you give the highest pressure, most critical assignments always to your best team? Listen in to learn what Josh learned about managing the right level of pressure for a team, and what you can apply in your…
When in trouble I ask the team | Josh Anderson
Aug 14, 2017 • 12 min
In this episode Josh shares with us a story of a failure. A moment where the team was not performing, and Josh realised that he was part of the problem. What was the problem? How did he solve it? And what did he learn? Listen in to learn a major…
EN FRANÇAIS : Développer le “servant-leadership”, une tâche difficile | Oana Juncu
Aug 12, 2017 • 25 min
Pourquoi est-il si difficile de quitter le carcan du command & control? Pourquoi peinons-nous encore en 2017, à transmettre l’idée du servant leadership? Oana Juncu apporte sa pierre à cet édifice. Elle nous parle de biais cognitif et de…
Business agility and the Agility Ladder | Jens Broos
Aug 11, 2017 • 12 min
When we start as Scrum Masters we have a lot in our plate just focusing on the team, and their deliveries. However, over time, we identify obstacles to the team’s work that are coming from the organization’s lack of adoption. In this Episode we…
Peer Review for assessing our success as Scrum Masters | Jens Broos
Aug 10, 2017 • 10 min
Jens shares with us a tool they’ve created to define and assess Scrum Master’s success and contribution to their organization. This tool includes an associated peer review process that they use to be able to help Scrum Masters grow their skills…
The Secret Society of Transparent Salaries | Jens Broos
Aug 9, 2017 • 10 min
Salaries are rarely shared. Why is that? In the company Jens works, Mayflower GmbH, they also didn’t share their salaries until Jens and some of his colleagues started a change process in their organization. It all started as a Gin Tasting Workshop,…
Conflict management in Agile teams | Jens Broos
Aug 8, 2017 • 11 min
Conflict is a looming threat for all Agile teams, unless we learn how to manage those situations with our teams. In this episode, Jens shares with us the story of a team member that was the focus of this particular conflict, how that conflict emerged…
The Boy Scout route to Scrum Mastership | Jens Broos
Aug 7, 2017 • 13 min
What can we learn from the Boy Scouts about being a Scrum Master? Jens, who spent a long time with the Boy Scouts as a child shares what he learned from those years that he applies today in his role as a Scrum Master. In this episode we refer to a…
EN FRANÇAIS : Coach l’esprit ouvert | Nicolas Umiastowski
Aug 5, 2017 • 46 min
Est-ce qu’un projet fonctionnant exactement comme le dit le Scrum Guide, est agile? Dans cet épisode, Nicolas Umiastowski nous partage son expérience de coaching. Une expérience faite de tâtonnement, d’observation, et de beaucoup de bon sens….
2017 TOP 5, #1: Vasco Duarte on NoEstimates
Aug 4, 2017 • 15 min
During this week we review the most downloaded regular show episodes for the first half of 2017. Here’s the most downloaded show, TOP 1 for the first six months of 2016! The #NoEstimates hashtag has been very active on twitter, and many people in…
2017 TOP 5, #2: David Williams on change management and visual boards
Aug 3, 2017 • 20 min
This week we review the top downloaded shows for 2017, at number 2 we have David Williams with a JUMBO episode on change management and visual task boards This is a JUMBO episode with David where we talk about change management, how to…
2017 TOP 5, #3: Philip Eisbacher on the conversation facilitation role of the Scrum Master
Aug 2, 2017 • 13 min
This week we review the top downloaded shows for 2017, at number 3 we have Philip Eisbacher sharing his views on the role of the Scrum Master as a conversation facilitator. We’ve reviewed the importance of fostering and having the right…
2017 TOP 5, #4: Gunther Verheyen on the limits to the role of Scrum Master
Aug 1, 2017 • 9 min
This week we review the top downloaded shows for the first six months of 2017. At number 4 we have Guther Verheyen’s episode on limiting (or not) the role of the Scrum Master Is Scrum a team framework? Gunther disagrees, and explains why he thinks…
2017 TOP 5 #5, Mark Thuun on Distributed teams
Jul 31, 2017 • 9 min
This week we review the TOP 5 downloaded episodes for the first six months of 2017. Here’s number 5 for 2017! Distributed teams are hard to work with, but if you add cultural differences to the mix things get complicated pretty quickly. In this…
EN FRANÇAIS : Produit et projet, un dilemme | Issame El Kharbili
Jul 29, 2017 • 37 min
This show, in French, is hosted by our very special friend of the show Tim Bourguignon Que faire quand un projet cannibalise un produit? Quand le Product-Owner joue le rôle d’un project-owner? Dans cet épisode, Issame El Kharbili nous emmène dans…
Using dialogue as the tool to study the system | Hemant Khati
Jul 28, 2017 • 13 min
Conversations and dialogue are the tools that Hemant uses to study the system where he works. He has specific questions he asks from the team and the stakeholders that guide his investigation of the system. These questions are critical to start the…
The 3 benchmarks for success as a Scrum Master | Hemant Khati
Jul 27, 2017 • 9 min
Hemant uses 3 questions to guide the review of his own work as a Scrum Master. In these 3 benchmarks he includes the team, the stakeholders and the integration of the team with the rest of the organization. Listen in to hear Hemant’s 3 questions as…
How to succeed with Agile in the Enterprise | Hemant Khati
Jul 26, 2017 • 13 min
Succeeding with Agile is not about the team, or a group of teams. In this story Hemant shares a story of a large organization going Agile and what happened. As we talk about this context we also discuss how to get the business side of the organization…
The strange case of the “perfect” team | Hemant Khati
Jul 25, 2017 • 10 min
What happens when nothing is wrong? The sharp Scrum Master should keep an eye for this possible anti-pattern. After all no one is perfect, much less a team. What happened to this team? What was the problem and how to get out of the “perfect”…
The Team Rating Anti-pattern| Hemant Khati
Jul 24, 2017 • 12 min
At the end of the Sprint, the Product Owner sits with the team and gives them a rating. And that’s not all, the team is a contractor and does not get paid when the rating is not “enough”. All know what the “enough” rating is in advance. So…
EN FRANÇAIS : Remonter la chaîne de commandement | Alexandre Thibault
Jul 22, 2017 • 44 min
This show, in French, is hosted by our very special friend of the show Tim Bourguignon Avez-vous déjà repéré des situations qui, lorsqu’elles apparaissent, vous donnent immédiatement l’impression que quelque chose de néfaste couve? Une sorte…
The importance of feedback loops | Tom Taylor
Jul 21, 2017 • 10 min
When looking at the systems we work within, it is imperative to understand and build the necessary feedback loops that help us understand what is going on. It is not enough to have feedback loops at the team level. The product feedback loops as well…
How to turn a gut feeling into action orientation | Tom Taylor
Jul 20, 2017 • 9 min
We often ask questions or do surveys to assess our success as Scrum Masters. Those tools are powerful and useful if used in the right way. But very often we also have to go on a gut feel. An intuitive understanding of what the situation is at the…
How to pitch Scrum in your company and the 3 most important questions | Tom Taylor
Jul 19, 2017 • 13 min
In this episode Tom shares an important story from a time when Scrum was not yet the method used at his company. It is the story of a pitch by one of his colleagues that helped his organization get the right momentum to adopt Agile. This story has…
The Team’s most important enemy | Tom Taylor
Jul 18, 2017 • 13 min
Teams face difficulties of all kinds. Technical, social, political, knowledge… The list goes on. But what is the Team’s most important enemy? In this episode we explore that question and some of the techniques that Tom has used to face and often…
How to approach failure with Agile Teams | Tom Taylor
Jul 17, 2017 • 13 min
Failure is a forbidden word in many corporate cultures. So much so that it becomes impossible to talk about what is happening for real. We develop sophisticated language tricks to avoid discussing failure. But is that the right approach, the approach…
EN FRANÇAIS : Faire une pause pour mieux sprinter indéfiniment | François Le Rolland
Jul 15, 2017 • 28 min
This show, in French, is hosted by our very special friend of the show Tim Bourguignon Scrum nous pousse à travailler en « sprints ». Est-ce vraiment sain de sprinter sur la durée ? Et surtout, est-ce vraiment possible ? Un des 12 principes du…
A must-have technique for Scrum Masters | Paolo D’Incau
Jul 14, 2017 • 14 min
The technique that Paolo shares with us in this episode is not only useful to tackle the Friday challenge (understand the system as a whole), but it is a versatile technique that we all should include in our toolbox. It is such an important tool that…
How a Scrum Master creates impact | Paolo D’Incau
Jul 13, 2017 • 11 min
Paolo D’Incau starts the episode by sharing with us what is the best way to describe the impact of a Scrum Master. Then we continue to discuss the 3 benchmarks he uses to check his own success, as well as the guiding principles for improvement….
Technical excellence as an anti-pattern | Paolo D’Incau
Jul 12, 2017 • 14 min
It can be hard to help teams understand that there’s life beyond code. So hard, that sometimes teams choose to focus only on the technical excellence, without any regard to the impact they have on the business they are part of and contributors to….
The many anti-patterns from re-write projects | Paolo D’Incau
Jul 11, 2017 • 10 min
We’ve all been there. A system is running, paying its keep, but creating head-aches everywhere. Soon enough there’s enough people thinking that the system must be re-written and a long, and arduous project starts with the aim of re-writing the…
How to engage with business people | Paolo D’Incau
Jul 10, 2017 • 10 min
Paolo shares the story of a team that was new to Agile methods. The team was stuck in cargo cult, focusing on tools, instead of behaviors. On top of that there a problem: how can we engage business people? Especially business people that have little…
BONUS: How to get hired as a Scrum Master & the results from the Salary Survey
Jul 8, 2017 • 53 min
Stefan was a guest on the show and a guest writer in our blog. At that time we briefly spoke about the great work he’s been doing on the recruiting process for Scrum Masters. In the blog he wrote on “Peer Recruiting: How to Hire a Scrum Master in…
(UPDATED) The Bi-modal governance model for large organization Agile adoption | Dimitris Dimitrelos
Jul 7, 2017 • 12 min
Very large organizations, such as the one that Dimitris describes in this episode, have a dynamic of their own. The same practices that help a smaller organization are not going to work when you need to deal with 100’s of teams and coordinate with…
A method to assess the system in 4 different dimensions | Dimitris Dimitrelos
Jul 7, 2017 • 12 min
What if we had a method, a structured way to assess how the system of any organization is setup, and thanks to that learn what are the best first steps for Agile adoption? Well, that’s exactly what Dimitris shares with us in this episode. The 4…
4 benchmarks for Scrum Master success | Dimitris Dimitrelos
Jul 6, 2017 • 9 min
Dimitris has had a career both as a Project Manager as well as a Scrum Master in the organizations he’s worked in. As part of that longer personal journey he has defined a set of aspects he comes back to regularly to assess his own success. Listen…
The anti-pattern of overcommitment and what to do about it | Dimitris Dimitrelos
Jul 4, 2017 • 14 min
Scrum describes and warns against overcommitment. But how can we recover from that anti-pattern? In this story Dimitris shares what happens to a team that starts well, in their first Scrum project, but soon enough the overcommitment anti-pattern sets…
How to recover a Death March project | Dimitris Dimitrelos
Jul 3, 2017 • 12 min
Scrum Masters, especially when working with larger organizations, will be faced with Death March projects. Dimitris shares a story of a 6 month project what was completely off-the-rails. Scope changes by more than 50%, the bank running the project…
The Anti-pattern of the Missing Conversation | Tatum Bisley
Jun 30, 2017 • 14 min
When we see a problem surfacing in the team, we should look outside the team. It is likely that there are system conditions affecting the team’s performance. Can you understand what that is? Tatum shares with us the Missing Conversation, a common…
The Donut technique to Scrum Master success | Tatum Bisley
Jun 29, 2017 • 9 min
Scrum Master success is about helping the team, and Tatum shares his own story and how he used the “Donut technique” to help the team find ways to talk about the real issues they were facing. This simple technique helped Tatum reach his own…
The 8 steps to all change processes | Tatum Bisley
Jun 28, 2017 • 9 min
Tatum explains how he applies the John Kotter change steps in his own work, and helps me find an insight I took to work the next day and benefited from! Very actionable episode on change, techniques and steps we need to go through in every change…
Say NO! and be happy about it - here’s how | Tatum Bisley
Jun 27, 2017 • 11 min
Saying yes to everything can easily lead to overwhelm. We want to please the business or the customer, and end up taking on much more work than is sustainable. How do we avoid that, and how do we help teams that are in that anti-pattern get out of it?…
The scope-creep anti-pattern | Tatum Bisley
Jun 26, 2017 • 15 min
Our teams very often deal with the pressure to “add more”. “Just this one more story” - they say. Well, that can devolve into an anti-pattern, and that is what happened with Tatum. Listen in to learn how Tatum handled that anti-pattern and how…
Visualization as a systems thinking tool | Peter Gfader
Jun 23, 2017 • 16 min
Understanding the many forces that affect the teams we work with represents a challenge for us as Scrum Masters. We need to learn about different parts of the organization, that we may never have worked with. We need to learn about the impact of the…
How to define success with the team and the customer | Peter Gfader
Jun 22, 2017 • 6 min
Peter shares his tips on how to establish a shared definition of success with the customer and team that he works with. He also shares some interesting tools to help in that conversation. In this Episode we refer to the Happiness Index, a tool that…
How to go from boring up-front planning to #NoEstimates and #MobProgramming | Peter Gfader
Jun 21, 2017 • 12 min
#NoEstimates and #MobProgramming are big trends in the Agile community, but how do we get the benefits and quality of those practices? How do we help teams go from heavy up-front planning to quick, and often planning while still helping each other,…
The dangers of working with offshore teams | Peter Gfader
Jun 20, 2017 • 12 min
Talent is everywhere in the world, and we can’t always find the right people in our city. But having an offshore team presents specific challenges that we must prepare for. In this episode, Peter shares with us a story of an offshore team, and how…
Focusing on the team makes your job more difficult | Peter Gfader
Jun 19, 2017 • 14 min
Peter started working with a team. An XP team. His role and assignment was to help the team, but he was early on told that he should not focus, or “spend” time with people outside the team. What followed next was entirely predictable. Listen in to…
A silver bullet to help understand the system | Jonas Allared
Jun 16, 2017 • 12 min
As Scrum Masters we must spend a considerable amount of time investigating and understanding those system conditions that affect the team, but are outside its control. Jonas has a tool he uses to that effect and shares that with us in today’s…
One question and 1 tool to help us reach success | Jonas Allared
Jun 15, 2017 • 10 min
When assessing his own work, Jonas focuses on how dependant the team is on his contribution. The less a team is dependant on him, the better he is providing for the team. But he also has a tool up his sleeve that he uses to help him improve over time….
Pair up to avoid frustration and loss of motivation | Jonas Allared
Jun 14, 2017 • 8 min
Working with changing organisations can be frustrating. There are so many obstacles in our way, and we often feel alone in the process of change. Jonas shares his experience and tips on how to avoid that feeling of loneliness and frustration. In this…
Why you should go with shorter sprints | Jonas Allared
Jun 13, 2017 • 11 min
The length of Sprint has been a subject of much debate in the agile community since Scrum introduced the original length of 4 weeks. But what is the right length for the Sprint? Jonas shares with us a cautionary tale on how longer sprints can lead to…
The danger of being PO and Scrum Master at the same time | Jonas Allared
Jun 12, 2017 • 13 min
Scrum made it clear from the start that Scrum Master and Product Owner roles are different and require different mind-sent and therefore also different people. But still many companies want to push for having only one person in both roles. Does that…
#NoEstimates, and what it means for Agile | Vasco Duarte
Jun 9, 2017 • 15 min
The #NoEstimates hashtag has been very active on twitter, and many people in the Agile community are pitching in with their thoughts. But what is #NoEstimates about for the author of the first #NoEstimates book? What can we learn from Vasco’s…
Successful Scrum in any organization | Vasco Duarte
Jun 8, 2017 • 12 min
What does it mean to be a successful Scrum Master? That’s a question we ask every week on the podcast. But how about asking: what does it mean to have a successful Scrum adoption? Vasco and Gunther discuss the value of Scrum for organizations and…
The 2 steps every Scrum adoption should start with | Vasco Duarte
Jun 7, 2017 • 12 min
Adopting Agile and Scrum specifically is no easy feat. In fact there’s a lot of failed Scrum adoptions out there. What are those problems that prevent our Scrum adoption from succeeding? And most importantly, where should we start when working with…
What’s next for Scrum - A future predicting episode | Vasco Duarte
Jun 6, 2017 • 12 min
In this episode we review the first 2 waves of Scrum. What they were, and what they meant for the Agile adoption and community. Next we do a bit of future prediction and look at what is the next wave of Agile and Scrum. Where is Scrum going? How can a…
Vasco’s secret Agile journey revealed | Vasco Duarte
Jun 5, 2017 • 12 min
We’ve all gone through a twisting and turning Agile journey. When you are a pioneer in Agile adoption like Vasco is, it is impossible not have gone through some very interesting, and twisted steps in that journey. In this episode Vasco shares a…
What the scaling frameworks are sorely missing | Steve Tendon
Jun 2, 2017 • 14 min
There’s some serious gaps in the current Agile scaling frameworks. We know that because we are the start of the scaling journey. But what are the scaling frameworks missing today that we should be looking out for? Steve shares his views on what is…
How to help teams reach a state of FLOW | Steve Tendon
Jun 1, 2017 • 8 min
What is success for us in our roles is a question that we constantly ask here on the podcast and we get many different answers. This week we have Steve Tendon with us that shares with psychological flow, a state of FLOW is when we reach optimum…
Patterns that create positive change | Steve Tendon
May 31, 2017 • 11 min
Change is a process. We’ve heard that over and over. But what does that mean in practice? Steve shares with us some lessons and some patterns that help change grow. Listen in to learn about the Unity of Purpose pattern and the tools Steve uses to…
How to form teams and help them reach high performance | Steve Tendon
May 30, 2017 • 13 min
There are many aspects we need to take into account when we help a team form and reach their potential. In this episode we share many tools and links that can help you create the team’s roadmap to high performance. We discuss the Core Protocols;…
What you need after Scrum is there | Steve Tendon
May 29, 2017 • 18 min
Steve has studied highly productive teams, and he shares with us some stories as well as what is necessary after Scrum is there. He also shares a tool that may be critical in our work as Scrum Masters. In this episode we refer to the TameFlow…
Understand the system by focusing on the team | Paru Madhavan
May 26, 2017 • 10 min
Start with the team! Paru asks us to consider the team when looking at the overall system. We can use the Squad Health Check (also the Atlassian version) survey or some other similar tool to understand how the system is influencing the performance…
Success for Scrum Masters is about team and self-development | Paru Madhavan
May 25, 2017 • 9 min
When we start our journey as Scrum Masters, many of us start from the perspective that the team is the focus of our work, and the product is the outcome a job well done. However, we also need to consider our own development as people and Scrum…
From Scrum to Kanban (and back) | Paru Madhavan
May 24, 2017 • 8 min
Many teams go through a crisis in their Scrum adoption. They don’t feel good about the ceremonies, it’s hard to keep the discipline of regular meetings to review the backlog, keeping the stories small enough to deliver value in a sprint, schedule…
The impossible case of the ever-changing priorities | Paru Madhavan
May 23, 2017 • 10 min
It’s hard enough to deliver on time when the backlog is fairly static, but what happens when the backlog is ever changing. The CTO drops-in every other day to change the priorities, all decisions are made on a spur of the moment, the team does not…
How to handle spikes to avoid delivery problems | Paru Madhavan
May 22, 2017 • 12 min
Paru shares with us a story that illustrates one of the biggest risks with spikes: the confidence that we know how to develop something. How can we then help a team that believes they found “the solution” to take advantage and learn from spikes…
BONUS: Gunther Verheyen introduces Reversify, the future of Scrum
May 20, 2017 • 33 min
Gunther will introduce, in this bonus episode, an approach that he has developed over the years, to help companies that are struggling with Scrum in particular or Agile in general. But before that, we have a very interactive conversation about some…
How the bigger purpose of the organization influences the team | Khaja Mohiuddin
May 19, 2017 • 9 min
The purpose of the organization is a big influencer on the team’s performance. But once that obstacle is surpassed we need to help the team take ownership of their own development, and Khaja shares a technique that can help the team find it’s…
4 steps every Scrum Master can follow to help teams succeed | Khaja Mohiuddin
May 18, 2017 • 11 min
A lot has been said about what it means for a Scrum Master to succeed. Khaja takes a different approach in this episode and shares with us how we can help our teams succeed. He shares 4 steps he has successfully used in this own practice when taking…
Increase the pace of change by reducing the size of the change | Khaja Mohiuddin
May 17, 2017 • 10 min
There are many reasons why teams don’t like or even resist change. One of those reasons is the perceived difficulty or size of the change. It’s ok to take on big challenges, but sometimes they just feel impossible. Khaja shares with us how he…
How to help a team that is overwhelmed with work | Khaja Mohiuddin
May 16, 2017 • 10 min
We’ve all been there. We are working with a team that is struggling to keep the flow. They are missing deliveries, can’t get enough time to hold a retrospective, and is even too busy to pay attention to the quality of their code. How to help such…
Some organizations are just not ready to change | Khaja Mohiuddin
May 15, 2017 • 11 min
In this episode Khaja shares a story of a team that was only a team in name. Their setup was influenced by a manager that did not get Agile. How to handle such a situation? Khaja shares his recipe for handling such situations, and advises us to be…
Why sometimes, our intuition is our best friend | Peter Götz
May 12, 2017 • 9 min
Intuition is said to be the symptom of knowledge meeting experience in a sudden burst of creativity (actually I just made that up ;). What is the role of intuition for us as Scrum Masters? Specifically, how can intuition help us understand the system…
Practices used by successful Scrum Masters | Peter Götz
May 11, 2017 • 14 min
Peter has a specific perspective on the Scrum Master role that is influenced by his own role as an external consultant that comes in to help a client reach certain goals. In this episode he shares with us what he has learned from that experience as…
Patterns of success change processes | Peter Götz
May 10, 2017 • 16 min
Peter has gone through many change processes in his career, but in this episode he shares one specific process that helped him improve his own approach to change management. He shares some of the patterns implemented back then that are still used…
From fixed project disaster to a great team | Peter Götz
May 9, 2017 • 12 min
A pattern that we often see is that of the silo-thinking and lack of common, shared goals in the teams. Peter shares such a story as well as the steps he took to climb out of that whole and build a great team that is still in contact with him to this…
A story about Distributed Software Development | Peter Götz
May 8, 2017 • 11 min
There are so many pitfalls in Distributed Software Development (DSD). Peter shares with us a true story of his own life as a “proxy” between local business and remote software team. He also shares with us what he learned from that experience that…
Step into the team’s shoes before you try to help them | Ruben Betancourt
May 5, 2017 • 8 min
Mapping out the system conditions, or even understanding what is going on in the team is not an easy task. But without that, can we really help the team? Ruben reminds is that we can use peers to find the solutions that are illuding us. In the…
2 Metrics for success as Scrum Master | Ruben Betancourt
May 4, 2017 • 12 min
Would you drive to a new location without knowing where it was, and without a map to help you get there? This is where many of us are regarding our own success and impact as a Scrum Master. Ruben shares his 2 most important metrics to measure his…
How to avoid failing sprints | Ruben Betancourt
May 3, 2017 • 13 min
Sprints fail for many reasons, and in this episode we explore one specific Anti-Pattern: “the disengaged PO anti-pattern.” How do we bring the PO into the work of the team, to ensure that we are always progressing in the right direction, instead…
When failure is not an option, failure is the only option! | Ruben Betancourt
May 2, 2017 • 10 min
It’s hard enough to deliver a small increment of a product, yet we often find ourselves and our teams in positions where they need to deliver a whole product, project or release in 1 go. No change for mistake. And you know what happens: when failure…
How fixed projects don’t work, and what to do about it | Ruben Betancourt
May 1, 2017 • 12 min
Fixed scope, fixed time, fixed cost: a recipe for failure, you say? Perhaps you are right, but what can we do as Scrum Masters when we are stuck in those situations? Ruben shares his own story, and what he learned from such a story that he still…