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
How the project management culture affects the Scrum Master roles | Ivo Peksens
Jan 18 • 13 min
Ivo has seen organizations stuck to the Project culture and mix the Scrum Master role with other roles. We discuss what might cause that approach, and discuss how national cultures can affect the way people see the Scrum Master role. We discuss …
Tools for defining Scrum Master success | Ivo Peksens
Jan 17 • 9 min
Success is an endless journey for Scrum Masters, but there are tools that help us assess where we are, and also what are the areas we are already successful in. We discuss a Scrum Master self-assessment tool developed by Luca Minudel and refer to the…
Why advocacy can be an effective change management strategy | Ivo Peksens
Jan 16 • 9 min
There are situations when advocacy is an effective change management strategy. In this episode, we discuss what are the pre-conditions that allow Scrum Masters to use advocacy. From the signs the organization is ready to tips about how to shape your…
Distributed software development challenges | Ivo Peksens
Jan 15 • 15 min
Distributed software development is one of the challenges for Agile organizations. The element of globalization is impossible to avoid because of the nature of the business we work in. However, there are some things we should be aware to ensure that…
As a Scrum Master, are you good at facilitating meetings? | Ivo Peksens
Jan 14 • 11 min
BONUS: Ben Aston on Project Management lessons that Scrum Masters can use
Jan 12 • 31 min
Ben is a project manager with experience in developing digital services and products for worldwide clients. He’s learned some very important lessons and shares some of his key insights with you in this special episode, where we dive deep into the…
How talkative cultures help create safety in Scrum teams | Richard Griffiths
Jan 11 • 10 min
When talking about cultures, we often talk about the contrasts. What makes certain cultures more Scrum-friendly, or the opposite. In this episode, we talk about how certain cultures’ focus on more conversation can help create safe spaces for the…
4 clear success signs for Scrum Masters | Richard Griffiths
Jan 10 • 12 min
When thinking about the role of the Scrum Master, Richard comes up with 4 clear signs that indicate we are on the right path with the teams we work with. In the end, Richard says, we must do ourselves out of a job to be successful Scrum Masters….
4 steps to adopt SAFe | Richard Griffiths
Jan 9 • 8 min
Richard shares the story of a change process where an organization decided to standardize on SAFe as the scaling approach. Richard also shares what they learned about adopting SAFe, and the 4-step process they created to help the adoption of SAFe.
The dangers of siloed Scrum teams | Richard Griffiths
Jan 8 • 15 min
In The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey, Richard found many lessons that helped him in his journey as a Scrum Master. The book shares models and keys to successful scrum mastering, but also many references and other sources to read up on.
Improve your change management, sell the problem, not the solution | Richard Griffiths
Jan 7 • 12 min
Often, as Scrum Masters, we know what needs to change and focus our efforts in “selling” the solution. What it is, why it is a good idea, etc. But, when Richard failed to help an organization change he learned an important lesson. To improve how…
Navigating the rules vs improvising cultural changes as a Scrum Master | Rade Zivanovic
Jan 4 • 11 min
In some countries, we favor order and rules. However, that’s not the case for everybody. How can we adapt to a country that emphasis more rules than what we learned back in our home country? In this episode, we learn about the German and Serbian…
Success metrics for Scrum Masters | Rade Zivanovic
Jan 3 • 10 min
When thinking about the aspects that define our success, measuring the critical aspects of our work needs to be part of it. Rade challenges us to try to measure those things that we think we need to improve. We talk about how to measure interactions…
Change management for Scrum teams struggling with new technology | Rade Zivanovic
Jan 2 • 13 min
In a business where change and new technology are a day-to-day occurrence, it may seem that teams are constantly ready to adapt to new situations. That’s not the case, however. In this episode, we discuss the story of a team that was uncomfortable…
How to help Scrum teams be more comfortable with mistakes | Rade Zivanovic
Jan 1 • 13 min
As we work with many different teams, we start to notice some patterns. In this episode, we talk about the pattern where team members take a very critical stance when a mistake happens. As Rade puts it, when this pattern develops, the team creates a…
On being a part-time Scrum Master | Rade Zivanovic
Dec 31, 2018 • 10 min
Like many of us, Rade started out as a part-time Scrum Master. A part-time tester and part-time Scrum Master, Rade had to re-think his role. Many of us go through this process: should I do my “primary” job? Or help the team in my role as a Scrum…
What makes a great Scrum Master, the key challenges to Scrum adoption and much more about Agile | Geoff Watts
Dec 29, 2018 • 38 min
There are quite a few books out there about the Scrum Master job. However, the classic that many refer to over and over again here on the podcast is Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts. In the description of the publisher writes: “Scrum coach Geoff Watts…
Agile Procurement a new approach to buying software development | Mirko Kleiner
Dec 28, 2018 • 34 min
When organizations start with Agile, they typically focus on the work that needs to be done at the team level. In many organizations we have “water-scrum-fall”, a little bit of Scrum squeezed inside two big buns of plain waterfall. The reason for…
How to redefine the measure of success for software development | Jeff Gothelf
Dec 27, 2018 • 45 min
When Agile broken into the scene, it was mostly about the techniques to develop releases of the product quickly. However, that was a time when products were released only a few times a year at best. Today products evolve continuously and that changes…
The Product Owner role, and what Scrum Masters can do to help | Jeff Patton
Dec 26, 2018 • 47 min
In this episode, we explore some of the critical lessons Jeff learned in his own career as a Product Owner. We review the missing aspects in most Product Owner role implementations and discuss the tools that have helped Jeff as a Product Owner first,…
Introducing Nexus, a framework for scaling Scrum | Patricia Kong, Kurt Bittner
Dec 25, 2018 • 35 min
For several years, the Agile community has been struggling with the use of Agile practices - developed for small teams - in the large. Large organizations or multi-team efforts are the rule, not the exception in the software world. In this episode we…
Dean Leffingwell on scaling Agile and the Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe | Dean Leffingwell
Dec 24, 2018 • 31 min
For this first Christmas 2018 special we focus on scaling Agile, and specifically how the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) can help organizations take Agile and apply it in the large. There are many systems that require multiple teams to work together….
What Scrum Masters can do, when “failure is not an option” | Massimiliano Fattorusso
Dec 21, 2018 • 6 min
There are cultures that put a high premium of failure. They devise all kinds of approaches to avoid failure. This is in contrast with the Agile perspective of failing fast, in other words, to fail before the failure is catastrophic. However, as Scrum…
3 aspects to reflect on help you create your Scrum Master success definition | Massimiliano Fattorusso
Dec 20, 2018 • 9 min
When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, we need to have a clear definition that helps us make regular decisions about where to put our focus. In this episode, Max shares with us 3 aspects that he has in mind and reflects on when it comes to…
How Scrum Masters can support OKR deployment in an organization | Massimiliano Fattorusso
Dec 19, 2018 • 10 min
Sometimes the changes we address are straight forward. In this episode we explore the deployment of a management method: Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs. As Scrum Masters we work also to support improvements at the organizational level. OKR’s…
BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT: Helping Scrum Masters coach their Product Owners
Dec 18, 2018 • 6 min
Check out the Coach Your Product Owner course at: http://bit.ly/coachyourpo If you have questions about the course, email me ([email protected]) or tweet me (https://twitter.com/duarte_vasco) Thank you for listening and…
Team conflict, and what a Scrum Master can do to detect and resolve it | Massimiliano Fattorusso
Dec 18, 2018 • 11 min
When a team is starting down the conflict path there are signs we can detect early enough to help them. In this episode we talk about the signals of conflict, and when the conflict starts to become to big to solve without management intervention….
When Cognitive Diversity fails, and how Scrum Masters can avoid it | Massimiliano Fattorusso
Dec 17, 2018 • 10 min
We’ve heard that cognitive diversity in a team can have a good impact on team performance. Whether that diversity is added by looking at gender, race or any other dimension, the expectation is that when you add more points of view to a team you…
The Japanese culture and the adoption of Scrum | Donna Marie Lee
Dec 14, 2018 • 10 min
The focus on process and rules of certain cultures (like the Japanese or German cultures) is often regarded as a positive towards the adoption of structured, linear approaches to work. But how about Scrum? How does Scrum fit the Japanese Culture? In…
Is the team facilitating their Scrum ceremonies when the Scrum Master is away? | Donna Marie Lee
Dec 13, 2018 • 11 min
A quick way to check if our work as Scrum Masters is having the needed impact is to check if the team is still hosting the Scrum Retrospectives when we are away. If that’s the case, then it is likely that the Scrum Master has done a fairly good…
How change starts by helping Scrum teams ask the right questions | Donna Marie Lee
Dec 12, 2018 • 15 min
When teams start a change process, we often look back at single events that may have triggered that change. In this episode, we talk about a different type of process. A process where the Scrum Master helps the team find the right change by asking…
How to help a group become a real Scrum team | Donna Marie Lee
Dec 11, 2018 • 12 min
In this episode, we discuss the common anti-pattern of teams that are nothing but a loosely coupled group of individuals. Where collaboration is difficult, if not impossible. A group that can’t work well together because they share very little that…
When Scrum Masters take things personally | Donna Marie Lee
Dec 10, 2018 • 11 min
Scrum Masters face difficult moments regularly. Helping organizations and teams improve is not a linear process, and sometimes people react emotionally to the changes they are facing. Donna Marie shares a story of when she took that push-back…
The lack of commitment to quality anti-pattern and how that can destroy Scrum teams | Daniel Heinen
Dec 7, 2018 • 6 min
In this week we explore the “system conditions” that can cause catastrophic failure in teams. Specifically, we look at the lack of commitment to quality anti-pattern, where that comes from, and how we can, as Scrum Master, help teams overcome that…
A simple Success definition for us as Scrum Masters | Daniel Heinen
Dec 6, 2018 • 12 min
There are many possible answers to the question: “what does Success mean for you as a Scrum Master”. And some of those answers can be very detailed and in-depth. But that’s not the only way to look at our success as Scrum Masters. In this…
How Scrum Masters must go from teachers to moderators | Daniel Heinen
Dec 5, 2018 • 9 min
When a change process starts it is easy to be tempted to “drive” that change in the organization. However, that’s not always a good option. In this episode, we discuss the possible negative side effects of “driving” change into a team or…
The “strong” leader anti-pattern Scrum Masters must be aware of | Daniel Heinen
Dec 4, 2018 • 10 min
When leaders are “strong”, we may have the top-down scrum anti-pattern. When the leader drives what the team does, and the team just follows orders. In this episode, we discuss this Scrum anti-pattern and how we, Scrum Masters, can tackle such…
How Scrum Masters can protect the team from political games in the organization | Daniel Heinen
Dec 3, 2018 • 13 min
In this episode, Daniel tells us the story of when the Product Owner took a “leader” role, and hid information from the stakeholders. The Product Owner promised many things to management to ensure funding for the project. This is a common…
How indirect feedback affects the Scrum Master job an Agile adoption | David Denham
Nov 30, 2018 • 10 min
David works in Ireland, and even if the workplace is multi-cultural and diverse, there are some national culture traits that show up often. In this episode, we discuss the feedback culture, and how feedback is given and should be understood in…
How Scrum Masters can overcome the Impostor Syndrome | David Denham
Nov 29, 2018 • 10 min
Scrum Masters can easily feel the Impostor Syndrome. After all, we are there to help a team, that usually works with a technology we don’t fully understand, and develops a product for a business we might not be familiar with. How can we them…
How to reach a fast concept-to-cash cycle with the help of the Scrum Master | David Denham
Nov 28, 2018 • 10 min
David started working with a group of teams that were component-focused and started seeing the usual anti-patterns. The “concept to cash” cycle was too slow. How do you help an organization get out of the component-focused organization and switch…
The over-commitment anti-pattern in Scrum teams | David Denham
Nov 27, 2018 • 13 min
In this team, David saw a sense of panic! The team was trying to define and commit to the maximum possible amount of work that could fit in one increment. They were measured by their “predictability” (how much of what was committed was actually…
What happens when Scrum Masters have their own Agenda | David Denham
Nov 26, 2018 • 12 min
When Scrum Masters come to work with a team they must make a critical decision. Are they there to help the team, in their own terms, or to “bring in” Scrum or improvements? There’s a critical difference between these alternative approaches. In…
How corporate culture affects Agile adoption | David Sabine
Nov 23, 2018 • 9 min
As we explore the impact of culture in the adoption of Agile and Scrum, we must also reflect on the impact of the corporate culture. Despite the influence of national cultures, international corporations also bring their own culture which may, or may…
The core job of the Scrum Master | David Sabine
Nov 22, 2018 • 11 min
When thinking about what success means for Scrum Masters, David follows the ideas in the Scrum Guide. We reflect on the Scrum Artifacts, and how the Scrum Master’s job can be summarized as increasing transparency of the Scrum Artifacts. Featured…
How to survive a large Agile adoption process | David Sabine
Nov 21, 2018 • 9 min
When we are involved in large organization transformations there can be a sense of overwhelm. That the organization and the different groups are too large to grasp. So how do you survive a large transformation process? In this episode, we explore some…
How to teams get out of self-defeating patterns | David Sabine
Nov 20, 2018 • 12 min
When Scrum Masters try to help teams, they must be aware of the differences between what is being said by management, and what is being done in practice. In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can explore the real situation (as opposed to what…
When the Scrum Master forgets the team | David Sabine
Nov 19, 2018 • 11 min
The Scrum Master’s role is primarily a role that serves the team. Without that presence, the teams suffer, and in this episode, we explore what might happen when the Scrum Master - eager to help the organization - focuses on the context, rather than…
The Impact of Hierarchy on Scrum Teams, and Team Members | Silvana Wasitova
Nov 16, 2018 • 11 min
National cultures affect the level of deference to hierarchy that is acceptable or expected in the organization. As Scrum Masters, we must be aware of that, as it will directly affect the behavior of team members. In this episode, we discuss the…
How Scrum Masters can Observe Team Members Over Time to Assess Success | Silvana Wasitova
Nov 15, 2018 • 10 min
Silvana finds that many different possible formats can fit the teams we work with. She shares a resource (Retromat.Org) that helps us find ideas for new formats/exercises, and suggests a format that you can use this week: The Starfish Retrospective…
The Critical Importance of Permission to Coach for Scrum Masters | Silvana Wasitova
Nov 14, 2018 • 12 min
As Scrum Masters, one of the key ingredients for our work to succeed is “permission”. Permission to do our work with the teams. Permission to help the team find new ways of working. In this episode, Silvana shares the story of a team, how they…
How to Handle the “It’s not my Decision” Anti-pattern | Silvana Wasitova
Nov 13, 2018 • 11 min
In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Silvana found important lessons on how to engage with the teams, and how to change her mind about the role of a Coach or Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the key lessons that book had for Silvana. …
The First Steps from Waterfall to Scrum | Silvana Wasitova
Nov 12, 2018 • 15 min
As Scrum Masters, we face many of the patterns of the old methodologies. In this episode with Silvana Wasitova, we explore the up-front planning, all-in commitment approach and how that affects agile teams. We also discuss how a Scrum Master can help…
How the Perceived Status of the Scrum Master Role Affects Scrum Masters | Paulo Rebelo
Nov 9, 2018 • 11 min
The role of Scrum Master is not yet a fully developed and recognized role in the Software industry. This has an impact on how people find (or not) their motivation to excel in that role. In this episode, we talk about cultures that place a lot of…
2 Critical Aspects for our Success as Scrum Masters | Paulo Rebelo
Nov 8, 2018 • 8 min
In this episode, we explore 2 aspects of our success as Scrum Masters that Paulo developed in his career. These are simple aspects of success that, if we pay attention, can directly improve how we reflect on our work, and help us find better ways to…
How Scrum Values can help trigger a change process | Paulo Rebelo
Nov 7, 2018 • 11 min
As Paulo started helping this company in their Agile adoption he noticed that, even if the company was “doing” Scrum, they were missing some critical aspects. Listen in to learn how Paulo helped this company find a better way to adopt Scrum, using…
Helping a Product Owner change from long specifications to User Stories | Paulo Rebelo
Nov 6, 2018 • 12 min
As Scrum Masters we don’t just work with the team, we also work directly with the Product Owners that support the team. In this story, Paulo shares the case of the Product Owner that had a Business Analysis background and thought the job was about…
How Scrum Masters can Cope With Intrusive Team Managers | Paulo Rebelo
Nov 5, 2018 • 12 min
When we come into work with a team, the first thing we must be aware of is the type and number of stakeholders that we will be dealing with. In this episode, Paulo presents a story of a team that he was supposed to help, but the stakeholders started…
Being Polite as a Way to Create a Safety Zone for the Team | Elizabeth Christensen
Nov 2, 2018 • 8 min
In this episode we explore a very specific culture within North America, and how it affects the adoption of Scrum. Listen in to learn how a Nebraska Scrum Master takes advantage of their specific local culture to help her team. About Elizabeth…
The Need to Adapt Scrum to non-SW teams | Elizabeth Christensen
Nov 1, 2018 • 10 min
When defining the format for the “next” retrospective it is easy to get lost in the many, many options that are out there. In this episode Liz explains why she prefers a format that is familiar, simple and consistent (Worked well / Didn’t work…
How Scrum Masters can Support Change with Data and Evidence | Elizabeth Christensen
Oct 31, 2018 • 13 min
As Scrum Masters we are often confronted with challenges and problems that the teams suffer on a daily basis. These challenges are only the start of the change process. In this episode, Liz explores the ways in which we can support the teams in…
Applying Scrum outside Software Development: a Marketing team | Elizabeth Christensen
Oct 30, 2018 • 12 min
In Strategic Planning by John M. Bryson Liz found some important lessons about how to lead a team with a mission. In Strategic Planning by Bryson we can read about how to lead an organisation and a team with intent. About Elizabeth Christensen…
How Scrum Masters can detect Team Burnout | Elizabeth Christensen
Oct 29, 2018 • 10 min
As projects progress, it is common that the pressure rises. Every day we work with teams that suffer many pressures, from stakeholders, from other teams, and from themselves because of the commitments they want to honour. In this episode we talk about…
Is Agile compatible with the North American culture? | Kyle Aretae
Oct 26, 2018 • 13 min
In this episode, we reflect on the fit between North American culture and Agile culture. We discuss some of the characteristics that define North American culture, and how that contrasts with other cultures. Specifically, we discuss why Lean,…
The success metrics that help Scrum Masters improve | Kyle Aretae
Oct 25, 2018 • 11 min
When Kyle reaches for his favorite retrospective formats he wants one that he is familiar with, and that improves the positive energy in the team. In the retrospective, as well as in other Scrum ceremonies he facilitates he asks 3 questions designed…
Change models, and change practice for Scrum Masters | Kyle Aretae
Oct 24, 2018 • 10 min
Kyle’s own journey when learning about change led him to understand the importance of focusing on the organizational aspects, not just the team he was working with. In this episode, we explore several different change models and end up with a set of…
How Scrum Masters can help teams address conflict without a blow-ups | Kyle Aretae
Oct 23, 2018 • 11 min
For Kyle, Agile solves 2 problems. One is the building of software in a better, more sustainable manner. The other is to create a functioning organization, which will become a better place to work. In this episode, Kyle also explains how a simple…
What Scrum Masters must focus on, beyond the teams | Kyle Aretae
Oct 22, 2018 • 15 min
Kyle’s background as a developer has informed his view of how teams can achieve the level of collaboration needed to be successful in an Agile environment. Having read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained book, he started to work with…
For Scrum Master: People are NOT Resources! | Faye Thompson
Oct 19, 2018 • 12 min
There’s the temptation that people are as easily replaceable as parts in a machine. But is that the case? And if you answer “no”, what does that mean for you as a Scrum Master? In this episode we explore the many reasons why treating people as…
How the Scrum Master must focus on stakeholder happiness as a success measure | Faye Thompson
Oct 18, 2018 • 11 min
When we discuss the success of a Scrum Master, happiness is a word that often comes up. Is the customer happy? Is the team happy? Are some of the questions we must ask ourselves, and in this episode, Faye reviews how we can ask, collect the answer for…
How Agile Retrospectives are the core of the change process | Faye Thompson
Oct 17, 2018 • 11 min
There are many tools out there to support a change process. So many in fact, that we often forget the humble Retrospective. The most important tool in our Scrum Master toolbox: reflect and adjust, inspect and adapt - the core cycle of change. In this…
How a poor Product Owner can destroy the team’s ability to deliver | Faye Thompson
Oct 16, 2018 • 10 min
Many things can fail when we work with teams. But one critical anti-pattern that leads to problems is the lack of a good Product Owner. In this episode, we explore what are the consequences for our teams of having a Product Owner that is unable to…
How to be a humane Scrum Master | Faye Thompson
Oct 15, 2018 • 11 min
“We don’t leave our human-selves at the door once we come into work!” - this is how Faye starts this episode. The question is: as a Scrum Master, what does it mean for me? Faye’s journey to the Scrum Master role gives us some insights into the…
Why Scrum Masters need to go beyond the cultural stereotypes | Ilya Bibik
Oct 12, 2018 • 15 min
Ilya has lived in 3 different countries, and currently lives in Canada where the IT industry is a melting pot of many cultures. That has taught Ilya a lesson: cultures are stereotypes that don’t really apply to single individuals. Being aware of…
How Scrum Masters can detect when the team is ready to be self-sufficient | Ilya Bibik
Oct 11, 2018 • 14 min
As we evolve our practice, we help the team be self-sufficient. Over time, the team will be able to handle most of the Scrum process itself. But how do we detect when the team is ready for that final step in their maturity? In this episode we talk…
Why Scrum Masters must focus on “one change at a time” | Ilya Bibik
Oct 10, 2018 • 10 min
When teams start with Scrum, there’s the temptation to define and implement many changes at the same time. After all, there’s a lot of new practices to take in. However, Ilya’s suggestion is different. Listen in to learn about the idea of “one…
How Scrum Masters can identify possible future problems with teams | Ilya Bibik
Oct 9, 2018 • 11 min
This week we recommend a paper, where Bruce Tuckman, of the famous Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model describes his famous model. Unfortunately that article is not freely available for everyone to read, so we stick to the wikipedia…
How to survive the micromanaging anti-pattern | Ilya Bibik
Oct 8, 2018 • 13 min
Management was micro-managing the team. Ilya, the Scrum Master, tried to protect the team. The stress levels were high… This is a very common story in the software industry. When deadlines loom, the whole dynamic changes. As Scrum Masters, we must…
The team vs. individual focus some national cultures have | Peter Zylka
Oct 5, 2018 • 11 min
Every country has a slightly different take on the important balance between team (group) and individual focus. Peter shares with us his own view of how different cultures find that continuum, and what that means in the country where he lives:…
The important Scrum Master job of helping the team reflects | Peter Zylka
Oct 4, 2018 • 11 min
The Oscar Academy Awards Awards retrospective format helps the team find a new dynamic for the retrospective. It’s a fun, but insightful format that can then be followed up with a action-oriented finale that helps the team pick up the most important…
A 3 step approach to help struggling teams | Peter Zylka
Oct 3, 2018 • 9 min
When a team has left Scrum to adopt another method, but is stuck, going back to Scrum may be a good approach. As they go back to something familiar they can regain their self-confidence. In this episode we explore such a story, and how Peter…
The problematic relationship between a team and their Product Owner | Peter Zylka
Oct 2, 2018 • 11 min
What happens when the Product Owner and the team can’t collaborate? When the team just takes orders from the Product Owner and stops contributing to the planning and content of the User Stories? This was the situation that Peter had to face. Listen…
Do you want to help the team, or one team member? | Peter Zylka
Oct 1, 2018 • 12 min
As we work with multiple teams, it is inevitable that we will meet a team member that is against Scrum in all possible ways. They’ll ask: why do we need to have Sprint Review? Why do we need to have a retrospective every Sprint? How do we, as Scrum…
The impact of polite cultures on the crucial open communication Scrum teams need | Paulo Rodriguez
Sep 28, 2018 • 7 min
People want to be polite, especially in some cultures like the Philippines. But too much politeness prevents the teams from talking about the tough issues that they must resolve. Paulo was struggling with such a team, and he had to solve that. He…
Value Delivery and self-organisation as the measures of Scrum Master success | Paulo Rodriguez
Sep 27, 2018 • 9 min
As the team takes more initiative and responsibility, the Scrum Master role changes. That, in itself is a measure of success for us as Scrum Masters. However, the real measure of success comes from the team delivering consistently value to the market,…
The role of communities of practice in the adoption of Agile and Scrum | Paulo Rodriguez
Sep 26, 2018 • 8 min
There are many possible approaches to help change stick in an organisation. In this episode we explore how a community of practice can help spread knowledge and support Agile adoption. In this episode we also talk about communities of practice outside…
How even small changes can wake up a team | Paulo Rodriguez
Sep 25, 2018 • 9 min
Continuing the theme from the previous episode, we talk about rewards and their impact on teams. In the book Drive, Daniel Pink explores what research has revealed about the use of rewards in different environments, and that helped Paulo find better…
The negative impact of rewards | Paulo Rodriguez
Sep 24, 2018 • 9 min
Rewards are an easy tool to use. But does it work as intended. Do rewards really help teams and people perform better? In this episode we explore one story where Paulo tried to use rewards to help a team, and what happened once the rewards became an…
How Scrum Masters can act in the context of individual-success oriented cultures | Claudia Toscano
Sep 21, 2018 • 10 min
In some cultures the team or collective is emphasised. However, in other cultures, the individual and it’s individual success is the focus. In this episode we talk about a culture that emphasises the “highlighting” of personal success over…
How to help teams reach independence from the Scrum Master | Claudia Toscano
Sep 20, 2018 • 9 min
As Scrum Masters the ultimate sign of a successful impact on the team we serve is that they are able to tackle the obstacles they face on their own. They may request help from the Scrum Master, but are confident they can solve their own problems…
How to help managers understand the impact of their influence on the teams | Claudia Toscano
Sep 19, 2018 • 12 min
As Scrum Masters we focus a lot of our time and attention on the work with the teams we support. Ultimately, however, the managers of those teams have a great influence on what the teams do, how they act and how they apply Agile in their day-to-day…
How a Scrum Master can help the team create a more successful “self identity” | Claudia Toscano
Sep 18, 2018 • 13 min
It’s inevitable that teams bump against problems sooner or later. That’s something all teams go through. However, how the teams decide to react to those problems makes a huge difference. In this episode we talk about the “self identity” that…
How to be a Scrum Master for a team of Agile Coaches | Claudia Toscano
Sep 17, 2018 • 15 min
You’d think that a team of Agile Coaches understands the importance of facilitation. However, that’s not always the case. In this episode we explore how a team of Agile Coaches went through the process many teams go through: from no facilitator,…
How to celebrate success in cultures that don’t value that aspect | Darryl Sherborne
Sep 14, 2018 • 8 min
One way to help teams find their “groove” is to celebrate success. A simple, yet effective, reinforcement technique that helps teams identify, and seek success later on as well. However, some cultures are better than others at expressing their…
The role of the Scrum Master outside the team work | Darryl Sherborne
Sep 13, 2018 • 10 min
In this episode we talk about a Retrospective format called Lean Coffee, a format that focuses on surfacing and tackling the issues that teams want to focus on. It’s a great format to host without much preparation, as the team comes up with their…
When team empowerment goes wrong | Darryl Sherborne
Sep 12, 2018 • 9 min
We often work within environments where the “vanilla” Agile approaches are insufficient. In this episode we explore what happens when more traditional organizations are adopting Agile. We talk about the role of the Product Owner in traditional…
When team empowerment goes wrong | Darryl Sherborne
Sep 11, 2018 • 12 min
Empowering teams to take initiative, react to the changes that come their way, and quickly adapt is (in principle) a good thing. Or is it? In this episode we explore a story of a team that took their empowerment and turned it into an obstacle. A set…
The Reporting Hell that many Scrum Masters need to face | Darryl Sherborne
Sep 10, 2018 • 14 min
As more traditional companies adopt Scrum, we - the Scrum Masters - are in a particularly tough position. We need to bridge the old world, and the new reality of Scrum. In the old world (PRINCE2, PMI, IPMA Project management, etc.) there were reports….
How direct and indirect communication styles can blow up in a team | Joanna Koprowicz
Sep 7, 2018 • 11 min
Have you ever heard an “indirect” communicator say that they disagree? Would you even know the difference between a “No” and a “Yes” from an indirect communicator? If you are in a country where “indirect” is the communication approach,…
Self-organization as the barometer of Scrum Master success | Joanna Koprowicz
Sep 6, 2018 • 13 min
Scrum Masters look at different aspects of team’s development. In this episode we talk about the team’s willingness and ability to self-organize and take over some of the ceremonies. We also discuss the different phases that teams go through, and…
4 steps to help drive data-substantiated change | Joanna Koprowicz
Sep 5, 2018 • 10 min
One of the aspects of change is the processing of information. As Scrum Masters we can help the teams, and organizations we work with process information better, and visualize that in the context of the shared goals. In this episode we talk about how…
The subversive role that Scrum Masters play | Joanna Koprowicz
Sep 4, 2018 • 11 min
Scrum Masters are there to help teams progress. But sometimes teams are the reason, and the reasons why everything must remain the same. However, we as Scrum Masters are there to bring a different perspective. A new way of looking at things. In this…
The pressures teams suffer and how a Scrum Master can help | Joanna Koprowicz
Sep 3, 2018 • 12 min
When the deadlines approach, there’s a lot of pressure on the teams. It’s understandable that there is pressure, but why does that happen when the software the team produces often waits for weeks before being put in production or released? What is…
The rule-driven culture and its impact on Scrum adoption | Maximilian Fritzsche
Aug 31, 2018 • 8 min
How would Scrum apply to a culture where the rule is to set more rules. To cover all angles, and to be prepared even for very unlikely scenarios? In this episode we discuss how Scrum can survive in a culture like the German culture, where people want…
The middle-management gate in many change processes | Maximilian Fritzsche
Aug 30, 2018 • 11 min
“Don’t get frustrated, progress takes time”, that’s a line Max wants you to remember when you start looking into more detail to what it means to be successful as a Scrum Master. Set aside a time, and follow Max’s approach to evaluating your…
The middle-management gate in many change processes | Maximilian Fritzsche
Aug 29, 2018 • 10 min
In this episode Max shares with us the often seen anti-pattern when change gets stuck when middle-management is involved. We explore the reasons for that, and discuss what we can do - as Scrum Masters - to help middle-management understand, adapt and…
Why teams stop improving, and resist change | Maximilian Fritzsche
Aug 28, 2018 • 11 min
The biggest enemy of a team is stagnation. Lack of change or progress in a way a team works is a sure symptom of larger problems, but it is also an indication that the team does not feel secure enough to take risks, fail, learn and eventually progress…
From minute-level plans for Retrospectives, to being more open | Maximilian Fritzsche
Aug 27, 2018 • 11 min
Max’s first Retrospective was an exercise in the limits of planning. He shares with us how he prepared for that, and ultimate how it all failed. From that failure, however, came an important lesson that he still applies today. Listen in to learn…
The value of respect and the goals for hierarchy in Scrum teams and Agile organizations | Abbas Ghahremani
Aug 24, 2018 • 12 min
From respect (a Scrum value) to hierarchy there’s often a very short route. But what is the role of hierarchy in our organizations? Why is it there, what is the benefit we get from it, what is the goal it tries to achieve? Abbas invites us to think…
The 3 key perspectives for Scrum Masters | Abbas Ghahremani
Aug 23, 2018 • 11 min
The MAD/SAD/GLAD exercise is a simple approach to cover the different aspects of the previous sprint in a way that elicits emotional thinking. The emotions we have towards the sprint events will help elicit problems, as well as achievements the team…
The anti-pattern of focusing on Agile instead of business impact | Abbas Ghahremani
Aug 22, 2018 • 14 min
In companies that start they Agile transition it is possible to forget that the ultimate goal is for the business to benefit from Agile, not for the business to be Agile. Agile, as an approach to product development, was created by practitioners that…
The impact of the Architect in Scrum teams | Abbas Ghahremani
Aug 21, 2018 • 14 min
As Scrum Masters we must constantly be aware of the different personalities and their impact on how the team performs. In this episode we discuss how the Architect role can, easily, have a major impact on the team dynamics. We also discuss the often…
The impact of individual rewards on the Scrum Master role | Abbas Ghahremani
Aug 20, 2018 • 14 min
The way we reward people for the work they do, directly impacts how they act. In this episode we explore the impact of an individual reward system on how Abbas acted, and what he learned from that situation. We explore motivation, relationships and…
How organizations help or hinder collaboration at the team level | Andrew Hudson
Aug 17, 2018 • 14 min
Collaboration is an often used work to explain how teams can reach their goals. So much so, that we, as Scrum Masters, very often work on improving collaboration. However, collaboration is really a series or trade-offs. In this episode we explore the…
Andrew Hudson invites you to investigate success | Andrew Hudson
Aug 16, 2018 • 16 min
Andrew shares his simple recipe for defining and working towards a successful outcome for our work as Scrum Masters. We discuss how context is important for our definition of success and how goals help us strive for our own improvement. In the end the…
Growing teams beyond the 7+-2 size | Andrew Hudson
Aug 15, 2018 • 10 min
Inevitably, successful teams will grow over time. The product grows, the requests keep coming in, and we need more people to be able to attend to all the needs of the customers, and the business. But how should we handle the situation when the team…
Surfacing and tackling conflict before it is too later | Andrew Hudson
Aug 14, 2018 • 12 min
Andrew introduces the Scrum Values and how many team-related anti-patterns come from now following those values. We also discuss the importance of enabling and helping surface diffcult conversations before it is too late, and things turn sour. In this…
How to find your groove as a Scrum Master | Andrew Hudson
Aug 13, 2018 • 13 min
After a successful assignment with one team, Andy moved on and started work with a new team. However, things were not as easy, or as simple as he expected. In this episode we talk about how every new team is a new experience, and we need to find our…
How to deal with the pressures the system puts on Scrum Masters | Gilberto Urueta
Aug 10, 2018 • 10 min
Scrum Masters are roles in an organization, and as such, it is affected by the same pressures that every person in the organization suffers from. In this episode we talk about the CTO that wanted the Scrum Master to “push change” into the…
Helping team members grow and improve their performance | Gilberto Urueta
Aug 9, 2018 • 11 min
Scrum Master success is the visible outcome when team members are performing. The role of the Scrum Master is therefore, at least in part, to help team members grow and improve their approach to work, and collaboration. In this episode we discuss the…
Using Agile to help HR transform the hiring process | Gilberto Urueta
Aug 8, 2018 • 10 min
IT is a fast-growing industry. One of the common obstacles for companies growing fast is that they can’t hire the right people or quickly enough to meet the needs of product development or product support. In this episode we discuss how a simple…
The case of the teammate that was always late | Gilberto Urueta
Aug 7, 2018 • 8 min
In this episode we tackle the problem of the teammate that was always late, and how trying to talk about the problem made the situation even worse. We often tend to talk about problems, but sometimes that’s the worst possible solution. Listen in to…
How to overcome the “new guy” syndrome as a Scrum Master | Gilberto Urueta
Aug 6, 2018 • 9 min
When we start our role as Scrum Masters in a new team, sometimes we suffer from the “new guy” syndrome. The new guy is the person that everyone tries to tolerate, but mostly ignore. That’s what happened to Gilberto. How can a Scrum Master…
How department silos destroy a Scrum team’s productivity | Zeshan Ilyas
Aug 3, 2018 • 10 min
Scrum teams can be very productive. Some teams can deliver working software to customers or production several times per day. However, some Scrum teams are stuck, unable to deliver and reach high levels of productivity. Silo departments, functionally…
The role Retrospectives play in the successful outcome for a Scrum Master’s work | Zeshan Ilyas
Aug 2, 2018 • 10 min
The Hot Air Balloon is one of the many metaphor-focused retrospective formats. These formats help the teams talk about the real problems without the pressure of being exact or literal in their descriptions. “It felt as if we had too much ballast”,…
How to involve management in an Agile adoption process | Zeshan Ilyas
Aug 1, 2018 • 11 min
Change Leadership is expected to come from the leaders of an organization. And although that usually happens, sometimes the leaders forget that the change they are driving affects them as well. In this episode we talk about how management can be…
The move from hard estimates to Story Points in Release Planning | Zeshan Ilyas
Jul 31, 2018 • 10 min
Planning is not the ultimate solution to problems we face. Agilists know this to be true, and it is even one of the values in the Agile Manifesto: Responding to Change Over Following A Plan. But planning is still necessary, and a critical part of how…
Learning about and removing fears we face as Scrum Masters | Zeshan Ilyas
Jul 30, 2018 • 11 min
Agile adoption is a process that can create fear in the organization. Not the least of which because it changes team composition (from component and functional teams to cross-functional teams). How do we identify the fears in the organization and…
Understanding the real reasons for Scrum adoption | David Spinks
Jul 27, 2018 • 10 min
Scrum adoption When organizations adopt Agile and Scrum in particular, the usual reason is “faster and better”. However, that can be a smell that the organization has not yet understood the real reasons why they are adopting a new approach to…
Customer-centered success metrics for Scrum Masters | David Spinks
Jul 26, 2018 • 10 min
As Scrum Masters it is easy to get focused on the team or the organization. However, the customer is the reason for the work we do. In this episode we discuss some of the metrics or questions we can use to assess our success as Scrum Masters. A…
How to help a team adopt Kanban | David Spinks
Jul 25, 2018 • 11 min
When David met this team, it was clear that the team had a serious problem in managing their work. There were more than 150 items in progress with 12 people in the team. The recipe for disaster. During his work David recognized that maybe Scrum…
How to help a team get unstuck | David Spinks
Jul 24, 2018 • 9 min
When teams are stuck in their Agile adoption, it is tempting to bring in more training, do more teaching and expect that to solve the problem. In reality, however, the situation is much more complicated. We need to understand the real reasons for the…
Facing failure as a Scrum Master is a key part of the journey | David Spinks
Jul 23, 2018 • 13 min
When we start our journey as Scrum Masters, we are not only learning something that is new to us, but we are also learning something that is new to everyone else. Scrum is new, even in it’s 20 or so years of life, there’s not been time to develop…
On creating the space for Transformation to happen | Jem D’jelal
Jul 20, 2018 • 12 min
In this reference filled episode we talk about change, how to involve people in change, the different approaches to management and many other topics. We also discuss one of the possible skills you can use as a Scrum Master: the energy level you put…
Look at what changes over time to assess Scrum Master success | Jem D’jelal
Jul 19, 2018 • 8 min
When we are knee deep in our role as Scrum Masters, we often forget that all success is a function of how we, and the team, and the organization evolve over time. Jem suggests we should look at what has changed over time to assess our success as Scrum…
From change passengers to change early adopters | Jem D’jelal
Jul 18, 2018 • 10 min
“When change is pushed onto people, you end up with a lot of passengers” - Jem says. If on top of that you focus on the change “blockers” instead of the “early adopters”, you’ve got the perfect storm against change. In this episode we…
The leadership as command and control anti-pattern | Jem D’jelal
Jul 17, 2018 • 12 min
When strong personalities are in positions of power, their ideas become “law”. But sometimes the leaders are themselves prisoners of their own approach to work. In this episode we discuss how we, as Scrum Masters, can help those leaders recognize…
The temptation of taking on the Product Owner role as well as the Scrum Master Role | Jem D’jelal
Jul 16, 2018 • 14 min
As an unlikely Scrum Master Jem went through a journey of adapting to a new industry, and a new role. In his eagerness to bring value to the organization and teams he worked with he focused on taking on more responsibility. But is that a good idea?…
BONUS: Mike Burrows on Agenda Shift, the outcome-oriented change approach
Jul 14, 2018 • 27 min
As Scrum Masters we are constantly facing a changing environment. Every Scrum Master needs to learn about change, change methods and tools that work in practice. In this episode we dive deep into the change approach that Mike Burrows developed based…
The lack of accountability as a systemic anti-pattern | Andreas Plattner
Jul 13, 2018 • 9 min
In The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni describes an anti-pattern that often develops in teams: the lack of accountability. When we accept failure not as a part of the learning process, but rather as a tabu: something we can never talk…
5 categories to evaluate Scrum Master success | Andreas Plattner
Jul 12, 2018 • 11 min
A recurring approach to self-evaluation is to define aspects or categories that we should evaluate on a regular basis. Andreas shares his 5 categories, and how he focuses on the reflection and improvement cycle as a Scrum Master. The key message…
The role of patience in Change Management | Andreas Plattner
Jul 11, 2018 • 12 min
Helping organizations and teams change can sometimes be a very frustrating experience for the experienced Scrum Master. To lead a change process it is not enough to “know” what needs to be changed. The change happens only when people realize what…
How to overcome the finger pointing anti-pattern | Andreas Plattner
Jul 10, 2018 • 9 min
When working with multiple teams, in a multi-team Scrum project, we may face what Andreas faced: the finger pointing anti-pattern. This is especially common in environments where no one wants to “be wrong” or take risks. Even if learning and…
The line-manager transition when adopting Agile | Andreas Plattner
Jul 9, 2018 • 12 min
The line manager role is a critical role in any organization. When line management is confused, and scared Agile cannot be easily adopted. The reasons for the fear may well be imaginary, but the fear is real and drives their behavior. In this episode…
BONUS: Allan Kelly and Vasco Duarte on #NoProjects and #NoEstimates the latest trends in the Agile community
Jul 7, 2018 • 39 min
This is an episode about #NoProjects, #NoEstimates and introduces a unique, and 1-time-only workshop by Allan and Vasco that will take place in August 21st, 2018 in Zurich, just before the ALE2018 Unconference. Check out this page about the…
The need for control as a root cause for many systemic anti-patterns | Mark Cruth
Jul 6, 2018 • 15 min
The need for control is something that affects many of our behaviors. In organizations that is translated into several anti-patterns that detract from the ability of the team to deliver value. Status reporting instead of delivering, wanting to know…
2 Aspects to Assess Scrum Master Success | Mark Cruth
Jul 5, 2018 • 11 min
During our journey as Scrum Masters we often struggle with the meaning of success. Mark’s approach hinges on two aspects: eliminating the need for the role, and connecting with the “why”. In this episode we discuss how those two aspects shape…
The Scrum Master as the final impediment to self-organization | Mark Cruth
Jul 4, 2018 • 10 min
Some teams get to a point where they are ready to take ownership of their own work and process. When that happens it is good to have a conversation and map-out the team’s journey to taking over and working without the daily presence of a Scrum…
How to overcome the micro-managing Architect anti-pattern | Mark Cruth
Jul 3, 2018 • 12 min
Teams need to take ownership of their own work, so that they can effectively focus on delivering running, working software every Sprint. However, sometimes there are strong personalities in the team. We may want to ignore that anti-pattern, but it…
Focus on collaboration and get a mentor to be a great Scrum Master | Mark Cruth
Jul 2, 2018 • 13 min
When we start our journey as a Scrum Master we are taking a leap into a new world. It’s not just that Scrum Master is a new profession. It is also that the lessons that served us so well in the past, are no longer the best approaches. In this…
The transparency gap as a systemic problem | Denis Salnikov
Jun 29, 2018 • 12 min
In organizations that burden teams with multiple projects, it is natural that some information is not available. Be it because the team is too busy to openly communicate with management, or because there are many stakeholders that are not aligned. The…
How to evaluate team progress in their Agile journey | Denis Salnikov
Jun 28, 2018 • 14 min
As Scrum Masters, our attention is very much focused on the evolution of the team, and how we can support their development. Using a framework like Shu-Ha-Ri can help us verbalize that evolution and track the progress of the team over time. As we…
Communities of Practice as a change tool | Denis Salnikov
Jun 27, 2018 • 13 min
There are different stages in a change process. First we start by getting the early adopters interested and practicing Agile, then we hit the first resistance waves and deal with them. Later we face the late majority and what Jason Little calls the…
How teams get stuck in their Agile adoption | Denis Salnikov
Jun 26, 2018 • 15 min
It’s hard enough to adopt Agile in a company that wants to progress in their Agile journey. But what happens to teams that are stuck in an organization that is still using traditional software development methods? In this episode we discuss the case…
The anti-pattern of the Scrum Master who is also the Product Owner | Denis Salnikov
Jun 25, 2018 • 14 min
When we get started with Agile there will be a strong temptation to take shortcuts. One very common shortcut is to remove a few roles and think that all will work fine anyway. But is that really true? In this episode we discuss what happens when we…
BONUS: Molood Nori discusses distributed Agile Software Development
Jun 23, 2018 • 41 min
Distributed teams are a fact of the multinational organizations we work with. Hiding from it is not going to remove that. And crying “distributed agile = bad agile” is only going to alienate people who genuinely need to learn to cope with the fact…
The Agile Theatre that some teams play | Shubhang Vishwamitra
Jun 22, 2018 • 10 min
Agile Software Development is a new entrant in the Software Development industry. Although it started in 2000, the fact is that many organizations are still in the first stages of adoption. Inevitably we run into several Agile Theatre problems:…
5 different perspectives to analyze our Scrum Master progress | Shubhang Vishwamitra
Jun 21, 2018 • 12 min
As Scrum Masters we must constantly set the example. One of the examples we need to set is that of Continuous Improvement. Shubhang suggests we should regularly look at what has changed from the moment we started with the team until “now” and…
The case of the disappearing Product Owner | Shubhang Vishwamitra
Jun 20, 2018 • 10 min
This is the case of a team that was working well. They understood Agile, they had experience, they practiced Agile. However, there was a problem. The Product Owner was missing. What happened? What were the problems, and what change management approach…
The impact leadership can have on a team | Shubhang Vishwamitra
Jun 19, 2018 • 12 min
In this episode we explore how leadership can have a huge impact on how teams develop, and what kind of patterns or behaviors take over. Drawing on the Tuckman model and The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team model we explore how managers can help teams…
Transitioning from Scrum Police to Collaboration Booster | Shubhang Vishwamitra
Jun 18, 2018 • 11 min
When we work our way through the Scrum Master learning curve, we go through many phases. One of those phases (one that is common for many Scrum Masters) is the Scrum Police phase. Where we focus on form over function, and act as an enforcer, instead…
The line manager anti-pattern in Scrum | Sarah O’Brien
Jun 15, 2018 • 13 min
Scrum teams are supposed to be fully responsible for their work, and autonomous in the way of working. However, in many organizations line managers are still the ones yielding the power over teams, and even assign work directly to team members. This…
Two aspects of Scrum Master Success | Sarah O’Brien
Jun 14, 2018 • 12 min
There are two aspects of success: our own evolution as Scrum Masters, and what the team feels about their own progress. With Sarah we explore some of the questions we can use to reflect on these two aspects of Scrum Master success. In this episode we…
In change, start with visualization | Sarah O’Brien
Jun 13, 2018 • 12 min
Visualization is one of those tools we often ignore, or dismiss because it does not fit the distributed world we live in. However, that’s one of the most important ways to get a change started. In this episode we explore how adding a simple…
The tough Scrum Master job of listening | Sarah O’Brien
Jun 12, 2018 • 11 min
Listening is not the easiest part of the Scrum Master job. However, that’s one of the most important and powerful tools we have in our toolbox. In this episode we explore the case of a team that was entering a spiral of conflict and what was needed…
Being a woman and a Scrum Master | Sarah O’Brien
Jun 11, 2018 • 10 min
An issue that we often ignore (or want to ignore?) is the impact of prejudice on our work as Scrum Masters. Maybe it is about being different, or not fitting in the prevalent engineering culture. There can be many differences that make our job as…
BONUS: Marcus Hammarberg talks about simple techniques that can transform leaders
Jun 9, 2018 • 46 min
Marcus is the author of Salvation: The Bungsu Story, a book we here at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast are helping to publish. This book is inspiring, and will definitely move you to action. In this episode we discuss some of the many techniques…
How different questions can radically change how you plan software projects | Jella Eiffler
Jun 8, 2018 • 12 min
The planning system, i.e. all the planning approaches, and techniques we use, can often create a set of non-negotiable needs that teams need to fulfill. Starting with up-front planning! If our planning system requires estimates for every possible…
Self-guided retrospectives and how to keep ourselves accountable as Scrum Masters | Jella Eiffler
Jun 7, 2018 • 12 min
In our work as Scrum Masters, we meet some teams that are already at the point where they can start to take ownership of some (if not all) critical aspects of the work they do. Retrospectives are one great example of that. In this episode we talk…
Change as the operating model for Agile organizations | Jella Eiffler
Jun 6, 2018 • 12 min
Change is a big scary word in many organizations. But why is that? In this episode we talk about change in a different way. We explore what change would be, if it were the basic operating model of the organization. We talk about Nils Pflaeging’s…
What to do when you, or the team, feel stuck | Jella Eiffler
Jun 5, 2018 • 10 min
Teams can sometimes enter a negative, destructive cycle whereby their actions make their own situation even worse. In this episode we talk about a team that refused to engage with users, and did not want to host their sprint reviews with stakeholders….
Agile is not about “Faster and Cheaper”, it’s much more | Jella Eiffler
Jun 4, 2018 • 13 min
Agile is getting adopted by more and more companies. It is inevitable that some managers will think that Agile is about “faster and cheaper”, but essentially the same as before. But is it? And is the focus on faster and cheaper going to help the…
BONUS: Karin Tenelius on how Self-organization can have a major positive business impact
Jun 2, 2018 • 37 min
Karin has a long experience helping teams and businesses to use self-organization as a way to drive business success. She’s worked as a interim-CEO in several companies where she helped drive major changes and positive business results using the…
The case of the destructive Bonus System | Lynoure Braakman
Jun 1, 2018 • 10 min
The casual reader of HR websites and journals may think that bonuses, and their methods/systems are a very important part of keeping a workforce motivated. They do have an impact, but it is not always as we expect it to happen. In this episode we…
Delivering value as the key to Scrum Master success | Lynoure Braakman
May 31, 2018 • 12 min
Scrum Masters work and influence many aspects of an organization or project. However, there’s one overarching concern that we must have in mind at all times: “are we delivering real value to our customers and stakeholders?” Lynoure discusses the…
How organizational changes heavily affect team dynamics in software projects | Lynoure Braakman
May 30, 2018 • 10 min
Working with a team is hard enough when the organization is stable and not going through a major upheaval. But when an organization is in massive change, how can we keep teams motivated and engaged with the work? In this episode we discuss the story…
Technical Debt in software development and having the courage to say “no” | Lynoure Braakman
May 29, 2018 • 11 min
Peopleware by DeMarco and Lister is one of the classics in the management of software projects niche. Originally published in 1987, the book focuses on the specific aspects that relate to successfully managing a software development team. In this…
The Scrum vs Kanban debate, and the problems with both | Lynoure Braakman
May 28, 2018 • 10 min
Scrum vs Kanban is a very common debate. Some teams will be adamant that only one of those applies to their context. Whichever you choose, you should be aware of the consequences. In this episode we explore one such process change, and the problems…
FitRep: How to find the impactful system conditions | Kathy Andersen
May 25, 2018 • 11 min
On Friday’s we usually discuss system conditions. This episode is no exception, however we also take a look at a method to identify those system conditions before they cause major problems for the teams. We discuss the Spotify Squad Health Check as…
FitRep: Applying lessons from the Marines to following progress for teams | Kathy Andersen
May 24, 2018 • 11 min
Kathy presents the FitRep, a performance evaluation system from the US Marines and how it inspired her to create a similar approach for measuring team progress and Scrum Master success. Kathy also shares with us the specific questions she looks at…
Kanban adoption as an example of change leadership in an organization | Kathy Andersen
May 23, 2018 • 10 min
The adoption of a new process can be a great example of how change happens and is gradually accepted, and then adopted by the teams and team members. In this episode we explore a Kanban adoption, and how the process of Kanban also had an impact on the…
From waterfall project management to Agile Software Development | Kathy Andersen
May 22, 2018 • 13 min
When a team has a past firmly in the waterfall camp there are some specific problems we should look for. In this episode we talk about one such team, how they looked at requirements and how that impacted their work. We also discuss about the changes…
Mapping how a Story gets developed and what we can learn from that | Kathy Andersen
May 21, 2018 • 12 min
In retrospectives with the team we are looking for improvement opportunities. And often the team members will already have ideas about how to improve the ways of working. But sometimes we need to look for improvement opportunities, and the “The…
Bottlenecks are caused by system conditions | Umer Saeed
May 18, 2018 • 10 min
When working with teams, we often face bottlenecks. Points in the process that slow everything down. Those bottlenecks are where we should focus our attention if we want to help our team deliver more and faster. For that to happen we need to…
Success as a Scrum Master and a Scrum team | Umer Saeed
May 17, 2018 • 11 min
When thinking about our success as Scrum Masters, Umer invites us to think about the success of the team as well. But not forgetting that, as Scrum Masters, we have a specific job to do with concrete questions to ask ourselves in order to assess our…
Change management at the team level | Umer Saeed
May 16, 2018 • 10 min
Sometimes we have to work on team-level changes. Changes about how to release for example. In this episode we explore one such change, and everything that we need to be aware of when working with team, stakeholders and a process that needs to improve….
Artificial Scrum and other anti-patterns | Umer Saeed
May 15, 2018 • 12 min
Teams sometimes take “timeboxes” in Scrum as something of a “soft rule”. A rule that is ignored when necessary to avoid the hard-truth of failing to deliver in the Sprint. This is just one of the anti-patterns we discuss with Umer in this…
Start by fixing the basis of Scrum, but beware… | Umer Saeed
May 14, 2018 • 12 min
Umer was working in a project where chaos was the approach the teams were taking. Not a good way to start, especially not for a new Scrum Master. This led Umer to learn a few tough, but critical lessons about how important it is to set…
DevOps and related anti-patterns | Jeff Maleski
May 11, 2018 • 16 min
Sometimes, with the best of intentions, we create policies that actively detract from the team’s ability to deliver. Jeff shares with us such a story, where the team was not able to deliver their product to production. They needed some other team in…
Menlo Innovations and inspiring work | Jeff Maleski
May 10, 2018 • 12 min
When Jeff discovered that Menlo Innovations (from the book Joy, Inc. by Richard Sheridan) was a drive away from his workplace, he got a few people together and started a journey that would change his view of how work should work. He decided that his…
Change Management gone wrong and what to do about it | Jeff Maleski
May 9, 2018 • 13 min
Sometimes we do a great job, we help the teams reach a cross-functional collaboration, they are able to release production ready code but… Did we really reach our goal? Jeff tells a story of a change process where some of the critical ingredients of…
Developing teams and team members | Jeff Maleski
May 8, 2018 • 12 min
When we let the team grow their own silos, then we end up with teams that have many single points of failure. Is that really what is best for the team or the business? The famous bus-factor metric tells us how many people would have to be run over by…
Digital Transformation in traditional organizations | Jeff Maleski
May 7, 2018 • 15 min
What can 5 monkeys tell us about agile/digital transformation? That’s what Jeff was asking when he found himself in the middle of an agile transformation in an organization where some people had been working for decades. That led to an important…
BONUS: Tim Ottinger on practical ways to enable psychological safety: The Trust Transaction
May 5, 2018 • 41 min
Psychological safety has been claimed to impact greatly the productivity and well being of teams. Building trust is how we reach psychological safety, but trust is a touchy topic for teams. Scrum Masters try to build trust between team members, with…
Working harder as an Anti-Pattern and the importance of asking why | Lucas Smith
May 4, 2018 • 12 min
Nobody gets credit for solving problems that never happened is a paper that explores why the tools that are the reason for success in some companies are ineffective in other companies. And when that happens, people in those organizations have the…
5 Scrum Master success benchmarks | Lucas Smith
May 3, 2018 • 12 min
The questions we ask from ourselves, and the team asks from themselves are critical to influence our behaviour and decisions. In this episode we explore 5 different aspects for a successful Scrum Master, and what Lucas has learned about them. Featured…
A step-by-step change process to help you navigate organisational change | Lucas Smith
May 2, 2018 • 11 min
In this episode we discuss a step-by-step approach that Lucas took to help him navigate change in an organisation where he worked. We discuss each step, why it is important, and how it helped Lucas in his quest to help the organisation change. In this…
The secret ingredient that is critical to Scrum | Lucas Smith
May 1, 2018 • 12 min
Getting a team to learn and practice Scrum is not enough. There’s a critical aspect to a team’s own success and further development: feeling ownership over the product they are developing. In this episode we discuss how the lack of ownership in…
How being yelled at by users changes your perspective | Lucas Smith
Apr 30, 2018 • 11 min
It is common to claim that we must user-centric, or listen more to users, or even involve users more in the product development. But Lucas has an extreme case of that message for us. Listen in to learn how being yelled at by users can totally change…
How we can help a Scrum team quickly overcome certain system conditions | Michael Küsters
Apr 27, 2018 • 12 min
Some of the anti-patterns that cause problems in our organisations are: thinking only about efficiency, separating skills and having only specialists, and trying to maximise utilisation of people’s time. In this episode we discuss how those…