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 to keep meeting-inflation in check for remote Scrum teams | Kristopher Stice-Hall
Apr 22 • 11 min
When working with remote teams we must be aware that the number of meetings can easily balloon up because the team does not meet in the corridor. As Scrum Master, we must help remote teams find workarounds for the calendar-driven, meeting-inflated…
Q&A: How to help Self-organization get started in the team | Jeff Campbell
Apr 20 • 10 min
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short,…
Fear as a cultural marker in Scrum organizations | Varun Maheshwari
Apr 19 • 12 min
Varun shares the contrasts between his home culture (India) and the country where he works now (Australia). We discuss some of the key differences, and how people moving between those 2 cultures can learn from each and help teams collaborate. As…
The Product Owner as a key to Scrum Master success | Varun Maheshwari
Apr 18 • 11 min
Scrum Master success is not only about the team, but also about the Product Owner. When we want to help Scrum teams, we should check how the interaction with the Product Owner works, and how to help the team and Product Owner collaborate effectively….
The Scrum Master’s change guide to Enterprise Agile Adoption | Varun Maheshwari
Apr 17 • 10 min
Digital transformations are a dime a dozen at this time. Many organizations are going through a transformation of business model, not just adding IT to an old business model. However, digital transformations are not only about business models, but…
How to help teams move from reporting to collaboration | Varun Maheshwari
Apr 16 • 15 min
Sometimes teams enter the “reporting” anti-pattern. Teams exhibiting this anti-pattern are focused on just describing what they have done, but spend little time discussing the value or the reasons why that work is important. In the end, the daily…
Common mistakes Scrum Masters do when getting started with Scrum | Varun Maheshwari
Apr 15 • 10 min
Scrum is a relatively small framework for teams to adopt. Certainly much smaller than some of the Agile at scale frameworks. However, even small frameworks can take a while to adopt. In this episode, we reflect on some of the most common mistakes…
BONUS: Ryan Jacoby on the 7 responsibilities of an innovation leader
Apr 14 • 38 min
Innovation is a topic that gets a lot of attention. There are innovation processes, specific creative games for teams to work with to seek innovative ideas. There’s the Lean Startup movement that tries to codify innovation-friendly processes, and…
Q&A - How to help teams share knowledge and become cross-functional teams | Jeff Campbell
Apr 13 • 12 min
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short,…
When culture is used as an excuse for the Status Quo | Elena Astilleros
Apr 12 • 12 min
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a popular phrase that tries to highlight the importance of culture. However, sometimes culture can be used to hide. Teams that use the “it’s not in our culture” phrase a lot may be avoiding facing a…
How to execute an Agile Retrospective in 30 min or less and still get lots of value from it | Elena Astilleros
Apr 11 • 11 min
Scrum Masters can use their self-check-in every day to assess their progress. In this episode, we talk about questions you can ask yourself to assess your progress and find the areas that are working or need more focus. Featured Retrospective for the…
Helping teams recover from the day-to-day pressure of business as usual | Elena Astilleros
Apr 10 • 9 min
Sometimes, the teams and organization are excited about the change. Possibly the adoption of Scrum or some other Agile methodology. However, it is not enough to have the enthusiasm of the team. Without a clear direction for the change process,…
A step-by-step approach to help Scrum teams in crisis | Elena Astilleros
Apr 9 • 13 min
Elena joined a team that was about to implode. We discuss the context, what was causing the problems, and then share a step-by-step approach to help teams that are in crisis. Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams, by Lysa Adkins Elena shares…
Why every Scrum team is a different challenge for Scrum Masters | Elena Astilleros
Apr 8 • 10 min
After a successful assignment as a Scrum Master, it is possible we think we’ve got the role down to a T. However, reality between teams is so different that even great Scrum Masters can struggle when moving from one team to another. We share one…
BONUS: ¿Qué es Lean Change Management y cómo puede ayudarte a gestionar el cambio en tu organización? - En Español
Apr 7 • 37 min
This is a Spanish language episode where we introduce the Lean Change Management book for our Spanish speaking listeners. For more on the Lean Change Mangement approach, check out our week of episodes with Jason Little, or visit the book page at…
Q&A - How do you get teams to collaborate to reach a goal? | Jeff Campbell
Apr 6 • 13 min
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short,…
How to deal with conservative cultures in Scrum teams | Eduardo Ribeiro
Apr 5 • 11 min
In some cultures, people value tradition and what has happened before. They might even look wearingly to the outside and focus more on their “internal” knowledge. That’s a problem for Scrum teams, but some teams live and breath that kind of…
Using team metrics to define Scrum Master success | Eduardo Ribeiro
Apr 4 • 11 min
When working with teams, the team’s metrics should also become the Scrum Master’s metrics. In this episode, we talk about metrics that teams use but can also be important for Scrum Masters to assess their success, and help the teams. Featured…
How to create a guiding coalition for change, the Scrum Master’s guide | Eduardo Ribeiro
Apr 3 • 11 min
Scrum Masters can be change catalysts, and often they become an active part of Agile adoption at their organization. However, even motivated, energetic Scrum Master can burn out. Change is a long process, and it can’t keep going if only you are…
Is the Scrum team really that good, or just not willing to improve? | Eduardo Ribeiro
Apr 2 • 8 min
Sometimes, Scrum teams are not facing any challenges. They might even be “good” at what they are doing. When that happens, it is a sign that Scrum Masters must pay extra attention to the team dynamics and the relationship with their stakeholders….
The perils of applying Scrum by the book | Eduardo Ribeiro
Apr 1 • 11 min
Scrum Masters naturally want their teams to apply Scrum “the right way”, but there are risks with that approach. As Scrum Masters, we must be able to detect when a team is getting frustrated by our actions, no matter how well-intentioned they…
BONUS: How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things? | Jeff Campbell
Mar 30 • 12 min
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short,…
How do your teams receive and integrate new team members? | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
Mar 29 • 10 min
Nedeljo is a natural of Serbia, a place where people are hospitable and friendly. In this episode, we talk about how do teams interact and integrate new team members. We also talk about how some cultures will accept that approach much more eagerly…
5 success metrics for Scrum Masters | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
Mar 28 • 8 min
Scrum Masters must pay attention to how Scrum teams adhere to the Sprint Goal, how they collaborate with the Product Owner and other aspects that make teams perform. In this episode, we talk about 5 different success metrics for Scrum Masters….
How Scrum teams can avoid catastrophic failures | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
Mar 27 • 9 min
One rainy Monday, a developer runs a script. The whole database is wiped out, and there are no backups. What can we learn from this story? Scrum Masters must help teams prepare, and sometimes recover, from disasters. This is such a story. We also…
How to help teams that are new to Scrum | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
Mar 26 • 13 min
As Scrum Masters, sometimes we work with teams that are at the start of their learning journey with Scrum. These teams might even be motivated, and committed teams. But there are many aspects of Scrum that can only be learned with experience. In this…
The Scrum Master journey from “doer” to “enabler” | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
Mar 25 • 10 min
Many Scrum Masters have a background in other roles within their teams. Some were developers, others Project Managers, others Testers, etc. Many of those roles are “doer” roles. Roles that focus more on execution and less on helping others…
How to deal with team resistance when implementing Agile | Jeff Campbell
Mar 23 • 17 min
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short,…
Navigating introvert/extrovert cultures in Scrum teams | Henrique Centieiro
Mar 22 • 7 min
When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum…
Defining Scrum Master success together with the team | Henrique Centieiro
Mar 21 • 9 min
When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum…
How to help Scrum teams prioritize for value | Henrique Centieiro
Mar 20 • 11 min
Prioritization is not a simple, or easy task for Product Owners and teams. Sometimes, the teams focus on what they want to work on, sometimes on what is easy to do, but those are prioritization anti-patterns. As Scrum Masters, we must assess the…
What to do when Scrum Teams are missing feedback | Henrique Centieiro
Mar 19 • 10 min
Even when teams are motivated, and progressing at a rapid pace, there’s an ingredient that, if missing, can derail the whole project. That ingredient is feedback from customers and users. In this episode, we talk about what happens when feedback is…
The tool-Scrum anti-pattern | Henrique Centieiro
Mar 18 • 11 min
Joining a team, it is good to see that they have their tools in order. They can follow-up progress, track what is missing and even leave notes for each other in the items they add to the tool. The problem is when the tool starts to take over the team,…
Selling Agile - How to get Buy-In from Management? - Q&A with Jeff Campbell
Mar 16 • 21 min
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short,…
How to help multicultural Scrum teams | Ajeet Singh
Mar 15 • 11 min
In today’s software development world, having multiple cultures in one team is quite common. That presents specific challenges for Scrum Masters, who must be able to help teams where contrasting cultures must co-exist. In this episode, we talk about…
When to use the Well/Start/Stop agile retrospective | Ajeet Singh
Mar 14 • 7 min
Ajeet has come to value 4 specific ways to measure his impact as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we review these 4 benchmarks and how he uses them regularly to improve his approach. Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Well/Stop/Start…
Helping QA Teams Adopt Scrum | Ajeet Singh
Mar 13 • 8 min
QA teams are isolated in many organizations. When Scrum Masters work with those teams, the first challenge is to help them see beyond their silo, and create a definition of success that includes working and collaborating with other teams. In this…
2 Habits that can Destroy Teams | Ajeet Singh
Mar 12 • 9 min
There are many possible habits or behaviors that lead to problems in Scrum teams. In this episode with Ajeet Singh, we discuss 2 of those habits and the related anti-patterns that emerged. As Scrum Masters, we must pay attention to the behaviors,…
The pitfalls when Scrum Masters overly rely on the team | Ajeet Singh
Mar 11 • 12 min
It is one of the mantras in the podcast: “take it to the team”. That mantra helps Scrum Masters focus on helping teams grow and learn from their mistakes. However, there’s a pitfall hiding in that mantra, and that’s when we rely too much on…
BONUS: Josh Seiden on Lean UX, a toolbox for Product Owners and Agile teams
Mar 9 • 40 min
In this episode we explore the ideas from the book Lean UX, authored by Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf (Jeff Gothelf was on the podcast earlier to help us redefine the measure of success for software development). Lean UX is both an approach and a set…
Avoid conflicts when teams communicate in other languages, lessons for Scrum Masters | Tilman Rumland
Mar 8 • 10 min
In multinational companies, the usual communication language (English, in many) is not the native language for many of the team members and even stakeholders. As Scrum Masters we must be aware of this and prepare to avoid the expected…
The Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective Format | Tilman Rumland
Mar 7 • 12 min
As we look for a definition of success for a Scrum Master, it is also important that we identify signs that problems may be developing. In this episode, we discuss Tilman’s definition of success, but also the signs that we may not yet have achieved…
How to help Scrum teams set up their *own* rules | Tilman Rumland
Mar 6 • 10 min
When Scrum Masters help teams go through a change process there are few things more important than helping teams “take over”. In this episode, we explore the consequences of not helping the teams take over the change process, and also discuss…
How Scrum Masters can help new team members | Tilman Rumland
Mar 5 • 13 min
When new team members join a strong team, they may suffer from too much or the wrong kind of humbleness. In this episode, Tilman shares the story of a team member that joined a strong team, but failed to establish himself, failed to speak up and that…
Anti-Patterns of Scrum adoption | Tilman Rumland
Mar 4 • 12 min
Scrum adoption, just like any other process or framework, is not free from troubles. Especially when organizations are already in the middle of a problematic situation. In this episode, we review several anti-patterns of Scrum adoption, including…
How Scrum Masters can work with contrasting cultural expectations | Raluca Mitan
Mar 1 • 10 min
When we work in international teams, the cultures team members bring with them become a critical factor in the work of Scrum Masters. How can we help team members with completely different expectations to work together? In this episode, we discuss the…
The “in your shoes” Retrospective Format | Raluca Mitan
Feb 28 • 11 min
How do we trigger empathy towards team members, stakeholders, and other teams? Raluca suggests that a format like “In Your Shoes” will help teams understand the reality others face, and be able to bring that into the retrospective conversations….
The Scrum Master as an outsider that brings changes in | Raluca Mitan
Feb 27 • 11 min
Helping an organization adopt Agile is like facing a house, with people inside, and getting an invitation to get it and lead the people in the house. Not an easy task for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we explore that metaphor and talk about the…
How to tackle distributed Scrum team anti-patterns | Raluca Mitan
Feb 26 • 11 min
Distributed teams are notoriously hard for Scrum Masters. But why? In this episode we talk about some of the anti-patterns we can expect in distributed teams and what Scrum Masters can do to help distributed teams jell and overcome those…
When to help the Scrum team members take the lead | Raluca Mitan
Feb 25 • 10 min
Sometimes team members will speak up. They might even challenge the Scrum Master. At those times is when we must step back, forget about what we “think is right” and let the team members take the lead. That’s the first step in taking…
BONUS: Jeff Campbell shares his favorite Actionable Agile Tools for Scrum Masters
Feb 23 • 34 min
Scrum Masters understand the importance of having many tools for different situations. The quality of our work is often related to the quality of the tools we have in our toolbox and the context in which they work. In this episode, we review some of…
How individualist cultures affect Scrum adoption | Doug Knesek
Feb 22 • 9 min
What can we learn from individualist cultures, and how they affect Scrum and Agile adoption? We discuss how the Wisconsin natives look at the Scrum values and what might be some of the challenges they face when trying to put those in practice. …
Nanny McPhee and the Success definition for Scrum Masters | Doug Knesek
Feb 21 • 11 min
Helping Scrum teams take ownership, and drive their self-improvement is Doug’s definition of success. We talk about the Nanny McPhee phrase: “When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I…
How to help teams take responsibility for the change process | Doug Knesek
Feb 20 • 14 min
When helping Scrum teams, Scrum Masters must keep this heuristic in mind: Team members don’t take responsibility for “other people’s” proposed solutions. This heuristic is even more important when it comes to a change process. So Doug suggests…
How to help Scrum teams evolve their process | Doug Knesek
Feb 19 • 13 min
When teams come together, even if they have Scrum experience, they don’t always agree on the process. That can paralyze teams. In this episode, we explore a story about a team that was stuck with their definition of the process. All team members had…
Moving from Scrum “enforcer” to Scrum Master | Doug Knesek
Feb 18 • 13 min
When we get started as Scrum Masters, especially those that have a Project Management or Management background, we tend to “enforce” Scrum. As our understanding progresses though, we start to learn that there’s a lot of value in helping teams…
How direct cultures follow the values of Scrum | Anja Bonatto-Minella
Feb 15 • 10 min
Anja shares her experience in Germany. We discuss how people express their ideas in that culture, and how direct they can be. We also discuss why that’s important in Scrum, especially in Retrospectives, when we must address topics quickly and find…
Encouraging new team members to contribute from the start | Anja Bonatto-Minella
Feb 14 • 10 min
One of the critical tasks of a Scrum Master is to help team members contribute to the success of the team. When we look at Anja’s Scrum Master success definition, helping team members directly contribute to the team is very high on the list. In this…
When Scrum teams ask for help, help them!! | Anja Bonatto-Minella
Feb 13 • 10 min
When teams that are new to Scrum start adopting a new way of working, there’s a window of opportunity to help them. When they are still new, and recognize that they need help. In this episode we review the story of a team that had a difficult…
Doing Scrum without feedback leads to failure! | Anja Bonatto-Minella
Feb 12 • 10 min
When teams start working with Scrum they try to follow the process. They organize the process, they keep their meetings, but sometimes forget critical things that are not in the process. In this team, Anja felt frustrated. Something was missing. Anja…
The Scrum Sprint 0 anti-pattern | Anja Bonatto-Minella
Feb 11 • 11 min
Let’s say that we are working with a team that is respecting the Scrum rules. They have their Sprint Planning. They hold their Retrospectives. Everyone talks during the stand-up. At first glimpse this team is doing Scrum right. But there’s one…
BONUS: Bas Vodde on LeSS, Scaled Agile and Scrum
Feb 9 • 39 min
Bas Vodde worked with Craig Larman on creating LeSS, probably the second most popular agile scaling framework in the market at this time. In this episode, we talk about what is not so well known about LeSS, its origins, and we dive deeper into the…
Cultural anti-patterns in regions where conflict is a “taboo” | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Feb 8 • 12 min
With Jen and Jamie, we talk about the fit between the North American culture and Scrum. We dive deeper into some local patterns like the “Minnesota nice”, and discuss about some serious anti-patterns like False Harmony, and the avoidance of…
From Scrum nanny to Scrum Jedi, a Scrum Master success journey | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Feb 7 • 10 min
The definition of success for Jen and Jamie is the “Scrum Jedi” pattern described by Angel Medinilla. But there are other patterns Jen and Jamie ask us to consider. In this episode we talk about MobProgramming and the Nanny McPhee Scrum Master…
From silo to cross-functional teams, a Scrum Master’s change roadmap | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Feb 6 • 12 min
When it comes to changes, in agile environments there’s one change that many of us need to be directly involved with. That’s the move from functional teams, to multi-skilled, T-shaped, cross-functional teams. In this episode we talk about how…
How to handle teams that can’t stop complaining | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Feb 5 • 9 min
There are many behaviors and dynamics that can lead to problems in a team. Jen and Jamie talk about a team that was feeling defeated and had a negative/complaining attitude towards everything around them. What can cause that? We discuss possible…
The Scrum Master is NOT an admin role! | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Feb 4 • 13 min
Jen and Jamie share with us one of the common anti-patterns around the Scrum Master role. Many seem to think that the Scrum Master is an admin person. Setting meetings, ensuring the teams have post-its, etc. But could not be farther from the truth. In…
The Impact of the UK Culture on Agile Adoption | Nisha Balwatkar
Feb 1 • 11 min
Having worked in multiple countries, and with multiple teams, Nisha has learned that we must consider the Scrum team’s culture as well as the national culture. She invites us to consider how team and national culture play together and embrace the…
2 tools to help measure your Scrum Master success | Nisha Balwatkar
Jan 31 • 9 min
Who to involve when evaluating our success as Scrum Masters? In this episode, we review the critical stakeholders, and how to involve them in our own self-evaluation. In this episode, we refer to the Niko-Niko Calendar and the Happiness timeline, two…
Plan for change, but be ready to adapt when adopting Scrum | Nisha Balwatkar
Jan 30 • 10 min
Nisha likes to start with a plan. But her approach is very adaptive. It is not about following the plan, but about kick-starting the change. Listen in to learn how she addresses teams and involves them in the change process. About Nisha…
How to overcome the endless debate anti-pattern in Scrum teams | Nisha Balwatkar
Jan 29 • 13 min
Teams want to excel at their work. So much so, that sometimes they forget that in order to succeed they need to act. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of endless debate and what Scrum Masters can do to help teams overcome that…
Being a Scrum Master and a programmer at the same time | Nisha Balwatkar
Jan 28 • 13 min
When Nisha got started she loved the logical thinking required for programming. However, the role of the Scrum Master was much more than that. On top of that, being a Scrum Master and trying to program at the same time brought some serious problems…
Lateral Leadership a critical skill for Scrum Masters and Product Owners | Tim Herbig
Jan 26 • 36 min
Tim was faced with a problem. How to be a leader without any formal power. All Scrum Masters and Product Owners who have felt the responsibility, but not any “line authority” have faced the same problem. You need to help move the project along,…
Talkative cultures and the impact on Scrum teams | Eddie Kenny
Jan 25 • 11 min
Eddie is a native of Ireland. In this episode, we cover some of the key characteristics of that culture and how it affects teams. As Scrum Masters, we can take advantage of those characteristics to help teams create environments where everyone feels…
A simple success definition for Scrum Masters | Eddie Kenny
Jan 24 • 13 min
When we can help a team get to a point where they can release software “on demand”, that’s when we’ve had an impact on the team and been successful in our role of Scrum Master. But that’s just the end goal. As Scrum Masters there are a lot…
How to work with 15/20 Scrum teams and still like it | Eddie Kenny
Jan 23 • 9 min
Sometimes Scrum Masters need to work with multiple teams. In this episode, we explore an extreme case. As a Scrum Master, Eddie worked in an environment where there were many teams that he needed to work with. What can we do, how can we help that…
The dangers of long-lived Scrum teams | Eddie Kenny
Jan 22 • 11 min
In Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Eddie learned about how people tend to think, especially in situations where quick decisions are necessary. And he considers that a key asset for change agents like Scrum Masters. In this episode, we also…
From project management to software delivery | Eddie Kenny
Jan 21 • 16 min
Often we mix-up software delivery with project management. Those are different activities. Both necessary, but quite different. When we focus on project management only, we often miss critical work that is necessary to ship software. In this episode,…
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…