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
On creating the space for Transformation to happen | Jem D’jelal
Jul 20 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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…
Success for a scrum master is a mature team | Michael Küsters
Apr 26 • 11 min
Conversation can open up the biggest issues that the team has in mind. And sometimes a good, open conversation is the best way to get the team to open up. In this episode Michael shares his approach to organising and facilitating a retrospective…
Avoiding Death March with Agile adoption and the help of the team | Michael Küsters
Apr 25 • 8 min
A software company wins a bid to build a software product. They realise that the time and money they have to deliver that project is way shorter than what they have done in the past. What do you do? Many companies start their Agile journey in a…
A real story about the negative consequences of too much autonomy | Michael Küsters
Apr 24 • 13 min
Autonomy is one of the key aspects in Daniel Pink’s motivation triggers: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose. However, there is such a thing as too much autonomy. In this episode we explore the story of a team that was too autonomous. Listen in to learn…
The eternal IT - Business conflict, and how it affects collaboration | Michael Küsters
Apr 23 • 14 min
In this episode we explore a possible anti-pattern: the IT - Business conflict. It may start softly with some minor disagreements over priority, but if unchecked it can grow much bigger. In this episode we discover Michael’s own story of trying to…
BONUS: Richard Kasperowski on high-performance teams and The Core Protocols
Apr 21 • 35 min
In this episode we explore The Core Protocols, a set of ideas developed by Jim and Michele McCarthy as they investigated the causes of performance improvement in teams. During that research Jim and Michele discovered that high-performance teams did a…
How deeply held beliefs shape the system of work | Jeff Bubolz
Apr 20 • 10 min
One of the least spoken about system conditions is the deep belief that “more is better”. Many organisations make decisions and organize their work based on that model: more features = more success for the product. But is it really like that?…
The importance of having the team measure their own success | Jeff Bubolz
Apr 19 • 15 min
Success is when a team has reached a point where they improve regularly, and perhaps don’t even need a Scrum Master present at every meeting, or facilitating every session with the team. When that happens it is time to move on to other topics. Is…
How to change from component teams to feature teams | Jeff Bubolz
Apr 18 • 10 min
When we visualise the work, how it flows in the organization we discover the real bottlenecks that prevent us from delivering. In this episode we study the case of an organisation that was divided into component teams instead of feature teams. That…
How to change Retrospectives from complaining sessions to improvement sessions | Jeff Bubolz
Apr 17 • 10 min
Retrospectives can sometime be affected by an atmosphere of negativity. When the team is only complaining, but not looking forward we have a challenge. In this episode we explore such a situation. And how simple changes helped Jeff turn the atmosphere…
The journey from Agile Skeptic to Agile advocate | Jeff Bubolz
Apr 16 • 19 min
An untold story in the Scrum Master community is that not all of us started out as Agilists. That’s my case, and also Jeff’s case. In this episode we explore the personal transformation that Jeff went through: from skeptic to advocate of Agile in…
Applying Scrum in an old-world industrial company | Petr Holodňák
Apr 13 • 10 min
Scrum was “born” in the IT world, and it is still mostly applied in that environment. But the lessons that Scrum can teach us go over industrial borders. In this episode we learn how the ideas in Scrum can apply to an old-world industrial company….
The importance of a shared goal to spark improvements | Petr Holodňák
Apr 12 • 11 min
Often we organize retrospectives at the end of the Sprint. But is that the best time to solve problems? It may be! But not always. So what to do when we need to act now? The Immediate Retro, of course! Petr explains his view of why the Immediate Retro…
How Scrum can help teams of teachers as well as it helps IT teams | Petr Holodňák
Apr 11 • 10 min
Petr has been working with a democratic school in Prague. At first blush it may seem hard to get a democratic school to find a common direction and productive collaboration. After all, isn’t it natural that kids want to skip class? Maybe. But…
Start with Scrum as a way to start the improvement journey | Petr Holodňák
Apr 10 • 14 min
Scrum is a starting point. The goal of Scrum is to unlock the ability that the teams have to continuously improve and get better at satisfying the customer in a way that is sustainable for both the company and the business. In this episode we review a…
Pushing and punishing will not help you with Agile adoption | Petr Holodňák
Apr 9 • 16 min
As Scrum Masters we need to pay attention to much more than the process we are supposed to help develop. It is usually said that Scrum has two outcomes: the product we want to develop, and the team that is able to develop it. But there’s a third…
BONUS: Mary and Tom Poppendieck on Lean Software Development, Business Agility and how autonomous teams enable adaptability
Apr 7 • 43 min
Tom and Mary Poppendieck have authored several books over the years about what needs to change in how we develop software to be able to meet the demands of the market, competition, and the growth in complexity of technology businesses. A recurring…
Tools are not what drives Agile adoption! | Daniel Hooman
Apr 6 • 11 min
In many organizations, especially late majority companies, the Agile adoption is often overwhelmed with a tool change. Instead of adoption Agile, we adopt JIRA or SAFe, or Scrum, or Kanban. All of those are forms of tools (entities we use to achieve…
Learning as the metric for Scrum Master success | Daniel Hooman
Apr 5 • 12 min
Agile is an approach to software development that is based on quick learning cycles: we do something, we check the results and then we learn from those results. This cycle (previously known as the PDSA/PDCA cycle) is about creating a learning loop…
How to move the focus away from change, to make change happen faster | Daniel Hooman
Apr 4 • 10 min
We talk about change, and change becomes the goal. When we talk about other goals, then those other goals become the topic. In this episode we explore how we can make change happen faster by moving the focus away from change, and more into the…
How to strike a balance between specialists and collaboration | Daniel Hooman
Apr 3 • 13 min
When companies or teams start to grow, the initial roles we play need to change. Some prefer to focus on one specialty, and growth enables (through hiring of more people) some people to hide from some of the work and focus on only one skill. But is…
From Project Management to Agile Product Development, Crossing the Chasm | Daniel Hooman
Apr 2 • 12 min
Daniel started his Agile transition a long time ago, when those adopting were mostly early adopter companies, eager to change. Today, in 2018, we are faced with more and more late majority companies. Companies that may not even be ready to start their…
Understanding the system requires system thinking | Chad Beier
Mar 30 • 13 min
No surprise in that title, hein? I guess not. But this is an aspect very often ignored by manager, team members and, unfortunately, also by us, the Scrum Masters. In this episode we discuss anti-patterns (estimation as an anti-pattern, with references…
5 steps to success Scrum Masters need to be aware of | Chad Beier
Mar 29 • 12 min
Scrum Masters become a force for change over time. This “fate” we meet, sooner or later, requires us to be aware of different stages in our role. In this episode we discuss 5 steps that are critical in a Scrum Master’s journey according to Chad….
Avoiding the Death March project management anti-pattern | Chad Beier
Mar 28 • 9 min
Many organizations are set up around the concept and idea of projects. Projects are the way we get work approved, funded, controlled, and ultimately released. Organizations set up their governance around projects with the customary PMO (Project…
How Agile adoption can be defeated by the use of Email | Chad Beier
Mar 27 • 10 min
Email is a very helpful tool. It has a lot of things going for it. Email gives us a quick way to jot down some thoughts and ask a colleague (or many) for help. It helps keep track of conversations. It even enables remote teams (with limited overlap in…
Agile metrics, and their anti-patterns | Chad Beier
Mar 26 • 11 min
When we start in a new organization, it takes a while before we understand all the anti-patterns around us. And something innocent, like a manager asking for a burndown chart, can quickly spiral out of control if we don’t pay attention. In this…
BONUS: Erwin van der Koogh, #NoEstimates as seen by a CEO
Mar 24 • 47 min
Erwin has his own company, and invests his own money in that company. For him #NoEstimates solves a clear problem: too much time wasted estimating, instead of producing. He challenges us to investigate how much money and time we already invest in that…
What happens when only part of the company is on board with Agile | Heidi Araya
Mar 23 • 12 min
Systems, the collection of all the stakeholders and actors, that we work within are not always aligned. A common anti-pattern is when only part of the company is on board with Agile. What happens then? We need to be aware of our supporters, our…
4 characteristics of successful teams | Heidi Araya
Mar 22 • 12 min
Heidi shares with us 4 characteristics she has identified in successful teams, the ultimate measure of our Scrum Master success. We also talk about how retrospectives can be used to assess our own impact as Scrum Masters. In this episode we mention a…
Learning what is possible to change, step-by-step | Heidi Araya
Mar 21 • 9 min
We don’t always work with teams that are ready, or even able to change as much as we know they need to. What do we do then? In this episode we discuss some of the reasons why we may want to step back, and not change too much. We also discuss what we…
The dangers of changing too much, too often | Heidi Araya
Mar 20 • 11 min
When things don’t go well we are tempted to act. “Just do it!” we hear often. But is that always the right approach? In this episode we explore some of the problems teams experience, but we also discuss the temptation to act too early, and too…
Working at NASA and with widely distributed teams | Heidi Araya
Mar 19 • 14 min
From NASA to Scrum consultant, Heidi has collected a lot of experience of how to apply Agile in diverse environments. From all of those experiences she collected many lessons about working in large organizations, distributed teams and other…
When shared responsibility does not work | Felix Handler
Mar 16 • 12 min
When teams, and organizations grow in size they suffer from totally different problems from when they were smaller. That’s to be expected. However, we often react by “doubling down” on what worked before, even if that is not the best approach….
4 questions Scrum Masters can reflect on to evaluate their success | Felix Handler
Mar 15 • 14 min
Each Scrum Master should spend some time reflecting on their work, and its impact. Felix likes 4 questions that he asks regularly to understand the impact of his work. He also shares some tips to check if the team is evolving and trusting each other….
How growing companies can end up drowning in meetings | Felix Handler
Mar 14 • 13 min
Companies that are successful are likely to grow. As they grow, they enter the meeting inflation period, and some may even become meeting obsessed. In this episode we review such a situation, and the tools and approaches Felix used to create a…
The infinite loop of bug fixing | Felix Handler
Mar 13 • 12 min
Teams want to do their best, and many want to deliver high-quality. It is only natural that they would focus on improving the quality of the software that they develop. However, without the understanding of why the quality is important, we may get…
Agile adoption in remote / distributed teams | Felix Handler
Mar 12 • 15 min
Adopting Agile in a co-located organization is hard enough, but when you need to adopt Agile in distributed team, things get even more complicated. In this episode we discuss how Agile adoption in a distributed / remote team can create problems that…
The command-and-control systemic problem | Leonardo Bittencourt
Mar 9 • 12 min
Where does the need to micro-manage and control come from? In a system there may be many causes for that pattern. In this episode Leonardo shares a story with us, where the system was stuck in this command-and-control anti-pattern. We discuss the…
3 questions, and many tips on how to be a successful Scrum Master | Leonardo Bittencourt
Mar 8 • 11 min
Leonardo shares with us 3 questions he asks himself when thinking about what defines success for him in his Scrum Master role. During this episode he also shares with us some of the tips he’s collected along the way, and help him tackle the…
How to go from detailed plan to shared goal | Leonardo Bittencourt
Mar 7 • 10 min
Teams, and their stakeholders tend to think that the more they invest in planning, the easier the work will go. However, there’s a lot of problems a plan does not solve. For example, more time in planning does not ensure we know “why” we are…
Building self-confidence in the teams you work with | Leonardo Bittencourt
Mar 6 • 11 min
Teams can be their own worst enemies some times. In this story, Leonardo shares the story of a team that slowly entered a negative self-defeating pattern: they didn’t believe any of the positive feedback they got, but felt destroyed by any of the…
Things to consider as a beginner Scrum Master | Leonardo Bittencourt
Mar 5 • 11 min
When we start as Scrum Masters, there’s a lot of things we don’t know yet. Not only are we not able to see the anti-patterns, but we also don’t know how to react to the problems we face. Scrum has in itself a set of patterns that help us when we…
Using the team setup to understand the system we work within | Ryan McCann
Mar 2 • 11 min
The system around us (policies, rules, culture, etc.) influences the teams we work with. But how can we detect those influences so as to be able to react to them? Ryan suggests we start by looking at the team setup and shares examples how a simple…
Scrum Master success is a people puzzle | Ryan McCann
Mar 1 • 11 min
When we start our roles, we often (and rightly so) focused on the process. How to get people to understand and benefit from the power of Scrum. This focus on process may seem counterproductive because, after all, our success depends on the success of…
Leading change by focusing on the people | Ryan McCann
Feb 28 • 12 min
Organizational change is a constant in our lives. We are faced with tiny changes, or big changes all the time. And how we react to those changes is a critical part of succeeding or not with the change. In this episode, Ryan shares the story of an…
A pattern of team excellence | Ryan McCann
Feb 27 • 11 min
On Tuesdays we focus on the moments when the teams get into trouble. But Ryan breaks the pattern this week, and shares with us a moment when a team went from a problem, so a pattern of excellence. Listen in to learn how the team Ryan was working with…
What to do when Scrum doesn’t work as you expect? | Ryan McCann
Feb 26 • 13 min
Some of us are lucky to have a good experience with our first try at using Scrum. Some, even more lucky, can get great results during the first 2, 3, 5 or more times they help a team adopt Scrum. But, whether we like it or not, eventually we will face…
BONUS: Agile Strategy Round Table discussion | Trent Hone, Karl Scotland, Henrik Mårtensson
Feb 24 • 50 min
Can we apply Agile ideas to the definition and execution of Strategy for our businesses? Trent Hone, award winning Naval historian, Karl Scotland, Agile Strategy pioneer, and Henri Mårtensson, long time author on the topic of business strategy got…
How to work with an absent Product Owner | Natalie Cervantes
Feb 23 • 12 min
The role of the Product Owner is critical for the success of a Scrum team. However, that’s also one of the roles that is the most affected by company policies and culture. Product Owners are not usually shielded from management, and in fact…
How to work with distributed teams | Natalie Cervantes
Feb 22 • 15 min
Looking at the outcomes from previous retrospectives, and what has been achieved so far based on those retrospectives, is a good way to assess our impact on the way the team works. This is only one of the methods Natalie uses to assess her success as…
Changing from a Project Management culture to an Agile culture | Natalie Cervantes
Feb 21 • 12 min
In many organizations Project Management is the defining paradigm for developing and delivering products to the market. How do we bring Agile to such organizations? Natalie shares with us a story of such a transition. We discuss concrete ways to bring…
The perils of the silo culture | Natalie Cervantes
Feb 20 • 9 min
Silos are very useful if you want to store cereals for a long time. However, in knowledge work organizations, silos do more harm than good. In this episode we explore how the silo culture can infect a team and lead to serious problems. Including lack…
The impossible task of predicting how long things will take | Natalie Cervantes
Feb 19 • 13 min
In a high stakes project, like the one Natalie describes, it is tempting to start focusing on the schedule from the start and spend time trying to predict how long things will take. But is that the best us of our time and talents as Scrum Masters?…
The importance of cross-functional teams | Tanner Wortham
Feb 16 • 11 min
Tanner’s military background has taught him that team members need to help cover for each other. And they can’t do that by seating on their own silos and working only on one type of tasks. Tanner explains how he got trained in multiple skills in…
The Scrum Master as a conversation facilitator | Tanner Wortham
Feb 15 • 8 min
How many conversations have you helped start as a Scrum Masters. Have you helped the team tackle the problems in a collaborative manner? And what kind of culture do you drive in your team? These are some of the questions Tanner asks of himself when…
Collaborating with the Product Owner as a way to help the scrum team | Tanner Wortham
Feb 14 • 10 min
Tanner joined a team where the “Scrum Master as a secretary” had evolved. When he brought in a new approach that caused problems, and confusion. How to deal with that change? Listen in as Tanner describes his approach of collaborating with the…
How the Product Owner influences the Scrum Team | Tanner Wortham
Feb 13 • 9 min
In this story Tanner shares how a team he took over was struggling to improve. When looking at the situation he detected a pattern: the Product Owner was not delegating any work to the team. In this story we explore the idea that fixing Symptoms never…
How asking questions can get you out of tricky situations | Tanner Wortham
Feb 12 • 13 min
Working with a team that is under pressure from someone high-up in the organization is never easy. How about if that person is also changing their mind regularly? And interrupting the team with new ideas all the time? In this episode we explore such a…
Anti-pattern of repeating the same approach with every team | Miguel Santos
Feb 9 • 12 min
If something worked in the past, it must work with new teams in the future. Or must it? In this episode we explore how the system around the team significantly affect what works in practice. The same daily meeting format may have worked in some teams…
Using metrics to define and reach success as Scrum Masters | Miguel Santos
Feb 8 • 10 min
Miguel shares with us his approach to define and reach a successful outcome of his work. We explore the role of metrics in defining what we should focus on and improve. After all, without data to backup your ideas, you are just another person with an…
Change management in the small | Miguel Santos
Feb 7 • 10 min
Agile at scale is all the rage, but is that what we should be focus on? Miguel shares a story of how change management is hard even in the small things that need to improve. As Scrum Masters we need to learn to deal with change in the small, with the…
Help your team tackle problems, head-on | Miguel Santos
Feb 6 • 13 min
When teams face problems they have a choice: avoid, or confront. Which of these patterns does your team adopt when faced with problems? This can make the difference for the teams that want to grow and improve. In this episode we review the story, and…
In Agile there’s NO one-size-fits-all solution | Miguel Santos
Feb 5 • 13 min
There are plenty of available frameworks, processes, models and other “processed” Agile packages. So many that the distracted Scrum Master can be forgiven for thinking that one of those will work for his team. Unfortunately that’s not the case….
BONUS: Al Shalloway on Lean and Agile, 20 years after the Manifesto
Feb 3 • 41 min
Al Shalloway is a veteran of the software industry, and one of the early adopters of Agile. His company NetObjectives has even been podcasting on the Agile space way before Agile was popular. NetObjectives started their Lean And Agile Straight Talk…
How to diagnose systemic problems by listening to the team | Richard Kasperowski
Feb 2 • 12 min
When looking at the systemic causes for problems we see in the team, we need to take into account many aspects: trust, metrics, conversations, relationships. Where to start? Richard suggests that we look at the Comparative Agile diagnostic and the…
Turn up the good to help teams succeed | Richard Kasperowski
Feb 1 • 11 min
Richard’s perspective is that our Scrum Master success is directly linked to the success of our teams. That much we can all agree. But how do we get there? We discuss the perspective that we need, as Scrum Masters, to help our teams achieve a…
How to introduce Scrum without the buzzwords | Richard Kasperowski
Jan 31 • 10 min
In many organizations there is a history with Agile. Some might have already tried a few waves of Agile and are affected by the past results. So how do we help teams that “don’t like” Agile? Or Scrum? In this episode we explore what it might…
The anti-pattern of the 1-on-1 with the boss | Richard Kasperowski
Jan 30 • 13 min
The 1-on-1 meetings are a staple of management practice today. But are they really a great idea when we develop software as teams? In this episode we discuss a case that illustrates why the 1-on-1 meetings are not really a good idea when you want to…
How hiding information creates conflict | Richard Kasperowski
Jan 29 • 13 min
As team members, Scrum Masters, employers, managers we tend to keep a lot of information confidential. But can we really function well as teams when the default behavior is to hide information? In this episode we explore the consequences of…
Explore trust as a symptom of systemic trouble | Kimberley Miller
Jan 26 • 15 min
It is clear that teams need trust in each other, and from others to be able to work effectively. But what is behind the lack on trust in some teams? In this episode we explore the lack of trust as a symptom of systemic problems that we need to look…
Using self-assessment to drive team success | Kimberley Miller
Jan 25 • 10 min
In this episode Kimberley explains how she uses the Squad Health Check with her teams, and how that drives her to reach a successful outcome with the teams that she works with. Listen in to learn about the changes Kimberley applied to the now famous…
Changing organizations via Retrospectives | Kimberley Miller
Jan 24 • 10 min
In this episode Kimberley introduces a “themed” retrospective, the Christmas Carol Retrospective. A format that first perfectly the need to reflect on the past, but quickly change to focus on the future, and what we want to learn or improve. She…
The teams that forget quality over deadlines | Kimberley Miller
Jan 23 • 10 min
We value delivering a quality product over meeting a deadline. There’s no such value in the Agile Manifesto, but maybe there should be! In this episode we explore the consequences that afflict teams who decide to focus on delivery instead of…
The Shopping list anti-pattern in Scrum | Kimberley Miller
Jan 22 • 13 min
I’m sure you’ve seen it before. The project is approved with a set of requirements, and the team is given the “list of requirements” (maybe as a requirements document even!) and told to estimate and deliver. Now, let’s not beat around the…
BONUS: From Project Manager to Scrum Master | Tanner Wortham
Jan 20 • 27 min
Many Scrum Masters have a past in Project Management. The growing adoption of Agile has brought Agile and Scrum to the attention of many Project Management Organizations (PMOs) in larger (and in some small) organizations. The PMO was the traditional…
4 perspectives that help identify systemic problems | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 19 • 13 min
We begin by sharing some of the anti-patterns that are caused by systemic problems, and then dive into 4 perspectives that help Christiaan identify and understand systemic problems. About Christiaan Verwijs Christiaan is passionate about…
Why self-organization is the metric for the team’s success | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 18 • 9 min
If we want to reduce the definition of success to one metric, then it is hard to argue with the “level of self-organization”. And that simple metric means so much, it drives so much of the improvements we want to see in the teams and organizations…
How a CEO became a better leader with the help of a Scrum Master | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 17 • 12 min
We see Scrum be used more and more to help manage teams in all industries. In this episode we explore a story of how a Scrum Master, Christiaan, helped a CEO step back and allow the team to flourish. This helped both the CEO and the team, and as a…
Facilitation as the critical art for Scrum Masters | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 16 • 13 min
Sometimes it is hard to keep the team focused in the ceremonies that we facilitate. That’s ok, and predictable. However, as Scrum Masters we must be ready for it. We must be ready to regain the attention of the team on the issue at hand. Remember,…
The importance of setting the example as a manager | Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 15 • 12 min
Often, as Scrum Masters we see managers behave in ways that are counter the principles of Scrum. In this episode we review such a situation. A manager and the team are in the same room for a workshop that Christiaan is facilitating. The conversation…
Change Management: the benefits of all-in change | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 12 • 10 min
When a transition to Agile is ongoing there are a lot of aspects that are new to the organization. Those aspects may lead to problems later that are seen as “change resistance”. Krisztina shares with us an adoption approach that is quite…
Change: Measure and visualize everything! | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 11 • 11 min
Good facilitation is a major part of a good Retrospective. This week Krisztina introduces the Scrum Games format for the Retrospective, and shares a very special tip that makes Retrospectives the best moments of the Sprint for the team. About…
Change: Adopting Scrum in a Corporate Environment from scratch | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 10 • 9 min
Adopting Scrum is a hard journey for most even when the conditions are right. But how about driving change in an organization that is adopting Scrum from scratch, and is historically a top-down command and control organization? Krisztina shares her…
The complaining negative spiral of death | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 9 • 12 min
Teams complain. I mean, who can blame them? Often they have to deal with corporate policies that would destroy the motivation of even the most excited Agile adopter. As Scrum Masters we know this. But how do we get the teams out of the complaining…
Project Management anti-pattern: leading the conversation | Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Jan 8 • 15 min
Many Scrum Masters transition from a Project Management position. This transition is not easy. It requires a change in stance (towards facilitation, instead of management) which is not always easy to achieve. In this episode we talk with Krisztina…
The anti-patterns that drive fear | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 5 • 12 min
Are the team members afraid? Do you hear a lot of “blame” words, or “us against them” comments? This may be because some of the patterns that Viyoma describes are active in your organization. Listen to this episode to find out what those…
The “How” is more important than the “How Much” | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 4 • 9 min
When defining success we often look for metrics that help us assess the progress of the team. That’s ok, but are you looking at the “how”? How is the team achieving that success is also important. So Viyoma asks 4 different questions that help…
How to help stakeholders engage with the team | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 3 • 9 min
“Developing software for the shelf” is a common term that refers to the anti-pattern of developing software that no one uses. In this episode Vyioma shares with us the story of a team that was doing just that. Creating software that was not used….
How measuring individuals can destroy teams | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 2 • 10 min
The team was being asked to measure individual velocity and compare that with each other’s velocity. Problems ensued! In this episode we talk about the individual focus, and why that may be catastrophic for the teams. How do we get out of that…
Experiment to learn what works! | Viyoma Sachdeva
Jan 1 • 12 min
As new Scrum Masters we are sometimes overwhelmed with all the things that require our attention. It’s ok! You are not alone. When we start looking at the problems the teams are facing it is easy to be driven to act immediately. After all, many of…
BONUS: Johanna Rothman explains how you can create a successful agile project
Dec 29, 2017 • 41 min
Johanna Rothman is a prolific Agile author with at least 13 books at the time this is being written. She has worked as an Agile manager, and has consulted many Agile managers all over the world. In this episode she shares some of the hard-earned…
BONUS: Barry O’Reilly on What is Hypothesis-driven Development, and why that matters for Agilists
Dec 28, 2017 • 37 min
Far too many companies act as if Product Development was a shopping trip: they get a list of things to “buy”, typically Features. Then they create documents explaining that shopping list: Roadmaps, Backlogs, PowerPoint presentations, Post-its on…
BONUS: Karl Scotland on what is Agile Strategy?
Dec 27, 2017 • 35 min
Karl starts this episode by describing how he discovered the need to bring Agile to the level of strategic decision making. He tells the story of a team that was, by all measures, successful. They were delivering software, they were achieving their…
BONUS: JB Rainsberger on Fearless Agile Adoption
Dec 26, 2017 • 52 min
In this special episode we welcome JB Rainsberger. An experienced Agilist from Extreme Programing background. We start the episode discussing what are the patterns of Agile adoption that work in practice. During that conversation we discuss also a…
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Ryan Ripley on Scrum Masters and Coaches, and what that means in practice
Dec 25, 2017 • 98 min
In this episode we cover the very broad topic of coaching. We dive deeper in the meaning of the term, and what that means for Scrum Masters. We start by defining what coaching is, and Ryan makes the case for Coaching as a profession and a career path….
A pattern that helps pinpoint system conditions | Susan McIntosh
Dec 22, 2017 • 11 min
System conditions are patterns that happen over and over again in organizations but the teams can’t solve on their own. With Susan we explore an approach that can help us detect those anti-patterns that can be traced back to the system, the policies…
How to develop high-performing teams | Susan McIntosh
Dec 21, 2017 • 11 min
Our role as Scrum Masters is to help teams develop. Specifically, we need to help them become high-performing. Accomplish their mission in a way that they can be proud of. But how do we get there? How do we help teams develop that level of competence…
Conversations as a change tool | Susan McIntosh
Dec 20, 2017 • 11 min
When we have a huge change in front of us. The organization is growing. It can’t be stopped. How do we handle the change that is inevitable? How do we help the organization evolve and change? In this episode we review how conversations can help us…
How the best people can sometimes destroy a team | Susan McIntosh
Dec 19, 2017 • 14 min
Sometimes we don’t need a super-smart, get things done person. Sometimes we just need a person in the team that can help the team grow. But what happens when we don’t have that kind of person? How do we handle those super smart people that want to…
What psychological safety means IN PRACTICE | Susan McIntosh
Dec 18, 2017 • 10 min
The story that Susan has to share with us starts off as usual, a team, struggling. What happened next? Susan acted in a way that made her understand what psychological safety means in practice. No mumbo jumbo, no buzzwords. What it means for you!…
Communication and its impact on system conditions | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 15, 2017 • 7 min
System conditions come in many shapes and forms. In this episode we talk about the impact of communication (or lack thereof) on the system. We discuss the case of a team that had information withheld from them, and what that led to. And Sebastian…
How to detect true self-organization | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 14, 2017 • 7 min
The “obsolete” Scrum Master is a definition of success that many of our guests have described in the past: the Scrum Master isn’t needed anymore. But Sebastian has a different take on it. And he also shares concrete tips on how to assess if a…
Changing how we use roadmaps | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 13, 2017 • 12 min
In this episode we explore some of the anti-patterns that Roadmaps can create in a team. We discuss the process of change and some ideas on how to make the Roadmaps better for team and stakeholders. In this episode we also refer to a book that gives…
The “rushing” anti-pattern and its consequences | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 12, 2017 • 11 min
Being in a rush is a common anti-pattern in software development. When deadlines are tight, and there’s a lot to do people enter the “rush” mode. They start taking short-cuts, drop communication, and complain about meetings. In this episode we…
Missing Product Owner Anti-patterns | Sebastian Hitzler
Dec 11, 2017 • 11 min
Product Owner is a critical role in Scrum. When it is missing there’s many things that don’t work. Prioritization, answering questions about the product quickly, you name it. But what is a Scrum Master to do? Listen in and explore with us the many…
The 3 Pillars of Scrum | Barry Overeem
Dec 8, 2017 • 9 min
Scrum Masters are familiar with the 3 pillars of Scrum or the values that are at the core of Scrum. In this episode we discuss how focusing on those 3 pillars of scrum, the Scrum Masters can help make the system conditions visible. The system…
How to enable and foster self-organization | Barry Overeem
Dec 7, 2017 • 9 min
What is success for a Scrum Master? This is the #1 question Barry gets in his trainings. In this episode we talk about his answer to that question and how we can enable one of they key patterns in Scrum: team self-organization. Barry shares his own…
From Big Upfront Contract to Co-creating with the Customer | Barry Overeem
Dec 6, 2017 • 10 min
Many organizations are stuck in the “let’s write a document, then a contract before we even get started” anti-pattern. Here’s the problem: no matter how careful you are with the original contract, there will be problems because the…
From Team Captain to Scrum Master | Barry Overeem
Dec 5, 2017 • 11 min
Scrum Masters are typically people committed to the success of the teams they work with. That’s great, but it can lead to problems. It may lead, for example, to the teams not making decisions on their own! In this episode we discuss anti-patterns…
From Project Management to Scrum Master | Barry Overeem
Dec 4, 2017 • 17 min
There are many paths to the Scrum Master role. One that is quite common in the IT industry is that of moving from Project Management to being a Scrum Master. As you’d expect there are quite big differences. In this episode we talk about those…
How to engage with Project Management in your Agile transformation | Joe Anderson
Dec 1, 2017 • 11 min
“Culture eats process for breakfast” goes the quote. Culture is one of the big aspects of the system of work we interact with, so we need to be aware of what are the cultural trends in the organizations and teams we work with. What are those? Joe…
Using Retrospectives for self-development as well as team development | Joe Anderson
Nov 30, 2017 • 10 min
As Scrum Masters we are intimately familiar with Retrospectives. We plan, organize and facilitate retrospectives for our team members and even larger chunks of the organization. But when was the last time you did your own personal retrospective?…
How to engage with Project Management in your Agile transformation | Joe Anderson
Nov 29, 2017 • 11 min
Many organizations adopting Agile as of today are in a transition. From the Project Management paradigm to the Agile paradigm. How can we engage with Project Management to help the organization evolve? This is the topic of today’s conversation with…
How to identify team “limiting beliefs” | Joe Anderson
Nov 28, 2017 • 10 min
The teams we work with are victims of their own limiting beliefs. They bump against the prejudices, and the lack of belief they have and need to break through before they can improve how they work. What do those “limiting beliefs” look like? Which…
The role of Courage as a Scrum value | Joe Anderson
Nov 27, 2017 • 12 min
In a big agile transformation there are many stakeholders, many expectations that affect our work as Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches. In those environments Courage becomes a critical value for us. Joe explains his story of failure, and the role that…
3 tools to help Scrum Masters understand the system | Arif Bobat
Nov 24, 2017 • 13 min
When joining a new team or organization we need to be aware of what is going on before we can start our efforts to help the organization. How can we do that? Arif shares with us 3 tools he uses regularly that help him understand the system and define…
Flirt the the breaking point for breakthrough results! | Arif Bobat
Nov 23, 2017 • 12 min
We want to help teams and organizations succeed. This is the focus of our work as Scrum Masters. But here’s the thing, sometimes the team needs to risk failure to go beyond the established patterns of behaviour. In this episode, Arif explains the…
A simple project management approach that can drive change | Arif Bobat
Nov 22, 2017 • 14 min
There are plenty of opportunities to help teams and organizations change and improve. In this episode we talk about how trying to help teams reduce project risk can help drive change. Arif explains the steps he took to help the team change the way of…
Anti-Pattern: Indigestion! | Arif Bobat
Nov 21, 2017 • 14 min
In this story that Arif shares with us, he explains how you can focus the team because if you don’t the teams might succumb to indigestion: wanting to do too much. But how can you help the teams escape that anti-pattern? Listen in as Arif describes…
Sometimes you need to get fired! | Arif Bobat
Nov 20, 2017 • 22 min
Working with a team that had very little going for them, Arif tried his best. He tried to raise awareness of the problem, he tried to help the team improve, he raised obstacles to management. Was that enough? Listen in as Arif describes his journey in…
A simple question to detect system conditions | Donald Ewart
Nov 17, 2017 • 10 min
System conditions - which affect our teams, but are outside their control - are not always simple to tackle, but with this question they will at least be simple to detect. In this episode, Donald shares with us a very powerful question when it comes…
3 steps to mastery for Scrum teams | Donald Ewart
Nov 16, 2017 • 11 min
Donald traces a path for the teams he works with. This path helps him assess his own success and helps him focus on the next steps that the teams need to go through. In this episode we discuss leadership, and recommend the book Turn the Ship Around!…
The Scrum theater we sometimes play | Donald Ewart
Nov 15, 2017 • 11 min
Donald joined one team and found that they only had a very superficial knowledge of Scrum. They knew the ceremonies, the meetings, the formalities, but something was off. In this episode we discuss how you can “test” if your team really…
Build a human connection! | Donald Ewart
Nov 14, 2017 • 14 min
Featured book In this episode we introduce a new Feature: the Featured book! A recommendation by our guests that will help you choose which books to read. Every week a new book for you to read. This week Donald recommends you revisit one of the…
Don’t try Agile if you are not setup for that! | Donald Ewart
Nov 13, 2017 • 13 min
We sometimes face situations where the teams are not ready to be Agile. In this episode we discuss such a story and talk about what we need to have in place to even get started with Agile. This is a great reminder that we should not try to make all…
The Integral Agile Model as a Systems Thinking Tool | Venetia Foo
Nov 10, 2017 • 10 min
When looking at the team and the system conditions that affect its performance we need tools that help us understand the team beyond its physical boundaries (people, room, tools). In this episode we discuss the Integral Agile Model, introduced by…
How to get teams to solve their own problems? | Venetia Foo
Nov 9, 2017 • 9 min
Scrum Masters are seen as problem solvers. But is it really what they are there to do? Venetia challenges us to think about how we can help the teams take over the problem solving process themselves. How can we do it? How can we motivate teams to…
A Project Management ninja trick: changing project teams in flight | Venetia Foo
Nov 8, 2017 • 11 min
Venetia, a Scrum Master got the order from project management: the project must be moved to a new team, hundreds of miles away in another city! Wow, what a challenge! When we discuss changes on the podcast we very often talk about Agile adoption,…
How one team member can destroy a whole team | Venetia Foo
Nov 7, 2017 • 11 min
Many of us have been in teams where there’s a “dominant” team member. But have we thought about the possible consequences that it may bring to the team? In this episode we explore the possible consequences that dominant team members can…
How to integrate new team members in a project team | Venetia Foo
Nov 6, 2017 • 12 min
A project is late and we think: let’s add more people. Project Managers all over the world use this technique to try to get their projects on schedule. However it’s not that easy… In fact, integrating new project team members in an existing team…
The Scrum Master must help manage the system | Jac Hughes
Nov 3, 2017 • 9 min
Jac shares with us a workshop he uses to help the teams he works with identify the system around them. This is the system that may be helping them (keep), or preventing them (change) to reach their goals. During this episode we talk about some…
People over metrics! | Jac Hughes
Nov 2, 2017 • 8 min
Jac starts by sharing his value that orients the definition of success: People over Metrics. That is, while metrics are important, we must always consider the people first, not the metrics. Jac describes some of the symptoms of a successful outcome…
Changing to Agile while having fun! | Jac Hughes
Nov 1, 2017 • 10 min
Change is a dreaded word in many work places. They may be associated with fads, change of management, new processes that make our jobs harder, etc. But sometimes - when adopting Agile for example - change is something that helps us all and our…