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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast: Get new tips and tricks, improve your craft as a Scrum Master with daily doses of inspiring conversations with Scrum Masters from the all over the world. Join Vasco Duarte as he interviews guests to get you the latest and best tips on how to be an effective, and impactful Scrum Master.
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Jul 26, 2017

Succeeding with Agile is not about the team, or a group of teams. In this story Hemant shares a story of a large organization going Agile and what happened. As we talk about this context we also discuss how to get the business side of the organization to get involved, and what else is necessary to succeed with Agile in a large organization.

 

About Hemant Khati

Hemant is working as an Agile Coach, scrum Master and Scrum trainer since 2005. Hemant loves to help companies explore the 'scrum 360' approach wherein the power of scrum is extended to vendors, partners and the support functions. Hemant has a Masters in Computer Science and is a professional Scrum Trainer and currently works for Cognizant Technologies.

You can link with Hemant Khati on LinkedIn and connect with Hemant Khati on Twitter.

Jul 25, 2017

What happens when nothing is wrong? The sharp Scrum Master should keep an eye for this possible anti-pattern. After all no one is perfect, much less a team. What happened to this team? What was the problem and how to get out of the “perfect” anti-pattern? Listen in to hear about this story. In this episode we also refer to the Tuckman team development model and The 5 Dysfunctions of a team by Lencioni.

 

About Hemant Khati

Hemant is working as an Agile Coach, scrum Master and Scrum trainer since 2005. Hemant loves to help companies explore the 'scrum 360' approach wherein the power of scrum is extended to vendors, partners and the support functions. Hemant has a Masters in Computer Science and is a professional Scrum Trainer and currently works for Cognizant Technologies.

You can link with Hemant Khati on LinkedIn and connect with Hemant Khati on Twitter.

Jul 24, 2017

At the end of the Sprint, the Product Owner sits with the team and gives them a rating. And that’s not all, the team is a contractor and does not get paid when the rating is not “enough”. All know what the “enough” rating is in advance. So what could go wrong? Listen in to hear Hemant’s experience with the Team Rating Anti-pattern in one of his first Scrum Master jobs, no less!

 

About Hemant Khati

Hemant is working as an Agile Coach, scrum Master and Scrum trainer since 2005. Hemant loves to help companies explore the 'scrum 360' approach wherein the power of scrum is extended to vendors, partners and the support functions. Hemant has a Masters in Computer Science and is a professional Scrum Trainer and currently works for Cognizant Technologies.

You can link with Hemant Khati on LinkedIn and connect with Hemant Khati on Twitter.

Jul 22, 2017

This show, in French, is hosted by our very special friend of the show Tim Bourguignon

Avez-vous déjà repéré des situations qui, lorsqu’elles apparaissent, vous donnent immédiatement l’impression que quelque chose de néfaste couve? Une sorte d’anti-pattern dans vos équipes? Dans cet épisode, Alexandre Thibault vient nous montrer quelques cicatrices, et nous conter son expérience passée à coacher des équipes agiles.

 

About Alexandre Thibault and Tim Bourguignon

Alexandre is a Canadian computer scientist that became ScrumMaster and Agile Coach after 15 years as a programmer. For 4 years now, he helps directors and managers creating work environments where team members are engaged in their work using intrinsic motivation.

You can link with Alexandre Thibault on LinkedIn and connect with Alexandre Thibault on Twitter.

Tim is a full time geek, agile developer and BS-hunter. International speaker and avid writer, he is curious- and creative-minded, eager to search, teach and talk... and has been doing this for as long as he remembers. Tim has been working on a project called Developer's Journey (www.devjourney.info) lately, where regularly sharpens his podcasting skills talking to whoever is willing to about what it takes to become a better developer.

You can connect with Tim Bourguignon on twitter or visit Tim Bourguignon’s website to see what he is up to.

Jul 21, 2017

When looking at the systems we work within, it is imperative to understand and build the necessary feedback loops that help us understand what is going on. It is not enough to have feedback loops at the team level. The product feedback loops as well as the organizational feedback loops are the tools that enable us to understand what is going on and how to achieve what we seek. Tom shares some caveats for metrics we often use and several tools we can use to understand the system we work within. After all, feedback loops are information, not the whole picture.

 

About Tom Taylor

With interests like Tai Chi and Stand-up Paddleboarding, Tom’s always been attracted to concepts of flow and balance.  As an Agilist at Pegasystems, Tom applies these interests directly as a Scrum Master with our Engineering teams, and fosters organizational excellence throughout Pega. He's been a Certified Scrum Master for over 4 years, and is also a certified as an Agile Facilitator/Coach, as well as a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agilist.

You can link with Tom Taylor on LinkedIn, or shoot him at email at tomas.taylor@pega.com.

Jul 20, 2017

We often ask questions or do surveys to assess our success as Scrum Masters. Those tools are powerful and useful if used in the right way. But very often we also have to go on a gut feel. An intuitive understanding of what the situation is at the present moment. When we do, we have to be able to turn that gut feeling into something concrete. An action that leads to the expected results. Tom discusses how we can do that, and build the necessary feedback loops for our actions.

 

About Tom Taylor

With interests like Tai Chi and Stand-up Paddleboarding, Tom’s always been attracted to concepts of flow and balance.  As an Agilist at Pegasystems, Tom applies these interests directly as a Scrum Master with our Engineering teams, and fosters organizational excellence throughout Pega. He's been a Certified Scrum Master for over 4 years, and is also a certified as an Agile Facilitator/Coach, as well as a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agilist.

You can link with Tom Taylor on LinkedIn, or shoot him at email at tomas.taylor@pega.com.

Jul 19, 2017

In this episode Tom shares an important story from a time when Scrum was not yet the method used at his company. It is the story of a pitch by one of his colleagues that helped his organization get the right momentum to adopt Agile. This story has many insights as to how to present such an important change to management and the rest of the organization. In this episode, Tom also shares his view on what are the 3 most important change-related questions that a Scrum Masters should ask.

 

About Tom Taylor

With interests like Tai Chi and Stand-up Paddleboarding, Tom’s always been attracted to concepts of flow and balance.  As an Agilist at Pegasystems, Tom applies these interests directly as a Scrum Master with our Engineering teams, and fosters organizational excellence throughout Pega. He's been a Certified Scrum Master for over 4 years, and is also a certified as an Agile Facilitator/Coach, as well as a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agilist.

You can link with Tom Taylor on LinkedIn, or shoot him at email at tomas.taylor@pega.com.

Jul 18, 2017

Teams face difficulties of all kinds. Technical, social, political, knowledge… The list goes on. But what is the Team’s most important enemy? In this episode we explore that question and some of the techniques that Tom has used to face and often defeat that most important enemy.

 

About Tom Taylor

With interests like Tai Chi and Stand-up Paddleboarding, Tom’s always been attracted to concepts of flow and balance.  As an Agilist at Pegasystems, Tom applies these interests directly as a Scrum Master with our Engineering teams, and fosters organizational excellence throughout Pega. He's been a Certified Scrum Master for over 4 years, and is also a certified as an Agile Facilitator/Coach, as well as a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agilist.

You can link with Tom Taylor on LinkedIn, or shoot him at email at tomas.taylor@pega.com.

Jul 17, 2017

Failure is a forbidden word in many corporate cultures. So much so that it becomes impossible to talk about what is happening for real. We develop sophisticated language tricks to avoid discussing failure. But is that the right approach, the approach that fosters learning and growth? Listen in as we discuss the importance of trust, and how to approach failure with Agile Teams.

During the show we discuss “The 3 questions”, a short story by Tolstoy, a short story that has a very important message for all Scrum Masters.

In this episode we mention one of my favourite radio shows of all times: Car Talk by Click and Clack the Tappet brothers.

 

About Tom Taylor

With interests like Tai Chi and Stand-up Paddleboarding, Tom’s always been attracted to concepts of flow and balance.  As an Agilist at Pegasystems, Tom applies these interests directly as a Scrum Master with our Engineering teams, and fosters organizational excellence throughout Pega. He's been a Certified Scrum Master for over 4 years, and is also a certified as an Agile Facilitator/Coach, as well as a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agilist.

You can link with Tom Taylor on LinkedIn, or shoot him at email at tomas.taylor@pega.com.

Jul 15, 2017

This show, in French, is hosted by our very special friend of the show Tim Bourguignon

Scrum nous pousse à travailler en « sprints ». Est-ce vraiment sain de sprinter sur la durée ? Et surtout, est-ce vraiment possible ? Un des 12 principes du manifeste Agile est bien de créer un rythme de développement soutenable indéfiniment. Dans la pratique, il faut bien s’arrêter de sprinter de temps en temps. Dans cet épisode, François Le Rolland nous présente un jeu qu’il utilise avec son équipe pour faire une pause entre deux sprints, et se regrouper avant de repartir à l’attaque.

About François le Rolland and Tim Bourguignon

As a team leader, François organizes and facilitate the daily work of 7 people. His priority is to bring the right tool for the right job.

You can link with François le Rolland on LinkedIn and connect with François le Rolland on Twitter. Or visit François le Rolland’s web site.  

Tim is a full time geek, agile developer and BS-hunter. International speaker and avid writer, he is curious- and creative-minded, eager to search, teach and talk... and has been doing this for as long as he remembers. Tim has been working on a project called Developer's Journey (www.devjourney.info) lately, where regularly sharpens his podcasting skills talking to whoever is willing to about what it takes to become a better developer.

You can connect with Tim Bourguignon on twitter or visit Tim Bourguignon’s website to see what he is up to.

Jul 14, 2017

The technique that Paolo shares with us in this episode is not only useful to tackle the Friday challenge (understand the system as a whole), but it is a versatile technique that we all should include in our toolbox. It is such an important tool that we end up spending the episode talking about many tools we can use to implement this technique and focus on one specific technique: Event Storming by Alberto Brandolini. Do you want to know what is this technique? Listen in.

 

About Paolo D’Incau

Paolo is a passionate agile developer. He spent hist first years of "agile" learning the technical practices but with time he understood that people, culture and values always come first.

Paolo practices and recommends the adoption of eXtreme Programming. In the projects he has worked on so far he has experienced the benefits of building small and big systems adopting practices such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery and infrastructure automation.

You can link with Paolo D’Incau on LinkedIn and connect with Paolo D’Incau on Twitter.

Jul 13, 2017

Paolo D’Incau starts the episode by sharing with us what is the best way to describe the impact of a Scrum Master. Then we continue to discuss the 3 benchmarks he uses to check his own success, as well as the guiding principles for improvement. Finally we discuss the one tool that can help Scrum Masters reach their goals.

 

About Paolo D’Incau

Paolo is a passionate agile developer. He spent hist first years of "agile" learning the technical practices but with time he understood that people, culture and values always come first.

Paolo practices and recommends the adoption of eXtreme Programming. In the projects he has worked on so far he has experienced the benefits of building small and big systems adopting practices such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery and infrastructure automation.

You can link with Paolo D’Incau on LinkedIn and connect with Paolo D’Incau on Twitter.

Jul 12, 2017

It can be hard to help teams understand that there’s life beyond code. So hard, that sometimes teams choose to focus only on the technical excellence, without any regard to the impact they have on the business they are part of and contributors to. In the episode Paolo shares with us his experience with a team that was focused on the technical side, but had no idea how their software contributed to the business they were part of. At the end we also discuss how to break free from this anti-pattern.

In this episode we refer to a few resources for retrospectives. One of them is retromat, a resource for plans and ideas for retrospectives.

In this episode we also refer to the high-performance tree concept from Lyssa Adkins.

Finally, we also refer to the book Maverick! By Ricardo Semler.

 

About Paolo D’Incau

Paolo is a passionate agile developer. He spent hist first years of "agile" learning the technical practices but with time he understood that people, culture and values always come first.

Paolo practices and recommends the adoption of eXtreme Programming. In the projects he has worked on so far he has experienced the benefits of building small and big systems adopting practices such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery and infrastructure automation.

You can link with Paolo D’Incau on LinkedIn and connect with Paolo D’Incau on Twitter.

Jul 11, 2017

We’ve all been there. A system is running, paying its keep, but creating head-aches everywhere. Soon enough there’s enough people thinking that the system must be re-written and a long, and arduous project starts with the aim of re-writing the system from scratch. We know the features that must be in, so it can’t be that hard, right? Wrong! In this episode we review the many anti-patterns that are triggered when a system re-write project is started.

In this episode we refer to the Promiscuous Pairing paper by Arlo Belshee where he describes the principle of the least qualified implementer.

 

About Paolo D’Incau

Paolo is a passionate agile developer. He spent hist first years of "agile" learning the technical practices but with time he understood that people, culture and values always come first.

Paolo practices and recommends the adoption of eXtreme Programming. In the projects he has worked on so far he has experienced the benefits of building small and big systems adopting practices such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery and infrastructure automation.

You can link with Paolo D’Incau on LinkedIn and connect with Paolo D’Incau on Twitter.

 

Jul 10, 2017

Paolo shares the story of a team that was new to Agile methods. The team was stuck in cargo cult, focusing on tools, instead of behaviors. On top of that there a problem: how can we engage business people? Especially business people that have little or no experience with Agile? Listen in to learn about Paolo’s approach to help the team mature, and engage the business side.

 

About Paolo D’Incau

Paolo is a passionate agile developer. He spent hist first years of "agile" learning the technical practices but with time he understood that people, culture and values always come first.

Paolo practices and recommends the adoption of eXtreme Programming. In the projects he has worked on so far he has experienced the benefits of building small and big systems adopting practices such as Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery and infrastructure automation.

You can link with Paolo D’Incau on LinkedIn and connect with Paolo D’Incau on Twitter.

Jul 8, 2017

Stefan was a guest on the show and a guest writer in our blog. At that time we briefly spoke about the great work he’s been doing on the recruiting process for Scrum Masters. In the blog he wrote on “Peer Recruiting: How to Hire a Scrum Master in Agile Times” he shared some concrete tips for those of you hiring Scrum Masters for your organizations. However, we - Scrum Masters - also need some guidance on how to get ready for those interviews. Being ready may be the difference between failing or getting to the next step in the recruitment process. So in this episode we focus on what we, as Scrum Masters, need to do to get ready and get that next job we want.

 

About Stefan Wolpers

Stefan has been working as agile coach and product owner for fast growing, mainly Berlin-based startups for about 10 years. He is writing on hiring agile practitioners, Why agile fails?, and curates Age of Product’s “Food for Agile Thought” newsletter.

You can link with Stefan Wolpers on LinkedIn and connect with Stefan Wolpers on Twitter.

Jul 7, 2017

Very large organizations, such as the one that Dimitris describes in this episode, have a dynamic of their own. The same practices that help a smaller organization are not going to work when you need to deal with 100’s of teams and coordinate with waterfall projects. Not all teams or projects move to Agile immediately, let alone the financing and governance processes. Listen in to learn how Dimitris and the rest of the team were able to help a large organization take concrete steps towards Agile, but without ignoring the slower parts of the organization.

 

About Dimitris Dimitrelos

Dimitris has been practicing, teaching and preaching Agile and Scrum since 2011. He has been working in the software industry for many years as a project manager, a PMO head and an Agile coach. He holds a degree in Computer Science, a PhD in High Performance Computing and an MBA, and has been certified as a PSM-I and PSPO-I by Scrum.org. Dimitris is an active member of the Agile Greece community.

You can link with Dimitris Dimitrelos on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitris Dimitrelos on Twitter.

Jul 7, 2017

What if we had a method, a structured way to assess how the system of any organization is setup, and thanks to that learn what are the best first steps for Agile adoption? Well, that’s exactly what Dimitris shares with us in this episode. The 4 aspects to consider as well as some of the methods used for that assessment.

 

About Dimitris Dimitrelos

Dimitris has been practicing, teaching and preaching Agile and Scrum since 2011. He has been working in the software industry for many years as a project manager, a PMO head and an Agile coach. He holds a degree in Computer Science, a PhD in High Performance Computing and an MBA, and has been certified as a PSM-I and PSPO-I by Scrum.org. Dimitris is an active member of the Agile Greece community.

You can link with Dimitris Dimitrelos on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitris Dimitrelos on Twitter.

Jul 6, 2017

Dimitris has had a career both as a Project Manager as well as a Scrum Master in the organizations he’s worked in. As part of that longer personal journey he has defined a set of aspects he comes back to regularly to assess his own success. Listen in to learn what he still applies from his Project Manager journey as well as the new principles he picked up after adopting Agile Software Development.

 

About Dimitris Dimitrelos

Dimitris has been practicing, teaching and preaching Agile and Scrum since 2011. He has been working in the software industry for many years as a project manager, a PMO head and an Agile coach. He holds a degree in Computer Science, a PhD in High Performance Computing and an MBA, and has been certified as a PSM-I and PSPO-I by Scrum.org. Dimitris is an active member of the Agile Greece community.

You can link with Dimitris Dimitrelos on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitris Dimitrelos on Twitter.

Jul 4, 2017

Scrum describes and warns against overcommitment. But how can we recover from that anti-pattern? In this story Dimitris shares what happens to a team that starts well, in their first Scrum project, but soon enough the overcommitment anti-pattern sets in. No matter what they try they are unable to get out of that negative spiral. Until… Listen in to learn what Dimitris helps the team with, leading them out of the anti-pattern of overcommitment.

 

About Dimitris Dimitrelos

Dimitris has been practicing, teaching and preaching Agile and Scrum since 2011. He has been working in the software industry for many years as a project manager, a PMO head and an Agile coach. He holds a degree in Computer Science, a PhD in High Performance Computing and an MBA, and has been certified as a PSM-I and PSPO-I by Scrum.org. Dimitris is an active member of the Agile Greece community.

You can link with Dimitris Dimitrelos on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitris Dimitrelos on Twitter.

Jul 3, 2017

Scrum Masters, especially when working with larger organizations, will be faced with Death March projects. Dimitris shares a story of a 6 month project what was completely off-the-rails. Scope changes by more than 50%, the bank running the project first merged with another bank, and later acquired another 3 banks. You name it. The project was going nowhere, until… Listen in to learn how Dimitris helped this Death March project turn around with the ideas and principles that every Scrum Master should apply, every day!

 

About Dimitris Dimitrelos

Dimitris has been practicing, teaching and preaching Agile and Scrum since 2011. He has been working in the software industry for many years as a project manager, a PMO head and an Agile coach. He holds a degree in Computer Science, a PhD in High Performance Computing and an MBA, and has been certified as a PSM-I and PSPO-I by Scrum.org. Dimitris is an active member of the Agile Greece community.

You can link with Dimitris Dimitrelos on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitris Dimitrelos on Twitter.

Jun 30, 2017

When we see a problem surfacing in the team, we should look outside the team. It is likely that there are system conditions affecting the team’s performance. Can you understand what that is? Tatum shares with us the Missing Conversation, a common cause of deeper problems, and what to do about it.

 

About Tatum Bisley

Tatum has 15 years of learning sector experience with the last 3 years in development - helping to make the tools that will enable corporate learning in years to come. Currently building a new jobs and skills application - Hiup - and VR, AR and MR applications for immersive learning.

You can link with Tatum Bisley on LinkedIn and connect with Tatum Bisley on Twitter.

Jun 29, 2017

Scrum Master success is about helping the team, and Tatum shares his own story and how he used the “Donut technique” to help the team find ways to talk about the real issues they were facing. This simple technique helped Tatum reach his own success, by helping the team. Can you use the same technique? You bet! Listen to Tatum’s story.

 

About Tatum Bisley

Tatum has 15 years of learning sector experience with the last 3 years in development - helping to make the tools that will enable corporate learning in years to come. Currently building a new jobs and skills application - Hiup - and VR, AR and MR applications for immersive learning.

You can link with Tatum Bisley on LinkedIn and connect with Tatum Bisley on Twitter.

Jun 28, 2017

Tatum explains how he applies the John Kotter change steps in his own work, and helps me find an insight I took to work the next day and benefited from! Very actionable episode on change, techniques and steps we need to go through in every change process.

 

About Tatum Bisley

Tatum has 15 years of learning sector experience with the last 3 years in development - helping to make the tools that will enable corporate learning in years to come. Currently building a new jobs and skills application - Hiup - and VR, AR and MR applications for immersive learning.

You can link with Tatum Bisley on LinkedIn and connect with Tatum Bisley on Twitter.

Jun 27, 2017

Saying yes to everything can easily lead to overwhelm. We want to please the business or the customer, and end up taking on much more work than is sustainable. How do we avoid that, and how do we help teams that are in that anti-pattern get out of it? Listen to this episode to learn about the practices that Tatum put in place to avoid that anti-pattern.

 

About Tatum Bisley

Tatum has 15 years of learning sector experience with the last 3 years in development - helping to make the tools that will enable corporate learning in years to come. Currently building a new jobs and skills application - Hiup - and VR, AR and MR applications for immersive learning.

You can link with Tatum Bisley on LinkedIn and connect with Tatum Bisley on Twitter.

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