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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

Every week day, Certified Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Business Consultant Vasco Duarte interviews Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches from all over the world to get you actionable advice, 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. Stay tuned for BONUS episodes when we interview Agile gurus and other thought leaders in the business space to bring you the Agile Business perspective you need to succeed as a Scrum Master. Some of the topics we discuss include: Agile Business, Agile Strategy, Retrospectives, Team motivation, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Backlog Refinement, Scaling Scrum, Lean Startup, Test Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Paper Prototyping, QA in Scrum, the role of agile managers, servant leadership, agile coaching, and more!
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Oct 18, 2018

When we discuss the success of a Scrum Master, happiness is a word that often comes up. Is the customer happy? Is the team happy? Are some of the questions we must ask ourselves, and in this episode, Faye reviews how we can ask, collect the answer for and use those to help our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Single Word Retrospective

In the Single Word Retrospective, the team reflects on how one word impacts their way of working. In this episode, Faye shares one concrete example of what that could look like in practice.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

 

Oct 17, 2018

There are many tools out there to support a change process. So many in fact, that we often forget the humble Retrospective. The most important tool in our Scrum Master toolbox: reflect and adjust, inspect and adapt - the core cycle of change.

In this episode, we explore how the Agile Retrospective can become the engine of self-driven team change.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 16, 2018

Many things can fail when we work with teams. But one critical anti-pattern that leads to problems is the lack of a good Product Owner. In this episode, we explore what are the consequences for our teams of having a Product Owner that is unable to filter input from many stakeholders or even to politely say “No!”. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that can come from a poor Product Owner.

Featured Book of the Week: any book by Gerry Weinberg

Faye has followed the work of Gerry Weinberg and recommends that to all Scrum Masters. She mentions several of Gerry Weinberg’s books in this episode, for example: The Secrets of Consulting, or An Introduction to General Systems Theory. For Faye, Gerry’s work is an example of what Scrum Masters work is about: being humane.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 15, 2018

“We don’t leave our human-selves at the door once we come into work!” - this is how Faye starts this episode. The question is: as a Scrum Master, what does it mean for me? Faye’s journey to the Scrum Master role gives us some insights into the wide-spread consequences of that phrase. It also links directly to the story of failure that Faye has to share with us. It is a story of how a team member started bullying other team members. Listen in to learn to detect bullying signs early on.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 12, 2018

Ilya has lived in 3 different countries, and currently lives in Canada where the IT industry is a melting pot of many cultures. That has taught Ilya a lesson: cultures are stereotypes that don’t really apply to single individuals. Being aware of those stereotypes is useful, but Ilya suggests we go deeper.

Listen in to learn how to go beyond the cultural stereotype and learn about the individuals you work with.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 11, 2018

As we evolve our practice, we help the team be self-sufficient. Over time, the team will be able to handle most of the Scrum process itself. But how do we detect when the team is ready for that final step in their maturity? In this episode we talk about the signs Scrum Masters can look for to detect when the team is mature enough to be self-sufficient.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Flexible Retro

When we focus on having the Retrospective as a “ceremony”, there’s a risk that it becomes just that: a ritual that has little impact. Ilya’s approach is different. In this episode we describes a very simple format, and how you can make retrospectives fun again. The Flexible Retrospective format.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 10, 2018

When teams start with Scrum, there’s the temptation to define and implement many changes at the same time. After all, there’s a lot of new practices to take in. However, Ilya’s suggestion is different. Listen in to learn about the idea of “one change at a time”, and how you may be able to apply it in your context.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 9, 2018

This week we recommend a paper, where Bruce Tuckman, of the famous Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model describes his famous model. Unfortunately that article is not freely available for everyone to read, so we stick to the wikipedia entry for the Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 8, 2018

Management was micro-managing the team. Ilya, the Scrum Master, tried to protect the team. The stress levels were high… This is a very common story in the software industry. When deadlines loom, the whole dynamic changes. As Scrum Masters, we must be ready for that moment. Listen in to learn about how Ilya handled the situation, and what you can apply in your own situation when the time comes.

In this episode we refer to the book Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 5, 2018

Every country has a slightly different take on the important balance between team (group) and individual focus. Peter shares with us his own view of how different cultures find that continuum, and what that means in the country where he lives: Germany.

Listen in to learn about the relative importance between team and individual, and how to assess when to pull the focus to one or the other, so that you can help the team.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 4, 2018

The Oscar Academy Awards Awards retrospective format helps the team find a new dynamic for the retrospective. It’s a fun, but insightful format that can then be followed up with a action-oriented finale that helps the team pick up the most important improvement items to, for example, avoid having an annoying story like the one that won the “Most Annoying Story of this Sprint” award.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 3, 2018

When a team has left Scrum to adopt another method, but is stuck, going back to Scrum may be a good approach. As they go back to something familiar they can regain their self-confidence. In this episode we explore such a story, and how Peter structured his approach to this change process, that he divides into 3 main steps.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 2, 2018

What happens when the Product Owner and the team can’t collaborate? When the team just takes orders from the Product Owner and stops contributing to the planning and content of the User Stories? This was the situation that Peter had to face. Listen in to learn how he tackled this relationship problem.

Featured Book of the Week: Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

In this book, Peter found an approach that helps him as a Scrum Master. In Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng tries to offers a method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 1, 2018

As we work with multiple teams, it is inevitable that we will meet a team member that is against Scrum in all possible ways. They’ll ask: why do we need to have Sprint Review? Why do we need to have a retrospective every Sprint? How do we, as Scrum Masters, deal with such team members? Listen in as Peter shares his experience with such a team member, and how he focused on helping the team, despite the negative comments from one team member.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Sep 28, 2018

People want to be polite, especially in some cultures like the Philippines. But too much politeness prevents the teams from talking about the tough issues that they must resolve. Paulo was struggling with such a team, and he had to solve that. He needed to help the team tackle the difficult issues. In this episode we talk about how you can help your team tackle the tough issues in a way that even the most polite cultures can deal with.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 27, 2018

As the team takes more initiative and responsibility, the Scrum Master role changes. That, in itself is a measure of success for us as Scrum Masters. However, the real measure of success comes from the team delivering consistently value to the market, and following the Scrum values.

In this episode we also talk about the Comparative Agile Survey as a way to help the teams reflect on their progress.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start / Stop / Continue

Paulo prefers an action oriented format for his retrospectives, and the Start / Stop / Continue retrospective format provides a simple, yet effective way for the team to generate improvement actions.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 26, 2018

There are many possible approaches to help change stick in an organisation. In this episode we explore how a community of practice can help spread knowledge and support Agile adoption.

In this episode we also talk about communities of practice outside the organisation were we work. In Paulo’s case, Agile Philippines was one of those communities that helped him. Do you have one near you?

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 25, 2018

Continuing the theme from the previous episode, we talk about rewards and their impact on teams. In the book Drive, Daniel Pink explores what research has revealed about the use of rewards in different environments, and that helped Paulo find better ways to use rewards. Listen in to learn about his tips.  

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 24, 2018

Rewards are an easy tool to use. But does it work as intended. Do rewards really help teams and people perform better? In this episode we explore one story where Paulo tried to use rewards to help a team, and what happened once the rewards became an expectation from the team.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 21, 2018

In some cultures the team or collective is emphasised. However, in other cultures, the individual and it’s individual success is the focus. In this episode we talk about a culture that emphasises the “highlighting” of personal success over collective success and how we can help teams, and individuals to overcome that cultural expectation.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 20, 2018

As Scrum Masters the ultimate sign of a successful impact on the team we serve is that they are able to tackle the obstacles they face on their own. They may request help from the Scrum Master, but are confident they can solve their own problems without external help if that is needed. When trying to help the team be independent however, we must help them through the multiple challenges, and pitfalls that they will face. In this episode we talk about how Claudia focuses on helping teams get to a point where they can act on their own, independently, even without a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Powerful Questions

In this episode we explore a format around the Powerful Questions coaching approach, and how that can help teams go deeper into their own thoughts and beliefs. It is by questioning our beliefs that we can truly evolve in our practice. The Powerful Questions format that Claudia suggests is one possible trigger to start questioning beliefs that are no longer serving us as we expected.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

 

Sep 19, 2018

As Scrum Masters we focus a lot of our time and attention on the work with the teams we support. Ultimately, however, the managers of those teams have a great influence on what the teams do, how they act and how they apply Agile in their day-to-day work.

In this episode we explore the role of the manager in an Agile transformation and talk about how the Scrum Master must take into account how the managers influence the teams, and address that influence directly.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 18, 2018

It’s inevitable that teams bump against problems sooner or later. That’s something all teams go through. However, how the teams decide to react to those problems makes a huge difference. In this episode we talk about the “self identity” that teams develop and how that affects their development and effectiveness as a team. What “self identity” is your team developing?

Featured Book of the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular

In the Spanish version of People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer (Por Un Scrum Popular by Tobias Mayer and Alan Cyment), the authors go further than in the original English language book. For Claudia the focus on how to work with the organisation and the disquieting role of the Scrum Master were the key takeaways. If you don’t read Spanish, you can find the English book on Amazon.  

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 17, 2018

You’d think that a team of Agile Coaches understands the importance of facilitation. However, that’s not always the case. In this episode we explore how a team of Agile Coaches went through the process many teams go through: from no facilitator, to an external Scrum Master and ...

Listen it to learn what happened next.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 14, 2018

One way to help teams find their “groove” is to celebrate success. A simple, yet effective, reinforcement technique that helps teams identify, and seek success later on as well.

However, some cultures are better than others at expressing their celebration of success. In this episode we talk about a specific culture, the UK, where the celebration of success is not common. How can a Scrum Master help the team celebrate success, even if the culture does not support that?

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

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