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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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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 31, 2015

Working as a Scrum Master requires a healthy dose of humility, and this is what Gil learned in this story. This lead to him learning about the importance of gaining trust, and also how to do it! He shares with us  some practices on how to gain trust in teams that have a hard time trusting.

About Gil Zilberfeld

For over 20 years, Gil has developed, tested, managed and designed software products. He’s gone through failures and successes, in different types of projects and companies.

He has trained and coached developers how to write tests for their untestable code. He has worked with testers on complex applications and with very tight deadlines. He's helped release products that fit customer needs, by testing the waters, and getting their feedback integrated. He has implemented agile, kanban and lean principles and adapted them to fit teams better.

You can link up with Gil Zilberfeld on LinkedIn, or find Gil Zilberfeld on Twitter.

 

Gil is writing a book on Unit Testing. Check it out.

 

Aug 28, 2015

When trying to understand the system that affects our performance we can’t stay at the surface level. We need to dig deeper to find the real causes for performance problems. Matthias suggest that we measure our system to find what questions we should ask, and then ask “Why?” to help us understand that system.

About Matthias Seul

Matthias worked 10+ years as software developer and gravitated towards coaching in recent years. He is a tech enthusiast, board gamer, inventor and wild duck. Matthias believes in intrinsic motivation - thus he believes in Agile. He says that “together we can make projects a more fulfilling and successful work environment for all involved”.

You can link up with Matthias Seul on LinkedIn, and reach Matthias Seul on twitter. Matthias is interested in your questions and feedback, and you can reach him via email as well.  

Aug 27, 2015

What are the KPI’ for us as Scrum Masters? Matthias mentions several KPI’s he looks at to evaluate his work as a Scrum Master. One stands out: Relationships. How do you measure relationships and their quality? That’s what we discuss today.

About Matthias Seul

Matthias worked 10+ years as software developer and gravitated towards coaching in recent years. He is a tech enthusiast, board gamer, inventor and wild duck. Matthias believes in intrinsic motivation - thus he believes in Agile. He says that “together we can make projects a more fulfilling and successful work environment for all involved”.

You can link up with Matthias Seul on LinkedIn, and reach Matthias Seul on twitter. Matthias is interested in your questions and feedback, and you can reach him via email as well.  

Aug 26, 2015

Sure, CV and experience matter. But there’s something that matters more when hiring a Scrum Master. In this Episode we discuss what matters more than experience for Scrum Masters as well as how to integrate that into your recruiting process.

About Matthias Seul

Matthias worked 10+ years as software developer and gravitated towards coaching in recent years. He is a tech enthusiast, board gamer, inventor and wild duck. Matthias believes in intrinsic motivation - thus he believes in Agile. He says that “together we can make projects a more fulfilling and successful work environment for all involved”.

You can link up with Matthias Seul on LinkedIn, and reach Matthias Seul on twitter. Matthias is interested in your questions and feedback, and you can reach him via email as well.

Aug 25, 2015

User Stories needs to have certain characteristics before they can be interpreted and transformed into running-tested-code by the team. What are those characteristics? Matthias explains how he helped a team rein-in a planning process out of control with a very simple User Story maturity framework. A few simple steps to make sure your Stories are high quality.

About Matthias Seul

Matthias worked 10+ years as software developer and gravitated towards coaching in recent years. He is a tech enthusiast, board gamer, inventor and wild duck. Matthias believes in intrinsic motivation - thus he believes in Agile. He says that “together we can make projects a more fulfilling and successful work environment for all involved”.

You can link up with Matthias Seul on LinkedIn, and reach Matthias Seul on twitter. Matthias is interested in your questions and feedback, and you can reach him via email as well.  

Aug 24, 2015

What does it mean to be a Scrum Master? Have you asked yourself that question? Matthias explains how he came to realize that being a Scrum Master is much more than knowing the process and helping teams grow as teams. It is especially about yourself. Listen to what Matthias considers one of the key skills for Scrum Masters.

About Matthias Seul

Matthias worked 10+ years as software developer and gravitated towards coaching in recent years. He is a tech enthusiast, board gamer, inventor and wild duck. Matthias believes in intrinsic motivation - thus he believes in Agile. He says that “together we can make projects a more fulfilling and successful work environment for all involved”.

You can link up with Matthias Seul on LinkedIn, and reach Matthias Seul on twitter. Matthias is interested in your questions and feedback, and you can reach him via email as well.  

Aug 21, 2015

We must visualize our work in many different ways to be able to understand it. This is the key lesson by Juha when we talk about understanding the system of work.

He mentions several tools we can use to visualize our work: Value Stream Mapping and Kanban being two examples. And we discuss Torbjörn “Tobbe” Gyllebring’s presentation on Kanban that explains how to use Kanban as an improvement catalyst: Kanban is not your process, let me explain why.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.

He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.

You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.

 

You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

 

Aug 20, 2015

Happiness is the metric for Scrum Masters to measure their success, according to Juha. We talk about the role of the process in making people happy, as well as the reasons why happiness is so important for Scrum teams.

We also discuss the book by Marshall Rosenberg: Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.

He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.

You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.

You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

Aug 19, 2015

Hiring good people is hard, and hiring good Scrum Masters is no exception. To start with, the role of Scrum Master is very recent (started around 2000), and therefore we don’t have enough accumulated experience in the community, and all the good Scrum Masters are happily employed. But that’s not the only difficulty when hiring good Scrum Masters. How do you hire good people if the role is supposed to render itself obsolete? We tackle this and other questions that make hiring Scrum Masters hard.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.

He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.

You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.

You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

Aug 18, 2015

Self-organization is not a simple “tool” you can just spring on teams by saying: “Self-organize! Now you don’t have any managers.” Juha explains such a process, why it failed and what he learned from it that can help you on the path to team self-organization.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.

He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.

You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.

You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

Aug 17, 2015

Sometimes it is hard to focus on what to improve. Juha tells us: when you can’t do what you want, do something else instead. You can only teach people what they are ready to learn, and you cannot force anyone to learn anything.

We also discuss the lessons from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, a must-read for all Scrum Masters.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.

He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.

You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.

 

You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

Aug 14, 2015

Emilia uses retrospectives and specific questions to help the team discover the system conditions that affect their performance. She also shares how she knows, and has learned to ask the right questions at the right time.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 13, 2015

How do you measure your success as a Scrum Master? Emilia shares her definition of success, and her main tasks in the search for that successful outcome. The tool that she uses the most is 1-on-1 conversations that help her focus on the right topics and discover possible blockers. As she puts it: “whenever you have a question: ask the team!”.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 12, 2015

A very common pattern in the software industry is to give the role of Scrum Master to Project Managers. This has many possible dangers, and Emilia knows that. That’s why she has developed a specific approach to hiring Scrum Masters, a people-centric approach.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 11, 2015

Sometimes we face situations where it feels like the Scrum adoption is failing. Emilia tells us one such story where the stakeholders were not cooperating, where there was confusion and fear of failure. How she, with the help from an executive, reacted is a great way to get back to the basics and help the team overcome the challenges in the transformation.

In this episode we also talk about #NoNumbers, an approach that Emilia uses to help her teams focus on the value to be delivered. The discussion also touches on #NoEstimates, about which you can read more at NoEstimatesBook.com

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 10, 2015

In an organization with a long history it is hard to introduce new ideas that are not in line with that history. Emilia went through that and learned how to help teams that have been working in a certain way to explore, and ultimately adopt a new way of working: Agile Software Development. In this episode we refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, a book that helped Emilia solve the main blockers to change in the teams she worked with.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

 

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 7, 2015

Visual management is a key practice for continuous improvement, in this episode Sven explains how he uses visual management practices to help detect, understand and ultimately solve system problems. This is an episode filled with valuable tips for systems thinkers that want to go beyond helping the Scrum team.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 6, 2015

Scrum Masters to evaluate their performance. Sven shares with us a process he uses to help him detect possible problems, and invest in solving the right problems to help the team, and himself succeed. We discuss plenty of practical advice regarding the structure and the content of Retrospectives.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 5, 2015

Through failed attempts we develop our own approach to the recruiting process. In this episode Sven explains an exercise he developed over the years to help him detect the great Scrum Masters, and the not so great ones. He explains how you can identify the right skills and personality that fits the role of Scrum Master.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 4, 2015

Lack of motivation is a self-destructing dynamic that can lead a team to dis-integrate. In this episode Sven explains how that dynamic can quickly destroy a team, and what you can do to avoid that fate. He explains his approach and techniques that support the team in developing their motivation.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

 

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 3, 2015

Adopting Agile is not an easy task in any organization that is larger than 1 team. In larger organizations the task is even harder. Sven explains his experience with a larger consulting organization, and how even the C-Level support was not enough to complete the Agile adoption.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

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