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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: November, 2015
Nov 30, 2015

Often we disregard this very simple fact, by the end of the sprint people are tired. Hosting the retrospective at the end of the day, on the last day of the sprint is not ideal from the engagement and energy level point of view. Alex explains how he failed at keeping the energy level high in one retrospective and what he learned from that moment, that he still applies today.

About Alex Fürstenau

When I was 12, my father bought the first computer, a C64. The moment I saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when I knew I would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that "dream" became true.

I quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse (not surprising afterwards :-) ). During this time (around 2002) I thought "There has to be a better way" and I found several

You can link with Alex Fürstenau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Fürstenau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structure, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Nov 27, 2015

Visualization is a powerful tool to help us understand what is really going on. Cliff is a visualization aficionado and explains how he uses visualization heavily in his work. In the process he gives me some advice that I’ve already put into practice with great success!

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 26, 2015

Using metrics to sense what is going on may be useful for certain activities, but the moment they are perceived to be “targets” they easily get subverted and lead to cheating. John Seddon’s I Want You To Cheat is a great book about this topic, and Cliff explains his own view on the topic.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 25, 2015

It is very easy to give in to the temptation of creating a “shopping list” of skills and then look for the “perfect candidate”. To avoid this common anti-pattern Cliff creates a list of 3 (or so) things that he wants to see in a candidate, but then gets to work. He describes Spotify’s hiring and onboarding process, which will definitely give you some good ideas to put in practice today.

 About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 24, 2015

It is hard to help teams take steps that move them to the next level. It is human nature to seek comfort and safety. Cliff developed an approach to get teams out of the rut, by helping them want to take their game to the next level. He uses some very simple tools that he explains in this episode.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 23, 2015

Very often we are in situations where we must quickly act to fend off some conflict situation. The natural tendency is to “take charge” based on our observations and conclusions about other people’s intentions. But is that the right approach? Cliff talks about how he learned to stay curious and never assume he knew other people’s intentions. Great advice!

We also mention the book Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 21, 2015

Danilo started as a construction project manager, but during the years he transformed himself as well as his career. In this BONUS episode we explore that process of personal transformation that makes Danilo an Agile person, not just a person that does Agile.

We hear the story of how a change in the job market presented Danilo with a challenge, but also an opportunity. Then we explore what steps he took to adopt the ideas of Agile and how he applies those ideas even today in his own personal time management system which he dubs Agile.

Danilo created a time management course to help all of us that feel overwhelmed, but want to use our agile principles in our own personal time management. Danilo introduces the course and offers you a 80% discount (!!) for the first 30 people taking his course. Check it out, go to this Udemy link to access Danilo’s course.

About Danilo Tambone

Danilo Tambone is a project management professional with 12 years of experience in the field, he is a PMP and PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner.

Danilo started his career in the Construction Industry (very different from IT), but after the discovery of the agile techniques and their successful application on the job and for his own personal productivity, he has prepared a real career transition in an agile way, and has recently started his new working life as an IT Project Management Consultant.

You can link with Danilo Tambone on LinkedIn, and visit Danilo Tambone’s Udemy profile.

Nov 20, 2015

Sean describes talks about models, structural and organizational models that help us understand the system that affects our organizations.

Sean talks about his own model:

  1. Transformational Leadership
  2. Lean Product Development
  3. Technical Excellence (PDF)

It is critical that we build a model that allows us to think about the whole organization. And use questions to investigate the system. As Sean put it “questions communicate value”.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 19, 2015

Many will say that helping team meeting commitments is how Scrum Masters best do their work. Seann shows us another side of the job: developing teams. Helping them develop their skills, their collaboration, and focus on outcomes, not outputs.

We discuss that knowing “why” is often more important than focusing on the work at hand, and we mention the book by Simon Sinek: Start with Why.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 18, 2015

Recruiting is a key skill that organizations must develop if they are to grow in a healthy manner. Sean shares with us the story of a community of practice with the goal of improving the recruitment process and results.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 17, 2015

There are many reasons why teams fail. Sean shares with us 3 anti-patterns he has seen that indicate the team is on a downward spiral. The anti-patterns are:

  1. Lack of accountability (as a team)
  2. No shared objectives, everyone has a different agenda
  3. Individual’s names are the primary “reference” to ownership instead of the team itself.

For more information on these and other anti-patterns here are some books to help you:

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 16, 2015

There are many similarities between the way teams interact in many industries, but in this episode we explore the similarity between a team leader in the army and the role of Scrum Master. Listen in while Sean explains his story, and what he learned from it that he still applies today in his work as Scrum Master and Agile Coach.

He also shares with us his recipe for dealing with failure:

  1. Acknowledge that you are giving it your best. The prime directive also applies to ourselves, not just the teams we work with.
  2. Ultimately, our goal is to learn, so step back and reflect. Develop a set of questions you ask yourself when things don’t go as you expected. Frame mistakes in the context of learning.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 13, 2015

Working with the system where our teams work is one of the critical skills for Scrum Masters, but for that to be possible we need to learn how to observe and “poke” the system to understand it better. In this episode we discuss the organizational system and how to work within the system to be able to help the teams we work with.  We also refer to ORSC: Organizational Responsibility Systems Coaching, a model that Zuzi uses in her work.

About Zuzi Sochova

Zuzi help companies and individuals to be more successful. She teaches teams and their managers how to be more efficient, how to provide better quality and how to communicate and organize teams so that people have fun, they are motivated and have high commitment.  Zuzi helps teams and managers find out how to handle customer relationship to help them improve customer satisfaction.

You can visit Zuzi’s website at: http://sochova.cz/, and link with Zuzi Sochova on LinkedIn, or connect with Zuzi Sochova on twitter, or your favorite conferece.

Nov 12, 2015

What helps teams self-organize? What are the things that support, or prevent self-organization? Zuzi explains and guides us through her own model for self-organization and how we, as Scrum Masters can help teams reach a level where they self-organize.

About Zuzi Sochova

Zuzi help companies and individuals to be more successful. She teaches teams and their managers how to be more efficient, how to provide better quality and how to communicate and organize teams so that people have fun, they are motivated and have high commitment.  Zuzi helps teams and managers find out how to handle customer relationship to help them improve customer satisfaction.

You can visit Zuzi’s website at: http://sochova.cz/, and link with Zuzi Sochova on LinkedIn, or connect with Zuzi Sochova on twitter, or your favorite conferece.

Nov 11, 2015

When we recruit we normally try to get the “most qualified” people. But what makes someone qualified for a position in a team? Can a lone-ranger super performer really work well in a team? What should we be looking for when we hire a team member? Zuzi suggests a few ideas, and explains why the hard skills are not where your focus should be.

About Zuzi Sochova

Zuzi help companies and individuals to be more successful. She teaches teams and their managers how to be more efficient, how to provide better quality and how to communicate and organize teams so that people have fun, they are motivated and have high commitment.  Zuzi helps teams and managers find out how to handle customer relationship to help them improve customer satisfaction.

You can visit Zuzi’s website at: http://sochova.cz/, and link with Zuzi Sochova on LinkedIn, or connect with Zuzi Sochova on twitter, or your favorite conferece.

Nov 10, 2015

Many teams get stuck in a bad place, but there are some teams that also get stuck, but because they think they already are “good enough”. Listen in to learn how Zuzi learned to work with teams that already think they are “good enough”.

About Zuzi Sochova

Zuzi help companies and individuals to be more successful. She teaches teams and their managers how to be more efficient, how to provide better quality and how to communicate and organize teams so that people have fun, they are motivated and have high commitment.  Zuzi helps teams and managers find out how to handle customer relationship to help them improve customer satisfaction.

You can visit Zuzi’s website at: http://sochova.cz/, and link with Zuzi Sochova on LinkedIn, or connect with Zuzi Sochova on twitter, or your favorite conferece.

Nov 9, 2015

There are many paths to starting our journey as a Scrum Master. Zuzi started as a line manager, but she soon learned the key differences between being a team leader and being a Scrum Master. She also explains why some companies still fail to improve, even when using Scrum.

About Zuzi Sochova

Zuzi help companies and individuals to be more successful. She teaches teams and their managers how to be more efficient, how to provide better quality and how to communicate and organize teams so that people have fun, they are motivated and have high commitment.  Zuzi helps teams and managers find out how to handle customer relationship to help them improve customer satisfaction.

You can visit Zuzi’s website at: http://sochova.cz/, and link with Zuzi Sochova on LinkedIn, or connect with Zuzi Sochova on twitter, or your favorite conferece.

Nov 6, 2015

We observe the system we work on every day. We even have many ideas on how the system could or should change for work to flow better, for people to feel better. However, without a form of visualizing the system we work with those are just fuzzy speculative ideas that may or may not matter in the end. Jeff walks us through his version of a Value Stream Map for knowledge work, and how that helps visualize and understand the system we work with. It is only then that we can start changing the system.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 5, 2015

How can we prove the value we bring to organizations? He discuss the value metrics for Scrum Masters and how you can look at your work from the organization’s point of view. We also discuss the effectiveness of meetings and how that affects our own performance. We mention a research paper that explores the differences between stand-up and sit-down meetings, a must read for all Scrum Masters. Read the paper to know when each meeting format is the most appropriate (PDF link): The effects of stand-up and sit-down meeting formats on meeting outcomes.

 

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 4, 2015

We very often talk about recruiting the best Scrum Masters, but in this episode we take the opposite point of view. How do you make sure you get hired as a Scrum Master? Jeff shares with us his learning of when he was not hired, and what he learned from that experience.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 3, 2015

We’ve all done it in one way or another. We spend time in a retrospective criticizing what is wrong, and assigning blame to others. Jeff Campbell has been there as well, and in this episode he explains how you can get teams to stop spending their valuable time whining, and start taking action.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 2, 2015

There are many learnings we collect along our journey as Scrum Masters. However, transformative lessons are not that common, except for Jeff in this particular job. Listen how he learned 2 lessons that totally changed how he looks at his job as a Scrum Master.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

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