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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: 2016
Sep 20, 2016

Teams that know their problems but fail to do anything about them are applying the Inspect & Ignore anti-pattern and will very likely get stuck in that partner for a long time! To avoid this pattern we must invest a lot into retrospectives and learn how to effectively motivate teams to take ownership of their methods of work.

In this episode we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.

 

About Dominik Ehrenberg

Dominik is a Scrum Master at Infineon Technologies AG in Germany. Agile practitioner since 2008, he started in the industry as a software developer in web development and later became a Scrum Master.

You can link with Dominik Ehrenberg on LinkedIn and connect with Dominik Ehrenberg on Twitter.

Sep 19, 2016

Sometimes we fail in very simple things like helping people understand what Agile is all about, and one instance where this happens is when teams “switch” from Scrum to Kanban. Well, the problem is that Kanban is not a process. It does not set roles are steps. In fact Kanban is about “starting where you are”, not setting a new process. In this episode we talk about how to avoid this kind of failures.

 

About Dominik Ehrenberg

Dominik is a Scrum Master at Infineon Technologies AG in Germany. Agile practitioner since 2008, he started in the industry as a software developer in web development and later became a Scrum Master.

You can link with Dominik Ehrenberg on LinkedIn and connect with Dominik Ehrenberg on Twitter.

Sep 16, 2016

In order for us as Scrum Masters to understand the systems we work within we must use concrete tools that help us understand the dynamics in play around us. Why don’t teams deliver what is expected. Can we be sure that the source of the impediments comes from inside the team? What expectations from the team regarding external help are not being met? What are the corporate policies that affect our work? Pawel shares 2 tools we can use to explore and understand the system.

 

About Pawel Kalinowski

Pawel Kalinowski, works with agile software development companies - currently he works with one of the largest software houses in Europe specializing in Python & JavaScript. With a background in capital markets & hedge fund industry, he knows quite a lot about risk management, which he applies in running software development projects.

You can connect with Pawel Kalinowski on twitter and link with Pawel Kalinowski on LinkedIn. You can also follow Pawel Kalinowski’s blog.

Sep 15, 2016

As Scrum Masters we developed our soft skills, our coaching skills, our conversation skills. But the teams we work with are still directly affected by the technology choices they make. As Scrum Masters we must be able to understand what teams go through to be able to help them tackle the key technical problems they must solve to be productive. That’s the topic we talk about in this episode: how to learn the hard skills.

 

About Pawel Kalinowski

Pawel Kalinowski, works with agile software development companies - currently he works with one of the largest software houses in Europe specializing in Python & JavaScript. With a background in capital markets & hedge fund industry, he knows quite a lot about risk management, which he applies in running software development projects.

You can connect with Pawel Kalinowski on twitter and link with Pawel Kalinowski on LinkedIn. You can also follow Pawel Kalinowski’s blog.

Sep 14, 2016

Most of the time we work with one or two teams, but sometimes we work in a larger context, where many other people are involved. How to organize a workshop for 50 people? That’s the topic we talk about in today’s episode.

 

About Pawel Kalinowski

Pawel Kalinowski, works with agile software development companies - currently he works with one of the largest software houses in Europe specializing in Python & JavaScript. With a background in capital markets & hedge fund industry, he knows quite a lot about risk management, which he applies in running software development projects.

You can connect with Pawel Kalinowski on twitter and link with Pawel Kalinowski on LinkedIn. You can also follow Pawel Kalinowski’s blog.

Sep 13, 2016

When problems affect our teams, it is often very easy to focus on the problems and the reasons why it is hard or nearly impossible to change those problems. However, that is rarely the case. In most cases we have influence over the situation, even if indirectly. In fact we always have 3 types of influence over the multiple aspects of any problem: Direct influence or the things we can directly affect and/or change; indirect influence or the things we can work on with other people’s help; and finally no influence on certain things. When we act deliberately to define the aspects we can influence we are able to identify many aspects that we have impact on.

 

About Pawel Kalinowski

Pawel Kalinowski, works with agile software development companies - currently he works with one of the largest software houses in Europe specializing in Python & JavaScript. With a background in capital markets & hedge fund industry, he knows quite a lot about risk management, which he applies in running software development projects.

You can connect with Pawel Kalinowski on twitter and link with Pawel Kalinowski on LinkedIn. You can also follow Pawel Kalinowski’s blog.

Sep 12, 2016

There are many possible reasons for teams to fail to deliver the work stakeholders expect. However, the team - with the help of the Scrum Master - should recognize that there are impediments that can be influenced, if not solved with their own efforts. In this episode we talk about the importance of identifying what we can influence and working with the stakeholders to create involvement and therefore influence them.

In this episode we mention some important books to help us understand and achieve a good collaboration with clients. Crucial Conversations is a book about having important conversations when stakes are high and emotions cloud our judgement. How to win friends and influence people is a classic that will help Scrum Masters manage their relationships with stakeholders.

 

About Pawel Kalinowski

Pawel Kalinowski, works with agile software development companies - currently he works with one of the largest software houses in Europe specializing in Python & JavaScript. With a background in capital markets & hedge fund industry, he knows quite a lot about risk management, which he applies in running software development projects.

You can connect with Pawel Kalinowski on twitter and link with Pawel Kalinowski on LinkedIn. You can also follow Pawel Kalinowski’s blog.

Sep 9, 2016

Coaching is one factor that affects team performance, but there are many other factors that affect teams and those other factors may be more impactful than our work as coaches. Listen to this episode to find out what factors influence team performance far beyond the work of a coach or Scrum Master.

In this episode we mention High performance team coaching and Richard Hackman’s book Leading Teams.

 

About Nikos Batsios

Nikos helps teams and organisations to grow strong in understanding the agile values and principles and applying various practices in their working context. Believing that great teams can achieve astonishing results. Nikos focuses on creating an environment of high quality and humane-relationships, that will further unleash the potential of individuals, enable teams to reach high performance and cooperate towards the same and shared organisation purpose.

Seeing satisfied, high performing teams that exceed their own and their organizational goals, is what motivates Nikos, and makes him want to continue serve them! He is passionate about agile coaching, motivated by learning and experiments.

Connect with Nikos Batsios on Twitter and link with Nikos Batsios on LinkedIn.

Sep 8, 2016

Happy teams are more productive, and therefore we should strive to find the conditions that allow teams to be happy. However, that’s only one success factor. There are many more success factors and Nikos reminds us of those as well as sharing his own checklist for Scrum Master success.

 

About Nikos Batsios

Nikos helps teams and organisations to grow strong in understanding the agile values and principles and applying various practices in their working context. Believing that great teams can achieve astonishing results. Nikos focuses on creating an environment of high quality and humane-relationships, that will further unleash the potential of individuals, enable teams to reach high performance and cooperate towards the same and shared organisation purpose.

Seeing satisfied, high performing teams that exceed their own and their organizational goals, is what motivates Nikos, and makes him want to continue serve them! He is passionate about agile coaching, motivated by learning and experiments.

Connect with Nikos Batsios on Twitter and link with Nikos Batsios on LinkedIn.

Sep 7, 2016

There’s not only one way to achieve any arbitrary change in an organization. Nikos refers to the Lean Change Method, an Agile approach to change management that relies on what we’ve learned in the Agile space to create an approach to Change Management that enables us to be adaptive and learn quickly also in a change process.

We refer to the book Lean Change Management by Jason Little.

 

About Nikos Batsios

Nikos helps teams and organisations to grow strong in understanding the agile values and principles and applying various practices in their working context. Believing that great teams can achieve astonishing results. Nikos focuses on creating an environment of high quality and humane-relationships, that will further unleash the potential of individuals, enable teams to reach high performance and cooperate towards the same and shared organisation purpose.

Seeing satisfied, high performing teams that exceed their own and their organizational goals, is what motivates Nikos, and makes him want to continue serve them! He is passionate about agile coaching, motivated by learning and experiments.

Connect with Nikos Batsios on Twitter and link with Nikos Batsios on LinkedIn.

 

Sep 6, 2016

There are many sources of influence in how one team behaves, and the most important source of influence is the environment or system in which the team exists. In this episode we discuss the Fear of Failure anti-pattern. An anti-pattern that is caused by the expected interactions between team members: one of the key system conditions (expectations).

About Nikos Batsios

Nikos helps teams and organisations to grow strong in understanding the agile values and principles and applying various practices in their working context. Believing that great teams can achieve astonishing results. Nikos focuses on creating an environment of high quality and humane-relationships, that will further unleash the potential of individuals, enable teams to reach high performance and cooperate towards the same and shared organisation purpose.

Seeing satisfied, high performing teams that exceed their own and their organizational goals, is what motivates Nikos, and makes him want to continue serve them! He is passionate about agile coaching, motivated by learning and experiments.

Connect with Nikos Batsios on Twitter and link with Nikos Batsios on LinkedIn.

Sep 5, 2016

Self-organization is one of the principles in Scrum, and a tool for teams to reach a high-level of performance. However, not all teams are ready for self-organization or ready to overcome problems when expected to self-organize. In this episode Nikos shares a story of the problems he sees with teams that are pushed to self-organize before they are ready.

In the Episode we mention a few Self organization presentation. Here’s one that you can read in slideshare: The Dolt’s guide to self-organization by Jurgen Appelo

 

About Nikos Batsios

Nikos helps teams and organisations to grow strong in understanding the agile values and principles and applying various practices in their working context. Believing that great teams can achieve astonishing results. Nikos focuses on creating an environment of high quality and humane-relationships, that will further unleash the potential of individuals, enable teams to reach high performance and cooperate towards the same and shared organisation purpose.

Seeing satisfied, high performing teams that exceed their own and their organizational goals, is what motivates Nikos, and makes him want to continue serve them! He is passionate about agile coaching, motivated by learning and experiments.

Connect with Nikos Batsios on Twitter and link with Nikos Batsios on LinkedIn.

Sep 2, 2016

As we explore what are the system conditions, we need to have a guide, a map of sorts that helps us understand and read the system we are exploring. That guide or map is our set of questions. The questions that guide us to understand better the system we are part of. In this episode we hear what are those questions that Nirmal uses in his own work.

 

About Nirmaljeet Malhotra

Nirmal is a passionate agilist with over 16 years of experience in the software industry and 8+ years of experience in agile. He love to experience the challenges that come with different roles. Nirmal has been a Developer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. In his current role, he works closely with the leaders of large corporations in helping them strategize and plan for their agile adoption and transformation initiatives. Additionally, he also works with development teams to help embrace the simple idea of continuous improvement. His most recent passion is in the area of Product Management where he leverages the idea of design thinking as a method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result.

You can connect with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on twitter and link with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on LinkedIn. You can also follow Nirmaljeet Malhotra’s blog.

Sep 1, 2016

Great Scrum Masters understand that their role is to help teams and individuals evolve, and not teach them despite their own journey. Everyone needs to understand the core of Agile values and principles before moving on to be self-sufficient. Great Scrum Masters are able to bring conversation back to reflecting on how the core values of Agile and Scrum apply to a particular situation.

Nirmal refers to Marshall Goldsmith as a coach he often refers to get inspired in his own work.

 

About Nirmaljeet Malhotra

Nirmal is a passionate agilist with over 16 years of experience in the software industry and 8+ years of experience in agile. He love to experience the challenges that come with different roles. Nirmal has been a Developer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. In his current role, he works closely with the leaders of large corporations in helping them strategize and plan for their agile adoption and transformation initiatives. Additionally, he also works with development teams to help embrace the simple idea of continuous improvement. His most recent passion is in the area of Product Management where he leverages the idea of design thinking as a method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result.

You can connect with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on twitter and link with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on LinkedIn. You can also follow Nirmaljeet Malhotra’s blog.

Aug 31, 2016

There are many methods for starting, supporting and amplifying change in organizations. We need however to make sure we have the right conditions for change to take hold. In this episode we review the 4 necessary conditions that Nirmal takes into account in his own work.

 

About Nirmaljeet Malhotra

Nirmal is a passionate agilist with over 16 years of experience in the software industry and 8+ years of experience in agile. He love to experience the challenges that come with different roles. Nirmal has been a Developer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. In his current role, he works closely with the leaders of large corporations in helping them strategize and plan for their agile adoption and transformation initiatives. Additionally, he also works with development teams to help embrace the simple idea of continuous improvement. His most recent passion is in the area of Product Management where he leverages the idea of design thinking as a method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result.

You can connect with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on twitter and link with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on LinkedIn. You can also follow Nirmaljeet Malhotra’s blog.

Aug 30, 2016

There are many aspects that make Scrum the right framework for Software Development. However, perhaps the most important is that quality of Scrum that drives learning and continuous improvement. That quality is that it exposes us to the problems we have within the teams and organizations we work with. Scrum exposes us to the real dysfunction of the teams and organizations we are working with.

 

About Nirmaljeet Malhotra

Nirmal is a passionate agilist with over 16 years of experience in the software industry and 8+ years of experience in agile. He love to experience the challenges that come with different roles. Nirmal has been a Developer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. In his current role, he works closely with the leaders of large corporations in helping them strategize and plan for their agile adoption and transformation initiatives. Additionally, he also works with development teams to help embrace the simple idea of continuous improvement. His most recent passion is in the area of Product Management where he leverages the idea of design thinking as a method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result.

You can connect with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on twitter and link with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on LinkedIn. You can also follow Nirmaljeet Malhotra’s blog.

Aug 29, 2016

Scrum has more than 15 years of history, and has been widely distributed in the world as a software development method for at least 10 years. However, still today there are many instances where the Scrum Master role is misunderstood. Nirmal explains the many misunderstandings he has faced in his work. We refer extensively to the Scrum Guide, a document that still today helps us get back to the most important concepts of Scrum, and evolves to incorporate the many learnings our community has acquired since the first days of Scrum.

 

About Nirmaljeet Malhotra

Nirmal is a passionate agilist with over 16 years of experience in the software industry and 8+ years of experience in agile. He love to experience the challenges that come with different roles. Nirmal has been a Developer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. In his current role, he works closely with the leaders of large corporations in helping them strategize and plan for their agile adoption and transformation initiatives. Additionally, he also works with development teams to help embrace the simple idea of continuous improvement. His most recent passion is in the area of Product Management where he leverages the idea of design thinking as a method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result.

You can connect with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on twitter and link with Nirmaljeet Malhotra on LinkedIn. You can also follow Nirmaljeet Malhotra’s blog.

Aug 26, 2016

One way in which system conditions show up in our work is as organizational impediments. When we understand and list them we start to understand better the system around us that affects the performance of our teams. As a way to identify organizational impediments we can use retrospectives as our main tool, but we should also be aware that in retrospectives we have the opportunity to help teams grow and develop. Retrospectives can be team-building exercises as well.

 

About Jessica Long

Jessica Long is an Agile Coach, a writer, a speaker and a mother with a passion for driving meaningful stories across multiple iterations in all facets of life. Transforming Corporate America and living to tell about it is no small feat. She keeps some level of sanity by finding humor in otherwise absurd situations.

You can follow Jessica Long on twitter or link with Jessica Long on LinkedIn. You can also check Jessica Long’s blog.

Aug 25, 2016

Teams also have a health that we should be aware of. We must be vigilant and aware that if we don’t measure our team’s health we might be missing some important aspects of their development that ultimately affect our success as Scrum Masters.

In this episode we also reflect on the importance of retrospectives in assessing a team’s health and we mention the book Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives by Luis Goncalves and Ben Linders.

 

About Jessica Long

Jessica Long is an Agile Coach, a writer, a speaker and a mother with a passion for driving meaningful stories across multiple iterations in all facets of life. Transforming Corporate America and living to tell about it is no small feat. She keeps some level of sanity by finding humor in otherwise absurd situations.

You can follow Jessica Long on twitter or link with Jessica Long on LinkedIn. You can also check Jessica Long’s blog.

Aug 24, 2016

There are many tools we can use in a change process. Creating a backlog of changes that are possible and/or necessary is one very important, and familiar tool to help lead change. However, how we use the backlog is as important as the backlog itself. We discuss what are some good ways to introduce and use the backlog for leading change.

 

About Jessica Long

Jessica Long is an Agile Coach, a writer, a speaker and a mother with a passion for driving meaningful stories across multiple iterations in all facets of life. Transforming Corporate America and living to tell about it is no small feat. She keeps some level of sanity by finding humor in otherwise absurd situations.

You can follow Jessica Long on twitter or link with Jessica Long on LinkedIn. You can also check Jessica Long’s blog.

Aug 23, 2016

There are productive uses of metrics. We discuss what metrics are good and not good for and we also talk about metrics we have used in our own practices over the years. But in the end we must be careful. Metrics do affect behavior of teams and team members.

 

About Jessica Long

Jessica Long is an Agile Coach, a writer, a speaker and a mother with a passion for driving meaningful stories across multiple iterations in all facets of life. Transforming Corporate America and living to tell about it is no small feat. She keeps some level of sanity by finding humor in otherwise absurd situations.

You can follow Jessica Long on twitter or link with Jessica Long on LinkedIn. You can also check Jessica Long’s blog.

Aug 22, 2016

There are many rules in our organizations that would be best ignored. However, how we ignore rules is as important as how we follow rules. In this episode we discuss the importance of having clear communication with stakeholders about expectations and rules, so that we avoid serious problems later on.

 

About Jessica Long

Jessica Long is an Agile Coach, a writer, a speaker and a mother with a passion for driving meaningful stories across multiple iterations in all facets of life. Transforming Corporate America and living to tell about it is no small feat. She keeps some level of sanity by finding humor in otherwise absurd situations.

You can follow Jessica Long on twitter or link with Jessica Long on LinkedIn. You can also check Jessica Long’s blog.

Aug 19, 2016

In this episode we look into Mike’s approach to review, map and understand the system conditions that affect the team’s performance. We also talk about what mike calls The Most Important Tool for any Scrum Master. Don’t miss this insight!

 

About Mike Collins

Mike really enjoys working with organisations, teams and individuals to enable the delivery of great products and services. He is a believer in the agile (and Lean) mindset, that challenges people to improve, respect everyone and collaborate to achieve goals - "valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools". Mike calls Agile and Lean a game changer!!!

You can link with Mike Collins on LinkedIn. Or get in touch with Mike Collins via Oikosofy.

Aug 18, 2016

Mike shares his 3 rules to measure success as a Scrum Master. We also discuss how we must learn to include stakeholders, teams and other elements of the organizations in our definition of success.

 

About Mike Collins

Mike really enjoys working with organisations, teams and individuals to enable the delivery of great products and services. He is a believer in the agile (and Lean) mindset, that challenges people to improve, respect everyone and collaborate to achieve goals - "valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools". Mike calls Agile and Lean a game changer!!!

You can link with Mike Collins on LinkedIn. Or get in touch with Mike Collins via Oikosofy.

Aug 17, 2016

Many things need to change when an organization adopts Agile. But none of the changes is harder than our own way of thinking about work. This change of mindset is both the hardest and the most important for Agile adoption. Mike describes how he has led this type of change in organizations he’s worked at.

 

About Mike Collins

Mike really enjoys working with organisations, teams and individuals to enable the delivery of great products and services. He is a believer in the agile (and Lean) mindset, that challenges people to improve, respect everyone and collaborate to achieve goals - "valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools". Mike calls Agile and Lean a game changer!!!

You can link with Mike Collins on LinkedIn. Or get in touch with Mike Collins via Oikosofy.

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