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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: January, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

We’ve reviewed the concept of re-teaming by Heidi Helfand, Philipp reminds us in this episode why changing team structure is so important and how that can improve the group’s performance over time.

 

About Philipp Eisbacher

Philip works as a ScrumMaster and Lead. Recently moved to Berlin to face a new challenge in setting up a new site for his company and building up teams from scratch. His current challenges are remote collaboration, corporate growth and finding a good butcher in Berlin for the next Barbecue Season. He wants to share his problems, but also insights that he gets on a daily basis.

You can link with Philipp Eisbacher on LinkedIn and connect with Philipp Eisbacher on Twitter.

Jan 30, 2017

We’ve reviewed the importance of fostering and having the right conversations in a team or organization. This is one of our critical roles as Scrum Masters: conversation facilitators. In this episode we talk about conversations as the main work-materialization tool based on the work by Finnish management writer Esko Kilpi. His articles are well worth reading if you are interested in how to foster the right conversations in your organization.

 

About Philipp Eisbacher

Philip works as a ScrumMaster and Lead. Recently moved to Berlin to face a new challenge in setting up a new site for his company and building up teams from scratch. His current challenges are remote collaboration, corporate growth and finding a good butcher in Berlin for the next Barbecue Season. He wants to share his problems, but also insights that he gets on a daily basis.

You can link with Philipp Eisbacher on LinkedIn and connect with Philipp Eisbacher on Twitter.

Jan 27, 2017

Purpose and Alignment are key system conditions that will either help our teams succeed or ensure that they fail. The lack of alignment is one of the most important topics for us to focus on and work on from a systemic point of view. David shares with us how he finds the lack of alignment and how to take steps to rebuild that alignment with the team and stakeholders.

David ends this episode with a brilliant quote: “Being Agile is a direction of travel, not a goal or an end state".

 

About David Williams

David is an experienced manager with excellent product management and project management skills using agile principles. Extensive experience managing teams and developing for embedded, PC and web based software and electronics for scientific and industrial applications.

He is passionate about creating teams with innovative cultures that are fully engaged in their work that is aligned to the company’s strategy for success.

His focus points are:

- Delivering projects with the highest business value

- Building high performance teams, that work hard and are passionate and fully engaged

- Creating an innovative culture that everyone wants to be part of so that we can make a difference

- Understanding people and getting them to work together in a safe environment where they can take risks.

- Designing products that exceed the customer’s wildest dreams.

- Embracing and driving change

You can link with David Williams on LinkedIn and connect with David Williams on Twitter.

Jan 26, 2017

As Scrum Masters we very often focus on metrics that help us understand how others see our work. David reminds us that it is also important for us to look inside, at how we feel to know if we are being successful. David shares with us many personal metrics that will help us understand if we are being successful.

 

About David Williams

David is an experienced manager with excellent product management and project management skills using agile principles. Extensive experience managing teams and developing for embedded, PC and web based software and electronics for scientific and industrial applications.

He is passionate about creating teams with innovative cultures that are fully engaged in their work that is aligned to the company’s strategy for success.

His focus points are:

- Delivering projects with the highest business value

- Building high performance teams, that work hard and are passionate and fully engaged

- Creating an innovative culture that everyone wants to be part of so that we can make a difference

- Understanding people and getting them to work together in a safe environment where they can take risks.

- Designing products that exceed the customer’s wildest dreams.

- Embracing and driving change

You can link with David Williams on LinkedIn and connect with David Williams on Twitter.

Jan 25, 2017

This is a JUMBO episode with David where we talk about change management, how to engage with teams that are involved in change as well as how to help them overcome their fear of change.

But this is also a JUMBO episode because David shares with us many tips on how to help teams take the most out of Visual Task Boards. Listen in to get many, many ideas on how to improve the way your teams use physical Task Boards.

In this episode we mention the book Lean Change Management by Jason Little.

 

About David Williams

David is an experienced manager with excellent product management and project management skills using agile principles. Extensive experience managing teams and developing for embedded, PC and web based software and electronics for scientific and industrial applications.

He is passionate about creating teams with innovative cultures that are fully engaged in their work that is aligned to the company’s strategy for success.

His focus points are:

- Delivering projects with the highest business value

- Building high performance teams, that work hard and are passionate and fully engaged

- Creating an innovative culture that everyone wants to be part of so that we can make a difference

- Understanding people and getting them to work together in a safe environment where they can take risks.

- Designing products that exceed the customer’s wildest dreams.

- Embracing and driving change

You can link with David Williams on LinkedIn and connect with David Williams on Twitter.

Jan 24, 2017

Many things have been said about trust and how important it is for a team to work well together. David shares a story of a team where trust was eroded, why that happened and how the team was affected by that. We also discuss how to recover from the lack of trust in a specific context. We mention the book The 5 dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni.

 

About David Williams

David is an experienced manager with excellent product management and project management skills using agile principles. Extensive experience managing teams and developing for embedded, PC and web based software and electronics for scientific and industrial applications.

He is passionate about creating teams with innovative cultures that are fully engaged in their work that is aligned to the company’s strategy for success.

His focus points are:

- Delivering projects with the highest business value

- Building high performance teams, that work hard and are passionate and fully engaged

- Creating an innovative culture that everyone wants to be part of so that we can make a difference

- Understanding people and getting them to work together in a safe environment where they can take risks.

- Designing products that exceed the customer’s wildest dreams.

- Embracing and driving change

You can link with David Williams on LinkedIn and connect with David Williams on Twitter.

Jan 23, 2017

How do you go from a failure to a comeback that is better than you could have expected? This is the story that David shares with us today. In process he explains how small changes can lead to creating an environment where emergent collaboration is possible.

 

About David Williams

David is an experienced manager with excellent product management and project management skills using agile principles. Extensive experience managing teams and developing for embedded, PC and web based software and electronics for scientific and industrial applications.

He is passionate about creating teams with innovative cultures that are fully engaged in their work that is aligned to the company’s strategy for success.

His focus points are:

- Delivering projects with the highest business value

- Building high performance teams, that work hard and are passionate and fully engaged

- Creating an innovative culture that everyone wants to be part of so that we can make a difference

- Understanding people and getting them to work together in a safe environment where they can take risks.

- Designing products that exceed the customer’s wildest dreams.

- Embracing and driving change

You can link with David Williams on LinkedIn and connect with David Williams on Twitter.

Jan 20, 2017

Sometimes it may be hard to know where we are and what is the next step. Matteo suggests we use the Agile Fluency model to a) evaluate where we are, b) envision the next steps and c) identify constraints or obstacles to our development.

 

About Matteo Vaccari

Matteo is a fan of extreme programming. Through his work and experience he has become interested in how teams can deliver quality software, at reasonable cost. He thinks the two things are connected :)  Matteo worked first as a developer, then as agile coach and currently he is a developer/consultant in ThoughtWorks.

You can link with Matteo Vaccari on LinkedIn and connect with Matteo Vaccari on Twitter.

You can also follow Matteo’s latest projects, including his unfinished book on TDD on his site: http://matteo.vaccari.name/

Jan 19, 2017

Matteo walks us through his 3-stakeholder model of success and how he measures and aims to reach success for all 3 stakeholders.

In this episode we refer to “the 10 critical improvements” by Tom Gilb, and the Happiness Index

 

About Matteo Vaccari

Matteo is a fan of extreme programming. Through his work and experience he has become interested in how teams can deliver quality software, at reasonable cost. He thinks the two things are connected :)  Matteo worked first as a developer, then as agile coach and currently he is a developer/consultant in ThoughtWorks.

You can link with Matteo Vaccari on LinkedIn and connect with Matteo Vaccari on Twitter.

You can also follow Matteo’s latest projects, including his unfinished book on TDD on his site: http://matteo.vaccari.name/

Jan 18, 2017

What helps teams evolve and change? Matteo tells us the story of how the art of focusing, and not following the book helped his team evolve to a point where every practice was developed for the right reasons and how that helped the team reach a level of high performance.

In this episode we refer to Arlo Belshee’s Naked Planning methodology.

 

About Matteo Vaccari

Matteo is a fan of extreme programming. Through his work and experience he has become interested in how teams can deliver quality software, at reasonable cost. He thinks the two things are connected :)  Matteo worked first as a developer, then as agile coach and currently he is a developer/consultant in ThoughtWorks.

You can link with Matteo Vaccari on LinkedIn and connect with Matteo Vaccari on Twitter.

You can also follow Matteo’s latest projects, including his unfinished book on TDD on his site: http://matteo.vaccari.name/

Jan 17, 2017

Having a star programmer in a team can be a life saver. But is it always? Matteo explains the story of a team that had a star programmer, someone that had been involved in the product development since the start, and how that led to the team’s self-destruction.

 

About Matteo Vaccari

Matteo is a fan of extreme programming. Through his work and experience he has become interested in how teams can deliver quality software, at reasonable cost. He thinks the two things are connected :)  Matteo worked first as a developer, then as agile coach and currently he is a developer/consultant in ThoughtWorks.

You can link with Matteo Vaccari on LinkedIn and connect with Matteo Vaccari on Twitter.

You can also follow Matteo’s latest projects, including his unfinished book on TDD on his site: http://matteo.vaccari.name/

Jan 16, 2017

Sometimes things are going so well that we forget to verify the obvious, and this is one of those stories, where the most obvious problem wasn’t in the team’s radar because everything was working so smoothly. Listen in as Matteo explains the error of the perfect project.

 

About Matteo Vaccari

Matteo is a fan of extreme programming. Through his work and experience he has become interested in how teams can deliver quality software, at reasonable cost. He thinks the two things are connected :)  Matteo worked first as a developer, then as agile coach and currently he is a developer/consultant in ThoughtWorks.

You can link with Matteo Vaccari on LinkedIn and connect with Matteo Vaccari on Twitter.

You can also follow Matteo’s latest projects, including his unfinished book on TDD on his site: http://matteo.vaccari.name/.

Jan 14, 2017

Alicia re-joins us on the podcast to talk about a topic that she has been developing over the last few months. Alicia talks about Psychological Safety as a concept that was developed in the last century and can help Scrum Masters understand how to allow teams to express themselves without fear.

In this talk, Amy Emondsen explains what Psychological Safety is and how it originated:

https://youtu.be/LhoLuui9gX8

 

Alicia explains her journey through this topic and how she researched the topic to be able to present it and use it with the teams that she works with. In her research she found The Journal of Organizational Behavior to be a good source about this topic.

 

We then discuss how Alicia applied the concept of Psychological Safety in her work with Scrum teams, and she also shares concrete practices and tools she uses to bring this concept to life.

In this episode we mention the following resources:

 

About Alicia McLain

Alicia joins us from San Diego, California, and she is the first repeat guest here on the podcast! Alicia was with us on week #66 back in April 2016.

 

Alicia is a Lean Agile Transformation | Executive Coach with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry

She coaches, trains and transforms mid-size to large companies domestically & internationally.  

 

She has led both program management and software development organizations using Agile practices and has had 10 years in the Agile community as a hands-on transformation leader, trainer and coach.  

 

Alicia is passionate about using Agile practices to build high performing teams and psychologically safe work spaces!

You can link with Alicia McLain in LinkedIn, and connect with Alicia McLain on Twitter.

Jan 13, 2017

Maaret’s background in testing helps her be a scientist of sorts when it comes to people and teams or organizations. In this episode she explains Context Driven testing and how that helps her in her work to try and understand the environment she works within.

 

About Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret is the MIATPP or Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person for 2016, recently selected at Agile Testing Days in Potsdam.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi defines herself as an empirical technologist, a tester and a non-programming programmer, a catalyst for team improvement. She is also a conference and community organizer. As software professional with a testing emphasis, her work is coaching herself and others in breaking illusions with empirical feedback. She works as “just a tester” in product companies, believing no one is "just anything” as long as we try to stretch our skills. She is also an international speaker, and her themes revolve around exploratory testing mindset and skills applied throughout product development. Maaret is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She is the head organizer of European Testing Conference aiming to change the world of conferences.

You can link with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on LinkedIn and connect with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on Twitter.

Maaret mentions the European Testing Conference she is organizing, you can learn more at: http://europeantestingconference.eu

Jan 12, 2017

The role of the Scrum Master is one that demands a lot of attention, and presence to know how to engage with the team to help them reach their goals. However, that role does not need to be in only one person. In fact, shared leadership can help the whole team contribute to its own success. Anyone in the team can be a leader, anyone in the team can take up the role of the Scrum Master. Listen in to learn how Maaret does this in practice.

 

About Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret is the MIATPP or Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person for 2016, recently selected at Agile Testing Days in Potsdam.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi defines herself as an empirical technologist, a tester and a non-programming programmer, a catalyst for team improvement. She is also a conference and community organizer. As software professional with a testing emphasis, her work is coaching herself and others in breaking illusions with empirical feedback. She works as “just a tester” in product companies, believing no one is "just anything” as long as we try to stretch our skills. She is also an international speaker, and her themes revolve around exploratory testing mindset and skills applied throughout product development. Maaret is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She is the head organizer of European Testing Conference aiming to change the world of conferences.

You can link with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on LinkedIn and connect with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on Twitter.

Maaret mentions the European Testing Conference she is organizing, you can learn more at: http://europeantestingconference.eu

Jan 11, 2017

When you are the only tester in a team there are many things that you are not “allowed” to change. What can we do when we are not expected to lead change, but still need to do it? Maaret shares 4 tools with us that help us drive change in any organization or team without taking the lead, but still providing the space for change to happen.

 

About Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret is the MIATPP or Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person for 2016, recently selected at Agile Testing Days in Potsdam.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi defines herself as an empirical technologist, a tester and a non-programming programmer, a catalyst for team improvement. She is also a conference and community organizer. As software professional with a testing emphasis, her work is coaching herself and others in breaking illusions with empirical feedback. She works as “just a tester” in product companies, believing no one is "just anything” as long as we try to stretch our skills. She is also an international speaker, and her themes revolve around exploratory testing mindset and skills applied throughout product development. Maaret is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She is the head organizer of European Testing Conference aiming to change the world of conferences.

You can link with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on LinkedIn and connect with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on Twitter.

Maaret mentions the European Testing Conference she is organizing, you can learn more at: http://europeantestingconference.eu

Jan 10, 2017

What drives a team to succeed or fail in delivering value every single sprint is hard to define. But there are common anti-patterns we can look for and learn from. In this episode Maaret explains her experience with the “always one more thing to add” anti-pattern and how you may be able to get out of that cycle.

 

About Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret is the MIATPP or Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person for 2016, recently selected at Agile Testing Days in Potsdam.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi defines herself as an empirical technologist, a tester and a non-programming programmer, a catalyst for team improvement. She is also a conference and community organizer. As software professional with a testing emphasis, her work is coaching herself and others in breaking illusions with empirical feedback. She works as “just a tester” in product companies, believing no one is "just anything” as long as we try to stretch our skills. She is also an international speaker, and her themes revolve around exploratory testing mindset and skills applied throughout product development. Maaret is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She is the head organizer of European Testing Conference aiming to change the world of conferences.

You can link with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on LinkedIn and connect with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on Twitter.

Maaret mentions the European Testing Conference she is organizing, you can learn more at: http://europeantestingconference.eu

Jan 9, 2017

Teamwork sometimes feels like a myth we were sold but never comes through. However it can happen, and that’s the story that Maaret shares with us in this episode. How a team got together, despite failure and discovered how to work together. The whole team!

In this episode Maaret mentions the European Testing Conference she is organizing, you can learn more at: http://europeantestingconference.eu

 

About Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret is the MIATPP or Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person for 2016, recently selected at Agile Testing Days in Potsdam.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi defines herself as an empirical technologist, a tester and a non-programming programmer, a catalyst for team improvement. She is also a conference and community organizer. As software professional with a testing emphasis, her work is coaching herself and others in breaking illusions with empirical feedback. She works as “just a tester” in product companies, believing no one is "just anything” as long as we try to stretch our skills. She is also an international speaker, and her themes revolve around exploratory testing mindset and skills applied throughout product development. Maaret is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She is the head organizer of European Testing Conference aiming to change the world of conferences.

You can link with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on LinkedIn and connect with Maaret Pyhäjärvi on Twitter.

Maaret mentions the European Testing Conference she is organizing, you can learn more at: http://europeantestingconference.eu

Jan 6, 2017

Larry shares with us the 3 aspects he bases his understanding of the system on. These are aspects that specifically focus on the system conditions that affect our teams.

In this episode we also mention the book by Goldratt: The Goal, a great book to understand how systems work.

 

About Larry Lawhead

Larry is a passionate Agilist with a love for Scrum and Kanban. Also a huge fan of Lean, Theory of Constraints and of course the Toyota Production System. Avid learner. Deeply influenced by the works of Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Eliyahu Goldratt, Jeff Patton and countless others. Active in both the PMI and Agile communities in Southern California.

You can link with Larry Lawhead on LinkedIn and connect with Larry Lawhead on Twitter.

You can also follow Larry on AgileCoffee.com and in his blog at LarryLawhead.com.

Jan 5, 2017

The definition of success for a software project has changed over time. Larry describes the changes he has experienced in our industry and how he looks at success today. He also shares with us some of the steps he uses to help the teams reach a successful outcome for their projects.

 

About Larry Lawhead

Larry is a passionate Agilist with a love for Scrum and Kanban. Also a huge fan of Lean, Theory of Constraints and of course the Toyota Production System. Avid learner. Deeply influenced by the works of Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Eliyahu Goldratt, Jeff Patton and countless others. Active in both the PMI and Agile communities in Southern California.

You can link with Larry Lawhead on LinkedIn and connect with Larry Lawhead on Twitter.

You can also follow Larry on AgileCoffee.com and in his blog at LarryLawhead.com.

Jan 4, 2017

Every Scrum Master will find her own way to face and tackle change. Larry shares with us his approach that includes a few steps and one very important tool to help teams through the change process. Can you guess what that tool is?

 

About Larry Lawhead

Larry is a passionate Agilist with a love for Scrum and Kanban. Also a huge fan of Lean, Theory of Constraints and of course the Toyota Production System. Avid learner. Deeply influenced by the works of Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Eliyahu Goldratt, Jeff Patton and countless others. Active in both the PMI and Agile communities in Southern California.

You can link with Larry Lawhead on LinkedIn and connect with Larry Lawhead on Twitter.

You can also follow Larry on AgileCoffee.com and in his blog at LarryLawhead.com.

Jan 3, 2017

Larry shares with us stories from his experience about teams that lacked a shared and self-defined vision. The lack of a shared vision can create many anti-patterns in a team that eventually will lead to its demise. How can we as Scrum Masters help create that shared vision? And what is the specific role of that vision for the team?

 

About Larry Lawhead

Larry is a passionate Agilist with a love for Scrum and Kanban. Also a huge fan of Lean, Theory of Constraints and of course the Toyota Production System. Avid learner. Deeply influenced by the works of Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Eliyahu Goldratt, Jeff Patton and countless others. Active in both the PMI and Agile communities in Southern California.

You can link with Larry Lawhead on LinkedIn and connect with Larry Lawhead on Twitter.

You can also follow Larry on AgileCoffee.com and in his blog at LarryLawhead.com.

Jan 2, 2017

As Scrum Masters we have to work with all the people that can contribute to the success of the teams we work with. However, sometimes we do find people that are more invested in their own success than in the success of the team. What is a Scrum Master to do in these situations? Listen in as Larry describes how he dealt with a rogue QA managers that jeopardized the success of the team he was working with.

 

About Larry Lawhead

Larry is a passionate Agilist with a love for Scrum and Kanban. Also a huge fan of Lean, Theory of Constraints and of course the Toyota Production System. Avid learner. Deeply influenced by the works of Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Eliyahu Goldratt, Jeff Patton and countless others. Active in both the PMI and Agile communities in Southern California.

You can link with Larry Lawhead on LinkedIn and connect with Larry Lawhead on Twitter.

You can also follow Larry on AgileCoffee.com and in his blog at LarryLawhead.com.

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