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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: September, 2017
Sep 29, 2017

Systems affect the teams we work with. Systems develop certain patterns - the system conditions - that we must be aware of, and the people in the system also must be aware of. To find and understand those system conditions we need tools, practical tools that help us understand and describe the system conditions. In this episode we review 3 specific tools that help us understand the system conditions we deal with in our role as Scrum Masters.

During this episode we discuss the concept of the Lindy Effect, a useful heuristic that can help us understand the systems we are part of.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 28, 2017

Jacopo describes in this episode 2 patterns that may lead to success, and can help you define your own success as a Scrum Master. In the scope of those 2 patterns we also discuss multiple metrics that could be useful in navigating our own evolution and growth as Scrum Masters.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 27, 2017

Change management, or as we like to call it, Change Leadership is a very difficult part of our job as Scrum Masters. There are great books out there that help people find the approaches to change management that work in an Agile context, however doing it in practice is never as simple as the books describe. In this episode we talk about a fundamental transformation that Jacopo was part of, and how a simple Kanban board helped the organization find the necessary changes and implement them in practice by allowing everyone involved to take part in the definition of the change.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 26, 2017

Conway’s Law is a little known observation that organizations seem to mimic the architecture of the software they develop, and vice-versa. So what does that insight mean for us Scrum Masters? Jacopo shares with us his story of a team that was living proof of Conway’s Law, and how he used his understanding of team dynamics and Conway’s Law to help the team evolve and get out of the self-destructive pattern they found themselves in.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 25, 2017

When working in certain organizations we are challenged with contexts that we just can’t cope with. Whether it is a personality problem, or just a complex social conflict, it is crucial to understand where our limits are, and accept those. Being humble is key to keep our sanity and move on. As a Scrum Master we should be very clear on what kind of situations we are not ready, or even wanting to face. Jacopo shares just that kind of story in this episode.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 23, 2017

The #NoEstimates movement has been a hot topic on Twitter for several years. So, to investigate that and a few more topcics we interviewed Dimitar, who has published some work on forecasting as a way to remove expert-opinion based estimates and has a long experience with Kanban.

Dimitar runs his own company and shares with us how he is able to make bids for projects without the slow and painful process of asking experts for their opinion on the duration of speculative projects, after all, even if his teams were to estimate their projects, they might not win the bid.

Dimitar suggests, among other things that we should be looking at flow efficiency instead of putting more effort into improving estimates

About Dimitar Bakardzhiev

Dimitar is an expert in managing successful and cost-effective technology development. With his blend of technical, managerial and operational expertise, he effectively combines the theory and practice of Agile and Kanban Method to deliver business results.

As a Lean-Kanban University (LKU)-Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) and avid, expert Kanban practitioner and  Brickell Key Award 2015 Finalist, Dimitar puts lean principles to work every day when managing complex software projects. Dimitar has been one of the leading proponents and evangelists of Kanban and has published David Anderson’s Kanban book as well as books on Lean, Theory of Constraints by Goldratt and Deming's Theory of Management in the Bulgarian language.

You can link with Dimitar Bakardzhiev on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitar Bakardzhiev on Twitter.

Sep 22, 2017

When we analyse the organization, teams and other stakeholders we need to interact with we may miss crucial interactions unless we visualize the interactions. Philiy shares with us a story and 3 tools about how we can visualize the system we work with. Visualization is a key step in gaining insights that help us understand the system conditions that ultimately affect the teams we work with.

In this episode we mention the Integral Model (link 2), and the blog that Philiy contributes to: Adventures with Agile

 

About Philiy Lander

Philiy has been working as a scrum master for about 3 years and is currently studying  her masters in business and personal coaching. She has been part of Adventures with Agile for about  year and loves contributing and being involved with the community.

You can link with Philiy Lander on LinkedIn and connect with Philiy Lander on Twitter.

Sep 21, 2017

In our journey to impactful work, and our success as Scrum Masters, one of the key tools we have to learn how to use is silence. And it just so happens that our ability and need to be silent (or not) can be used as a personal metric for our own success. In this episode we talk about the role of silence in our work as Scrum Masters as well 2 other metrics you can take in and use to measure your progress.

In this episode we mention The 5 Dysfunctions of a team by Lencioni and The Ladder of Inference, a tool we should be aware of to help in our conversations.

 

About Philiy Lander

Philiy has been working as a scrum master for about 3 years and is currently studying  her masters in business and personal coaching. She has been part of Adventures with Agile for about  year and loves contributing and being involved with the community.

You can link with Philiy Lander on LinkedIn and connect with Philiy Lander on Twitter.

Sep 20, 2017

Nobody resists change, they resist being changed by others! Simple, yet powerful insight! How to take it into practice in our own change work? Philiy shares with us a story of how the visualization of work with team boards spread virally in an organization by letting the people own the change. Listen in to learn how Philiy pulled that one off!

 

About Philiy Lander

Philiy has been working as a scrum master for about 3 years and is currently studying  her masters in business and personal coaching. She has been part of Adventures with Agile for about  year and loves contributing and being involved with the community.

You can link with Philiy Lander on LinkedIn and connect with Philiy Lander on Twitter.

Sep 19, 2017

Sometimes it feels like we are running as fast as we can just to stay in the same place. The feeling of overwhelm that many teams face comes from simply having too much work in progress. In this episode Philiy tells us a story of such a team. At the start of the Sprint all of the stories would immediately be in progress. Why did that happen? Was it lack of communication or collaboration? No. Was it that the team was in a hurry to finish something? Maybe. But most importantly we discuss some of the common anti-patterns that lead to having way too much work in progress.

In this episode we talk about a workshop that Philiy facilitated with the team: The Team Genesis Workshop. We also mention Conway’s Law, with a particular impact in this story. And we talk about the 7 wastes in software development work.

 

About Philiy Lander

Philiy has been working as a scrum master for about 3 years and is currently studying  her masters in business and personal coaching. She has been part of Adventures with Agile for about  year and loves contributing and being involved with the community.

You can link with Philiy Lander on LinkedIn and connect with Philiy Lander on Twitter.

Sep 18, 2017

“I hate Scrum!” they will say to our face. How do we respond to that. How do we tackle the skeptic team members. In this episode, Philiy tells us just that story, when a team member was actively against Scrum. She shares with us, her own mistakes and what she learned back then that helps her deal with skeptic team members.

 

About Philiy Lander

Philiy has been working as a scrum master for about 3 years and is currently studying  her masters in business and personal coaching. She has been part of Adventures with Agile for about  year and loves contributing and being involved with the community.

You can link with Philiy Lander on LinkedIn and connect with Philiy Lander on Twitter.

Sep 15, 2017

One key aspect of working with systems is the ability to measure the system as a whole. In this episode Mattia shares an example of how he looked at the overall performance of an end-to-end system, and how that helped him identify impediments that needed to be addressed. Interestingly he also shows how adding more developers to a team does not make the team go faster. Listen in to find out why.

In this episode we refer to The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks.

 

About Mattia Battiston

Mattia is a software developer and team leader with a great passion for learning and continuous improvement. He has been interested in everything to do with Agile and helping teams improve since the beginning of his career 10 years ago. Mattia uses Kanban, Lean and Agile to help teams strive to get better.

You can link with Mattia Battiston on LinkedIn and connect with Mattia Battiston on Twitter.

 

Metrics to measure the system-wide performance @BattistonMattia

Sep 14, 2017

Mattia states that his success as a Scrum Master or team lead is related to the ability of the team to be successful. But he then goes further and relates his current job to the success of the team. As a team lead, Mattia looks at other aspects, like team culture and collaboration. This is an important perspective for us Scrum Masters. So how do you measure the change in culture? How do you assess if the team is improving their approach to collaboration? Listen in to find out.

In this episode we refer to the idea of using Kudo cards. Find out more about Kudo cards and Management 3.0 to learn how to effectively use Kudo cards in culture change.

 

About Mattia Battiston

Mattia is a software developer and team leader with a great passion for learning and continuous improvement. He has been interested in everything to do with Agile and helping teams improve since the beginning of his career 10 years ago. Mattia uses Kanban, Lean and Agile to help teams strive to get better.

You can link with Mattia Battiston on LinkedIn and connect with Mattia Battiston on Twitter.

 

Metrics to measure the system-wide performance @BattistonMattia

Sep 13, 2017

Mattia joined a team that was estimating their work. Invariably the estimates were off. Way off. So Mattia, being a self-proclaimed data geek, started looking at the data. The next project came, and the team estimated the project, while Mattia looked at the data they already had. Guess what was the result? In this episode we talk about the NoEstimates book and also how using data (not estimates) will help your team be more predictable. Luckily Mattia is also writing a book about this, The Team Guide to Metrics for Business Decisions, and here is one of Mattia’s presentation on the topic of Kanban metrics.

 

About Mattia Battiston

Mattia is a software developer and team leader with a great passion for learning and continuous improvement. He has been interested in everything to do with Agile and helping teams improve since the beginning of his career 10 years ago. Mattia uses Kanban, Lean and Agile to help teams strive to get better.

You can link with Mattia Battiston on LinkedIn and connect with Mattia Battiston on Twitter.

 

Metrics to measure the system-wide performance @BattistonMattia

Sep 12, 2017

“As long as the hole in the boat is on their side, we’re fine” - or so goes the cartoon. But that’s a short-sightedness that can have serious consequences to the team. Mattia shares a similar story that so clearly illustrates the importance of having a collaboration culture in our teams. Most importantly, Mattia shares his approach to creating a collaborative way of working in a team that was struggling to collaborate.

In this episode we refer to the “slack time” policy that can help team focus on collaboration. You can find an example of a team using “slack time” here, and Mattia’s own explicit policy for how to handle slack time.

 

About Mattia Battiston

Mattia is a software developer and team leader with a great passion for learning and continuous improvement. He has been interested in everything to do with Agile and helping teams improve since the beginning of his career 10 years ago. Mattia uses Kanban, Lean and Agile to help teams strive to get better.

You can link with Mattia Battiston on LinkedIn and connect with Mattia Battiston on Twitter.

 

Metrics to measure the system-wide performance @BattistonMattia

Sep 11, 2017

Hiring great people is not an easy job. Mattia shares the story of how hiring the very capable, but not good team-player team members can threaten the very existence of the team. Mattia also shares what he learned about the hiring process, and how that can help you hire the right people for your team!

In this episode we refer to the research by Dr. Anita Woolley about the collective intelligence of teams (also available in a video summary), and what factors affect teams performance. We also refer to Google’s project Aristotle, a project that studied the performance of teams (and another article) and what affects them.

 

About Mattia Battiston

Mattia is a software developer and team leader with a great passion for learning and continuous improvement. He has been interested in everything to do with Agile and helping teams improve since the beginning of his career 10 years ago. Mattia uses Kanban, Lean and Agile to help teams strive to get better.

You can link with Mattia Battiston on LinkedIn and connect with Mattia Battiston on Twitter.

Sep 8, 2017

There are many things that affect the performance of the team. Deming famously stated that 95% of the performance of a team is due to systemic conditions, while only 5% are due to individual performance. In this episode we review some of the anti-patterns that Saad Ali faced in his career, and how looking at the system conditions helps us as Scrum Masters to understand the dynamics affecting our teams, and decide how to act.

 

About Saad Ali Jan

Coming from diverse background. Saad Ali's career consists of several different domains. From Electronics Engineering, starting as a Project co-ordinator, lately completed his MBA and worked as Quality Assurance Engineer and process optimization. Started his career as a full time Scrum master some 2 years ago. Being a "people person" helped him in his role. Professional cricket player and played with several cricket team back in Pakistan and still playing in Germany in Bundesliga. Dealing with players and helping them to become high performing teams also helped his professional career.  

You can link with Saad Ali Jan on LinkedIn and connect with Saad Ali Jan on Twitter.

Sep 7, 2017

There are many areas of interest, and many aspects of success for us to consider. Saad Ali reviews the metrics he mostly looks at to assess his progress and also the progress of the teams that he works with.

In this episode we talk about Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership by Geoff Watts and The NoEstimates Book by Vasco Duarte.

 

About Saad Ali Jan

Coming from diverse background. Saad Ali's career consists of several different domains. From Electronics Engineering, starting as a Project co-ordinator, lately completed his MBA and worked as Quality Assurance Engineer and process optimization. Started his career as a full time Scrum master some 2 years ago. Being a "people person" helped him in his role. Professional cricket player and played with several cricket team back in Pakistan and still playing in Germany in Bundesliga. Dealing with players and helping them to become high performing teams also helped his professional career.  

You can link with Saad Ali Jan on LinkedIn and connect with Saad Ali Jan on Twitter.

Sep 6, 2017

At some point in our careers we will probably face a situation when Scrum and Agile are being introduced to an organization that worked only with other approaches before. This kind of green-field adoption processes have specific challenges that we must be aware of. In this episode, Saad Ali tells us the story of an organization that started from scratch; what problems he faced; what anti-patterns he detected; and also how the organization adapted to the new ways of working. Teams, stakeholder, and of course, also the Scrum Masters.

 

About Saad Ali Jan

Coming from diverse background. Saad Ali's career consists of several different domains. From Electronics Engineering, starting as a Project co-ordinator, lately completed his MBA and worked as Quality Assurance Engineer and process optimization. Started his career as a full time Scrum master some 2 years ago. Being a "people person" helped him in his role. Professional cricket player and played with several cricket team back in Pakistan and still playing in Germany in Bundesliga. Dealing with players and helping them to become high performing teams also helped his professional career.  

You can link with Saad Ali Jan on LinkedIn and connect with Saad Ali Jan on Twitter.

Sep 5, 2017

Often we deal with managers, product owners, stakeholders that want to control the teams we work with. This anti-pattern is so common that sometimes the teams assume that is what they are dealing with even when the stakeholders don’t want to exercise control over the team. How to tackle that mistrust? In this episode Saad Ali tells us the story of a team that had to develop that trust with the Product Owner, and explains how the Product Owner and himself changed their behavior to allow the team to take ownership and responsibility over the development process, and finally to actively contribute to the product they were developing.

In this episode we refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, and Roman Pichler’s Product Vision Board as tools that can help the team work better with stakeholders and the product owner.

 

About Saad Ali Jan

Coming from diverse background. Saad Ali's career consists of several different domains. From Electronics Engineering, starting as a Project co-ordinator, lately completed his MBA and worked as Quality Assurance Engineer and process optimization. Started his career as a full time Scrum master some 2 years ago. Being a "people person" helped him in his role. Professional cricket player and played with several cricket team back in Pakistan and still playing in Germany in Bundesliga. Dealing with players and helping them to become high performing teams also helped his professional career.  

You can link with Saad Ali Jan on LinkedIn and connect with Saad Ali Jan on Twitter.

Sep 4, 2017

We can read all the books, watch all the presentations, even listen to all the podcasts about Agile, but applying Agile is a very different business than learning about it. Saad Ali tells the story one of his first jobs as Scrum Master and how he faced the fact that the problems we face as Scrum Masters are quite different from what we study in school. No matter how much we study.

 

About Saad Ali Jan

Coming from diverse background. Saad Ali's career consists of several different domains. From Electronics Engineering, starting as a Project co-ordinator, lately completed his MBA and worked as Quality Assurance Engineer and process optimization. Started his career as a full time Scrum master some 2 years ago. Being a "people person" helped him in his role. Professional cricket player and played with several cricket team back in Pakistan and still playing in Germany in Bundesliga. Dealing with players and helping them to become high performing teams also helped his professional career.  

You can link with Saad Ali Jan on LinkedIn and connect with Saad Ali Jan on Twitter.

Sep 1, 2017

When we work with teams, it is not only the teams we work with. We work with their line managers, their stakeholders, their departments, their companies (if they are externals), and we also must take into account their family or personal situation. That’s a pretty large set of systems we must consider when working with teams. Listen in to learn how Blerina looks at creating her own overview of the systems in play at any time in the team’s journey.

 

About Blerina Ilia

Blerina has played many roles in her career, from Business Analyst to Team Lead, Test Manager and now a Scrum Master.  

You can link with Blerina Ilia on LinkedIn.

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