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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: October, 2017
Oct 31, 2017

Sooner or later we will be in a situation where someone has committed to a goal that the team did not co-create. A schedule the team did not work on. A plan that the team wasn’t aware of. These are normal anti-patterns that we will deal with in our role as Scrum Masters. And while, in some cases, it is better to run away, we also must be prepared and help our teams and stakeholders to deal with those anti-patterns. In this episode we discuss those anti-patterns, how they can affect the teams we work with and also what we can do to avoid the common pitfalls that come with them.

 

About Jac Hughes

Jac is a scrum master who has a passion to help teams become empowered, autonomous bust mostly importantly productive. Jac has served 7 years in the Royal Navy before moving into the world of IT.

You can link with Jac Hughes on LinkedIn.  

Oct 30, 2017

As Jac puts it: “it was a dream to have the whole team co-located”. But invariably, as Scrum Masters we will face distributed teams. So we must prepare for those teams. There are many possible problems. The lack of interaction, the cultural expectations in different countries, the problems with the remote meeting technology. How are we to prepare to handle these challenges? Jac explores the topic and shares his experience on working well with distributed teams.

 

About Jac Hughes

Jac is a scrum master who has a passion to help teams become empowered, autonomous bust mostly importantly productive. Jac has served 7 years in the Royal Navy before moving into the world of IT.

You can link with Jac Hughes on LinkedIn.  

Oct 27, 2017

In the regular Retrospectives we find the symptoms of the systemic problems we have to face. We can use Retrospectives as the engine to find and create possible improvements to solve those systemic problems. Balazs shares his approach to Retrospectives and some examples of how he applied this approach in his work. We also discuss a critical technique to make the “intangible” problems more concrete and actionable. This technique can take your team from complaining to taking action.

 

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Oct 26, 2017

When we define success for ourselves we are affecting how we see the work we do. Balazs challenges us to take things step-by-step and define success at the daily level. And only then move on to the work the team does and we do. Finally we should focus on how the team themselves succeed at achieving their goals. Success has many different layers and all of those have a daily implication. Listen in to hear the examples that Balazs shares about how he takes higher level definitions of success to the daily level in the work he does with teams.

 

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Oct 25, 2017

As Balazs puts it, you don’t expect public sector organizations to be the most Agile organizations ever. However, if you do things right - like Balazs shares with us in this episode - you can make a big impact with relatively small changes. In this episode Balazs shares how he was able to help a team go from ineffective and long daily meetings to sharp, clear and quick daily meetings.

In this episode we refer to Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet. Check out our interview with former captain Marquet right here on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

 

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Oct 24, 2017

Blockers are our most common obstacle. We face them, the team faces them. In fact, most of our time is spent on either solving or helping team and stakeholders solve the most critical blockers to progress. In this show Balazs gives us some tips on how we can get the teams to crush the blockers. Help the team crush their blockers and you will see them blossom and progress faster than you could imagine.

 

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Oct 23, 2017

Being a Scrum Master to a few local teams can be challenging enough, but how do you support multiple distributed teams? Balazs shares his steep learning curve on working with remote teams and shares also some important etiquette tips on working with remote teams.

 

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Oct 21, 2017

Captain L. David Marquet, author of Turn the Ship Around!, joins us in the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to discuss the lessons learned from his stint at the Santa Fe, a US Navy submarine that, when he took over, ranked last in retention and operational standing.

How do you turn around a ship that is going south? When people leave quickly, you don’t even keep the little knowledge gathered in the team. Just like in our organizations today, the Santa Fe was losing key people and have very low morale. This was the moment when Retired Captain David Marquet entered the ship. The Santa Fe was about to change, and Captain Marquet shares with us the key moments in that story as well as very practical tools you can use as a Scrum Master to help your team go from follower to leader.

Complete show notes at http://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

 

 

Oct 20, 2017

When we start our role of Scrum Master in a new team or organization, Samantha suggests, listen first. Pay attention to the interaction, the way people relate to each other, the language they use. When you know where the pain is, be an agile paramedic. Go where the pain is, help the teams reflect and find their real pains, and possible solutions.

Samantha also shares with us a specific retrospective format that helps teams find where they are not following the Agile principles and values. You can use this format to help teams reflect on what is preventing them from growing.

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 19, 2017

When it comes to defining success, Samantha shares with us a moving story that starts with a piece of feedback she once received from one of her team members. That’s what success looks like. But how do we get there? Samantha shares how she uses the retrospectives as the engine of learning for teams. And as a tool to help ground the teams in the core ideas of their agile journey, so that they can get back to basics when necessary.

In this episode we discuss Agile Retrospective ideas, as well as Samantha’s retrospective format that helps Scrum Masters grow the agile adoption in their teams.  

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 18, 2017

Scrum Masters are facilitators by definition. However, some might think that facilitation alone is not enough to have a large impact. Well, Samantha proves those people wrong by sharing with us a story of how she was able to help a team, and an organization greatly reduce their time-to-market by focusing on her role as a facilitator. She shares with us tools and ideas on how to bring improvement ideas to reality by working with the team and stakeholders, with plenty of facilitation mixed in.

In this episode we mention Queueing Theory, which helps us understand how to speed up our processes; the LeSS framework for large scale Scrum; and the book Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 17, 2017

Many organizations look carefully at where their people spend their time. This is, in general, a good thing. Problems start when we don’t give our people the chance to succeed. A very common anti-pattern in this context is the part-time Scrum Master temptation. We believe that a good Scrum Master can handle more than 1 team. But do we know the problems that come from that? Can we recognize the anti-patterns that result in time to avoid bigger problems? In this episode we discuss the anti-patterns that result from part-time Scrum Master assignments, so that we can detect those in time and avoid them if possible!

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 16, 2017

Samantha shares with us a story of how agile transformations sometimes go, the pitfalls, that anti-patterns, and also what we need as Scrum Masters. Once we reach that level where we have our own skills in place, there’s still a lot of anti-patterns we must face and overcome in organizations in the middle of an agile transformation. We discuss agile transformation for organizations as well as for us: Project Managers on the journey to be Scrum Masters.

During this episode we refer to the books Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher et al and Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn.

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 14, 2017

There was an article in early 2017 stating that Scrum Master is one of the top 10 best paid jobs in IT in the USA (LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017

This inspired Stefan Wolpers to do a survey on the salaries that Scrum Masters can ask for world-wide. From this survey came the Age of Product Scrum Master Salary report of 2017.

According to the Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance websites we have now more than 500 000 Certified Scrum Masters or Professional Scrum Masters. With these kinds of numbers, it is clear that there is a demand for our profession. So what does that mean? How is the breakdown between countries and women vs men employed in this profession?

For complete show notes, visit http://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

 

Oct 13, 2017

How do we learn how the system affects our teams? We study the system and the effects on our teams. And how do we do that? Why, retrospectives of course! Karthik shares his recipe for frequent retrospectives and suggests: turn every Friday into a retrospective day.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 12, 2017

What is the value the Scrum Masters are bringing in to the organization? Of course the investors and management are going to ask this question. I would too if it were my company. So we need to be able to show how we are helping the teams and the organization grow and become better. How do we do that? We measure the impact of our work, and Karthik shares with us some of the metrics we can use to show the stakeholders around us what it is that we are contributing to.

In this episode we discuss experimentation and evolutionary change using Popcorn Flow, a continuous improvement approach developed by Claudio Perrone.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

Oct 11, 2017

Karthik had a challenge. He needed to prove the benefits of Agile and Kanban to a team that wasn’t ready yet. Luckily he was aware of the Kanban game and he started showing the team how that works. Listen in to find out how the game helped him convey the benefits for the team, and help them visualize what the future could look like once they adopted Agile.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 10, 2017

It is very common that teams stay in the cycle of no improvement. They go through the motions, even have retrospectives every sprint. But nothing happens. This can be very de-moralizing. How can we help our teams get out of the rut and start making a real impact in their results? Listen in for Karthik’s 3 suggestions to make your retrospectives more effective.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 9, 2017

As Scrum Masters we want to help our teams succeed. And we do everything we can to help them. Sometimes a bit too much. Sometimes we might become the bottleneck. Running from meeting to meeting, trying to answer all the questions, help everybody. But that does not scale. How can we break free from that anti-pattern? Karthik shares with us his journey and what he learned back then that helps him stay in his zone, help without taking over.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 6, 2017

When we work with organizations and teams that adopt Scrum, we need to have an understanding of what might be the inherent organizational and personal barriers to adoption. There are a number of tools we can use to learn about which barriers are active, and from that generate ideas about what might be the next step.

In this episode we refer to Henrik Kniberg’s Scrum Checklist (PDF), the Spotify Squad Healthcheck, and Adrian’s own post about the journey towards applying Scrum.  

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 5, 2017

All the teams we work with are doing their best. We believe so. And we also believe that certain mental models and practices are keeping them from doing much better, while still trying their best. In this episode we talk about the critical different developing software and releasing software. Releasing is a completely different problem. We discuss that and how to help teams get to the point where they can release software all the time, anytime something is ready.

In this episode we refer to the Scrum Guide.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 4, 2017

In change processes many behaviours, habits and practices need to change. As we adapt to the new way of working we struggle to find our footing in the new reality. How can a Scrum Master help a team in that kind of transition. What are the skills we should have? Where to go for those skills. Listen in to learn Adrian’s journey and how he found that coaching was a critical skill for him.

In this episode we refer to Behavior Driven Development, a practice that help teams collaborate with the product stakeholders, while defining concrete, automated tests.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 3, 2017

Teams need to care about their work. If teams are the only ones that care, that can’t last for long. In this story Adrian talks about the role of stakeholder engagement and how critical it is to learn to engage the stakeholders. When that engagement dies out, bad things start to happen.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 2, 2017

In this story that Adrian shares with us we explore our tendency to hide the failures, to cover for each other rather than addressing the problems we are facing. We discuss the consequences of that Anti-Pattern and how we should, as Scrum Masters, help the teams we work with address the problems head-on.

In this episode we discuss the narcissistic personality trait and why we should always be on the lookout for such personalities.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

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