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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: August, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

How would Scrum apply to a culture where the rule is to set more rules. To cover all angles, and to be prepared even for very unlikely scenarios?

In this episode we discuss how Scrum can survive in a culture like the German culture, where people want to have rules for many reasons, and want to prevent all possible mistakes with those rules.

We discuss what might be the impact, and how to adapt, and learn from that cultural perspective.

Rules are good, but how much should we focus on rule-setting vs adapting to the unknown?

 

About Maximilian Fritzsche

Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: "Keep moving forward" - his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”

You can link with Maximilian Fritzsche on LinkedIn.

Aug 30, 2018

“Don’t get frustrated, progress takes time”, that’s a line Max wants you to remember when you start looking into more detail to what it means to be successful as a Scrum Master.

Set aside a time, and follow Max’s approach to evaluating your progress, as well as the team’s progress. In this episode we discuss some of the aspects you may want to consider when evaluating your work, and success as Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Identify Boring Stories

This Retrospective format helps the team find the not-so-obvious problems that they often face when implementing stories. By identifying boring stories they are finding problems in collaboration as well as the enabling practices that are missing, and would make work more fun if they were there.

 

About Maximilian Fritzsche

Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: "Keep moving forward" - his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”

You can link with Maximilian Fritzsche on LinkedIn.

Aug 29, 2018

In this episode Max shares with us the often seen anti-pattern when change gets stuck when middle-management is involved. We explore the reasons for that, and discuss what we can do - as Scrum Masters - to help middle-management understand, adapt and continue the change process.

In this episode we refer to Peter Kruse’s talk about the 8 rules for total gridlock in organizations: https://youtu.be/ZAWCWz1QPL4

 

About Maximilian Fritzsche

Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: "Keep moving forward" - his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”

You can link with Maximilian Fritzsche on LinkedIn.

Aug 28, 2018

The biggest enemy of a team is stagnation. Lack of change or progress in a way a team works is a sure symptom of larger problems, but it is also an indication that the team does not feel secure enough to take risks, fail, learn and eventually progress in their abilities.

In this episode we talk about what might be the reasons for teams to seek security in the lack of change and progress.

Featured Book for the Week: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The loyal Scrum Master Toolbox podcast listener will have seen this book be mentioned often. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is a seminal work on the team dynamics that can cause a team to fail or thrive, and therefore it is mandatory reading for all Scrum Masters out there. For Max this is the book we must read to understand Trust and how to start our work on that key ingredient for successful teams.

 

About Maximilian Fritzsche

Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: "Keep moving forward" - his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”

You can link with Maximilian Fritzsche on LinkedIn.

Aug 27, 2018

Max’s first Retrospective was an exercise in the limits of planning. He shares with us how he prepared for that, and ultimate how it all failed. From that failure, however, came an important lesson that he still applies today.

Listen in to learn what Max learned about effective retrospectives after the failure despite the detailed plan for his first retrospective.

 

About Maximilian Fritzsche

Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: "Keep moving forward" - his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”

You can link with Maximilian Fritzsche on LinkedIn.

Aug 24, 2018

From respect (a Scrum value) to hierarchy there’s often a very short route. But what is the role of hierarchy in our organizations? Why is it there, what is the benefit we get from it, what is the goal it tries to achieve?

Abbas invites us to think about the role of hierarchy in our organizations, and in our culture. From a multi-cultural background, Abbas explores what hierarchy and respect mean for him, and how it affects the teams and organizations we work with.

In this episode we refer to TEAL organizations, a term that is based on the book: Re-inventing organizations by Frederic Laloux.

 

About Abbas Ghahremani

Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!

He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.

You can link with Abbas Ghahremani on LinkedIn.

Aug 23, 2018

The MAD/SAD/GLAD exercise is a simple approach to cover the different aspects of the previous sprint in a way that elicits emotional thinking. The emotions we have towards the sprint events will help elicit problems, as well as achievements the team experienced during the Sprint.

During the retrospective discussion we also mention other simple, yet powerful techniques that you can use when planning your next retrospective.

 

About Abbas Ghahremani

Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!

He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.

You can link with Abbas Ghahremani on LinkedIn.

Aug 22, 2018

In companies that start they Agile transition it is possible to forget that the ultimate goal is for the business to benefit from Agile, not for the business to be Agile.

Agile, as an approach to product development, was created by practitioners that wanted to help their businesses succeed.

In this episode we discuss the case of a company in a fast-changing market, and how the adoption of Agile turned the attention from business impact to process, and what that meant.

 

About Abbas Ghahremani

Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!

He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.

You can link with Abbas Ghahremani on LinkedIn.

Aug 21, 2018

As Scrum Masters we must constantly be aware of the different personalities and their impact on how the team performs. In this episode we discuss how the Architect role can, easily, have a major impact on the team dynamics.

We also discuss the often forgotten role of the Scrum Master as a facilitator for changes at the team level, together with management.

Featured Book for the Week: Scrum: A revolutionary approach to building teams, beating deadlines and boosting productivity by Jeff Sutherland

In Scrum: A revolutionary approach to building teams, beating deadlines and boosting productivity, Jeff Sutherland explains precisely and step by step how it operates - and how it can be made to work for anyone. In this book we learn about Scrum as applied to multiple industries, not only in the software industry.

 

About Abbas Ghahremani

Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!

He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.

You can link with Abbas Ghahremani on LinkedIn.

Aug 20, 2018

The way we reward people for the work they do, directly impacts how they act. In this episode we explore the impact of an individual reward system on how Abbas acted, and what he learned from that situation.

We explore motivation, relationships and most of all, the systemic impact of the reward systems we create in corporate environments.

 

About Abbas Ghahremani

Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!

He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.

You can link with Abbas Ghahremani on LinkedIn.

Aug 17, 2018

Collaboration is an often used work to explain how teams can reach their goals. So much so, that we, as Scrum Masters, very often work on improving collaboration. However, collaboration is really a series or trade-offs. In this episode we explore the organizational forces that help or hinder collaboration in our teams.

 

About Andrew Hudson

Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He's passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.

You can link with Andrew Hudson on LinkedIn and connect with Andrew Hudson on Twitter.

Aug 16, 2018

Andrew shares his simple recipe for defining and working towards a successful outcome for our work as Scrum Masters.

We discuss how context is important for our definition of success and how goals help us strive for our own improvement. In the end the invitation is simple: investigate success!

 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Coaching during Retrospectives

Andrew shares two possible retrospective formats for different purposes. The first is the constellation retrospective format which we reviewed in previous episodes.

The second is the use of retrospectives as a coaching opportunity for Scrum Masters. In this episode Andrew describes his approach and experience with the coaching retrospectives.

 

About Andrew Hudson

Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He's passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.

You can link with Andrew Hudson on LinkedIn and connect with Andrew Hudson on Twitter.

Aug 15, 2018

Inevitably, successful teams will grow over time. The product grows, the requests keep coming in, and we need more people to be able to attend to all the needs of the customers, and the business.

But how should we handle the situation when the team grows beyond the manageable 7+-2 size?

In this episode we discuss possible options of how to handle the team size, and what to do when the team is already too big to be a single team.

 

About Andrew Hudson

Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He's passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.

You can link with Andrew Hudson on LinkedIn and connect with Andrew Hudson on Twitter.

Aug 14, 2018

Andrew introduces the Scrum Values and how many team-related anti-patterns come from now following those values. We also discuss the importance of enabling and helping surface diffcult conversations before it is too late, and things turn sour.

In this episode we refer to the interview with Karin Tenelius on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink

The book Drive by Daniel Pink reminds us that what drives human behavior is not exactly what we expect. Rewarding has an impact, but that impact is limited, and the rewards matter. Daniel Pink explores the sources of motivation and engagement in this book. Purpose, Autonomy and Mastery come out as the most important aspects we must attend to as Scrum Masters.

 

About Andrew Hudson

Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He's passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.

You can link with Andrew Hudson on LinkedIn and connect with Andrew Hudson on Twitter.

Aug 13, 2018

After a successful assignment with one team, Andy moved on and started work with a new team. However, things were not as easy, or as simple as he expected. In this episode we talk about how every new team is a new experience, and we need to find our groove, rhythm and approach as Scrum Masters, to ensure that we are not surprised by the differences between teams and contexts.

Learning to adapt to new organizations, and new teams is a key skill for Scrum Masters and we discuss how we can do that.

 

About Andrew Hudson

Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He's passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.

You can link with Andrew Hudson on LinkedIn and connect with Andrew Hudson on Twitter.

Aug 10, 2018

Scrum Masters are roles in an organization, and as such, it is affected by the same pressures that every person in the organization suffers from. In this episode we talk about the CTO that wanted the Scrum Master to “push change” into the organization and what that means for the role.

In this episode we refer to the interview with Karin Tenelius, where she details how we can bring difficult topics into the conversation in a constructive manner.

 

About Gilberto Urueta

Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.

You can link with Gilberto Urueta on LinkedIn and connect with Gilberto Urueta on Twitter.

Aug 9, 2018

Scrum Master success is the visible outcome when team members are performing. The role of the Scrum Master is therefore, at least in part, to help team members grow and improve their approach to work, and collaboration. In this episode we discuss the signs that team members may be ready for a jump in performance, and how to support their growth.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: #NoFormat

Scrum Masters that have tried many formats in their Retrospectives may grow tired of the structure that the default Agile Retrospectives book recommended back when Retrospectives were “new”. Gilberto eventually got tired of that approach and created a new approach to retrospectives. Listen in to learn about how an experienced Scrum Master now oragnizes his Retrospectives alone or with the help of team members.

 

About Gilberto Urueta

Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.

You can link with Gilberto Urueta on LinkedIn and connect with Gilberto Urueta on Twitter.

Aug 8, 2018

IT is a fast-growing industry. One of the common obstacles for companies growing fast is that they can’t hire the right people or quickly enough to meet the needs of product development or product support. In this episode we discuss how a simple change framework, based on the Agile ideas, helped Gilberto coach the HR team to transform the hiring process. If you are in a phase of fast growth, this episode is for you!

 

About Gilberto Urueta

Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.

You can link with Gilberto Urueta on LinkedIn and connect with Gilberto Urueta on Twitter.

Aug 7, 2018

In this episode we tackle the problem of the teammate that was always late, and how trying to talk about the problem made the situation even worse. We often tend to talk about problems, but sometimes that’s the worst possible solution. Listen in to learn about one of those stories, and hear how Gilberto and the team turned the situation around, avoiding losing a team member that needed their support.

Featured Book of the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular by Tobias Mayer and Alan Cyment

In “Por Un Scrum Popular” (a translated adaptation of Tobias Mayer’s The People’s Scrum), Gilberto found a description of Scrum that he could get excited about. A more approachable version of Scrum that fit well his view of how Scrum could help teams.

 

About Gilberto Urueta

Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.

You can link with Gilberto Urueta on LinkedIn and connect with Gilberto Urueta on Twitter.

Aug 6, 2018

When we start our role as Scrum Masters in a new team, sometimes we suffer from the “new guy” syndrome. The new guy is the person that everyone tries to tolerate, but mostly ignore. That’s what happened to Gilberto. How can a Scrum Master recover from “new guy” syndrome in a hierarchical culture? Listen in as we discuss the process with Gilberto.

In this episode we refer to the interview with Karin Tenelius where we discuss a new approach to management of self-organized teams.

 

About Gilberto Urueta

Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.

You can link with Gilberto Urueta on LinkedIn and connect with Gilberto Urueta on Twitter.

Aug 3, 2018

Scrum teams can be very productive. Some teams can deliver working software to customers or production several times per day. However, some Scrum teams are stuck, unable to deliver and reach high levels of productivity.

Silo departments, functionally aligned, but separating end-to-end activities can destroy a Scrum team’s ability to reach their potential. In this episode we discuss some of the reasons why that is, and what we, Scrum Masters, can do about it.

 

About Zeshan Ilyas

With a firm focus on Agile and Scrum methodologies, Zeshan has worked within high profile organisations, including the HSBC, Capgemini Financial Services, Talk, Talk, and many more.

Having worked with Agile companies for many years, Zeshan identified a need for a community of Agilists in Pakistan, which would bring together professionals adopting an Agile or Scrum approach, help increase awareness of Agile.

You can link with Zeshan Ilyas on LinkedIn and connect with Zeshan Ilyas on Twitter.

Aug 2, 2018

The Hot Air Balloon is one of the many metaphor-focused retrospective formats. These formats help the teams talk about the real problems without the pressure of being exact or literal in their descriptions. "It felt as if we had too much ballast”, can be the conversation starter that leads to finding previously undiscussed (and undiscussable?) blockers for the team.

 

About Zeshan Ilyas

With a firm focus on Agile and Scrum methodologies, Zeshan has worked within high profile organisations, including the HSBC, Capgemini Financial Services, Talk, Talk, and many more.

Having worked with Agile companies for many years, Zeshan identified a need for a community of Agilists in Pakistan, which would bring together professionals adopting an Agile or Scrum approach, help increase awareness of Agile.

You can link with Zeshan Ilyas on LinkedIn and connect with Zeshan Ilyas on Twitter.

Aug 1, 2018

Change Leadership is expected to come from the leaders of an organization. And although that usually happens, sometimes the leaders forget that the change they are driving affects them as well. In this episode we talk about how management can be brought into the Agile adoption process, and be an active part of supporting it and set the example for the rest of the organization.

 

About Zeshan Ilyas

With a firm focus on Agile and Scrum methodologies, Zeshan has worked within high profile organisations, including the HSBC, Capgemini Financial Services, Talk, Talk, and many more.

Having worked with Agile companies for many years, Zeshan identified a need for a community of Agilists in Pakistan, which would bring together professionals adopting an Agile or Scrum approach, help increase awareness of Agile.

You can link with Zeshan Ilyas on LinkedIn and connect with Zeshan Ilyas on Twitter.

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