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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, 2018
Sep 28, 2018

People want to be polite, especially in some cultures like the Philippines. But too much politeness prevents the teams from talking about the tough issues that they must resolve. Paulo was struggling with such a team, and he had to solve that. He needed to help the team tackle the difficult issues. In this episode we talk about how you can help your team tackle the tough issues in a way that even the most polite cultures can deal with.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 27, 2018

As the team takes more initiative and responsibility, the Scrum Master role changes. That, in itself is a measure of success for us as Scrum Masters. However, the real measure of success comes from the team delivering consistently value to the market, and following the Scrum values.

In this episode we also talk about the Comparative Agile Survey as a way to help the teams reflect on their progress.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start / Stop / Continue

Paulo prefers an action oriented format for his retrospectives, and the Start / Stop / Continue retrospective format provides a simple, yet effective way for the team to generate improvement actions.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 26, 2018

There are many possible approaches to help change stick in an organisation. In this episode we explore how a community of practice can help spread knowledge and support Agile adoption.

In this episode we also talk about communities of practice outside the organisation were we work. In Paulo’s case, Agile Philippines was one of those communities that helped him. Do you have one near you?

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 25, 2018

Continuing the theme from the previous episode, we talk about rewards and their impact on teams. In the book Drive, Daniel Pink explores what research has revealed about the use of rewards in different environments, and that helped Paulo find better ways to use rewards. Listen in to learn about his tips.  

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 24, 2018

Rewards are an easy tool to use. But does it work as intended. Do rewards really help teams and people perform better? In this episode we explore one story where Paulo tried to use rewards to help a team, and what happened once the rewards became an expectation from the team.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 21, 2018

In some cultures the team or collective is emphasised. However, in other cultures, the individual and it’s individual success is the focus. In this episode we talk about a culture that emphasises the “highlighting” of personal success over collective success and how we can help teams, and individuals to overcome that cultural expectation.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 20, 2018

As Scrum Masters the ultimate sign of a successful impact on the team we serve is that they are able to tackle the obstacles they face on their own. They may request help from the Scrum Master, but are confident they can solve their own problems without external help if that is needed. When trying to help the team be independent however, we must help them through the multiple challenges, and pitfalls that they will face. In this episode we talk about how Claudia focuses on helping teams get to a point where they can act on their own, independently, even without a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Powerful Questions

In this episode we explore a format around the Powerful Questions coaching approach, and how that can help teams go deeper into their own thoughts and beliefs. It is by questioning our beliefs that we can truly evolve in our practice. The Powerful Questions format that Claudia suggests is one possible trigger to start questioning beliefs that are no longer serving us as we expected.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

 

Sep 19, 2018

As Scrum Masters we focus a lot of our time and attention on the work with the teams we support. Ultimately, however, the managers of those teams have a great influence on what the teams do, how they act and how they apply Agile in their day-to-day work.

In this episode we explore the role of the manager in an Agile transformation and talk about how the Scrum Master must take into account how the managers influence the teams, and address that influence directly.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 18, 2018

It’s inevitable that teams bump against problems sooner or later. That’s something all teams go through. However, how the teams decide to react to those problems makes a huge difference. In this episode we talk about the “self identity” that teams develop and how that affects their development and effectiveness as a team. What “self identity” is your team developing?

Featured Book of the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular

In the Spanish version of People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer (Por Un Scrum Popular by Tobias Mayer and Alan Cyment), the authors go further than in the original English language book. For Claudia the focus on how to work with the organisation and the disquieting role of the Scrum Master were the key takeaways. If you don’t read Spanish, you can find the English book on Amazon.  

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 17, 2018

You’d think that a team of Agile Coaches understands the importance of facilitation. However, that’s not always the case. In this episode we explore how a team of Agile Coaches went through the process many teams go through: from no facilitator, to an external Scrum Master and ...

Listen it to learn what happened next.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 14, 2018

One way to help teams find their “groove” is to celebrate success. A simple, yet effective, reinforcement technique that helps teams identify, and seek success later on as well.

However, some cultures are better than others at expressing their celebration of success. In this episode we talk about a specific culture, the UK, where the celebration of success is not common. How can a Scrum Master help the team celebrate success, even if the culture does not support that?

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

Sep 13, 2018

In this episode we talk about a Retrospective format called Lean Coffee, a format that focuses on surfacing and tackling the issues that teams want to focus on. It’s a great format to host without much preparation, as the team comes up with their own ideas and prioritizes the topics to discuss, having the timeboxed conversations drive them to the actions they want to take during the next sprint to improve their work. In this episode we also mention the Starfish retrospective format.

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

Sep 12, 2018

We often work within environments where the “vanilla” Agile approaches are insufficient. In this episode we explore what happens when more traditional organizations are adopting Agile. We talk about the role of the Product Owner in traditional organizations and the critical role that the Scrum Master plays in supporting the Product Owner.

In this episode we discuss the importance of Pilot projects in traditional organizations and what we can do to make sure they succeed.

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

Sep 11, 2018

Empowering teams to take initiative, react to the changes that come their way, and quickly adapt is (in principle) a good thing. Or is it? In this episode we explore a story of a team that took their empowerment and turned it into an obstacle. A set of behaviors that caused more problems than solutions. Because sometimes, empowerment is not a good thing. Listen in to learn about this story, and what Darryl learned about empowerment that can help you avoid the same problems.

Featured Book of the Week: The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim et al.

In the Phoenix Project, Gene Kim and his co-authors tell a story based on their real-life experience about how IT needs to change to adapt to the fast paced digital world we live in. For Darryl this book is the best written story that showcases the trials and issues faced on an agile/devops transformation, and the often forgotten direct link to the business struggles and goals.

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

Sep 10, 2018

As more traditional companies adopt Scrum, we - the Scrum Masters - are in a particularly tough position. We need to bridge the old world, and the new reality of Scrum. In the old world (PRINCE2, PMI, IPMA Project management, etc.) there were reports. And lots of them. In Agile we believe that the only measure of progress is “running, tested software”. How do we combine the two?

In this episode we talk about how Darryl faced, and ultimately adapted to that reality.

We mention the white paper by Maarit Laanti and Rami Sirkiä about Lean and Agile Financial Planning (PDF Download), which describes a new way to account for software development in the financial planning and tracking of your company.

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

Sep 7, 2018

Have you ever heard an “indirect” communicator say that they disagree? Would you even know the difference between a “No” and a “Yes” from an indirect communicator? If you are in a country where “indirect” is the communication approach, but you grew up in a “direct” country, you are likely to miss much of the conversation. In this episode we talk about such a situation, where Joanna had to learn about direct/indirect communication approaches the hard way: by failing.

 

About Joanna Koprowicz

Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.

You can link with Joanna Koprowicz on LinkedIn and connect with Joanna Koprowicz on Twitter.

Sep 6, 2018

Scrum Masters look at different aspects of team’s development. In this episode we talk about the team’s willingness and ability to self-organize and take over some of the ceremonies.

We also discuss the different phases that teams go through, and look at the Tuckman Model of team development as an inspiration to understand the development of a team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Ice Breaker challenge

Instead of focusing on one single format, Joanna inspires us to look at the “ice breaker” exercises we use and seek new ones. After listening to this episode, I’m sure you will want to try several different ice breakers for your next retrospectives!

 

About Joanna Koprowicz

Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.

You can link with Joanna Koprowicz on LinkedIn and connect with Joanna Koprowicz on Twitter.

Sep 5, 2018

One of the aspects of change is the processing of information. As Scrum Masters we can help the teams, and organizations we work with process information better, and visualize that in the context of the shared goals. In this episode we talk about how to use the available data to foster a positive dialog, and trigger change in our organizations.

 

About Joanna Koprowicz

Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.

You can link with Joanna Koprowicz on LinkedIn and connect with Joanna Koprowicz on Twitter.

Sep 4, 2018

Scrum Masters are there to help teams progress. But sometimes teams are the reason, and the reasons why everything must remain the same. However, we as Scrum Masters are there to bring a different perspective. A new way of looking at things. In this episode we discuss one such story, and learn about Joanna’s approach when she was being told: “we can’t change it because that’s how it has always been”...

 

Featured Book of the Week: Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet

The book Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet has been the focus of a BONUS episode here on the podcast. For Joanna, this was a book that helped her understand a new kind of leadership, and what are the factors that remove independent action, and motivation from the people in organizations that are managed with traditional leadership approaches.

Sep 3, 2018

When the deadlines approach, there’s a lot of pressure on the teams. It’s understandable that there is pressure, but why does that happen when the software the team produces often waits for weeks before being put in production or released?

What is a Scrum Master to do in these situations? Listen in while we discuss the pressures teams suffer, and what are the alternatives we have to help organizations and teams through that easy temptation to pile on more pressure

 

About Joanna Koprowicz

Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.

You can link with Joanna Koprowicz on LinkedIn and connect with Joanna Koprowicz on Twitter.

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