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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, 2018
Oct 31, 2018

As Scrum Masters we are often confronted with challenges and problems that the teams suffer on a daily basis. These challenges are only the start of the change process. In this episode, Liz explores the ways in which we can support the teams in effecting changes they perceive as necessary. We talk about the role of retrospectives in the change process and also the importance of arguing for the change with data and evidence to gain stakeholder support.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Oct 30, 2018

In Strategic Planning by John M. Bryson Liz found some important lessons about how to lead a team with a mission. In Strategic Planning by Bryson we can read about how to lead an organisation and a team with intent.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Oct 29, 2018

As projects progress, it is common that the pressure rises. Every day we work with teams that suffer many pressures, from stakeholders, from other teams, and from themselves because of the commitments they want to honour.

In this episode we talk about a hidden tragedy: the team burnout. Listen in to learn how Liz detected and faced that tragedy.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Oct 26, 2018

In this episode, we reflect on the fit between North American culture and Agile culture. We discuss some of the characteristics that define North American culture, and how that contrasts with other cultures. Specifically, we discuss why Lean, something that came from Japan, might be completely different in the way the individual is part of the approach to work.

In this episode, we refer to Ceremony: A Profound New Method for Achieving Successful and Sustainable Change by Kyle Aretae and Thomas Meloche, and The Scrum Princess by Kyle and Demi Aretae, which explains Scrum to children.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 25, 2018

When Kyle reaches for his favorite retrospective formats he wants one that he is familiar with, and that improves the positive energy in the team. In the retrospective, as well as in other Scrum ceremonies he facilitates he asks 3 questions designed to assess how well that particular instance of the ceremony delivered value. Listen in to learn what are Kyle’s 3 questions.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 24, 2018

Kyle’s own journey when learning about change led him to understand the importance of focusing on the organizational aspects, not just the team he was working with. In this episode, we explore several different change models and end up with a set of tips that Kyle has learned over time work for organizational, not just team-level, change.

In this episode we refer to John Kotter’s 8-step process for change, Organization Change: Theory and Practice by W. Warner Burke, and David Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 23, 2018

For Kyle, Agile solves 2 problems. One is the building of software in a better, more sustainable manner. The other is to create a functioning organization, which will become a better place to work. In this episode, Kyle also explains how a simple technique can help the team address behavior that negatively affects the team without ever making that a personal conflict.

Featured Book of the Week: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennet

Kyle was struck by the book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennet. It helped him understand the enormous difference between plannable systems and evolutionary systems. That helped him understand the impact that Agile could have on organizations. During his research after reading that book he also came across Interactual Ritual Chains by Randall Collins, which helped him understand the role of (Scrum) ceremonies in the development of the team, and ultimately led him to write one of his own books: Ceremony: A Profound New Method for Achieving Successful and Sustainable Change by Kyle Aretae and Thomas Meloche

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 22, 2018

Kyle’s background as a developer has informed his view of how teams can achieve the level of collaboration needed to be successful in an Agile environment. Having read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained book, he started to work with developers, helping them improve their ways of working. But that wasn’t enough. In this episode, we explore what is beyond the team that can make or break an Agile transition.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 19, 2018

There’s the temptation that people are as easily replaceable as parts in a machine. But is that the case? And if you answer “no”, what does that mean for you as a Scrum Master? In this episode we explore the many reasons why treating people as “resources” causes problems in the long run.

In this episode, we refer to the book Age of Agile by Steve Denning.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 18, 2018

When we discuss the success of a Scrum Master, happiness is a word that often comes up. Is the customer happy? Is the team happy? Are some of the questions we must ask ourselves, and in this episode, Faye reviews how we can ask, collect the answer for and use those to help our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Single Word Retrospective

In the Single Word Retrospective, the team reflects on how one word impacts their way of working. In this episode, Faye shares one concrete example of what that could look like in practice.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

 

Oct 17, 2018

There are many tools out there to support a change process. So many in fact, that we often forget the humble Retrospective. The most important tool in our Scrum Master toolbox: reflect and adjust, inspect and adapt - the core cycle of change.

In this episode, we explore how the Agile Retrospective can become the engine of self-driven team change.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 16, 2018

Many things can fail when we work with teams. But one critical anti-pattern that leads to problems is the lack of a good Product Owner. In this episode, we explore what are the consequences for our teams of having a Product Owner that is unable to filter input from many stakeholders or even to politely say “No!”. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that can come from a poor Product Owner.

Featured Book of the Week: any book by Gerry Weinberg

Faye has followed the work of Gerry Weinberg and recommends that to all Scrum Masters. She mentions several of Gerry Weinberg’s books in this episode, for example: The Secrets of Consulting, or An Introduction to General Systems Theory. For Faye, Gerry’s work is an example of what Scrum Masters work is about: being humane.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 15, 2018

“We don’t leave our human-selves at the door once we come into work!” - this is how Faye starts this episode. The question is: as a Scrum Master, what does it mean for me? Faye’s journey to the Scrum Master role gives us some insights into the wide-spread consequences of that phrase. It also links directly to the story of failure that Faye has to share with us. It is a story of how a team member started bullying other team members. Listen in to learn to detect bullying signs early on.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 12, 2018

Ilya has lived in 3 different countries, and currently lives in Canada where the IT industry is a melting pot of many cultures. That has taught Ilya a lesson: cultures are stereotypes that don’t really apply to single individuals. Being aware of those stereotypes is useful, but Ilya suggests we go deeper.

Listen in to learn how to go beyond the cultural stereotype and learn about the individuals you work with.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 11, 2018

As we evolve our practice, we help the team be self-sufficient. Over time, the team will be able to handle most of the Scrum process itself. But how do we detect when the team is ready for that final step in their maturity? In this episode we talk about the signs Scrum Masters can look for to detect when the team is mature enough to be self-sufficient.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Flexible Retro

When we focus on having the Retrospective as a “ceremony”, there’s a risk that it becomes just that: a ritual that has little impact. Ilya’s approach is different. In this episode we describes a very simple format, and how you can make retrospectives fun again. The Flexible Retrospective format.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 10, 2018

When teams start with Scrum, there’s the temptation to define and implement many changes at the same time. After all, there’s a lot of new practices to take in. However, Ilya’s suggestion is different. Listen in to learn about the idea of “one change at a time”, and how you may be able to apply it in your context.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 9, 2018

This week we recommend a paper, where Bruce Tuckman, of the famous Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model describes his famous model. Unfortunately that article is not freely available for everyone to read, so we stick to the wikipedia entry for the Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 8, 2018

Management was micro-managing the team. Ilya, the Scrum Master, tried to protect the team. The stress levels were high… This is a very common story in the software industry. When deadlines loom, the whole dynamic changes. As Scrum Masters, we must be ready for that moment. Listen in to learn about how Ilya handled the situation, and what you can apply in your own situation when the time comes.

In this episode we refer to the book Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 5, 2018

Every country has a slightly different take on the important balance between team (group) and individual focus. Peter shares with us his own view of how different cultures find that continuum, and what that means in the country where he lives: Germany.

Listen in to learn about the relative importance between team and individual, and how to assess when to pull the focus to one or the other, so that you can help the team.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 4, 2018

The Oscar Academy Awards Awards retrospective format helps the team find a new dynamic for the retrospective. It’s a fun, but insightful format that can then be followed up with a action-oriented finale that helps the team pick up the most important improvement items to, for example, avoid having an annoying story like the one that won the “Most Annoying Story of this Sprint” award.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 3, 2018

When a team has left Scrum to adopt another method, but is stuck, going back to Scrum may be a good approach. As they go back to something familiar they can regain their self-confidence. In this episode we explore such a story, and how Peter structured his approach to this change process, that he divides into 3 main steps.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 2, 2018

What happens when the Product Owner and the team can’t collaborate? When the team just takes orders from the Product Owner and stops contributing to the planning and content of the User Stories? This was the situation that Peter had to face. Listen in to learn how he tackled this relationship problem.

Featured Book of the Week: Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

In this book, Peter found an approach that helps him as a Scrum Master. In Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng tries to offers a method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 1, 2018

As we work with multiple teams, it is inevitable that we will meet a team member that is against Scrum in all possible ways. They’ll ask: why do we need to have Sprint Review? Why do we need to have a retrospective every Sprint? How do we, as Scrum Masters, deal with such team members? Listen in as Peter shares his experience with such a team member, and how he focused on helping the team, despite the negative comments from one team member.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

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