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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: 2019
Aug 16, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we talk about 2 extremes of team engagement by Product Owners: from micro-managing to asking questions and involving the team.

The Great Product Owner: Asking Questions to involve the team

Good Product Owners allow the team to participate and contribute their views when planning the Sprint. In this segment, we talk about Great Product Owners, those that not only allow, but encourage the team to bring their view into planning and defining the product.

We also discuss how asking questions is a critical tool for Product Owners to get teams engaged in the development of the product.

In this segment, we talk about transactional analysis, a tool that can help Scrum Masters recognize when the Product Owner needs help in involving the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The micro-managing Product Owner

When Product Owners “take over” the planning aspects they miss the team’s contribution, and likely motivation. However, there is an even more serious anti-pattern for Product Owners: being a micro-manager. In this segment, we discuss the dangers of over-controlling Product Owners, and how Scrum Masters should react in those cases.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 15, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we review 5 different aspects that Rahul follows with each team he works with. From how the team delivers each Sprint, to the interaction with the Product Owner, we discuss different aspects that Scrum Masters should pay attention to.

In this episode, we also refer to the Agile Maturity Model. There are several maturity models you can follow, I’d recommend starting with the Agile Fluency Model by Diana Larsen and James Shore, which has been introduced here on the podcast.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Radar chart for team self-evaluation

There are many different exercises for teams to run a self-evaluation exercise. The Radar chart helps the team choose several (typically 5-7) items they want to follow-up on, and evaluate themselves in each topic. If you collect similar charts over time, you will have a graphical representation of how the team has evolved in those core skills or aspect.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 14, 2019

 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Rahul and Markus, another Scrum Master were helping the QA team move from QA at the end to a more involved QA approach, where QA engineers were to be involved earlier in the process. As you’d expect, this was not an easy change. How did they pull it off? They started by thinking that change happens as a result of new actions as described by John Shook and helped the QA’s and the teams experiment with new approaches. In this episode, we also talk about the importance of accepting that not everybody can accept certain changes, and how that affects your change management efforts.

In this episode, we also mention Test-Driven Development and the concept of Pi-Shaped Skills.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

 

Aug 13, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

When Rahul started to work with a team that was new to Scrum and Agile, he noticed that the team members were very focused on their individual part of the product. Front-end developers only worked and worried about the front-end, and back-end developers focused on the back-end functionality. In the Sprint reviews, team members focused on their individual contribution, and the inevitable synchronization and coordination problems followed.

In this episode, we talk about the risks of highly specialized teams and how to tackle those in your role as a Scrum Master.

Featured Book for the Week: The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss

In The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss, Rahul found an inspiring story about the choices we make in our daily lives. He learned about “time” as a spendable resource, and how to create more options for yourself as you seek a better life situation. In this segment, we also refer to the Tim Ferriss podcast.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 12, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we learn about Rahul’s unusual route to being a Scrum Master, and how the initial focus on velocity led Rahul astray from what really affects a Scrum team’s performance.  

We then explore how beginner Scrum Masters can learn to focus on the right aspects from the start and to be flexible enough so that the team does not reject the adoption of Scrum.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 9, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we talk about one of the most common anti-patterns for PO’s: being too busy, and we also discuss how PO’s can get up to speed in one sprint when they join a new team.

The Great Product Owner: The Goal-Oriented PO

In this segment, we talk about a new PO. The PO had just joined the company and had to learn quickly. Instead of spending a lot of time reading and asking people, this PO did something different. This PO engaged the team directly and with their help got off to a great start in just one sprint.

The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO 

When teams don’t have direct access to the “customer” PO, they usually resort to using a “proxy PO”. Someone close to the team, that acts as a communication link with the end customer and real PO. However, sometimes those Proxy PO’s have to fulfill other duties, and may even need to serve multiple teams. How can we help teams when that happens? 

In this episode, we talk about how to help super busy-PO’s and teams that suffer from their absence. We’ve also produced a guide, that helps you, step-by-step get to an agreement of how to collaborate with overly busy or absent PO’s. You can get the guide on how to work with absent or overly busy Product Owners here.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 8, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

One way to look at success for Scrum Masters is to ask the team about the contribution of the Scrum Master. Asking them directly, however, can lead to “polite” answers, and avoiding the problems that need solving. In this episode, we talk about other signs that tell us that the team appreciates the contribution of the Scrum Master, and we talk about concrete tools Scrum Masters can use to continue to grow and succeed with their teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Wonder Question Agile Retrospective Exercise

When a Scrum team is stuck and needs help to find improvements, we can ask them to imagine that something “magic” has happened. Then, we ask what does the team look like now that the “wonder” has happened. With this exercise, we help teams “think outside the box”, without ever having to bring them outside the box. This exercise appeals to the imagination and helps teams imagine a better team that they are all part of.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

Aug 7, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

As more and more companies adopt OKR (Objectives - Key Results) as a management practice, it is critical that Scrum Masters understand how that tool is used in their organization. In this episode, we discuss how OKR’s can totally derail a company, and how Scrum Masters can join the process and help it improve. This is especially important because OKR’s - when effectively used - will have a large influence on the teams we work with.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 6, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In some teams, there are individuals that have a strong influence on the team. As Scrum Masters, we must be aware of that when it happens, and help the team learn to reflect as a group, instead of following the opinion of the strongest influencer in the team. In this episode, we discuss how single-individual influencers can completely derail a team.

Featured Book for the Week: Loving What Is, by Byron Katie

In Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie, Ines found a guide to help her understand the things that can be changed, and those that cannot. This realization helped Ines to be a better Scrum Master, and also in her personal life.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 5, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Scrum teams don’t exist in a vacuum, and in engineering-focused organizations, usually, the team leads are also engineers. This can cause problems when they need to collaborate with Product Owners. In this episode, we talk about such a team, and how Ines helped the team, the team lead and PO find better ways to collaborate.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 2, 2019

In this episode, we talk about 2 contrasting patterns, one that focused on allowing the team to grow and own the product, while the other was taking on too much responsibility and not letting the team feel ownership of the product. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

The Great Product Owner: Empower the Scrum Team

Sometimes, the PO has a Scrum Master perspective and is able to understand how to work with teams so that the teams feel empowered to pick up stories and collaborate better. We usually say “the team can be only as good as the Product Owner”, and in this segment, we explore what this great PO did to help the team feel empowered and engaged.

The Bad Product Owner: Overly detailed PO’s take responsibility away from the team

When the Product Owners come to the backlog refinement/grooming meeting with the stories completely fleshed out, it’s easy to accept the stories as they are. Not to challenge or further refine them. That’s not always a good thing. The team feels the Product is “somebody else’s responsibility”, the opposite of what we want. In this segment, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help the team take responsibility, and avoid having too much product knowledge locked in the PO’s head.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Aug 1, 2019

Scrum Masters are successful when they help the team when they can create the self-confidence in the team members that they can act, and make improvements on their own. 

In this episode, we talk about how you - the Scrum Master - can easily check if the team is progressing in that direction. 

In this segment, we refer to the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, as a model that can help Scrum Masters focus on small changes, and how to make them stick. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format

Using the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise helps teams get out of the “clinical” mindset and find improvement opportunities. When we use the drawing of the sailboat as a fun check-in exercise we also get the team in the mood to explore their ways of working in a relaxed atmosphere. These make the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise a complete retrospective for the team. 

 

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 31, 2019

When an organization starts adopting Agile, the temptation is to organize a “transformation” and to focus on the change process. In this episode, we explore what happens when we focus on small changes, grass-roots change. 

How we can slowly get more and more teams on-board, and ultimately avoid a large and difficult transformation.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 30, 2019

Sometimes teams get started on the right foot and reach a high level of performance quickly. When that happens, it is critical that the team is able to continue to work together. Otherwise…

In this episode, we explore what happens when a team is split up, and some team members are replaced after reaching a high level of performance. 

Featured Book for the Week: It’s your ship! By D. Michael Abrashoff

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In It’s your ship! By D. Michael Abrashoff, Ben found a story of how empowering the crew of a USA Navy ship helped to turn the ship around and transformed the ship and the crew.

In this episode, we also refer to Doing Twice The Work in Half The Time by Sutherland and Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet, who has been a guest on the podcast.

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 29, 2019

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

Sometimes teams struggle to get their backlog healthy. When that happens, it is easy to complain about the PO. That won’t fix the problem. 

In this episode, we talk about how you can work with the teams to improve the quality of their stories, with our without a Product Owner in the room. 

In this episode, we refer to Model Storming, a technique to help teams explore several options for implementing stories. We also refer to Lucid Chart, a collaborative online tool for teams. 

We also discuss how, working on the “solution” may help clarify the acceptance criteria for the stories that are not clearly defined. 

 

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 26, 2019

From passionate Product Owners to the Product Owners that are MIA (Missing in Action), we talk about two aspects that directly affect the team’s performance.

The Great Product Owner: The Passionate Product Owner

Great Product Owners are often passionate about the product they work on. In this segment we talk about a PO that was able to give that passion to the team, making them an great team. In this segment we also about User Story Mapping, a method popularized by Jeff Patton (Jeff has been a previous guest on the podcast) that helps the team and PO understand the context of the User Stories they are implementing. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent Product Owner

Working with a Proxy Product Owner is bad enough, however, then that PO doesn't have time to work daily with the team, things get even worse! We’ve discussed this anti-pattern before here on the blog, and have created a guide for you to help those product owners. Get the guide on how to work with absent or overly busy Product Owners here.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website


Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 25, 2019

When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, a happy team is arguably the most common answer. However, for Scrum Masters, that is not enough. In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters should also focus on the product the team is developing. Is the product being successfully developed as well? 

In this segment, we refer to a tool that helps the team focus on the impactful ways to help the product succeed: Impact Mapping

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Guess Who? A game to learn more about the Sprint

It is sometimes hard to focus on the details of what happened during the Sprint. However, when we fail to do so, the team and the organization lose out on a big opportunity to improve how they work. With the “Guess who?” Agile Retrospective exercise Dragana helps the teams - in a fun and entertaining way - explore the detailed events of the Sprint, so that they are ready to discuss improvements and take concrete actions out of the retrospective.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 24, 2019

Of the many types of changes we need to go through, scaling up the use of Scrum may be one of the most common at the moment. When we go from one team using Scrum, to many teams collaborating and using Scrum together many things change. 

In this episode, we talk about some of the challenges that scaling up Scrum brings, and how we - Scrum Masters - can prepare for those, so that we can help both the teams and the organization benefit from Scrum in larger projects.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 23, 2019

When working with teams that are starting their downward spiral, Dragana found that focusing on positive thoughts can have a great impact and help teams avoid going further down in that spiral. 

We talk about Positive Psychology and the use of Kudo Cards as a way to focus the teams on what is worth emphasizing.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Dragana found many insights on motivation and importance of helping teams work on, and define clearly their purpose. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 22, 2019

Scrum Masters need to sometimes face the Agile islands in the middle of large organizations. How can we react to that? How to address the team, and the stakeholders? How to do planning? There are many questions that Scrum Masters must answer differently when working with “island” Agile teams. 

In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can work with isolated Agile teams without having the teams to go back to waterfall. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 20, 2019

When Ben moved to another team he faced some pretty challenging situations. A fully distributed team with a Scrum Master in another country trying to juggle the time zone differences. 

It was only fitting that Ben would then take over the Scrum Master role shortly after. The journey from developer to Scrum Master is hard enough, but in this story, we talk about how to take on the Scrum Master role for a distributed team as well. Not an easy first assignment as a Scrum Master. 

The major obstacles Ben faced in his Scrum Master journey

As Ben started to learn the ins and outs of the Scrum Master role, he faced certain challenges that many of us face. We explore some of those as well as the lessons he learned during the process. 

Many of the challenges we face as Scrum Masters are facilitation skills, so we talk about facilitation and how that helps us perform in the role of the Scrum Master.

In this segment, we talk about Jassy’s journey from developer to Scrum Master. Jassy was a previous guest on the podcast. We also refer to the book by Jeff Sutherland: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. When it comes to stories of Scrum, we talk about how some authors use fantasy as a way to explain Scrum, we refer to the episode with Anja Bonatto-Minella, where she presents a fantasy book that explains Scrum

For complete notes and references, visit https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Jul 19, 2019

In this episode, we focus on the collaboration between Product Owner and Scrum Master, possibly one of the most important collaborations in the Scrum team’s environment. And in the end, there’s a BIG SURPRISE. Listen closely to this episode!

The Great Product Owner: Collaborating well with Scrum Master

Scrum Masters and Product Owners need to collaborate well to help the team. And a great PO is also one that is able to push forward that collaboration. In this segment, we talk about the PO that was constantly trying to improve their understanding of Agile (even if they didn’t have a long Agile background), and was able to bring ideas to help the Scrum Master keep the team motivated and focused on the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: the PO that sabotages the Scrum Master’s work 

Nothing is harder for a Scrum Master than a Product Owner that actively disregards their ideas and advice. In this segment, we explore such a case and how that impacted the team and the Scrum Master. It wasn’t a pretty sight.


Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

 

Jul 18, 2019

Isaac focuses on the team’s self-image as a way to reflect on his success as a Scrum Master. For that he uses a survey-style NPS questionnaire where he asks the team members how likely they are to ask other people to join their team. 

A simple approach that was discussed in a previous episode with Jeff Kosciejew, and explained further in a blog post by Jason Little

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Tools for dynamic retrospectives

For Isaac, Agile Retrospectives are not only about finding the next improvement actions. They are also about building a team spirit that carries the team forward into the next sprint in a state of energized motivation. In this segment, we talk about many tools that you can use to keep your Agile Retrospectives fresh and high-energy. We refer to Retromat.org and Tastycupcakes.org, two sites that you can use to find formats that work in your team and your organization.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

Jul 17, 2019

It is a scary change, when Scrum Masters must go from focusing on the team to focusing on the organization. However, this is something that most Scrum Masters will have to face in their career. 

In this episode with Isaac Garcia, we learn about the circles of influence that help us understand what we can influence (and what we can’t); we discuss Causal Loop Diagram, a tool to understand organizational dynamics that affect our teams; and the ideas behind “flow”, a way to view organizations that focuses on allowing the teams to find their performance levels. 

In this episode, we refer to the book The Goal, by Goldratt

For more on Causal Loop Diagrams and their use for Scrum Masters, check this episode with Antti Tevanlina where we explore how you can use CLD’s to understand the causes of the problems affecting the team. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

Jul 16, 2019

When Isaac joined this team, he encountered a team that had failed to deliver and was low on motivation. Isaac focused on helping the team find their motivation, organized a kick-off to get the team to come together around a goal, and a common vision, only to see management remove people from an already overwhelmed team… What should a Scrum Master do when that happens? We discuss that, and critical lessons learned about what we can influence (or not) as Scrum Masters. 

In this episode, we refer to the circles of influence, a tool to help Scrum Masters focus on what they can influence and accept what they can’t.

Featured Book for the Week: The Phoenix Project

In The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford chronicle the story of a company that is on the brink. They walk the reader through the process of understanding what is holding the organization back, and what the hero of the story will learn to help turn the company around.

For Isaac, this is a book that teaches important techniques and helps Scrum Masters make a difference in their place of work.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

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