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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: January, 2019
Jan 31, 2019

Who to involve when evaluating our success as Scrum Masters? In this episode, we review the critical stakeholders, and how to involve them in our own self-evaluation.

In this episode, we refer to the Niko-Niko Calendar and the Happiness timeline, two of the tools you can you to evaluate your success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective format for the Week: What was good / bad and what actions should we take?

The Good/Bad/Actions format is a simple, yet effective format. Nisha explains how to facilitate this format in a short time frame and how Scrum Masters can prepare to host the retrospective.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 30, 2019

Nisha likes to start with a plan. But her approach is very adaptive. It is not about following the plan, but about kick-starting the change.

Listen in to learn how she addresses teams and involves them in the change process.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 29, 2019

Teams want to excel at their work. So much so, that sometimes they forget that in order to succeed they need to act. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of endless debate and what Scrum Masters can do to help teams overcome that anti-pattern and move on.

Featured Book of the Week: Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn

In Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn, Nisha found practical advice and concrete examples that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. She calls it a good point to start your Scrum Master journey.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

Jan 28, 2019

When Nisha got started she loved the logical thinking required for programming. However, the role of the Scrum Master was much more than that. On top of that, being a Scrum Master and trying to program at the same time brought some serious problems that Nisha had to face. Listen in to learn how you can survive the dual role of being a programmer and a Scrum Master (or not).

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 26, 2019

Tim was faced with a problem. How to be a leader without any formal power. All Scrum Masters and Product Owners who have felt the responsibility, but not any “line authority” have faced the same problem. You need to help move the project along, but you can’t tell people what to do!

In this episode we explore the concept of Lateral Leadership how it can help you as a Scrum Master or Product Owner.

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

About Tim Herbig

Tim is a passionate product leader, author and speaker who always aims to enable people so they can build products which make a difference.

Currently responsible for Iridion - the leading conversion management platform which is used by more than 1.500 companies around the world.

Besides that, Tim has a huge passion (and weakness) for third wave coffee, delicious burgers, and triathlon.

You can link with Tim Herbig on LinkedIn and connect with Tim Herbig on Twitter. You learn more about Tim’s work at his website.

Jan 25, 2019

Eddie is a native of Ireland. In this episode, we cover some of the key characteristics of that culture and how it affects teams. As Scrum Masters, we can take advantage of those characteristics to help teams create environments where everyone feels valued.

In this episode we also refer to Eddie’s 3 blogs (yes! Three!):

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 24, 2019

When we can help a team get to a point where they can release software “on demand”, that’s when we’ve had an impact on the team and been successful in our role of Scrum Master. But that’s just the end goal. As Scrum Masters there are a lot more issues to consider, and Eddie explores those in this episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well / not so well

Eddie is a fan of changing the format of the retrospective often. However, when he needs to go back to a familiar format he prefers the “What went well / no so well” simple Retrospective format.

But beware of the “too many actions” anti-pattern!

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 23, 2019

Sometimes Scrum Masters need to work with multiple teams. In this episode, we explore an extreme case. As a Scrum Master, Eddie worked in an environment where there were many teams that he needed to work with. What can we do, how can we help that large group of teams change and evolve? Eddie shares 4 aspects we must consider in those environments.

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 22, 2019

In Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Eddie learned about how people tend to think, especially in situations where quick decisions are necessary. And he considers that a key asset for change agents like Scrum Masters.

In this episode, we also mention:

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 21, 2019

Often we mix-up software delivery with project management. Those are different activities. Both necessary, but quite different. When we focus on project management only, we often miss critical work that is necessary to ship software. In this episode, we discuss why that difference matters and how to help teams move from project management focus to project management + software delivery focus.

In this episode, we refer to the book Dynamic Reteaming by Heidi Helfand. Heidi Helfand was a guest on a past podcast week.

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 18, 2019

Ivo has seen organizations stuck to the Project culture and mix the Scrum Master role with other roles. We discuss what might cause that approach, and discuss how national cultures can affect the way people see the Scrum Master role. We discuss Re-inventing Organizations by Laloux (check this Youtube video about Re-inventing Organizations), and why hiring more people is not enough to help organizations grow.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 17, 2019

Success is an endless journey for Scrum Masters, but there are tools that help us assess where we are, and also what are the areas we are already successful in. We discuss a Scrum Master self-assessment tool developed by Luca Minudel and refer to the Learning Guide for the Certified Team Coach program by Scrum Alliance (not freely available).

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad

The Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format, inspired by the Core Protocols is a retrospective format that helps the team discuss the issues that are causing emotional reactions. Emotions are often symptoms of other problems the team needs to process, and this format helps address those problems.

We also talk about Kudo Cards from Management 3.0 as a way to help teams increase empathy and energy.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 16, 2019

There are situations when advocacy is an effective change management strategy. In this episode, we discuss what are the pre-conditions that allow Scrum Masters to use advocacy. From the signs the organization is ready to tips about how to shape your message, we discuss the approaches that have worked for Ivo in the past.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 15, 2019

Distributed software development is one of the challenges for Agile organizations. The element of globalization is impossible to avoid because of the nature of the business we work in. However, there are some things we should be aware to ensure that teams are able to deliver. In this episode, we discuss some of the anti-patterns that come when distributed teams fail to account for the different kind of communication that is needed when working with distributed organizations.

Featured Book of the Week: Finding your Element by Ken Robinson

In Finding your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson (book website), Ivo discovered something about himself that helps him be a better Scrum Master. He found and understood the importance of some of the personal strengths he has that help him in the role of Scrum Master.

In this segment, we also discuss Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 12, 2019

Ben is a project manager with experience in developing digital services and products for worldwide clients. He’s learned some very important lessons and shares some of his key insights with you in this special episode, where we dive deep into the project manager role and the project management world.

Full show notes at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Topics include:

  • A key insight into project management for digital products
  • The key changes for project managers jumping into Agile projects
  • Is Scrum all you need?
  • The most common questions Project Managers ask Ben

About Ben Aston

Ben has over 15 years of experience in both strategic thinking and tactical implementation from a career at some of the top digital agencies including FCV, Dare, Wunderman, DLKW Lowe and DDB. He's worked across several industries including transit, utilities, consumer electronics, eCommerce, automotive, financial services, public sector, and retail brands.

Ben's a Certified Scrum Master, PRINCE2 Practitioner and founder of the digital project management blog, The Digital Project Manager.

You can check Ben’s Digital Project Management course for more information.

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

Jan 11, 2019

When talking about cultures, we often talk about the contrasts. What makes certain cultures more Scrum-friendly, or the opposite. In this episode, we talk about how certain cultures’ focus on more conversation can help create safe spaces for the team, and help them be more collaborative. But we also talk about the concept of “time”, and how the different perspectives on time (e.g. cyclic vs linear time) can affect the adoption of Scrum.

In this episode, we also refer to the premier Agile conference in Ireland, the Agile-Lean Ireland conference.

Jan 10, 2019

When thinking about the role of the Scrum Master, Richard comes up with 4 clear signs that indicate we are on the right path with the teams we work with. In the end, Richard says, we must do ourselves out of a job to be successful Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: The Amazon Product Review retrospective

Richard suggests the Amazon Product Review retrospective format. And although Retromat suggests this can be used as a “check-in” exercise, we can also use it as the core exercise for the retrospective.

In this episode, we refer to the Agile Retrospectives book and the retrospective outline defined in the book.

Jan 9, 2019

Richard shares the story of a change process where an organization decided to standardize on SAFe as the scaling approach. Richard also shares what they learned about adopting SAFe, and the 4-step process they created to help the adoption of SAFe.

Jan 8, 2019

In The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey, Richard found many lessons that helped him in his journey as a Scrum Master. The book shares models and keys to successful scrum mastering, but also many references and other sources to read up on.

Jan 7, 2019

Often, as Scrum Masters, we know what needs to change and focus our efforts in “selling” the solution. What it is, why it is a good idea, etc. But, when Richard failed to help an organization change he learned an important lesson. To improve how we help change progress, we should sell the problem, not the solution.

Jan 4, 2019

In some countries, we favor order and rules. However, that’s not the case for everybody. How can we adapt to a country that emphasis more rules than what we learned back in our home country?

In this episode, we learn about the German and Serbian cultural traits and how they affect the work of the Scrum Master.

Jan 3, 2019

When thinking about the aspects that define our success, measuring the critical aspects of our work needs to be part of it. Rade challenges us to try to measure those things that we think we need to improve. We talk about how to measure interactions and the right kind of interactions in the team and between team and stakeholders. Are you measuring the key aspects of your contribution as a Scrum Master?

Featured Retrospective format for the week: Three little piggies

The Three Little Piggies retrospective format focuses on risk management. Asking us to consider what are our Houses of straw, Houses of sticks and the solid House of bricks. And why not ask: who or what is our big bad wolf?

Jan 2, 2019

In a business where change and new technology are a day-to-day occurrence, it may seem that teams are constantly ready to adapt to new situations. That’s not the case, however. In this episode, we discuss the story of a team that was uncomfortable with taking on a new technology. This was the perfect environment for Rade to put in practice his approach to helping teams change.

Jan 1, 2019

As we work with many different teams, we start to notice some patterns. In this episode, we talk about the pattern where team members take a very critical stance when a mistake happens. As Rade puts it, when this pattern develops, the team creates a culture that does not tolerate failure or allows people to take risks.

How can Scrum Masters tackle this problem? We discuss some concrete approaches to help teams scale back their risk-averse, and mistake-intolerant culture. After all, no mistakes means no learning.

Featured book of the Week: Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor

In Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor, Rade learned about the techniques we can use to help people change behavior by building new habits and using positive feedback and reinforcement.

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