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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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Dec 20, 2019

Many User Stories end up being written from the “solution” perspective. Reinald found that Product Owners that are willing to define stories from the perspective of the problem to solve are better able to communicate their ideas to the team. But there are other benefits from taking this approach. Listen in to learn about the other benefits of having your Product Owner firmly anchored in the Problem domain as opposed to the solution domain.

The Bad Product Owner: The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner

When Product Owners have a background in development it is natural that they may concentrate on the details, but the problems really start when the PO starts telling programmers how to write code, and steering development decisions. Listen in to learn how to deal with such Product Owners.

 

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 Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 19, 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

The focus, Reinald suggests, should be on creating outcomes/impact, not output/more stuff. He looks into the role of the work with management for the ultimate success of the Scrum Master work. But that’s not where it stops. We talk about inspiration, reviewing our relationships at work, and practical tips on how to keep notes on our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective format for the Week: Walking in Pairs, outside

An often overlooked aspect of the retrospectives is the atmosphere, and physical space has a direct impact on how team members feel when reflecting on their work. In this episode, Reinald talks about the “walking in pairs” retrospective. A format that requires the whole team to get up and walk outside. Given that walking will activate your body, and your brain, you may actually get more insights from a walking, than a sitting retrospective. Listen in, and give it a try.

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 18, 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

This story starts with an organization of about 300 software developers that wanted to “get agile”. The organization started by hiring Scrum Masters to help the teams, and the transition. So far, so good. So Reinald invited all the Scrum Masters in the organization to a kick-off for the Agile transition. What happened next was a surprise, and changed Reinald’s view of change management forever. Listen in to learn what was that surprise, and how you can avoid that problem in your own work. 

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 17, 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 explore the anti-pattern of the “team of specialists”. This team was formed by many freelancers and sub-contractors that were hired to do a specialist job and were not about to give that up. Listen in to learn what that caused and how Reinald handled the problem.

Featured Book of the Week: The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery

In The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery, Reinald found a good reason to change his personal attitude towards the things he didn’t like to do.

Reinald also mentions the Rene Brown’s talk about Vulnerability, a talk that helped him change his attitude as a freelance software developer, and stopping to try to be a superhero, a problem that many freelancers face in their desire to help their clients.

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 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

After discovering Extreme Programming, Reinald decided that Agile was the way to go and started looking for education and a job as a Scrum Master. He started working as a group lead with a team that “wanted to go in the Scrum direction” instead though, and the surprises just kept coming. There was a hard conflict to solve in that team. Listen in to learn what Reinald learned about conflict management and resolution in software development teams.

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 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

From tools to the habits that Product Owners need to drop, in this episode, we explore practices and an anti-pattern that can derail the relationship between PO and team.

The Great Product Owner: The key tools/documents PO’s need to master

When Product Owners are able to convey a message clearly, it is natural that the work with the team improves. However, there are certain tools that help that message stick and be followed by the team. In this segment, we explore 3 tools and 1 practice that can greatly help Product Owners convey their expected results, and be sure that the team understands what that means in practice.

In this segment we refer to User Story Mapping, User Story slicing, Personas and Acceptance Test Driven Development.

 

The Bad Product Owner: The former team member who knew too much

When a former team member, a developer, takes on the role of Product Owner, there are many possible anti-patterns to look out for. In this episode, we explore the case of the PO who knew too much, and decided to tell the team not only what to do, but also how to do it. Inevitably, problems followed. Listen in to learn how Dmytro helped that Product Owner.



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 Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 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

When considering success for our work as Scrum Masters, Dmytro suggests we should take 3 different perspectives into account. These perspectives help us get feedback, and also consider the stakeholders we need to work with. Listen in to learn about the 3 key perspectives that Dmytro uses in his own success self-assessment.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Easier the Better

In this segment dedicated to Agile Retrospectives we explore why Scrum Masters may want to have multiple formats they are ready to execute on depending on the goals for the retrospective. We also talk about lowering the barrier for retrospective execution with formats that are easy to setup and run.

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 11, 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

This story starts when Dmytro faces the requirement to adopt SAFe. How to help teams learn about SAFe (is training sufficient?) and start working differently. The organizational legacy and inertia become obstacles, but the team of Scrum Masters at this organization was able to help the teams learn how to adopt SAFe. Listen in to learn how.

In this episode, we also refer to Lean Change Management by Jason Little, and 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change: Micro Shifts, Macro Results by Esther Derby.

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 10, 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

What happens when a team member who joined as a “gift” from management fails to keep the standard expects from each of the team members? If you add to this, the fact that some team members become vocal about the problem, but others don’t even want to touch the subject, you have all the ingredients you need for massive conflict. What can a Scrum Master do? Listen in to learn how Dmytro, the Scrum Master helped the team get out of this negative spiral. 

Featured Book for the Week: Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgren et al.

Dmytro’s recommendation is the book by Gene Kim, Jez humble and Nicole Forsgren, Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations.

In Accelerate, Dmytro found many inspirational stories and anecdotes that helps him improve the organization and the teams he works with.

Dmytro also recommends Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland. In this book he highlights the many real-life examples.

Additionally, Dmytro refers to The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, a book he describes as filled with technical practices that teams can apply.

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 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

Sometimes we need to work with teams that have lost hope. The team might be cynical about future improvements and look at Agile or Scrum skeptically. This was what Dmytro had to face in his team. In this episode, we talk about how to work with a skeptical team, and get them engaged in improving their work. This is a critical lesson for all Scrum Masters, don’t miss it!

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 6, 2019

There are few anti-patterns as problematic as the PO that shames the team. Here’s what Andy has learned about that, and also an example of a PO that was able to communicate the Vision clearly and was then available for the team.

The Great Product Owner: Communicate the Vision, and be available

A Product Owner that is able to communicate their Vision, and is then available for the Scrum team when they have questions might be one of the best Product Owners out there. In this segment, we talk about how those simple behaviors can help a Scrum team succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: the PO that shamed the Scrum team

When it comes to anti-patterns, there are few that could have such devastating effect as this one. A Product Owner that does not communicate clearly, and then shames the team for not delivering what was not communicated. What is a Scrum Master to do in these cases? Listen in as we explore this anti-pattern with Andy.

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 Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

 

Dec 5, 2019

Are you passionate? What is preventing you from finding that motivation and intensity in your work. This is one of the questions that Andy asks us to consider when reviewing our work, and assessing our contribute to the Scrum team. 

In this segment, we also talk about the importance of learning how to get things moving, even when we lack the authority.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Christmas Carol retrospective

Sometimes, referring to a familiar experience can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate ideas they would otherwise ignore. In this Agile Retrospective format, Andy shares how a familiar story (A Christmas Carol) can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate improvement ideas 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 4, 2019

Even when Scrum Masters need to work with teams through a change process, they can be impeded by the organizational structures. In this episode, we talk about the Scrum Master who was part of a separate department, but needed to help the team go through a difficult change. The key? 4 steps that Andy shares with us and get us started. 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 3, 2019

When things go wrong, it is critical to help the team prepare how the discuss and recover from bad news. The worst that can happen is when teams (and Scrum Masters) just drop “the bomb” of bad news and put the responsibility on others. In this episode, we talk about how to prepare those tough conversations.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Andy found a new perspective on self-development and team development. 

In this segment, we also mention Perfect Time-Based Productivity: How to rescue your peace of mind as time demands increase by Francis Wade, a book that allowed Andy to design his own time-management system, a must-have tool for all Scrum Masters. 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 2, 2019

Sometimes, in our role as Scrum Master we find teams that are not able to adopt Agile right away. The worst that could happen would be for us to send those teams to “Agile detention”. In this episode, we explore what Scrum Masters can do when their teams are just starting their Agile adoption journey, in organizations where Agile is not yet the standard approach to work. 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Nov 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

From the user-centric PO to the over-planner PO that failed to collaborate with the team, this episode covers plenty of aspects to keep an eye on when collaborating with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: The user-centric Product Owner

Great Product Owners have a clear Vision for the product. But there’s a lot more to a great PO than the Vision. In this segment, we talk about the PO who was able to learn from quick releases, and validate their own assumptions about what value might mean for the end customer. Including, finding opportunities to help customers who were looking for a competitor product! 

The Bad Product Owner: The non-collaborating Product Owner

Usually, a Product Owner that has a clear set of items they want the team to work on would be on the “great product owner” category. But not in this case. Listen in to learn how a PO was good at planning but then failed at the most important thing: team collaboration.

In this segment, we talk about the User Story Mapping workshop facilitator guide by Vasco Duarte. Check it out if you want to know how to prepare, and host a great User Story mapping workshop.

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 Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 28, 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

Are people asking you for help? This is the question we start Eddy’s definition of success for Scrum Masters. But the conversation does not stop there. We also discuss the role of coaching agreements with the teams, and some of the anti-patterns Eddy witnessed in Agile teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Storytelling with Story Cubes

In this segment, we discuss what might be some of the factors affecting the effectiveness of your Agile Retrospectives. We also discuss how we can use Story Cubes (video example) as a facilitation technique in some of the steps of the standard Agile Retrospective format.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 27, 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

Retrospectives are a ceremony where we usually facilitate some prepared games or sessions to help the team gel. But is that the only place where we can use these games, and facilitated sessions? In this episode, we talk about Happy Salmon, a game that helped change a team in one session. They way people interacted, and related to each other was totally transformed. It may sound like a simple change, but this “serious game” can transform your team. 

Listen in to learn about other serious games that Eddy uses when helping teams change. We also refer to the 2 truths and 1 lie game.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

 

Nov 26, 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

This team had all the ceremonies in place. They were “doing” Scrum by all accounts. But they weren’t even a team. We explore the “group, not team” anti-pattern with Eddy, and discuss what might be some of the techniques and approaches Scrum Masters can use to help these teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Eddy found a new approach to the eternal question of motivation. He found a new paradigm to help him understand the role of managers and management in organizations.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 25, 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 Eddy started his Agile journey he was working as a tester. When he understood the power of the Agile approach, he immediately started telling others about it, and ended up training many of his colleagues in a transition. And through his failure to help the people and teams change, he understood a critical lesson about the role of Scrum Master and change agent. In this episode, we explore that critical lesson, and how Scrum Masters can help their teams change and evolve. 

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 22, 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

Confidence is one of the symptoms you are in the presence of a good Product Owner, when you add to that the ability to articulate the reasons for the decisions made as well as using data and analysis to support decisions, we know we have a great PO working with us. 

We also talk about the consequences from creating an implicit or explicit competition between Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: The confident and articulate Product Owner

A great Product Owner will have a clear Vision of their product, but that’s not the only characteristic they exhibit. They can also clearly defend their Vision, using data, and analysis they’ve made. They intimately understand their product, business and customers. As they move away from “guessing” as a practice, they are not afraid to have difficult conversations about the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Feature Owner anti-pattern

Let’s imagine that your company creates an internal competition among teams and Product Owners. What will happen then? 

We discuss the consequences on the PO role that Jim has witnessed. 

In this segment, we refer to the work by Daniel Vacanti

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 Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 21, 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

“Am I making other people better?” is the question that Jim starts his own success retrospective with. We then dive into the “do no harm” rule that Jim applies to his own work, and how to use Retrospectives in our work and reach a successful outcome.

We talk about the standards that we must ourselves to, as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The Baseball Retro

Although there are many possible games and exercises for Agile Retrospectives, in this Agile Retrospective format - The Baseball Retro -, the focus is on creating an analogy of the Sprint to a baseball game. And how we can use this analogy thinking to find opportunities for improvement. 

Listen in to learn how Jim prepares and hosts that retrospective. 

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 20, 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 working with change, one of the tools we use most often use is the “community of practice” pattern, where people get together and talk about the challenges they are facing, and discuss possible solutions. For Scrum Masters, this is especially important as we are - Jim reminds us - also leaders in our organisations and must set the example that others can follow. What are you doing to be an example of the change you are supposed to help implement?

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 19, 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 this story starts, the team is buried under technical debt. Why they got there is the topic of this episode’s story. We talk about finding the signs that the team is starting to drown in tech debt, as the recognition of that pattern is the first step to avoid major damage to the team, and the product.

In this segment, we refer to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Featured Book of the Week: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Jim found a reminder of some practices that are useful for Scrum Masters. The highlight is the process of “decluttering”, removing the mess we often have to deal with in our teams, our backlogs or in relationships between team members. Jim challenges us to find those “cluttered” areas in our work and ask the team: “do you feel overwhelmed?"

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

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 18, 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 we start our journey as Scrum Masters, we are bound to find situations and team dynamics to deal with that we were either not familiar or not responsible for handling before. 

Everyone will face one of those situations. In this episode, we talk about one such situation in Jim’s career. There was a pattern of behaviour happening that was destructive to the team, but Jim was unsure how to deal with it. Listen in to learn what he learned from that story, that you can also apply in your team when facing a similar situation.

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

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