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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast: Agile storytelling from the trenches

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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Jun 7, 2023

Takunda Noha: How to Convince the Organization for Cross-Functional Collaboration to overcome Missing Deadlines and Integration Problems

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, the focus is on the challenges faced in a delivery factory where multiple teams are required to collaborate in order to deliver a feature. However, these teams were siloed and lacked collaboration, leading to missed deadlines and integration problems. The first step was to gather facts and data to identify the causes of delays. The next challenge was to create a vision for a cross-functional team, but faced resistance from other teams. Persistence was key in convincing the organization to adopt a cross-functional approach. Although the team faced initial failures, the advice is to have a thick skin, learn from failures, and try again. To help understand and navigate this type of challenges, Takunda recommends the book is Team Topologies by Skelton and Pais, who have been previous guests on the podcast

 

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Takunda Noha

Takunda is a seasoned change agent. He specializes in turning dysfunctional teams into high performing teams.

You can link with Takunda Noha on LinkedIn.

Jun 6, 2023

Takunda Noha: From Paper to Practice, Addressing Accountability and Discipline Issues in Agile 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: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Takunda shares his experience as the scrum master for a team that supported the HR department and developed an HR platform. While the team seemed successful on paper, they struggled with discipline and frequently missed their sprint goals. Takunda attributes these challenges to a lack of accountability for not delivering on promises. He recommends the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, which helped him understand and address these issues, emphasizing the team's avoidance of conflict and lack of focus on results. He highlights the importance of ensuring that the team feels alive and engaged.

Featured Book of the Week: The Servant Leader, How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance by James Autry

In this segment, Takunda discusses his transition from being a project management professional (PMP) to a scrum master, which he describes as a significant change. He recommends the book The Servant Leader by James Autry, highlighting its impact on his understanding of the scrum master role. The book emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence in building connections and unlocking influence. Takunda shares that this book helped him develop a deeper understanding of how to effectively serve his team. In this segment, we also mention another recommended book, How to Win Friends, And Influence People by Dale Carnegie, which provides insights into building relationships and fostering positive interactions with the Scrum Master’s critical stakeholders.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

 

About Takunda Noha

Takunda is a seasoned change agent. He specializes in turning dysfunctional teams into high performing teams.

You can link with Takunda Noha on LinkedIn.

Jun 5, 2023

Takunda Noha: From Ego to Collaboration, Embracing Scrum and Overcoming Resistance

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Takunda shares his journey from being a project assistant to becoming an assistant project manager in an Agile transformation process. He discusses how a coach introduced scrum to his organization, challenging the traditional ways of working. Takunda emphasizes the importance of managing ego and addressing failure openly. He recounts joining a new team just before the COVID-19 pandemic and discovering that team members were scattered throughout the building. He tried to bring them together physically but faced resistance. The team seemed uncomfortable during stand-up meetings and quickly returned to their previous locations. Takunda advises talking to line managers to explain the situation and meeting the team where they are. He also shares the challenges of justifying his decisions and negotiating with managers. It is essential to understand what aspects might upset others to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

 

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Takunda Noha

Takunda is a seasoned change agent. He specializes in turning dysfunctional teams into high performing teams.

You can link with Takunda Noha on LinkedIn.

Jun 3, 2023

BONUS: From Scrum Master to Engineering Lead, how to prepare the transition with Tim Bourguignon

We start this episode, reflecting on Tim’s journey of realizing the importance of working collaboratively and embracing agile methodologies. Tim noticed early on that he drifted to teaching and providing assistance to others rather than actively developing software. After a while, he moved to consulting in Agile, and in that role, he noticed recurring patterns and struggled with unclogging processes that seemed to be missing something crucial. Over time, frustration set in. He felt like he was fighting an uphill battle and highlighted the disruptive nature of Agile, which aimed to uncover and solve problems but often revealed bigger and deeper underlying issues.

The big problem with Agile adoption, and what we can do to prepare for it

With time and experience, Tim realized that leadership was a crucial factor in the team's success. He observed a recurring pattern where leadership was either blocking progress or not fulfilling their role effectively. This realization led him to recognize the significance of leadership's involvement and the impact it had on the overall performance of the team. 

From developer, to coach, and finally to leader: learning to help teams at all levels of the organization

Tim shares his journey at WeMaintain and discusses the challenges of scaling while maintaining agility. Before joining, and during the interview process, Tim already sought to identify the problems he could help solve but couldn't pinpoint a specific issue. His boss expressed concerns about managing fast growth while staying agile. Initially, WeMaintain had two teams working efficiently from a backlog, releasing frequently, and measuring their progress. But, they wanted to grow the company without resorting to a traditional approach of multiple teams working on the same problem, which often led to communication issues. Instead, they advocated for compartmentalized teams with strong ownership and defined success metrics for each team based on specific business streams. Each team had the necessary skills and accountability to achieve their success metrics, ensuring a shared responsibility for success.

From coach to leader, and the critical lessons learned on the way

Tim reflects on the differences between his current approach and what he observed in the past, when he was the coach trying to help teams and organizations. He emphasizes the importance of taking personal responsibility as a leader when facing problems within a team. Previously, their clients would assume that the leaders were right and focused only on changing the teams, and he wanted to avoid that anti-pattern at all costs. Tim shares the tip of starting with leadership and establishing a clear vision, emphasizing the impact of lacking a clear vision and passionate individuals on the organization. When it comes to reflecting on our performance, Tim recommends evaluating oneself against the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto and highlights the necessity of enabling developers to communicate directly with customers to foster agility.

Scaling with Agility: Building Compartmentalized Teams and other strategies for growing companies, and staying Agile

Tim’s current focus is on stream-aligned teams and metrics. Tim recommends the book "Team Topologies", whose authors have been guests on the podcast. Tim also shares the tip of asking teams to create a portfolio of metrics that demonstrate they are working on the right things. Various teams have found interesting metrics to track their progress. The PDCA cycle and DORA (DevOps Readiness Assessment) metrics are mentioned. The guest highlights a positive sign of organizational health, with a rate of 1.5 deployments per day across the entire product group. They suggest having frequent discussions with people throughout the organization and implementing practices like showcasing Monday morning deliveries and sharing post-release messages on Slack as early documentation for stakeholders. The book "Accelerate" is also recommended for further insights into metrics.

In this final segment, we also refer to Extreme Programming.

Jun 2, 2023

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: The Power of Purpose, Unveiling the Qualities of a Great Product Owner

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

The Great Product Owner: The Impact of an Absent Product Owner on Agile Teams

In this episode, Frederik introduces a product owner who is absent and unresponsive, leading to challenges for the team. The lack of interaction and participation in Scrum events becomes demotivating, and the team starts seeking excessive upfront details, leading to slow and cumbersome planning. This absence may be due to the PO's busyness or other roles they hold. The episode provided tips such as talking to the PO to understand the situation and sharing the vision for the PO role. It emphasized the importance of explaining to the PO why their presence is critical for successful collaboration and achieving shared goals.

The Bad Product Owner: The Power of Purpose, Unveiling the Qualities of a Great Product Owner

In this segment, John - the PO -  is portrayed as an exceptional product owner who prioritizes purpose and outcomes. He possesses a clear vision of the product's purpose and utilizes it to guide decision-making for the backlog. John effectively aligns stakeholders and the development team by communicating the product goal and emphasizing the "why" behind their work. He excels in identifying the target customer and ensuring the product meets market needs. John collaborates with the team, facilitates stakeholder involvement, and holds them accountable for decisions. The episode highlights the use of impact mapping as a valuable tool for goal-oriented decision-making. John embodies the qualities of a great product owner, driving the success of the product through purpose-driven leadership.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team work 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 Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference - this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

Jun 1, 2023

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: From Process to Habit, How to unlock Scrum Master success

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

Frederik focuses on the team's ability to adopt Scrum as a habitual way of working. For Frederik, success is defined by the team's ownership of Scrum events and their ability to handle obstacles independently. The team displays a strong drive to achieve collective goals, working autonomously and taking initiative in solving problems and driving improvements. The importance of creating alignment with a shared objective is emphasized, while highlighting the team's self-sufficiency and proactive nature. Ultimately, the episode underscores that a successful Scrum Master empowers the team to work effectively and continuously strive for improvement.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What?/So What?/Now What?

In this segment, Frederik discussed his favorite retrospective format, "What/So What/Now What?" He highlighted that this format not only aids in retrospective conversations but also serves as a reflective model for teams to evaluate past events and identify areas for improvement. It encourages critical thinking by focusing on facts during the "What?" phase, inviting participants to make sense of the information in the "So What?" phase, and ultimately identifying actionable steps in the "Now What?" phase. Frederik mentioned that this retrospective format is also part of Liberating Structures, a collection of facilitation techniques, and is based on the ladder of inference. Overall, the "What/So What/Now What?" retrospective format offers a structured and effective approach to foster team learning and continuous improvement.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference - this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

May 31, 2023

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: The Road to Agile Success, How to Manage Organizational Change

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Frederik shares a story of organizational change and the challenges faced by Scrum teams. Despite working well at the team level, organizational-level issues hindered their progress. The lack of understanding and support from management regarding the benefits of agile methods was a key obstacle. Frederik provided tips such as identifying organizational pain points, creating conditions for team success, aligning objectives with strategic goals, and managing the project portfolio effectively. He emphasized the importance of serving the organization beyond the team level and understanding the structural dynamics at play. This episode shed light on the significance of addressing organizational challenges to foster successful agile transformations.

 

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference - this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

May 30, 2023

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: When collaboration fails in Agile teams, and what Scrum Masters can to about it

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Frederik shares a story about a software development team that self-destructed due to a lack of collaboration and issues with code quality. The team had differing opinions on code quality but failed to openly address the problem, leading to slow progress and frustration. Frederik provided tips such as visualizing the problem, having individual meetings with team members, and promoting feedback sharing. He facilitated a retrospective on communication using the "Stinky Fish Canvas" method and encouraged anonymous data collection to surface issues. The episode emphasized the importance of addressing code quality concerns, fostering collaboration, and creating a culture of open communication within teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high by Grenny et al.

In this segment, Frederik discussed his favorite book, "Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high" by Grenny et al. Frederik emphasizes its importance for collaboration with management and leadership. He highlighted that the book provides a model for conducting effective conversations and emphasized the need to continuously ensure a safe space within conversations. Frederik noted that the book offers valuable tools for structuring conversations and recommended using them to understand others' thoughts and perspectives. Additionally, we also refer to a related book, "Crucial Accountability" by the same authors, which provides further insights on handling accountability in crucial conversations.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

 

About Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference - this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

May 29, 2023

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: Tackling Corporate Politics for Agile Success, The Scrum Master's Perspective

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Frederik discussed his experience with corporate politics in an agile software development project. Initially a Product Owner, he became a Scrum Master while a colleague took over as the single Product Owner. Facing a team of 20 people, Frederik encountered challenges with the client's perception of the team as a "feature factory" and their desire for a perfect end product delivered all at once. 

He emphasized the importance of incremental thinking and work, offering tips such as being proactive, using User Story Mapping, prioritizing work through slicing, and collaborating with stakeholders. Frederik stressed the need for a strong relationship with management and higher-level stakeholders and highlighted the value of retrospectives in fostering understanding and promoting agile principles. Overall, the episode highlighted the challenges of corporate politics and provided practical strategies for successful agile software development projects.

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference - this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

May 26, 2023

Kaisa Martiskainen: Coaching your Product Owner transitioning from a project manager role

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

The Great Product Owner: How a PO Can Be a Great Coach for Your Scrum Team

In this episode, Kaisa shares their experience with a PO who was an expert in lean product development. Kaisa explains that the PO was very generous with their time and knowledge, and ended up being a coach for Kaisa and the team. The PO was able to explain critical lean product development aspects, and showed the team how they worked. Kaisa notes that a great PO can be a mentor and a teacher, and this experience helped them grow and learn more about lean.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching your Product Owner transitioning from a project manager role

In this episode, Kaisa shares her experience of working with a new Product Owner (PO) who had previously worked as a waterfall project manager. The PO was only focused on planning, executing, and delivering, which went against the principles of agile methodology. The PO struggled with defining the vision and direction of the product, and had to go back to the manager for decisions. To help the PO transition and learn the role, Kaisa recommended having a conversation with the PO and their manager, having a mentor for the PO, and having the Scrum Master support and coach the PO. Kaisa emphasizes the importance of coaching the PO to become an effective member of the agile team.

In this episode, we refer to the Coach Your PO e-course, which tackles 18 key aspects when coaching your PO

 

Are you having trouble helping the team work 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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

May 25, 2023

Kaisa Martiskainen: What are “15% solutions”? And how they engage the team for action after an Agile 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: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Kaisa discusses her approach to measuring success in agile/scrum teams. While some people focus on metrics like sprint velocity, Kaisa prefers to survey the team to get a pulse on how they are doing. She also emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the bigger picture of the organization and using surveys to make decisions on how to improve as a scrum master. Kaisa recommends using different survey tools, such as the Scrum Culture Index (or the Squad Health Check), to assess the team's agility and identify areas for improvement. She also highlights the importance of understanding the system in which the team operates and identifying and removing any problematic structures that may be hindering progress. Finally, Kaisa mentions the concept of "system's intelligence," which emphasizes the idea that structures produce behavior, and coaches the audience to identify systems and work towards removing any obstacles to team success.

 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What are “15% solutions”, and how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa shared some tips on how to switch up the retrospective format to make it more interesting. She suggested using "strings" from Liberating Structures and also talked about the "15% solutions" structure where the team comes up with small solutions that don't require extra resources. This encourages creativity and helps counteract the need to come up with a perfect solution. Kaisa emphasized the importance of being ready to progress in small steps.

In this episode Kaisa refers to a Liberating Structure String that includes the following elements: 

  1. Impromptu Networking

  2. What, So What, Now What?

  3. TRIZ with nested 15% Solutions

 

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

May 24, 2023

Kaisa Martiskainen: Finding the right Agile process for a mixed development and DevOps 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: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Kaisa shares the experience of joining a big team that had developers and operations people working in scrum. The team was unhappy with the long meetings and the 2-week sprint cycle did not fit the repetitive operational tasks. Kaisa suggests using surveys to assess the situation, talking to the manager about the impact of scrum on operations, and seeking help from a mentor. She also emphasizes the importance of promoting a solution that is already coming out from the team instead of pushing for change. The episode highlights anti-patterns such as cramming different types of work into sprints and replacing Kanban with Scrum in an operations team without considering the impact on the team.

 

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

May 23, 2023

Kaisa Martiskainen: The danger of thinking you know the solution before involving customers, a case study for Agile teams

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Kaisa talks about a temporary team that was formed to solve a problem in their organization. The team was using monitoring tools that sent a lot of alerts, making it difficult for customer support to determine which alerts required action. Kaisa and her colleague wanted to try out Agile practices to address this issue.

However, one individual on the team almost destroyed it with their behavior. One person, who was an expert on the monitoring tool, sent a PowerPoint presentation with all the solutions without consulting with others. This person also declined meeting invitations and eventually left the company after becoming angry.

Kaisa highlights two anti-patterns: thinking we know the solution without involving the customer and pushing one’s own solutions without consulting with others. She also emphasizes the importance of changing the culture of action and including customer feedback. Ultimately, the team reached its goal after the problematic person left, and Kaisa learned the importance of involving everyone in the problem-solving process.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Kaisa recommends the book "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Lencioni as a helpful resource for understanding common issues that can arise in a team environment.

She also discusses the concept of System's intelligence, introduced by Esa Saarinen (PDF Download), which emphasizes the importance of connecting engineering thinking with human sensitivity.

Kaisa also recommends "The Coaching Habit" by Michael Bungay as a book that has helped her avoid an anti-pattern where her knee-jerk reaction is to immediately help someone without allowing the person to help themselves. The book provides seven questions that every coach should ask, which help to increase precision and effectiveness and allow others to take more responsibility. By asking these questions, sometimes people realize they do not need Kaisa's help. This allows her to avoid being overly involved and helps people become more self-sufficient.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

 

About Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

May 22, 2023

Kaisa Martiskainen: Product Owner collaboration, and the importance of building relationships in Scrum

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode of the podcast, Kaisa shares her experience as a rotating scrum master at the start of her journey. She was eager to be a good scrum master and saw every problem as an impediment she had to remove, which led her to act as a messenger between the Product Owner and the team. Also because the team was not comfortable with the Product Owner's communication style. Kaisa provides some tips for handling such situations, such as pausing and asking questions instead of immediately rescuing the team, and asking who is in the best position to solve the issue when the team asks for help. She emphasizes that in many cases, the scrum master is not the best person to solve the issues the team is facing.

Kaisa also suggests building a relationship between the team and the Product Owner, such as by organizing a happy hour. She highlights the anti-pattern of communicating only asynchronously and recommends the use of synchronous communication methods to build better relationships within the team.

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

May 20, 2023

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

Lisette's journey into remote work began approximately 20 years ago when she started working for an online project management tool. What made this tool unique was its objective of bringing scientists together to find solutions to the aging problem. This experience got Lisette thinking about the possibilities of removing distance as a barrier.

Due to the nature of her work for the tool vendor, Lisette had the opportunity to work remotely while being a tour manager for a music band. At some point, someone suggested that she start a podcast on remote work, which sparked her interest in exploring and sharing her knowledge in this area.

To get her main remote work tips in one neat, freely available kit, download Lisette’s remote work super kit here.

Unveiling the Challenges of Remote Work: Communication Overload, Bonding Struggles, and More

In this podcast, Lisette discusses the most common challenges in remote work, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Missing osmotic conversations: Remote workers often feel the absence of spontaneous, informal conversations that used to happen naturally in office settings.

  2. Information dissemination issues: There is a difficulty in effectively sharing and disseminating information as compared to traditional workplace setups.

  3. Meeting and communication overload: Remote work can lead to excessive meetings and communication, which can be overwhelming and hinder productivity.

  4. Blurred boundaries between work and personal life: Remote workers often struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance, as they tend to work at all times and from any location.

  5. Difficulties in bonding and closeness: Remote work can create a sense of detachment and lack of closeness among colleagues, leading to challenges in building strong relationships.

  6. Challenges with organizing work for introverts and extroverts: Remote work requires finding a balance between the needs of introverts and extroverts in terms of communication and collaboration styles.

  7. Need for inclusive work practices: There is a genuine need to develop work strategies that cater to the needs of both extroverts and introverts, fostering a productive and inclusive remote work environment.

The Great Debate: Office or Remote? Lisette's Thoughts and Practical Advice

Lisette shares her thoughts on the "go back to the office" versus "remote first" debate, offering insights and practical tips based on her experiences. She highlights virtual co-working as a potential solution to address the challenges faced in remote work. Lisette mentions Superkit as a handy resource for virtual co-working.

She expresses confusion regarding the ongoing debate, pointing out that the past three years have demonstrated the viability and success of remote work. However, she acknowledges that certain company cultures and teams may thrive in an in-person environment, emphasizing that some individuals simply enjoy working together physically.

Lisette discusses the importance of team building, noting that many companies are struggling in this aspect. She suggests creating agreements within teams and shares an example of a team member who organizes collaborative work sessions every Monday. Lisette emphasizes the need to consider the purpose of the office and recommends virtual co-working as a solution.

She explains that virtual co-working involves opening a Zoom call and working together while discussing tasks, simulating the experience of sitting next to someone in an office. This approach has helped create a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. Lisette offers tips to make virtual co-working successful, such as trying different approaches based on individual preferences, being mindful of video fatigue, and establishing team-specific etiquette.

Overall, Lisette's insights shed light on the complexities of the office versus remote work debate, advocating for a nuanced approach that considers company culture, team dynamics, and the potential benefits of virtual co-working.

Remote Success Strategies: Lisette's Advice for Scrum Masters

Lisette offers crucial advice to Scrum Masters, guiding them through the challenges of remote work. She highlights the usefulness of her SuperKit, a remote working kit available at collaborationsuperpowers.com/superkit. This kit equips Scrum Masters with essential tools like team agreements, user manuals, and meeting agreements to enhance collaboration in remote settings.

Recognizing the importance of human connection, Lisette emphasizes that productivity cannot be solely measured by output. Scrum Masters should prioritize fostering a supportive and connected environment for their teams. They should encourage open communication and create opportunities for team members to express their needs and preferences to ensure a sustainable and productive work environment.

Lisette encourages Scrum Masters to seize the opportunity to redesign work processes in the remote context. They should explore innovative ways to visualize and share work progress, as relying solely on text-based communication might not be sufficient. Creativity in visualizing work together can enhance clarity and collaboration.

Lastly, Lisette reminds Scrum Masters of their influential role as leaders. They should model the behavior and practices they expect from their teams. By embracing and demonstrating effective remote work practices themselves, Scrum Masters can inspire their teams to follow suit and achieve success in the remote work landscape.

Building Bridges, Not Barriers: Lisette's Insights about Conflict Resolution in Remote Work

In this segment, Lisette addresses the topic of conflict in remote work environments, sharing personal struggles and offering advice. She acknowledges that she also faces challenges with conflict, expressing her inclination to avoid it. However, she emphasizes that sometimes it is necessary to confront conflicts rather than running away from them. It is crucial to create a safe space where conflicts can be addressed openly.

In remote work, bringing up conflicts may seem more significant than intended due to the lack of face-to-face interaction. Lisette advises teams to establish a protocol for handling conflicts as part of their team agreement. One important tip she shares is to avoid engaging in conflicts over text-based communication.

To navigate conflicts effectively, Lisette recommends seeking training, specifically mentioning Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a valuable resource. She provides links to resources related to NVC and difficult conversation.

Lisette encourages Scrum Masters to consider the needs of their team members and how they handle conflicts. Understanding individual communication styles, especially in written communication, can contribute to better conflict resolution within the team.

Lisette’s resources for successful remote work

Lisette shares some resources to help you succeed in a remote work environment. 

 

About Lisette Sutherland

Lisette is the author of the book on remote work titled: Work together anywhere. She is also a Keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and remote-working champion for individuals, teams & managers. 

You can link with Lisette Sutherland on LinkedIn

May 19, 2023

Rayyan Karim: Key concepts to train Product Owners on, lessons for Scrum Masters

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

The Great Product Owner: Key concepts to train Product Owners on, lessons for Scrum Masters

In this segment, Rayyan talks about how Product Owners (POs) need to learn how to form Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and how he trained other POs in his team to create as-is and to-be customer journeys. By using product goals, empathy maps, and customer journeys, they were able to identify dysfunctions in their teams. Rayyan also mentions the Double Diamond method and how it helped them succeed. He also references the Team of Teams McChrystal as a resource for further learning.

The Bad Product Owner: The Challenges of Being a PO Without Proper Training and Support

In this segment, Rayyan talks about a common problem where a business analyst is suddenly made a Product Owner (PO) without any training or change in position. This leads to a lack of understanding of the backlog, customers, and detailed work required. Rayyan suggests that the system is responsible for such problems and offers tips to tackle them. He advises to drop everything and work with the new PO only, and suggests avoiding anti-patterns such as vague backlog items, bullet points, and lack of measurement of item value. He also recommends being ready for such situations and providing support at the right time. In this segment we refer to the Coach Your PO e-Course module that covers how to onboard a new PO.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Are you having trouble helping the team work 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 Rayyan Karim

Rayyan is and Agile Coach & Trainer and the founder of Design Your Future with presence in the UK and the UAE. Rayyan is known for supporting leading executives of FTSE100 and NASDAQ corporations to create transformational results quickly.

You can link with Rayyan Karim on LinkedIn and connect with Rayyan Karim on Twitter.

May 18, 2023

Rayyan Karim: Measuring Success in Agile, Why Story Points Don't Always Tell the Full Agile Story

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Rayyan discusses two main categories for measuring performance in organizations: hard and fast business results and effectiveness. The first indicator for effectiveness is happy people who can be themselves, which Rayyan refers to as "Shiny Happy People." Rayyan suggests that instead of focusing on story points, teams should focus on cycle and lead time and examine the variation in the system to determine how to remove it. He recommends conducting team surveys or squad health checks over time and paying attention to how people talk at retrospectives. Additionally, Rayyan suggests setting up one-on-one meetings with team members to get a better understanding of how they are showing up for retrospectives.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Squad Health Check retro benefits

In this episode, Rayyan discusses his favorite agile retrospective format, which is the Squad Health Check. He mentions that while the Sailboat retro is the most commonly used, he prefers the Squad Health Check as it quickly gets everyone on the same page and can be used in larger teams and teams of teams. Rayyan notes that the Health Check is short, focused, and highly adaptable, and it gives a good understanding of where the teams are. He also gives tips to adapt it to the program or team you are working with and to remove the "neutral" option.

 

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Rayyan Karim

Rayyan is and Agile Coach & Trainer and the founder of Design Your Future with presence in the UK and the UAE. Rayyan is known for supporting leading executives of FTSE100 and NASDAQ corporations to create transformational results quickly.

You can link with Rayyan Karim on LinkedIn and connect with Rayyan Karim on Twitter.

May 17, 2023

Rayyan Karim: Agile Transformation at scale, just-in-time training and other tips for success

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Rayyan discusses his experience with implementing change in large-scale organizations. He shares the steps he learned from previous experiments in other parts of the organization. These steps include hands-on immersive sessions focused on real work, just-in-time training, and defining success with OKRs. The first step in the process is evaluating the flow of demand through the organization with a systems thinking mindset. Rayyan recommends training people in byte-sized bits at the time they need it, using design thinking, and taking an MVP first approach. To disseminate this knowledge throughout the organization, they put together a roadshow with 15-minute interactive byte-sized trainings for each of the topics. Rayyan emphasizes the importance of practicing explaining things until it comes out naturally and concisely, relating the learning to the environment, and focusing on interaction to enable people to learn on their own as a group.

 

[IMAGE HERE] As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Rayyan Karim

Rayyan is and Agile Coach & Trainer and the founder of Design Your Future with presence in the UK and the UAE. Rayyan is known for supporting leading executives of FTSE100 and NASDAQ corporations to create transformational results quickly.

You can link with Rayyan Karim on LinkedIn and connect with Rayyan Karim on Twitter.

May 16, 2023

Rayyan Karim: The importance of team design and backlog structure in an Agile adoption process

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Rayyan discusses their experience working with IBM at a Brazilian bank. The teams were facing serious problems with delivery, despite having agreed on a strategy. Rayyan discovered that the root of the problem was organizational design. Although the program consisted of 300 people, the teams were organized functionally, which was hindering their success. Rayyan emphasizes the importance of considering the team's design, the backlog design, and clear measurements of success when implementing Agile. They also stress the importance of addressing beliefs and providing an alternative identity for those who may not be sold on the ideas of agility. 

Featured Book for the Week: "System of Profound Knowledge" on Deming’s work

In this segment, Rayyan recommends the resource "System of Profound Knowledge" about Deming’s work to help in understanding the true intent and start of agility. The article explores adaptive systems and helps readers understand the change that is happening in the workplace, as well as what a system is and how leaders think. The article also explains the concept of "tamper." 

 

[IMAGE HERE] Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

 

About Rayyan Karim

Rayyan is and Agile Coach & Trainer and the founder of Design Your Future with presence in the UK and the UAE. Rayyan is known for supporting leading executives of FTSE100 and NASDAQ corporations to create transformational results quickly.

You can link with Rayyan Karim on LinkedIn and connect with Rayyan Karim on Twitter.

May 15, 2023

Rayyan Karim: From Command and Control to Agile, a difficult transition for a delivery manager

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Rayyan shares his experience of working with a team at a consulting firm who were using a project management approach with a command and control style. Despite being able to deliver in just 10 days, there was a "delivery manager" who was hindering the team by trying to dictate their actions and decisions. Rayyan shares how he had to focus on "man-marking" the delivery manager and helping them understand the change of identity required in an Agile environment. Rayyan emphasizes the importance of training and not being afraid of disagreement when implementing Agile.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Rayyan Karim

Rayyan is and Agile Coach & Trainer and the founder of Design Your Future with presence in the UK and the UAE. Rayyan is known for supporting leading executives of FTSE100 and NASDAQ corporations to create transformational results quickly.

You can link with Rayyan Karim on LinkedIn and connect with Rayyan Karim on Twitter.

May 12, 2023

Manuele Piastra: Customer-Centric Product Ownership, and how it grows the product IQ of the Scrum 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: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

The Great Product Owner: Coaching the Uncoachable, Dealing with Difficult Product Owners

In this segment, Manuele talks about the anti-pattern of a Product Owner (PO) with a product manager background. PO’s with this background tend to focus on managing the work and the team, assigning tasks themselves, and writing solution-centric stories. They provide little focus on the "why" and the vision, which deviates from the idea of working as a team and breaks team dynamics. Manuele suggests nurturing the relationship if the PO is open to learning and working with you, but redefining the coaching contract with the sponsors if the PO is a senior person who is used to telling others what to do. If you can't coach the PO, Manuele advises considering getting out of there.

For ideas, tips, and models to use when coaching your Product Owner, check out our Coach Your PO e-course, now on its second version.

The Bad Product Owner: Customer-Centric Product Ownership, and how it grows the product IQ of the team

In this episode, Manuele talks about the impact a great Product Owner (PO) can have on a Scrum team. He explains that great POs start from the "why" and develop a compelling vision for the product. They find out who the customers and personas are and help team members get in touch directly with customers and stakeholders. This helps raise the product IQ of the team, making them more product savvy. Great POs allow team members to talk to customers and stakeholders to understand their needs better. Manuele suggests that POs should frame the problems clearly and not worry about how the team divides the work. When working with a great PO, it feels easy.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Are you having trouble helping the team work 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 Manuele Piastra

Manuele Piastra moved to London in 2014, which was a life-changing experience for him. He gained access to more sources of learning, worked in fast-paced companies with complex technology stacks and ambitious goals, and developed open-mindedness, patience, and autonomy.

You can link with Manuele Piastra on LinkedIn and connect with Manuele Piastra on Twitter.

May 11, 2023

Manuele Piastra: The road to success for Scrum Masters includes defining success with your Agile 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: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Manuele shares his perspective on making oneself redundant as an Agile coach or Scrum Master. He disagrees with the idea of completely making oneself redundant, just like a winning coach in football is not fired. Instead, he suggests creating a maturity assessment for the team and involving them in defining success criteria. He emphasizes the importance of not having creating a dependency on the Scrum Master and encourages the team to ask for help in areas they need it. Additionally, he recommends experimenting with different ways to measure success and finding other Scrum Masters to share learning and get feedback.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Appreciation Retrospective

In this episode, Manuele states that the favorite format depends on various factors, such as the team's mood and recent events. He expresses a dislike for the overly simplistic "what is good? What was bad?" retrospectives, which can feel like a checkbox exercise. Instead, Manuele prefers to vary the format and sometimes run an appreciation retrospective, where only positives are discussed. Manuele believes it's important to regularly remind the team of their strengths and focus on improvement while also acknowledging their successes.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Manuele Piastra

Manuele Piastra moved to London in 2014, which was a life-changing experience for him. He gained access to more sources of learning, worked in fast-paced companies with complex technology stacks and ambitious goals, and developed open-mindedness, patience, and autonomy.

You can link with Manuele Piastra on LinkedIn and connect with Manuele Piastra on Twitter.

May 10, 2023

Manuele Piastra: Measuring Progress in Agile Transformation Using a Maturity Tracker

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Manuele talks about his experience as an external change agent in an organization. He shares some tips on how to start off an engagement the right way. First, he suggests having a conversation with the sponsor to evaluate the assignment. Next, he advises defining what is expected from the team, sponsors, and yourself. He emphasizes the importance of having the sponsor introduce you to the team and doing a boot camp with them. During the boot camp, he tells the team that he's not there to do their job. He recommends measuring progress by using a tool to track the team's movement towards agility, such as the Agile Reloaded Maturity Tracker. This helps identify pain points and what needs to change with the help of the coach. Finally, he advises having success criteria and looping and repeating the process.

 

[IMAGE HERE] As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Manuele Piastra

Manuele Piastra moved to London in 2014, which was a life-changing experience for him. He gained access to more sources of learning, worked in fast-paced companies with complex technology stacks and ambitious goals, and developed open-mindedness, patience, and autonomy.

You can link with Manuele Piastra on LinkedIn and connect with Manuele Piastra on Twitter.

May 9, 2023

Manuele Piastra: Challenging the Team, The Scrum Master's Role as a Change Agent

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Manuele discusses the role of the Scrum Master and the importance of being a leader rather than just a servant. He identifies several anti-patterns that can arise when a Scrum Master is seen as a personal assistant or secretary, such as being asked to write stories, move stories on the board, or run meetings for the team. Manuele emphasizes that the Scrum Master is a part of the team and their behavior can have a significant impact on the team's performance. He also discusses the importance of challenging the team and avoiding the temptation to please team members instead of helping them. Manuele recommends reflecting on whether your actions align with your role as a change agent and asks "What would be the reason for you not to do what you are asking me to do?" as a way to encourage the team to think critically about their approach. Finally, Manuele provides tips for how Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches can work together to drive improvement and disrupt the status quo. 

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

In this segment, Manuele recommends the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink, which he found himself referring to in many situations. He mentions using the book's three key motivator factors when designing a workshop or considering what a team might be lacking. Manuele points out that OKRs follow two aspects of the Drive model, Purpose and Autonomy, and suggests that the Drive model is also useful for coaching Product Owners. Although Manuele read the book many years ago, he still finds it relevant and valuable. 

 

[IMAGE HERE] Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

 

About Manuele Piastra

Manuele Piastra moved to London in 2014, which was a life-changing experience for him. He gained access to more sources of learning, worked in fast-paced companies with complex technology stacks and ambitious goals, and developed open-mindedness, patience, and autonomy.

You can link with Manuele Piastra on LinkedIn and connect with Manuele Piastra on Twitter.

May 8, 2023

Manuele Piastra: Fighting Against Your Team, The Danger of Blindly Implementing Scrum

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In this episode, Manuele discusses his experience working with a mobile team in a scrum environment. He points out that while scrum is a great methodology because it provides structure, teams may sometimes just go through the motions. As time goes by, teams may begin to drop aspects of scrum, leading to the loss of the entire process. Manuele identifies two ANTI-PATTERNS in which the leadership hires a scrum master without explaining the importance of Agile or Scrum to the team, and in which scrum or agile are superimposed on something else without that thing going away. Manuele failed to recognize the context of the team and was given specific goals to put the team on the path of scrum, leading to a fight between him and the team. He offers some tips for addressing this situation, including stopping the show and having an honest conversation with the team and stakeholders. Finally, he suggests doing personal reflection to determine if you are the right fit for the team. 

 

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Manuele Piastra

Manuele Piastra moved to London in 2014, which was a life-changing experience for him. He gained access to more sources of learning, worked in fast-paced companies with complex technology stacks and ambitious goals, and developed open-mindedness, patience, and autonomy.

You can link with Manuele Piastra on LinkedIn and connect with Manuele Piastra on Twitter.

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