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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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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast: Agile storytelling from the trenches
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Jan 27, 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.

The Great Product Owner: The advantage of knowing Scrum in depth!

This Product Owner had a deep understanding of Agile and Scrum. This enabled him to focus on the core interaction with the team. Every week, he’d meet with the team for the Review and Planning meetings. Through that, he was able to guide the team, communicate the updated Vision for the product, and help the team select the stories for the Sprint without overcommitting. The knowledge the PO had of Scrum helped him focus on the right communication cadence, and topics with the team!

The Bad Product Owner: The core value of the User Story format for Scrum teams and Product Owners

Peter was a Product Owner for one of his first projects. The project was very well defined and prepared, and they decided to do it with Scrum. Peter then tried to split the requirements and work packages into stories on his own. However, he did not reformulate the requirements in a way that would convey the goal or purpose of each story, or the product itself to the team. This experience helped Peter understand why the User Story format is so important. 

In this segment, we talk about Inspired, the book by Marty Cagan.

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Jan 26, 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.

When it comes to Scrum Master success, Peter explains why the success metrics for a Scrum Master are similar to those of a CEO. He focuses on the need for learning about the team’s surroundings, and to think about the outcomes (what we want to achieve, not what want to do) in a way that he describes as “outside - in”. In this segment, we also explore the idea of “convergence”, a critical thinking approach that Peter describes as serving CEO’s and Scrum Masters alike! 

In this segment, we refer to the NoEstimates approach for software development.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Happiness Door Agile Retrospective

Peter’s advice is to build retrospectives into the day-to-day work with the teams, and try not to need a specific time for a retrospective. For example, he suggests: “have mini retrospectives every hour.” However, when that’s not (yet) the case, he prefers to use The Happiness Door retrospective, and explains his approach to that format.

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Jan 25, 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.

Experienced Scrum Masters have a superpower that many think is a CEO or a top-leader’s skill. When Peter got asked, with only a few days notice, to organize a leadership team offsite, he knew it was time to use that superpower! Listen in to learn about that Scrum Master superpower that even CEO’s need! 

In this episode, we refer to a blog post explaining why Vasco thinks that the future of the Scrum Master profession is a learning path towards the CEO role!

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Jan 24, 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.

When Peter joined this project, the teams had been working on it for years and had little to show for it. Thanks to the CTO at the company, the new team which Peter coached, was able to focus on small, valuable increments to deliver the back-office system the company needed. Listen to this segment, to hear how we can help teams go from BIG BANG thinking to incremental delivery, a crucial need for Agile teams. 

In this segment, we refer to the Toyota Kata and the PDCA cycle

Featured Book of the Week: Accelerate by Forsgren et al. 

In Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations by Forsgren et al., Peter found evidence-based support for many of the approaches, and practices used by Agile teams and Agile organizations. In this segment, we talk about the DORA metrics, and how to focus software development on business results. 

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Jan 23, 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.

Peter joined a team, and after a while he found himself not wanting to coach one of the team members. The team member in question was well respected in the team for this technical knowledge, and his “hero” status, but Peter was not able to help him to adapt to the needs for the team. He missed daily meetings on a random basis, and did not accept other ways of working. Over time, Peter and this team member grew apart, and Peter eventually handed the team to another Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about how to avoid situations like this, and what Peter learned that now helps him deal with even the hardest to coach team members!

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Jan 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.

The Great Product Owner: How to involve teams in the whole product development process

Good PO’s always include the teams in the process of making decisions, but great PO’s go much further. They include the team in the process of gathering information, and listens to the team’s feedback.

In this segment, we refer to the “Superchicken Paradox” a video with Margaret Heffernan.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s that think they need to do everything, even the Scrum team’s work!

Sometimes, the Product Owners we work with behave as if the thought there was no team to develop the product with them. In fact, they might try to do everything up to, and sometimes even including, writing code! In this segment, we explore what might be some causes of this Anti-pattern, and how we can help the Product Owner step back from the team’s domain of work, and focus on the PO’s domain of work! 

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 Gert Brits

Gert came from a programming background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying Agile Coaching across diverse and non tech areas. He has a focus on group dynamics blended with systems thinking, and the art of balancing application vs theory.

You can link with Gert Brits on LinkedIn.

Jan 19, 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.

When it comes to evaluating our success as Scrum Masters, Gert suggests we start with a simple question to frame our work: how is the scrum master helping the team deliver faster or better results? In this segment, we also talk about the importance of setting up a coaching agreement with the team and stakeholders, and we refer to Vasco’s Christmas 2022 bonus episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Tips on how to improve a simple Agile Retrospective format

Gert likes the simple format that focuses on 3 questions (what went well, not well, what can we do about it?). However, he brings in different tools and practices around that format to adapt it to the reality of the team at the time of the retrospective. He suggests starting with an ice-breaker, and shifting the order of the main questions around depending on what you feel the team needs to talk about at the time.

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 Gert Brits

Gert came from a programming background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying Agile Coaching across diverse and non tech areas. He has a focus on group dynamics blended with systems thinking, and the art of balancing application vs theory.

You can link with Gert Brits on LinkedIn.

Jan 18, 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.

In this organization, they struggled with the implementation of the OKR framework (Objective-Key Results). As Gert talked to the teams, he heard that they were frustrated with the long time the process took, how tightly structured it was, and how they felt unprepared to translate all their plans into the OKR framework. 

Over time, Gert worked with leadership and the teams to find out how to adapt the framework to the reality of that organization and those teams. In this episode, we hear how Big Room Planning helped with the implementation of OKR’s and we learn other tools and practices to support the use of OKR’s in any organization. 

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 Gert Brits

Gert came from a programming background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying Agile Coaching across diverse and non tech areas. He has a focus on group dynamics blended with systems thinking, and the art of balancing application vs theory.

You can link with Gert Brits on LinkedIn.

Jan 17, 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.

Gert was working with a team that enabled other teams. It was a “developer advocate” team for Spotify, which helped other teams and company external contributors to develop innovative solutions at the website backstage.io. What this team was trying to achieve was completely new in that industry. As such a new team, there was a lot of uncertainty about the outcome to be worked on, which caused tension in the team. Listen in to learn how Gert was able to help the team overcome that tension and conflict, and grew to be a great team!

In this segment, we talk about the RACI chart, and the Squad Health Check.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink

Gert recommends Drive by Daniel Pink, a book that helped him understand what motivates people to take action. The book helped Gert develop a heightened awareness of people’s motivations, and also the necessary self-awareness he needed as a Scrum Master.

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!  

Jan 16, 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.

Gert heard his colleagues complain to him about some of the challenges and problems they were facing. Trying to help them, Gert setup a session for the team of Scrum Masters to discuss the problems he had heard. However, there was one problem… Listen in to learn when it is not a good idea to set up a collective retrospective, even if you know there are problems that need to be solved!

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.

About Gert Brits

Gert came from a programming background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying Agile Coaching across diverse and non tech areas. He has a focus on group dynamics blended with systems thinking, and the art of balancing application vs theory.

You can link with Gert Brits on LinkedIn.

Jan 13, 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.

The Great Product Owner: Technical background is not necessary to be a great Product Owner!

This PO had never been exposed to Agile, however this person wanted the product to be successful, and understood that software development was a team’s sport! This PO, even without software development background was able to be open-minded enough to learn what was necessary, to collaborate with the team, and was open to getting help from the Scrum Master! 

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s that didn’t want to be PO’s in the first place

Sometimes, we work with PO’s that did not want to be given that responsibility. When the PO is forced to take that role and work with the team, the conditions are rife for problems. There might be many reasons for this, including that PO is the next “logical” step for a technical person’s career. In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters can help do “damage control” and help the team and the PO work together. 

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.  

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn

Jan 12, 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.

As Scrum Masters, we operate at different levels. From the individual, to the team, to the organizational level and others! That means, Scrum Masters must be able to switch between the different levels, and keep different goals and methods in mind. In this episode, we discuss how we can acknowledge, and prepare for the different demands put on us. We discuss coaching, non-directive coaching, journaling as a technique to sharpen our senses, and the need to have a sparring partner, or even a coach to help us be more aware and deliberate in our work. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 6 Thinking Hats retrospective

The 6 thinking hats by De Bono, is a book that explains that we have different ways to look at work, and problems we face. The 6 thinking hats retrospective helps us take advantage of the different types of thinking that we have in the team, and focus the team on what they can influence, rather than trying to solve all kinds of problems, many of which are outside the influence of the team. 

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.  

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn

Jan 11, 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.

When working as a change agent, or change leader, we must be able to focus on what we have influence on. It’s no use trying to focus on the things we don’t, or can’t influence. In this episode, we talk about a big change that Omar was able to bring to a team that did not work with users. He explains how he introduced the idea, trained, prepared and helped the team being the user voice to their work. 

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.  

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn

Jan 10, 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.

Omar was working with a team that had been assigned a project with a fixed schedule, fixed scope, and a fixed price! The team was struggling with the assignment, and the mood was somber. There was little motivation, and conflict was everywhere… until there was a breakthrough that helped the team overcome all the anti-patterns! Listen in to learn how to escape the death-march that fixed projects can become! 

Featured Book of the Week: Audiobook Beyond The Phoenix Project by Kim and Willis

In the Audiobook Beyond The Phoenix Project by Kim and Willis, Omar found a book that helps clarify and describe the foundations on which devOps and Agile stand. As Omar describes it: these are the Newtonian Physics of our work with teams and software organizations. In this episode, we also refer to Out Of the Crisis by Deming, and Deming’s work in general

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.  

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn

Jan 9, 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.

Omar was working with a team that had been working with a remote team, in another office, and country. Over the time those teams worked together there were some problems in communication and collaboration. Because the collaboration between the teams had been difficult, Omar thought it best to organize a retrospective. And then things got even worse! Listen in to learn what caused the problems, and what Omar did when the retrospective failed! 

In this episode, we refer to Peopleware by DeMarco and Lister, a very important book for Scrum Masters. 

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.  

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn

Jan 6, 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.

The Great Product Owner: Growth Mindset in the PO role

Great PO’s have what Fred calls a “Growth Mindset”. Fred also highlights some of the key techniques Scrum Masters can use to help Product Owners in their work, such as regular 1-on-1’s, and working with the PO in defining what they want from their career. Through this work, Fred was able to help the PO work with the team in organizing a “hackathon”, which generated great ideas for the product. In Great PO fashion the PO was also able to tell the team which of those ideas would make sense “now” vs. “not yet”.

The Bad Product Owner: The 3-headed PO hydra!

In this team, the PO had left, and the company tried to fill in the PO role quickly by bringing 3 different people together to take on that role. However, that did not go so well, as Fred explains. We explore why having multiple people in the PO role can be a great “bandaid”, but it will backfire sooner or later. We also discuss how Fred was able to bring those 3 part-time PO’s together and work to define a better way to work together for those 3 people, so that the team could have the necessary support from the PO role.

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Jan 5, 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.

Scrum Masters are, according to the Scrum Guide, responsible for the effectiveness of the Scrum team. Fred shares his own understanding of that responsibility, and how his perspective on it has evolved over time. In this segment, we talk about Evidence Based Management (EBM), and the values that EBM suggests are the key focus for teams and organizations.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Remember the Future, prospective for risks to prepare for

Fred likes to ask the teams to, once in a while, focus on the future. Using pictures from the Back to the Future movie series, he helps the team prospect risks by imagining the future. This can be done in the form of asking questions such as: “imagine yourselves 3 months from now, what were the behaviors you had that helped you deliver, and what were the challenges you overcame?”

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Jan 4, 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.

Fred joined an organization that had adopted a modified SAFe model. His job was to help the teams do joint planning with the PI (Program Increment) planning event approach from SAFe. He had been asked to help the teams because of them taking too much work into an increment. The first step Fred and the teams took was to spend a bit more time understanding and planning each increment (from 2 days to 1 week of planning time). However, this extra time did not help with the planning accuracy. Even if they planned for longer, the result was still that the teams failed to deliver what they had planned.

That’s when the challenge came from a Senior VP who asked them “how can we do things differently?”

Over the next PI, the teams and Fred came up with a different approach to help visualize and understand the impact of uncertainty over time, and its impact on the results of the PI. Listen in to learn about how to define and communicate planning uncertainty!

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Jan 3, 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.

At one point in his career, Fred was both the Scrum Master and manager for the teams he supported. As he reflected on the impact of the retrospectives he facilitated, he noticed that even though the retrospectives took place, the same things kept coming up at every retrospective. The retrospectives were helpful for the teams to “vent” their frustrations and talk about what was not working well, however, there was never time to discuss the improvement actions. This anti-pattern helped Fred realize that he needed to change the way he facilitated retrospective meetings, and he put in place a simple rule that ensured the retrospectives were impactful, not just helpful for the team!

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland

The book Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland, was a critical book for Fred’s career and personal development in his understanding and practice of Scrum and Agile. One of the key lessons Fred highlights from the book is the razor sharp focus on delivering something “immediately”, by the use of questions such as “what can we deliver right away?”

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Jan 2, 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.

Fred had just started his first assignment as a Scrum Master. As he joined the team, he was told that the previous Scrum Master had been too dogmatic. Fred took that as a hint, and focused on being less strict in his Scrum training/mentoring, however as he started to work with the team, things started to unravel. The team was not really working well together, and there was tension between the team and their management/leadership. This brings us to a discussion on how to set up teams, and how to help the team members take responsibility for their participation in the distribution of work by taking on “T-Shape” skill development.

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Dec 30, 2022

In this episode, Vasco explores the Product Owner role and how it can become a key obstacle for the team's success. Vasco covers the 3 key constituencies that Product Owner needs to serve, as well as one key responsibility that is often left behind by many Product Owners.

In this episode, we talk about the upcoming Product Owner Summit. If you are interested in being part of the volunteer team for the PO summit, you can email us at podcast@oikosofy.com

What do you think of this perspective on the Product Owner role? Leave us a comment below, or send us your thoughts at podcast@oikosofy.com

 

About Vasco Duarte

Author of http://NoEstimatesBook.com, and daily podcast host at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. I try to give back to the community every single day in an effort to improve the IT and product industry all over the world.
Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that I've taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. I've worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.

Dec 29, 2022

In this episode, Vasco explores one of the hardest lessons he's had to learn as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach. He shares what led him to that lesson, and how he's been able to overcome some of the critical, but also natural blockers to learn this important lesson.

In this segment, Vasco talks about how important it is to grow as a person, and get coaching support. If you are interested in receiving coaching support from Oikosofy and from Vasco, you can contact us at: coaching@oikosofy.com.

As Vasco puts it: "you should not be a coach for others, until you've started your own coaching journey with a coach!"

The biggest Agile trends for 2023

In the final segment of this episode, Vasco shares what he thinks will be the biggest trends for the Agile community in 2023. He talks about Invitational Change and Agile Product Management. If you want to learn more about those trends, listen to this show to the end!

Leave us your thoughts on 2023 Agile trend predictions below, or send us an email at: podcast@oikosofy.com

About Vasco Duarte
Author of http://NoEstimatesBook.com, and daily podcast host at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. I try to give back to the community every single day in an effort to improve the IT and product industry all over the world.
Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that I've taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. I've worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.
Dec 28, 2022

In this very special Christmas BONUS episode, Vasco explores the impact communities can have in our professional lives, and how we can support those communities.

In this episode, Vasco also announces the Product Owner Summit, a new project by the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, to help you learn as you expand your community. If you are interested in participating, email Vasco at Vasco@Oikosofy.com, he's calling on volunteers to help organize that summit in 2023!

Speaking of communities, you can join our Slack, where Scrum Masters and past guests of the podcast share their lessons learned and answer your questions. Join us and ask your questions!

The reflection question

As you finish this episode, reflect on what is the hardest problem, or struggle you face right now. Turn that struggle into an opportunity by asking questions from your community. Ask that question in a local community, or on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast Slack channel. This is the challenge, and reflection that Vasco leaves us at the end of the episode.

Resources for this episode

  • Meetup.com a platform that helps you find local communities and meetups that you can take part of
About Vasco Duarte
Author of http://NoEstimatesBook.com, and daily podcast host at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. I try to give back to the community every single day in an effort to improve the IT and product industry all over the world.
Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that I've taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. I've worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.
Dec 27, 2022
In this special Christmas BONUS episode, we cover some of the key lessons that Vasco collected throughout 2022. You get an insight into his lessons learned, but also the thinking process that led to them. 
Listen in to learn about 
  • The results of a change management poll for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, and what that says about our community 
  • Product Ownership in 2022, and why the PO role needs a new approach in the Agile community
  • Why the concept of Antifragile can, and should be applied to the work we do as Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters
  • A BONUS reflection question for you to reflect on at the end of this year. 
You can send your questions to podcast@oikosofy.com! 
 
If you are interested in being part of a volunteer team that will be working on helping Product Owners during the year 2023, contact Vasco at Vasco@Oikosofy.com, and share why you’d be interested to be part of this work to help Product Owners! 
 
About Vasco Duarte
Author of http://NoEstimatesBook.com, and daily podcast host at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. I try to give back to the community every single day in an effort to improve the IT and product industry all over the world.
Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that I've taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. I've worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.
Dec 26, 2022

In this BONUS episode, Vasco reflects on what is the gift the Agile community needs the most and why.

The gift Vasco refers to is something that many would think is an obvious part of any Agile adoption process. Some might even say it is a core aspect of any Agile adoption. Yet, it is often missing as Vasco shares in this episode.

What is that gift? Listen in to know more!

In this episode, Vasco refer to his #NoEstimates blog posts, as well as to the Podcast slack. If you are interested in joining our Slack, just drop us an email at: podcast@oiksofy.com!

What did you think about this episode? Leave as a comment below, or send us your thoughts at podcast@oikosofy.com!

 

About Vasco Duarte
Author of http://NoEstimatesBook.com, and daily podcast host at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. I try to give back to the community every single day in an effort to improve the IT and product industry all over the world.
Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that I've taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. I've worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.
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