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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

Every week day, Certified Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Business Consultant Vasco Duarte interviews Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches from all over the world to get you actionable advice, new tips and tricks, improve your craft as a Scrum Master with daily doses of inspiring conversations with Scrum Masters from the all over the world. Stay tuned for BONUS episodes when we interview Agile gurus and other thought leaders in the business space to bring you the Agile Business perspective you need to succeed as a Scrum Master. Some of the topics we discuss include: Agile Business, Agile Strategy, Retrospectives, Team motivation, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Backlog Refinement, Scaling Scrum, Lean Startup, Test Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Paper Prototyping, QA in Scrum, the role of agile managers, servant leadership, agile coaching, and more!
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Now displaying: 2015
Aug 17, 2015

Sometimes it is hard to focus on what to improve. Juha tells us: when you can’t do what you want, do something else instead. You can only teach people what they are ready to learn, and you cannot force anyone to learn anything.

We also discuss the lessons from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, a must-read for all Scrum Masters.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.

He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.

You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.

 

You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

Aug 14, 2015

Emilia uses retrospectives and specific questions to help the team discover the system conditions that affect their performance. She also shares how she knows, and has learned to ask the right questions at the right time.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 13, 2015

How do you measure your success as a Scrum Master? Emilia shares her definition of success, and her main tasks in the search for that successful outcome. The tool that she uses the most is 1-on-1 conversations that help her focus on the right topics and discover possible blockers. As she puts it: “whenever you have a question: ask the team!”.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 12, 2015

A very common pattern in the software industry is to give the role of Scrum Master to Project Managers. This has many possible dangers, and Emilia knows that. That’s why she has developed a specific approach to hiring Scrum Masters, a people-centric approach.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 11, 2015

Sometimes we face situations where it feels like the Scrum adoption is failing. Emilia tells us one such story where the stakeholders were not cooperating, where there was confusion and fear of failure. How she, with the help from an executive, reacted is a great way to get back to the basics and help the team overcome the challenges in the transformation.

In this episode we also talk about #NoNumbers, an approach that Emilia uses to help her teams focus on the value to be delivered. The discussion also touches on #NoEstimates, about which you can read more at NoEstimatesBook.com

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 10, 2015

In an organization with a long history it is hard to introduce new ideas that are not in line with that history. Emilia went through that and learned how to help teams that have been working in a certain way to explore, and ultimately adopt a new way of working: Agile Software Development. In this episode we refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, a book that helped Emilia solve the main blockers to change in the teams she worked with.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall  almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.

She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.

Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.

 

You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Aug 7, 2015

Visual management is a key practice for continuous improvement, in this episode Sven explains how he uses visual management practices to help detect, understand and ultimately solve system problems. This is an episode filled with valuable tips for systems thinkers that want to go beyond helping the Scrum team.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 6, 2015

Scrum Masters to evaluate their performance. Sven shares with us a process he uses to help him detect possible problems, and invest in solving the right problems to help the team, and himself succeed. We discuss plenty of practical advice regarding the structure and the content of Retrospectives.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 5, 2015

Through failed attempts we develop our own approach to the recruiting process. In this episode Sven explains an exercise he developed over the years to help him detect the great Scrum Masters, and the not so great ones. He explains how you can identify the right skills and personality that fits the role of Scrum Master.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 4, 2015

Lack of motivation is a self-destructing dynamic that can lead a team to dis-integrate. In this episode Sven explains how that dynamic can quickly destroy a team, and what you can do to avoid that fate. He explains his approach and techniques that support the team in developing their motivation.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

 

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Aug 3, 2015

Adopting Agile is not an easy task in any organization that is larger than 1 team. In larger organizations the task is even harder. Sven explains his experience with a larger consulting organization, and how even the C-Level support was not enough to complete the Agile adoption.

About Sven Schnee

Sven started his journey as a developer around the year 2000. He experienced many projects and felt the pain of how traditional approaches to software development failed.

A few years ago he discovered Agile and Lean, and he is not going back.

He is an Agile Coach and Founder of Oikosofy. He wants to bring agile ways of working to a variety of customers from small companies to big enterprises. One of his key strengths is helping teams evolve on their path to self-organization.

You can connect with Sven Schnee on twitter, and link with Sven Schnee on LinkedIn.

You can read Sven Schnee’s blog The Product Owner Toolbox.

Jul 31, 2015

Seeing the system is an art that requires attention to detail, but also a technique that allows us to collect the right information. Seeing how we work as a team, and how the external factors affect our performance cannot be done without that information, and Luis shares with us how he used the Value Stream Map as a tool to help a team see the system that was affecting their performance.

The Value Stream Map also proved to be a great way to to collect information that helped the team have a truly valuable retrospective.

We also discuss the different levels of team development using the Shu-Ha-Ri model, and how teams have many skill areas that need to be developed and can be mapped with the help of the Shu-Ha-Ri model.

About Luis Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is a Co-Founder of Oikosofy, the Co-Author of the book “Getting Value out Agile Retrospectives”, a book which I use regularly to get inspired to organize innovative retrospectives. Luis is also an International Speaker and prolific Blogger. I don’t know where he gets the time to do all of this :)

Luis’ passion lies on the Management side of software development where he tries to apply what he has learned from the Management 3.0 books.

He is also a co-founder of a MeetUp group in Munich, Germany called High Performing Teams. A meetup he created to "Define the future of Management and Leadership".

You can link up with Luis Gonçalves on LinkedIn, and connect with Luis Gonçalves on Twitter.

Jul 30, 2015

Purpose is one of the key motivators according to the classic “Drive” by Dan Pink. Luis shares with us how he works with teams to help them find their purpose and improve their performance as a team. Luis explains the main steps of a workshop that he uses to help teams get started, or re-started on the path to high-performance.

About Luis Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is a Co-Founder of Oikosofy, the Co-Author of the book “Getting Value out Agile Retrospectives”, a book which I use regularly to get inspired to organize innovative retrospectives. Luis is also an International Speaker and prolific Blogger. I don’t know where he gets the time to do all of this :)

Luis’ passion lies on the Management side of software development where he tries to apply what he has learned from the Management 3.0 books.

He is also a co-founder of a MeetUp group in Munich, Germany called High Performing Teams. A meetup he created to "Define the future of Management and Leadership".

You can link up with Luis Gonçalves on LinkedIn, and connect with Luis Gonçalves on Twitter.

Jul 29, 2015

Keeping a good recruiting track record when hiring many people is next to impossible. And the easy path, the interview, is the surest way to fail at hiring the right people. Why? Listen to this story of how a recruiting process went wrong even when everything seemed perfect.

About Luis Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is a Co-Founder of Oikosofy, the Co-Author of the book “Getting Value out Agile Retrospectives”, a book which I use regularly to get inspired to organize innovative retrospectives. Luis is also an International Speaker and prolific Blogger. I don’t know where he gets the time to do all of this :)

Luis’ passion lies on the Management side of software development where he tries to apply what he has learned from the Management 3.0 books.

He is also a co-founder of a MeetUp group in Munich, Germany called High Performing Teams. A meetup he created to "Define the future of Management and Leadership".

You can link up with Luis Gonçalves on LinkedIn, and connect with Luis Gonçalves on Twitter.

Jul 28, 2015

Threats are sometimes used by Theory X managers that believe they are helping them succeed with those threats. However, that was not the case in this particular case, where threats led to a very low level of trust and self-confidence that ultimately destroyed the team.

About Luis Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is a Co-Founder of Oikosofy, the Co-Author of the book “Getting Value out Agile Retrospectives”, a book which I use regularly to get inspired to organize innovative retrospectives. Luis is also an International Speaker and prolific Blogger. I don’t know where he gets the time to do all of this :)

Luis’ passion lies on the Management side of software development where he tries to apply what he has learned from the Management 3.0 books.

He is also a co-founder of a MeetUp group in Munich, Germany called High Performing Teams. A meetup he created to "Define the future of Management and Leadership".

You can link up with Luis Gonçalves on LinkedIn, and connect with Luis Gonçalves on Twitter.

Jul 27, 2015

Scrum is a method to help companies succeed, it is not a just a method to develop software. In this episode Luis tells us how he came to that conclusion, and how that changed what he understood about the role of the Scrum Master.

In this episode we mention Luis Gonçalves’ blog, where you can find some of the articles we mention in the episode.

 

About Luis Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is a Co-Founder of Oikosofy, the Co-Author of the book “Getting Value out Agile Retrospectives”, a book which I use regularly to get inspired to organize innovative retrospectives. Luis is also an International Speaker and prolific Blogger. I don’t know where he gets the time to do all of this :)

Luis’ passion lies on the Management side of software development where he tries to apply what he has learned from the Management 3.0 books.

He is also a co-founder of a MeetUp group in Munich, Germany called High Performing Teams. A meetup he created to "Define the future of Management and Leadership".

You can link up with Luis Gonçalves on LinkedIn, and connect with Luis Gonçalves on Twitter.

Jul 24, 2015

We all know how multitasking can be the killer of effectiveness. Teams can easily lose their focus and be unable to deliver. What to do about that? And what are the consequences of that lack of focus? We discuss the article by Johanna Rothman about why managers like overwork, and the importance of continuous and short term feedback for the teams.

About Alexandre Cuva

Former International Agile Coach, now CEO in charge of SmartDev an outsourcing company in Vietnam. In SmartDev Alexandre applies XP Programming practices within Agile/Lean Management. He has been worked with pragmatic, agile, lean, big, organic and team oriented organizations. Based upon his experiences, he understands that agile is a big experiment and in some peoples mind still is an unproven hypothesis.

He co-founded diverse agile communities in Switzerland like ScrumBeer, Stoos Satellite and now he is the co-founder of the Agile Community in Da Nang.

You can link up with Alexandre Cuva on LinkedIn, and find Alexandre Cuva on Twitter.

Jul 23, 2015

Alexandre tells us a story of a team that quickly got to a point where they could lead themselves with very little support from Alexandre, their Scrum Master. How can the teams get there? And what does that mean for the Scrum Master? We discuss the conditions necessary for the teams to self-organize, and how Scrum Masters can take those into account.

About Alexandre Cuva

Former International Agile Coach, now CEO in charge of SmartDev an outsourcing company in Vietnam. In SmartDev Alexandre applies XP Programming practices within Agile/Lean Management. He has been worked with pragmatic, agile, lean, big, organic and team oriented organizations. Based upon his experiences, he understands that agile is a big experiment and in some peoples mind still is an unproven hypothesis.

He co-founded diverse agile communities in Switzerland like ScrumBeer, Stoos Satellite and now he is the co-founder of the Agile Community in Da Nang.

You can link up with Alexandre Cuva on LinkedIn, and find Alexandre Cuva on Twitter.

Jul 22, 2015

When recruiting there are many tools we can use. One of those tools is the interview, but that is not the only tool. Alexandre shares with us how they use “homework” as a tool to find really great developers.

About Alexandre Cuva

Former International Agile Coach, now CEO in charge of SmartDev an outsourcing company in Vietnam. In SmartDev Alexandre applies XP Programming practices within Agile/Lean Management. He has been worked with pragmatic, agile, lean, big, organic and team oriented organizations. Based upon his experiences, he understands that agile is a big experiment and in some peoples mind still is an unproven hypothesis.

He co-founded diverse agile communities in Switzerland like ScrumBeer, Stoos Satellite and now he is the co-founder of the Agile Community in Da Nang.

You can link up with Alexandre Cuva on LinkedIn, and find Alexandre Cuva on Twitter.

Jul 21, 2015

Not all projects are suited to be the first ones to adopt agile. In organizations there are people who are ready to take the leap, and there are people who would rather work the old way and will take any opportunity to do so. The first agile projects should be carefully selected to avoid killing all hope of agile ever being adopted. Alexandre shares with us a story of a project that explains this problem in detail.

About Alexandre Cuva

Former International Agile Coach, now CEO in charge of SmartDev an outsourcing company in Vietnam. In SmartDev Alexandre applies XP Programming practices within Agile/Lean Management. He has been worked with pragmatic, agile, lean, big, organic and team oriented organizations. Based upon his experiences, he understands that agile is a big experiment and in some peoples mind still is an unproven hypothesis.

He co-founded diverse agile communities in Switzerland like ScrumBeer, Stoos Satellite and now he is the co-founder of the Agile Community in Da Nang.

You can link up with Alexandre Cuva on LinkedIn, and find Alexandre Cuva on Twitter.

Jul 20, 2015

As change agents, we very often focus our energy on the people and parts of the organization that are less willing to change. But is that the right approach? Alexandre shares with us his story of change and what he learned about where to focus your energy as a change agent.

About Alexandre Cuva

Former International Agile Coach, now CEO in charge of SmartDev an outsourcing company in Vietnam. In SmartDev Alexandre applies XP Programming practices within Agile/Lean Management. He has been worked with pragmatic, agile, lean, big, organic and team oriented organizations. Based upon his experiences, he understands that agile is a big experiment and in some peoples mind still is an unproven hypothesis.

He co-founded diverse agile communities in Switzerland like ScrumBeer, Stoos Satellite and now he is the co-founder of the Agile Community in Da Nang.

You can link up with Alexandre Cuva on LinkedIn, and find Alexandre Cuva on Twitter.

Jul 17, 2015

On the Friday episode we discuss how to map out the system conditions we, and our teams face every day. Saravana reminds us that we are always working within a system, even when working within a team. For example, the incentive structures we have in place for teams will affect their performance, do you know how? As Scrum Masters, this is only one of the system conditions we must investigate.

About Saravana Bharathi

Saravana started AgileKarma.com, a site dedicated to sharing better ways to develop software. His goal: to inspire other to share their ideas and experiences as well :) Which is exactly what we do here on the podcast.

Saravana is a seasoned software development professional with over 15 years of experience in Aerospace, Banking and Insurance domains.

You can find Saravana Bharathi on twitter, and link with Saravana Bharathi on Linkedin.

Jul 16, 2015

We often want to draw a line, the final achievement of success. Saravana reminds us that success is a continuous process, and not an end in itself. He explains how he tries to constantly bring to his teams the best of his energy to create a positive environment.

Start with Kudo Cards, virtual or physical to help the team focus on their achievements, instead of only the obstacles.

About Saravana Bharathi

Saravana started AgileKarma.com, a site dedicated to sharing better ways to develop software. His goal: to inspire other to share their ideas and experiences as well :) Which is exactly what we do here on the podcast.

Saravana is a seasoned software development professional with over 15 years of experience in Aerospace, Banking and Insurance domains.

You can find Saravana Bharathi on twitter, and link with Saravana Bharathi on Linkedin.

Jul 15, 2015

Influencing people is a key skill for Scrum Masters. Politics are alive and kicking in all organizations, and we must be aware and able to deal with that phenomenon. Therefore it is important to know how to work with all stakeholders, at all levels, including those involved in the political structures of the organization.

Savarana introduces two Harvard Business Review articles that explain that politics are a natural part of any human organization:

What everyone should know about office politics

Office politics is just influence by another name

A book that Scrum Masters can read to learn more about how to work with stakeholders and gain their cooperation is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, a must read that has been referred to before on the podcast.

About Saravana Bharathi

Saravana started AgileKarma.com, a site dedicated to sharing better ways to develop software. His goal: to inspire other to share their ideas and experiences as well :) Which is exactly what we do here on the podcast.

Saravana is a seasoned software development professional with over 15 years of experience in Aerospace, Banking and Insurance domains.

You can find Saravana Bharathi on twitter, and link with Saravana Bharathi on Linkedin.

Jul 14, 2015

Trust is a fundamental ingredient to high performing teams, and the lack of trust can lead a team to self-destruct. Saravana tells us a story of a team that disintegrated because of the lack of trust in each other, and by the stakeholder towards the team.

We also discuss the symptoms of that lack of trust to help you detect that problem in the teams you work with.

About Saravana Bharathi

Saravana started AgileKarma.com, a site dedicated to sharing better ways to develop software. His goal: to inspire other to share their ideas and experiences as well :) Which is exactly what we do here on the podcast.

Saravana is a seasoned software development professional with over 15 years of experience in Aerospace, Banking and Insurance domains.

You can find Saravana Bharathi on twitter, and link with Saravana Bharathi on Linkedin.

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