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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
Jul 13, 2015

We make mistakes, that’s part of our journey. Saravana tells us a story of how he failed by not allowing a team member to make mistakes. This is a failure that he still remembers and has shaped his thinking on the importance of accepting that mistakes are part of the learning process.

Saravana also shares with us the tools he uses to help me listen more, and give the initiative to the teams he works with. The tool, is very simple and very effective: when you feel you want to say something, wait and count to 5. By the time you reach 5, the team will probably have come up with a solution or next step to the issue they face.

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 on Linkedin.

Jul 10, 2015

There are many tools that we can use, just like Causal Loop Diagram, to help us understand the deeper dynamics in our organizations. We discuss several of those tools and also how to use them. Finally, Marc introduces his book Retrospektiven in der Praxis: Veränderungsprozesse in IT-Unternehmen effektiv begleiten and why he wrote it. NOTE: the book will be available in English in the near future.

We also mention a systems thinking tool called Current Reality Tree that you can use to investigate the system you work within.

About Marc Löffler

Marc's passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.

You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.

He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Jul 9, 2015

Involving the customer is one of the key aspects of building the path towards an agile product development environment. There are many types of customers, and we discuss how to involve some of the most common types of customers. Marc also suggests some tools, like Story Mapping, that you can use to work directly with customers and create a shared understanding of the ultimate goal.

About Marc Löffler

Marc's passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.

You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.

He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Jul 8, 2015

Hiring people that need to work with or within a team without involving the team in the hiring process can lead to missing critical “chemistry” issues between the team and the candidate. Marc asks us to think about involving the team in the process, and suggests how that can be done.

In this episode we also discuss the anti-pattern of focusing on planning and execution and missing other aspects of team and project development such as the technical environment, the collaboration aspects, etc.

About Marc Löffler

Marc's passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.

You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.

He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Jul 7, 2015

Laughing is a good sign. The team is probably engaged, relaxed, happy… Or is it? In this episode Marc explains how one team was laughing their way into self-destruction, and what caused it.

We also discuss a method for investigating teams and their development called the Dreyfus model of skill acquistion

About Marc Löffler

Marc's passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.

You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.

He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Jul 6, 2015

Marc explains the story of a team that was starting their Scrum adoption and allowed a project manager to use their tool, the Scrum board, as a tool for micro-management. From that a lot of anti-patterns emerge that Marc struggled with. We also discuss the use of tools for planning vs. using the same tools to generate collaboration and how to switch the focus from planning to collaboration.

About Marc Löffler

Marc's passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.

You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.

He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Jul 4, 2015

In this very special episode we have Bob Marshall as guest. We cover many topics, from his past work (The Marshall Model, Anti-matter principle) to the work by Marshall Rosenberg and Carl Rogers.

 

We also discuss what I think is a key skill for Scrum Masters, and how to learn more and develop that skill.

Read the full show notes on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast blog.

Jul 3, 2015

How can we detect the system conditions that affect our teams? Daniel has a method, that he explains in this episode. This includes writing down keywords you listen during the day, and looking for patterns in those keywords. Daniel also suggests that you look at the Agile Fluency model to look for indicators that your team is evolving, or not.

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.

You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.

You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Jul 2, 2015

There are many measures that a Scrum Master can track, but Job Satisfaction is Daniel’s choice. In this episode Daniel explains how to track Job Satisfaction as well as other metrics that you can track as a Scrum Master to measure your success.

In this Episode we also mention a very important book in the HR circles, that helps Scrum Masters understand what some of the best managers do to enable their best performers: First, Break all the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.

You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.

You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Jul 1, 2015

Recruiting is a tough job, but recruiting a good Scrum Master is even harder than other recruiting tasks. And the reason is simple, it is impossible to be a good Scrum Master unless you live and breathe that role. This is what happened in the story that Daniel tells us today when he explains the HR anti-pattern that led to that failure in recruiting. Daniel also explains how he solved this recruiting challenge with the help of the team.

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.

You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.

You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Jun 30, 2015

There are many reasons for teams to disintegrate, but there is one ingredient that, when missing can cause that process to start much faster. In this episode Daniel explains the setting, the context, and the project that led his team to disintegrate due to the lack of that fundamental ingredient for any team.

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.

You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.

You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Jun 29, 2015

Working with a well-versed distributed team is not an easy task for a Scrum Master, but transitioning a team from co-located to distributed? That’s even harder. Daniel explains what he learned as a Scrum Master when he was faced with just that situation.

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.

You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.

You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Jun 26, 2015

Whether you use the Lean Waste approach, Dan Pink’s autonomy-mastery-purpose or any other model what is important is that you use some models to understand the system that affects the team’s performance.

Sebastian shares several models that you can use to assess and measure those system conditions that many of us forget to take into account.

This episode also includes a long reading list:

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.

Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart - with excellent outcome.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

Jun 25, 2015

There are many KPI’s to measure your work and success as a Scrum Master, but what is a successful organization. Sebastian shares the definition of a successful organization, and how that can help you define success for your work as a scrum master.

In this episode we also have KPI’s galore, and why numbers are not always the best way to measure your success as a Scrum Master.

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.

Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart - with excellent outcome.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

Jun 24, 2015

Very often we fail to use tools and methods that are already available to help us succeed at the recruiting process. In this episode Sebastian shares two tools/methods he uses when recruiting people, plus tips on how to evaluate good developers.

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.

Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart - with excellent outcome.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

Jun 23, 2015

Talking about self-destructive behaviours may make people feel they are being judged, and Sebastian prefers to stay away from judgements. Instead, he wants to focus on behaviours that affect the team and must be addressed. Sebastian also shares with us a sabotage technique that is sometimes used by team members and teams in their work.

The sabotage technique is also available in the Simple Sabotage Field Manual a document used by a precursor to the CIA to explain how individuals could sabotage countries, factories and other potential targets. Are you aware of all the sabotage behaviors your team can perform on itself?

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.

Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart - with excellent outcome.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

Jun 22, 2015

There are many failures in the career of all successful Scrum Masters, and Sebastian shares with us 4 major failures that helped him develop his craft as a Scrum Master.

Being a Scrum Master is a discipline in itself, and we must learn that discipline by focusing on the contribution of that discipline to the team and the organization.

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.

Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart - with excellent outcome.

You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.

 

You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

 

Jun 19, 2015

Impact Mapping, a technique popularized by Gojko Adzic transformed how Karol thinks about software and product development.

About Karol Sójko

Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.

Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters

 

You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

 

Jun 18, 2015

One single hour of self-development can transform your game. How? This is what Karol explains in this episode as he explains the process he uses with his teams.

About Karol Sójko

Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.

Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters

You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Jun 17, 2015

Bosses or leaders? Which type of people do you hire. All people we hire must at some point make a decision, to work for the team or work despite the team. This is the difference between bosses and leaders, and you should consider this when recruiting Scrum Masters.

About Karol Sójko

Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.

Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters

You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Jun 16, 2015

The life of a startup is very different from working on a large corporate environment. This influences your work as a Scrum Master. In this episode Karol shares what he learned from that experience, and a technique he learned then that he now applies everywhere.

About Karol Sójko

Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.

Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters

You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Jun 15, 2015

Karol shares his story of how a project went from perfect to disaster. From engaging and motivating to unfocused, “pet project” and un-interesting for the team. His experience made a big difference for his career, and has influenced his work as a team lead and Scrum Master.

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY INCLUDED: listen to the end of the episode for a giveaway that will help you get a free copy of Karol’s book: To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters

About Karol Sójko

Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.

Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters

 

You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Jun 12, 2015

Retrospectives are a systems thinking tool that can help you understand how teams are affected by the wider system. Ben explains his views on how to build that into the way you host and facilitate retrospectives.

About Ben Linders

Ben Linders is an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives & What Drives Quality.

You can follow Ben Linders on Twitter, and connect with Ben Linders on LinkedIn.


You can find Ben’s Agile self-assessment in his web-site, and find more about his work and upcoming workshops.

Jun 11, 2015

Is the team working as a team? Or are they working in isolation, and come together only occasionally to “report their work”? And how can you build an environment where teams can come together and work as teams?

In this episode we also mention the book Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.

About Ben Linders

Ben Linders is an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives & What Drives Quality.

You can follow Ben Linders on Twitter, and connect with Ben Linders on LinkedIn.


You can find Ben’s Agile self-assessment in his web-site, and find more about his work and upcoming workshops.

Jun 10, 2015

Mindset and beliefs when recruiting Scrum Masters are good indicators of the suitability of the candidates to the job at hand. Ben Linders explains why, and how to build that into the recruiting interview.

In this episode we mention Ben’s blog post on how sometimes it is better to do nothing.

About Ben Linders

Ben Linders is an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives & What Drives Quality.

You can follow Ben Linders on Twitter, and connect with Ben Linders on LinkedIn.


You can find Ben’s Agile self-assessment in his web-site, and find more about his work and upcoming workshops.

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