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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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Now displaying: December, 2020
Dec 31, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Successful Scrum Masters are able to help their teams self-organize and find a way of working that helps them communicate effectively. In this segment, we talk about what that means in practice and share tips on how to help your teams move towards self-organization

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Focusing on interactions over Retrospective formats

Daniel shares a different approach to structuring a retrospective. He shares how he used learnings and ideas from Improv Theatre to help the team reflect, learn, and take action by focusing on the interactions during the Retrospective, instead of the format upfront.

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 experiences: 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 Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 30, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Daniel and the team started working on a change effort to help the organization improve how they communicated. However, leadership did nothing even after listening to the ideas and recommendations from the group. This is a very common situation, but Daniel and the team did not stop there. They took ownership of the change and made concrete changes. Listen in to learn how they were able to help the organization change and improve despite the lack of support from leadership.

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 29, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

A team that Daniel was working with was at the start of their Agile adoption journey, but everything around them was not Agile. In a retrospective, Daniel helped verbalize the problems and impediments they were facing. In this situation it is very easy for a team to resign and feel demoralized, but then Daniel took a different approach, and helped the team recover from that frustrating situation. Listen in to learn how. 

Featured Book of the Week: School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

In School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, Daniel found a book that impacted him personally and influenced his personal development. The lessons from that book helped Daniel change aspects of his personal life and focus on making an impact. 

In this segment, we also refer to Elon Musk’s biography by Ashlee Vance

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 28, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

When emotions run high, it’s difficult to be the one that helps everybody calm down. As Scrum Masters, we need to be ready and know what to do when our colleagues get into a heated discussion. In this episode, we talk about what not to do, and then Daniel shares an important lesson about how to handle those situations. 

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 26, 2020

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020.

One of the things that is clear from this interview is how the role of community is important in our journey as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches. Ivana shares how she got started with Agile, and how the community helped her learn where to focus and improve her skills and knowledge. 

Learning about our personal Prime Directive

Ivana calls on us to reflect, and learn about what our personal Prime Directive is, and based on that develop our Agile practice. Ivana shares that her prime directive is about focusing on the “bigger picture” and the culture and leadership context she works within. 

We also talk about what that “bigger picture” is like in practice. From understanding the type of business we are working in, to mapping out the relationships and influencers within the organization. Ivana always tries to create a mental map of what influences the people she works with in her context. 

Continuous Improvement, the missing lesson in Agile 

Ivana’s experience has helped her understand that many teams get focused on the “tool” or “process” of Agile, and forget that ultimately we are trying to build the habit of continuously getting better at what we do. 

In this segment, we talk about the importance of double-loop learning for Agilists as well as Solution Focused Coaching. We also discuss the book Crucial Conversations, and some key lessons we can take from that approach.

Learning about the big picture, a perspective to take on as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master

Ivana’s focus on the “bigger picture” has also come thanks to the book Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein. The book influenced Ivana’s perspective when working with organizations, and she still goes back to that book, and its particular way of defining and describing organizations.

Finally, Ivana leaves us with the idea that we should be learning and sharing as a community. Just like she did in this incredibly insightful podcast episode! 

 

About Ivana Gancheva

Ivana is passionate about working with people not titles. She works with companies from various sectors to help improve their organisational culture and well-being by helping them become learning and growing organisations. She coaches and mentors decision makers, C-level corporate executives, leaders, product managers, who have the passion and the intent to disrupt the status quo, and enable genuine growth. 

You can link with Ivana Gancheva on LinkedIn and connect with Ivana Gancheva on Twitter.

Dec 25, 2020

In this special Christmas episode, Ryan Ripley - host of the Agile for Human podcast - and Chris Williams - host of the Badass Agile podcast - join our host Vasco Duarte to reflect on what Agile has become and what the future holds for us! 

Don't’ miss this special, funny and insightful podcast episode! 

Merry Christmas Scrum nation!

About Ryan Ripley, Chris Williams, and Vasco Duarte

Ryan Ripley loves helping people do great work. He is a servant leader at heart and is passionate about fostering safety and trust in the workplace. Ryan created the Agile for Humans podcast to put the focus back on the individuals and interactions that make agile work.

You can link up with Ryan Ripley on LinkedIn and connect with Ryan Ripley on Twitter.

Ryan also hosts a popular Agile podcast: Agile for Humans.

 

Chris Williams is one of Canada’s most recognized agile and business performance coaches. Chris has his own proprietary philosophy, built on years of research and practice; participating in elite programs with in team and Human Performance coaching.

You can link up with Chris Williams on LinkedIn.

Chris also hosts a popular Agile podcast: Badass Agile.

Vasco Duarte is a managing partner at Oikosofy where he wants to change the world, one company at a time. He’s also the regular host at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that he’s taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. He as worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.

Vasco was one of the leaders and catalysts of Agile methods and Agile culture adoption at Avira, Nokia and F-Secure.

You can read more from Vasco at his blog: http://SoftwareDevelopmentToday.com

Dec 24, 2020

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020.

 

When Yogini took on her Scrum Master journey, she noticed that there was more friction in the team. Curious, she looked into the reasons for that friction. After all, they had just left Waterfall-like ways of working behind. What was causing that friction? Was it Agile? As she looked more into it, she found that Agile had something to do with it, but the real reason for the friction between team members was that they were, for the first time, honestly discussing the problems they were facing. They were no longer apathetic, and that was visible in the level of friction between them. 

Another side effect of Agile adoption, Yogini noticed, was that the team was much more productive, “they did more in a month, than I thought was possible in six!” Yogini shares. 

A key lesson for Agile teams: speak freely 

This story led to a key lesson for Yogini. Agile teams improve and transform their ways of working when they speak freely and aren’t afraid to tackle tough conversations. 

When teams finally take on the difficult topics that are impeding their progress, they often fail to reach consensus. However, as Yogini reminds us, that’s no reason not to act. “Buy-in does not imply consensus!” She reminds us.

Retrospectives as the engine of growth and learning

Retrospectives are the aspect of Agile methodologies that Yogini wants to highlight as key for teams and individuals working in an Agile environment.

And in that spirit, Yogini recommends Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby as the book for all agilists to read and learn from.

In the spirit of self-improvement, Yogini mentions and recommends the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. She reminds us that part of the Scrum Master’s responsibility is to improve herself, otherwise improvements elsewhere are less likely to happen.

The Christmas Agile Message from Yogini Moodley

Yogini asks us, in this festive season, to take time to reflect, and practice being mindful of what we do, say and feel. The challenge she leaves us with: “think about the habits you have at the moment, and what you’d like to leave behind, in 2020”

 

Merry Christmas friends!

 

About Yogini Moodley

Yogini is a certified Scrum Master and agile practitioner, with extensive experience in the financial services industry, in roles that encompass both business and technology. She is passionate about enriching the lives of people and nurturing and growing teams to deliver value to their customers, and an active member of the agile community locally and globally. 

You can link with Yogini Moodley on LinkedIn and connect with Yogini Moodley on Twitter

You can also find out more about Yogini Moodley’s company at their website.

Dec 23, 2020

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

Meza started as a programmer, but not with Agile. During one of his projects, he had to work with a custom language in an embedded system, and that led him to discover Extreme Programming and Unit Testing, but that was not yet the start of his Agile journey. That came later and for totally different reasons.

Leading Teams, and the need for Agile

As Meza took on more responsibilities, he understood that supporting teams in their work is a different problem than solving a technical challenge. He started reading more, and learning more about Agile to make sense of it, and finally had that “trigger” moment that helped him understand why Agile is so important. 

As a team leader, he recognized that he needed to focus on enabling the team’s success, instead of telling the team what to work on. That led to Meza starting to learn even more, and applying Agile in his work.

The problem with Agile adoption: shaping the people to the process, instead of the other way around

As Meza worked with more teams, he understood that his approach needed to change. Early on, he focused on the process, and helping teams adopt the process. But later, and after many challenges, he understood that the focus on helping teams (and using the process as a tool), requires a significantly different perspective: the process and the tools need to be shaped to fit the people, not the other way around. 

After all, Agile (and the Agile processes) are supposed to be there to enable better communication, collaboration, and a trustful environment. 

The books that Meza still reads even today

Combining his knowledge, and experience has been a thread in his career, and Meza shares a book that helps with exactly that: take advantage of multiple processes he learn3ed during his career: Scrum and Kanban, making the best of both by Henri Kniberg is the first book he mentions. But there’s a second book. 

As a programmer, Meza understood early on that the technical conditions set up for the team are critical for their success, so he mentions a book that helped him as a programmer: Release It! By Michael Nygard, a book that explores how to create systems that run longer, with fewer failures, and recover better when bad things happen.

The essence of Agile by Marton Meza Meszaros

In this final words on this episode, Meza shares what he considers the essence of Agile: to build trust, and how the trust-building processes are at the core of everything Agile.

About Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros

You can link with Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros on LinkedIn and connect with Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros on Twitter

Dec 22, 2020

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

 

Katrina is the author of A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps, a book that offers direction and advice relevant to anyone involved in testing in a DevOps environment.

 

She started her Agile transition after a long stint within a waterfall organization, and she shares some of the most contrasting changes she experienced when moving to an Agile organization. Ultimately, she reminds us, the Agile approach is much closer to the final purpose: solving a problem for a customer out there. And she reminds us that we should try to keep that purpose front and center at all times. 

Learning to be persuasive: a key lesson for Scrum Masters and all agile practitioners

When we dive into Katrina’s most important lesson learned in her Agile journey, we discuss the need to bring our best persuasive game with us. We discuss some of the reasons why the ability to persuade others is so important, for example testers will often be outnumbered in an Agile team, and their ideas are less likely to be followed if they can’t “bring others along”. In this segment, we refer to a key book for all wanting to learn more about influencing colleagues and building collaborative relationships: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Books for Agilists and Agile leaders

The books that Katrina chose to recommend remind us that often we need to express our leadership abilities, and we can do that only if we cultivate those through reading and practice. We talk about Lara Hogan’s Resilient Management, The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier, and Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren et al. 

 

About Katrina Clokie

Katrina is an accomplished and experienced IT leader. She is a regular keynote at international conferences where the main themes include leadership, knowledge sharing, and communicating change. In 2017 Katrina published her first book, A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps. Katrina was a finalist for the Inspiring Individual of the Year Award at the 2018 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

You can link with Katrina Clokie on LinkedIn and connect with Katrina Clokie on Twitter.

Dec 21, 2020

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

When Rashina first got introduced to Agile, she was mesmerized. It was a way of looking at software that focused on people instead of only on the technical aspects of the work to be done. 

The key lesson for Agilists, Rashina’s view

When we asked Rashina about the most important lesson learned while learning Agile, she shared that it was the ability to deal with, and thrive in uncertainty. The year of 2020 is a great backdrop to illustrate this lesson, and we discuss some of those aspects. 

Rashina then explains what she has learned from Agile that she now applies in her work as a researcher. 

In this segment, we refer to Rashina’s work, and her website.

The reference book for agilists

Agile Retrospectives by Diana and Esther, is the reference book that Rashina refers to. As she puts it: “of all the different practices, Retrospective reflection is the one that brings it back home.”

And I totally agree, however, she also refers to the New New Product Development Game. A foundational paper that illustrated the power of self-organization in product development. We discuss what aspects from that paper we can learn from and apply to our work as Scrum Masters. 

Inspiring others

If you want to know more about Rashina and her work you can visit her website, and listen to her TED Talk on Agile Nations. This is the last message, the inspiring message that Rashina leaves for us: “thing big. Agile is already wide spread, but we can learn from it and apply it to more and more challenges.”

What an inspiring interview!

Merry Christmas everybody!

About Rashina Hoda

Rashina is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean (Academic Workforce) in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.

She’s been studying people and how they become agile for over a decade. My PhD research explained how agile teams self-organize through the informal roles they play. Rashina has written and spoken extensively on agile transformations, agile project management, customer collaboration, team practices, reflective practices, and culture, with over 70 publications on these topics.

In 2017, Rashina’s Theory of Becoming Agile received the distinguished paper award at the prestigious International Conference on Software Engineering. But she has also applied the theory to a wider societal context and coined the idea of “Agile Nations” captured as a TEDxAuckland talk.

You can link with Rashina Hoda on LinkedIn and connect with Rashina Hoda on Twitter

Dec 18, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

The collaboration between team and PO is one of the aspects we focus on as Scrum Masters, and in this episode, we talk about 2 major perspectives that can help the collaboration emerge.

The Great Product Owner: When even the code “speaks” the PO’s language

In this episode, we learn about a PO that was able (with Steve’s help) to start creating a mental universe with the team that helped them understand the customer at such a deep level that the team even started naming their Java classes based on the personas they were trying to serve. A great example of bringing the PO perspective to the whole team.

The Bad Product Owner: Multiple PO’s for one team, an impossible prioritization challenge

When a PO wants to control everything the team does, the collaboration with the team is hampered. Not only does the PO not get the team’s support (the PO might not even want it), but there’s a lot of other anti-patterns that develop. In this episode, we also talk about the Technical Product Owner as a “wrinkle in the process towards Agile”. In this segment, we focus on techniques to help stakeholders get to an agreement on priorities. 

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter

Dec 17, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Steve’s self-declared mission is to “reduce pain in the workplace”. When it comes to that mission, Steve pays special attention to certain aspects of the work. When we recognize that a great chunk of our awake-time is spent at work, we start to understand that work should be aligned with who we are, and that’s where Steve focuses his work and how he defines success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: “Keep talking and no one explodes” a retrospective game

Steve loves Agile games, and in this episode, he shares one game that, according to his description, helps us practice “solving big problems in a timebox”. As Steve points out, the right game can get the team members “hooked” on the retrospective, and get them learning without even thinking about it. 

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 experiences: 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! 

Dec 16, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

When Steve joined this team, they had been working on a governmental website project for 2 years, and there was very little visible progress. Steve started by observing what was going on in the project and found that the teams were not working together, and time was spent finger-pointing. Steve started his work by first accepting where the teams were, and did simple things like continuing the Status Meeting they had already, but making subtle changes to instill an Agile mindset. And then things started changing. Listen in to learn about the tools and approaches Steve used to completely transform those teams and that environment.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter

Dec 15, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Sometimes, teams decide that they are so busy, they don’t even have time for Retrospectives. This is the story Steve shares with us. However, as Scrum Masters, it is our duty to ensure that the team does not stop reflecting and improving. How can we combine the team’s perceived lack of time, with the need for reflection and improvement? In this episode, we talk about the “stealth retrospective” and other techniques we can use that help the team while respecting their own management of time.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins is about leveling up coaching and coaching into the team, as Steve puts it. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, where Steve found inspiration on how to look at team setups, and how different types of work are handled.

Finally, Steve refers to Winnie the Pooh, a book that taught him some important lessons he also applies as a Scrum Master. Listen in, to learn more about why these books are important for Steve.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter

Dec 14, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

As Steve worked with this particular team, they got to the point that they wanted to move to 1-week Sprints. However, the move to 1-week Sprints presented a significantly different problem than they were used to in their previous 2-week Sprints. We explore the key differences between 1-week and 2-week sprints, and what teams must be aware of when moving to the shorter timeboxes.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter

Dec 11, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

The collaboration with the Product Owner is a key aspect of the Scrum Master work, but there’s also collaboration between Product Owners that work on the same product. We discuss these different aspects of collaboration and how they affect the PO role.

The Great Product Owner: Open to coaching, and much more

A great PO is open to and seeks support and coaching from the Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about one such PO, that was open to learning and being coached. But there was a lot more to this PO. Listen in to learn what were the key characteristics of this great Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: What destroys collaboration between PO’s

When a PO is not able to make decisions, we know we are in trouble. In this episode, we talk about a specific problem: when multiple PO’s need to work together, but don’t have the tools and experience to work well together. Listen in to learn about what can destroy the collaboration between Product Owners.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 10, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

In this segment, we talk about how “the Scrum Master’s success is the success of others”, and that our role is to enable others to go on with the changes they already want to implement.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Very Good Conversation

Jesse’s preferred Retrospective format is simply a very good conversation. In this segment, we discuss what that means for Jesse, and we learn his tips on how to implement those so that you help the team go into deeper and productive retrospective conversations.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: 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 Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 9, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

In a project within a health care organization, Jesse observed that the structure of the software was starting to mimic the structure of the organization, it was following Conway’s Law, which states that the software architecture will mimic the structure of the organization that develops it (and vice-versa). 

In that organization, they wanted to move towards a more cross-functional setup, implementing the idea of Feature teams. In this episode, we discuss how a change like this can be implemented.

 

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 8, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Jesse was working on a large Scrum project. As he started observing the structure, he noticed something was off. This project had 17 teams, 17 backlogs, and 17 Product Owners. It was as if every team was in a little island. As he looked further, Jesse found that teams were optimizing the work for their own context and needs, at the same time destroying the ability of other teams to succeed. An example of how NOT to scale Scrum. 

We discuss what we can do when facing similar situations.

Featured Book of the Week: Code Complete by Steve McConnel

From Code Complete by Steve McConnel, Jesse learned some important lessons that helped him later on as a developer and as a Scrum Master. The aspects that Jesse highlights are the collaboration between developers, and how to work as a team when developing larger systems. 

In this segment, we also refer to Scrum, A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, who’s also been a guest on the podcast

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 7, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

While working on a project for a client, Jesse was able to help develop a good collaboration with the client, and the client was happy with the team’s deliverables… except that Finance and Legal got involved and refused to pay. The reason was that even if the collaboration was working well with the people who would use the software, the Finance, and Legal department wanted to withhold payment due to missing functionality. 

The final user and client did not want or need that functionality, but it was written in the contract. 

There’s a key lesson here for us Scrum Masters: even when we focus on customer collaboration, we must not forget that contracts may be strictly enforced, and we must be ready for it. Jesse shares some tips on how to be ready for such situations.

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 5, 2020

About Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on Justin Chapman’s blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

 

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

Dec 4, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Two contrasting examples of a PO that was in a split role of PO and Team Manager. Their different approaches had a completely different impact on the team, and the collaboration between team and PO.

The Great Product Owner: Communicating with stakeholders and team

This PO was the direct manager for the team, but that was not a problem. Additionally, this PO was able to keep everyone informed of the progress, as well as feeling involved in the decision making. This was a PO that understood that the PO role is all about communicating with stakeholders and team.

The Bad Product Owner: The all knowing, all telling PO

This PO was the direct manager for the team, and that was a challenge. The PO had a split role, which took up time, and made it hard to focus on the PO responsibilities. As the PO was pressured for time, the natural solution was to tell the team exactly what to do. This lead to a lack of collaboration and engagement between managers and team. In this segment, we also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to create a working partnership with the Product Owner.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 3, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Success is defined collaboratively with the teams and people you work with. As you improve, you need to adapt the success definition with the team. And one of the sure signs you’ve made an impact is when ex-team members meet you and tell you that they’ve taken what they learned with you to their new teams!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Dialogue Sheets

Ludmila describes the Dialogue Sheets game and how it can help teams by providing a simple, relaxed conversation format.

In this segment, we also refer to the “Open Day” or Internal Unconference format that Jeff Campbell and Gene Conolly described in a blog post on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

 

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 experiences: 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 Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 2, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

In a regulated environment, where tools and processes were mandatory, Ludmila started to work with a team that was already overwhelmed with process-related meetings. How do you work with a team that wants “no meetings”... Listen to this episode, as Ludmila describes her approach and what worked for her and the team.

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 1, 2020

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Ludmila has experienced how unhappiness and frustration with the environment can do to a team. We talk about the team member that was trapped in a cynical state of mind and discuss the consequences that can have for the individual and the team. We discuss how to prepare for those situations in which the team is in a less than perfect environment, and starts to react negatively.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

Ludmila found important guidance in Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts and recommends the book for Scrum Masters getting started in their journey. In this segment, we also refer to The Coach’s Casebook by Geoff Watts and Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

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