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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: April, 2024
Apr 12, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Leading with Heart, Empathy and Vision for Product Owners

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

The Great Product Owner: Leading with Heart, Empathy and Vision for PO’s

In this segment, we explore the story of a Product Owner who exemplifies leadership, empathy, and the ability to inspire and unite a team. This episode showcases the qualities that make a Product Owner truly exceptional, from active listening and feedback to fostering a culture of openness and adaptability. It’s a narrative that illuminates the path to greatness in product ownership, setting a standard for others to follow.

The Bad Product Owner: The Facade of Busyness, And How it Burns Out Agile Teams

In this segment, Jörn shares the saga of a Product Owner whose quest for significance led to turmoil and team burnout. He tells the story of misplaced priorities and the destructive path of a PO favouring appearing busy over being effective. It's a cautionary tale that probes into the anti-patterns plaguing product ownership and the strategies to recover from, or avoid those anti-patterns in our teams.

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

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 11, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Self-Sustaining Agile Teams, The Art of Letting Go For Scrum Masters

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

Jörn Hendrik defines success for Scrum Masters as reaching a point where the team can self-sustain, appreciating the Scrum Master's guidance but also be ready to venture forward independently. This episode explores the dynamics of trust, autonomy, and the subtle art of knowing when to step back. How does one cultivate a team's capability to navigate challenges without constant oversight?

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Keep/Drop/Try, and Creating Space For Conversation to Flourish

Discover the power of the Keep/Drop/Try retrospective with Jörn. He shares how we can use that format to create a space where emotions and conversations can flourish, fostering trust within teams. Learn how focusing on individual, team, and organizational layers can unearth emotions and enhance psychological safety. It’s a guide to nurturing openness and trust, essential for any team aiming to thrive in today’s corporate landscape.

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

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 10, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Building An Agile Framework for Construction Projects

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

Join Jörn as he shares his pioneering Agile Model for Construction projects. He shares how he applied scrum principles to the engineering realm of a large-scale construction project. This episode unfolds the creation of a working model that harmonizes Agile with the construction industry's unique demands, showcasing the versatility and impact of Agile methodologies beyond software development. How does one adapt Agile to new territories, and what lessons can the construction industry teach us about Agile's universal applicability? Listen to find out!

 

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

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 9, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: The Double-Edged Sword of Commitment, An Agile Team's Journey Through Innovation and Despair

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

Jörn Hendrik recounts a sobering team story centered around the development and eventual discontinuation of a seemingly promising app. This episode sheds light on the dangers of commitment without flexibility, the value of listening to feedback, and the importance of recognizing when to pivot. It's a tale of commitment, disillusionment, and the hard-earned wisdom that sometimes, stopping is part of the journey to success.

Featured Book of the Week: Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson

Dive into Amy Edmondson's "Fearless Organization" with Jörn as he shares how this seminal work on psychological safety reshaped his approach to team management and workshop organization. This segment, explores the transformative power of psychological safety in the workplace, underpinned by practical insights from Jörn’s experience. Discover how breaking the silence on issues can propel teams towards better collaboration, innovation, and success. A must-listen for anyone looking to foster an environment where every voice is heard and valued.

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

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 8, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Championing Change Without Being a Martyr, A Scrum Master's Tale

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

In a candid recount of dedication and its pitfalls, Jörn shares a personal fail story from his early days as a scrum master. His tale begins with a fervent desire to protect his team, a desire so strong that it led to a confrontational encounter with management over resource allocation. This clash ultimately cost Jörn his position, but it sparked a series of realizations about the essence of effective problem-solving and influence within a team setting. How can a scrum master navigate the fine line between protecting the team and engaging constructively with management? Jörn delves into practical tips on avoiding martyrdom, the importance of choosing battles wisely, and strategies for inspiring acknowledgment of issues by those in power. His insights underscore the significance of communication, understanding the impact of decisions on the team, and the crucial role of psychological safety in fostering a collaborative environment.

 

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

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 6, 2024

BONUS: Agile Coaching With a Philosophical Twist, Exploring Michel Foucault's Work, The Panopticon, and Other Systems of Control With Michelle Pauk

In this episode, with Michelle Pauk - an Agile Coach - we explore what we can learn from philosophy, and Michel Foucault's work on systems of power and discourse. Learn more about the systems we need to adapt to, and even transform. From the Panopticon, to the systems that drive compliance, and remove creative thought! A must listen for those interested in changing the world of work!

Michelle's Journey into Agile Coaching

"It's not about predicting; it's about responding."

Michelle's journey into becoming an Agile coach was as unpredictable as volcanos can be, literally! Inspired initially by Michel Foucault during her studies, she found herself intrigued by the intricacies of thought and its impact on behavior. This intellectual curiosity led her to a company specializing in language learning software, where her role in project management opened her eyes to the stress and unpredictability inherent in the field. The realization that many of her challenges could be mitigated by Agile methodologies was a turning point. Agile, with its emphasis on adaptation over prediction, offered a solution to the guilt and responsibility she felt over uncontrollable factors, like a volcano disrupting her project. This journey not only transformed her approach to work but also challenged inherited industrial revolution-era notions of work processes.

Foucault's Influence

"The panopticon and Agile: Visibility without the constraint."

Michelle's admiration for Michel Foucault's work, particularly his book Discipline and Punish, provides a unique lens through which she views her role as an Agile coach. The book's exploration of the panopticon—a system for observing without being seen—parallels the modern open office plan and contrasts with Agile's emphasis on transparency and collaboration. Foucault's historical analysis of justice systems and control mechanisms resonates with the systemic changes Agile coaching aims to implement in the workplace.

Systems of Control and Culture

"Pay attention to what is *NOT* being said; it speaks volumes about your team's culture."

One of the core aspects of Agile coaching for Michelle is the focus on discourse and culture within teams—what is being talked about, and perhaps more importantly, what isn't. Drawing on Foucault and Wittgenstein, she emphasizes the power of unspoken norms and assumptions in shaping work environments. By encouraging teams to challenge these silent boundaries, Agile coaching not only aims to improve workflow but also to humanize the workplace, making it more receptive to change and innovation.

Awareness of Culture in Agile Practices

"Can we even think outside our language?"

The challenge for Agile coaches and Scrum Masters lies in becoming deeply aware of the surrounding culture and its influence on thought and action. By critically examining workplace norms and practices, Agile professionals can identify and challenge the limitations imposed by current systems of work. This awareness is crucial in fostering an environment where innovation thrives and work is humanized, reflecting the core goals of Agile methodology.

Philosophical Inspirations

"I'm curious on what I learn from literature. It helps to understand, and develop empathy."

Michelle's coaching philosophy is enriched by a broad spectrum of historical and literary insights, demonstrating a deep-seated belief in the value of diverse perspectives. Beyond Foucault, she draws inspiration from literature and other historical accounts of thought, believing that understanding different mental frameworks can enhance empathy and effectiveness in her coaching practice. Books like Edgar Schein's explorations of organizational culture further contribute to her holistic approach.

Exploring Systems of Control

"Understanding 'coercive persuasion' sheds light on resistance to change."

For those interested in delving deeper into the concepts of systems of control and their implications for learning and adaptation, Michelle recommends an article from the Harvard Business Review by Edgar Schein. This resource provides insights into 'coercive persuasion' and the natural resistance to change, topics that are crucial for Agile coaches aiming to navigate and mitigate these challenges in their organizations.

About Michelle Pauk

Michelle Pauk is the founder of Streamside Coaching, where she helps leaders and organizations thrive with change. She has over 15 years of experience working in diverse agile environments as a Product Owner, Scrum Master, project manager, and Agile coach. She is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and has a master's degree in leadership and organizational development.

You can link with Michelle Pauk on LinkedIn.

Apr 5, 2024

Joe Scherler: Curiosity and Collaboration, Critical Product Owner Traits That Scrum Masters Can Help Cultivate

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

The Great Product Owner: The Absent, and Team-Neglecting PO

In this episode, Joe talks about what teams face when Product Owners are seldom available. In this story, we hear about how that anti-pattern lead to disorganized meetings and neglected team interactions. This lack of engagement not only strained the team's dynamics but also skewed the product backlog toward the interests of a single stakeholder. How does an absent Product Owner affect the team and product development? Joe reflects on the importance of the Product Owner's role in retrospectives, the collaborative potential in backlog refinement, and the broader issues within the product organization. Learn from Joe's insights on supporting a Product Owner and tackling the root problems affecting team performance.

The Bad Product Owner: Curiosity and Collaboration, Critical PO Traits That Scrum Masters Can Help Cultivate

Explore the inspiring story of a junior Product Owner who defied expectations through curiosity, courage, and collaboration. Despite her inexperience, her eagerness to learn and understand the team's context transformed her into an exemplary leader. How can curiosity and open communication with stakeholders redefine the role of a Product Owner? This episode highlights the importance of feedback for the roadmap, the art of balancing technical and business discussions, and the power of a Product Owner in guiding the team toward delivering true value. 

 

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

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 4, 2024

Joe Scherler: The Self-Driving Team, Signs of a Self-Sufficient Scrum Team

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

In this episode, we discuss how important it is to help a team evolve to the point where they no longer need direct guidance. But what are the signs of such a transformation? This episode explores possible indicators of a team's growing autonomy, from self-initiated process improvements to a shift from seeking solutions to seeking opinions. How can discussing value over output and engaging with the team on waste reduction contribute to this evolution? Discover the key questions and approaches Joe recommends for Scrum Masters aiming to foster truly self-sustaining teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Dialogue-Based Timeline

In this segment, Joe introduces a reflective and dialogue-rich retrospective format that begins with understanding the current state of the team and tracing back through the events of the last Sprint. By drawing a timeline and encouraging team members to share their personal experiences and impacts, this format fosters a deeper understanding of the team's dynamics. How can incorporating personal experiences into retrospectives enhance team empathy and collaboration? Learn how this approach helps teams transition from identifying events to interpreting their significance and planning actionable improvements, ultimately strengthening the team's ability to navigate challenges together.

 

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

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 3, 2024

Joe Scherler: From Chapter Leads to Champions, Value Over Velocity in Scaled Agile

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

In this episode, Joe shares his experience with implementing the Spotify model across several small, agile teams. Confronting the complexities of entrenched roles and slow decision-making, Joe explains how he tried to empower teams through delegation and a focus on value over output. How can challenging traditional reporting structures and coaching leaders on delegation unlock a team's full potential? Discover the transformative power of discussing team results in terms of value and fostering a collaborative environment where every team member is a catalyst for innovation.

 

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

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 2, 2024

Joe Scherler: Agile Scaling Challenges, Fostering Empowered Decision-Making in Fast-Growth Teams

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

In this segment, Joe shares an enlightening story about a team of technical leads facing the challenges of rapid organizational growth without a scaling framework, leading to disempowered teams. How does hierarchical decision-making erode team initiative and communication? Learn about the emotional toll on teams, the dangers of a victim mentality, and practical tips for reinvigorating team autonomy and accountability, including the use of delegation poker. What steps can you take to descale an organization and foster a culture of empowered decision-making?

Featured Book of the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In this segment, we discuss some of the profound lessons of "Radical Candor" as recommended by a visionary leader Joe worked with. We explore the essential practice of speaking up and providing critical feedback from a place of care. Discover the SBI model (Situation, Behaviour, Impact) plus the question of intention to explore the feedback recipient's perspective. Why is holding back feedback a disservice, and how can adopting radical candor transform your team dynamics and leadership approach?

 

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

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 1, 2024

Joe Scherler: Middle Management Maze, Joe's Scrum Master Journey Through Organizational Conflict

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

In this episode, Joe shares his story of navigating through a high-stakes environment at a rapidly expanding organization, revealing the challenges of being caught between management demands and team expectations. How does one facilitate positive change when faced with resistance from above? Joe's story unfolds with rough (aka violent) communication between team members and a manager viewing him merely as a servant, leading to a significant toll on his mental health. Discover Joe's insights on the limitations of a Scrum Master's impact, the pitfalls of hierarchical rigidity, and the crucial tips for Scrum Masters facing similar trials. What strategies does Joe propose for engaging with resistant management to foster sustainable change and protect one's well-being?

 

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

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

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