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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: Category: Agile
Dec 29, 2022

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

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

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

The biggest Agile trends for 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reflection question

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

Resources for this episode

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

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

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

What is that gift? Listen in to know more!

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

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

 

About Vasco Duarte
Author of http://NoEstimatesBook.com, and daily podcast host at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/. I try to give back to the community every single day in an effort to improve the IT and product industry all over the world.
Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that I've taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. I've worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.
Oct 29, 2022

In this BONUS episode, we interview Greg Mester, the host of the 5AM Mester Scrum Podcast.

How did the Scrum Master Toolbox and the 5AM Mester Scrum podcast get started? Find out in this show!

About Greg Mester and the 5AM MesterScrum podcast

Greg is an Agile Coach, Breaker of Blockers, Facilitator of Spectacular Communications, Inspirer of Performance Acceleration, Mentor of Awesome People and Champion for Happy Teams.

He focuses on building Better Communications, Products (Material or Data) and Productive Teams.

You can link with Greg Mester on LinkedIn and connect with Greg Mester on Twitter.

Oct 20, 2017

When we start our role of Scrum Master in a new team or organization, Samantha suggests, listen first. Pay attention to the interaction, the way people relate to each other, the language they use. When you know where the pain is, be an agile paramedic. Go where the pain is, help the teams reflect and find their real pains, and possible solutions.

Samantha also shares with us a specific retrospective format that helps teams find where they are not following the Agile principles and values. You can use this format to help teams reflect on what is preventing them from growing.

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 19, 2017

When it comes to defining success, Samantha shares with us a moving story that starts with a piece of feedback she once received from one of her team members. That’s what success looks like. But how do we get there? Samantha shares how she uses the retrospectives as the engine of learning for teams. And as a tool to help ground the teams in the core ideas of their agile journey, so that they can get back to basics when necessary.

In this episode we discuss Agile Retrospective ideas, as well as Samantha’s retrospective format that helps Scrum Masters grow the agile adoption in their teams.  

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 18, 2017

Scrum Masters are facilitators by definition. However, some might think that facilitation alone is not enough to have a large impact. Well, Samantha proves those people wrong by sharing with us a story of how she was able to help a team, and an organization greatly reduce their time-to-market by focusing on her role as a facilitator. She shares with us tools and ideas on how to bring improvement ideas to reality by working with the team and stakeholders, with plenty of facilitation mixed in.

In this episode we mention Queueing Theory, which helps us understand how to speed up our processes; the LeSS framework for large scale Scrum; and the book Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 17, 2017

Many organizations look carefully at where their people spend their time. This is, in general, a good thing. Problems start when we don’t give our people the chance to succeed. A very common anti-pattern in this context is the part-time Scrum Master temptation. We believe that a good Scrum Master can handle more than 1 team. But do we know the problems that come from that? Can we recognize the anti-patterns that result in time to avoid bigger problems? In this episode we discuss the anti-patterns that result from part-time Scrum Master assignments, so that we can detect those in time and avoid them if possible!

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 16, 2017

Samantha shares with us a story of how agile transformations sometimes go, the pitfalls, that anti-patterns, and also what we need as Scrum Masters. Once we reach that level where we have our own skills in place, there’s still a lot of anti-patterns we must face and overcome in organizations in the middle of an agile transformation. We discuss agile transformation for organizations as well as for us: Project Managers on the journey to be Scrum Masters.

During this episode we refer to the books Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher et al and Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn.

 

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Oct 14, 2017

There was an article in early 2017 stating that Scrum Master is one of the top 10 best paid jobs in IT in the USA (LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017

This inspired Stefan Wolpers to do a survey on the salaries that Scrum Masters can ask for world-wide. From this survey came the Age of Product Scrum Master Salary report of 2017.

According to the Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance websites we have now more than 500 000 Certified Scrum Masters or Professional Scrum Masters. With these kinds of numbers, it is clear that there is a demand for our profession. So what does that mean? How is the breakdown between countries and women vs men employed in this profession?

For complete show notes, visit http://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

 

Oct 13, 2017

How do we learn how the system affects our teams? We study the system and the effects on our teams. And how do we do that? Why, retrospectives of course! Karthik shares his recipe for frequent retrospectives and suggests: turn every Friday into a retrospective day.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 12, 2017

What is the value the Scrum Masters are bringing in to the organization? Of course the investors and management are going to ask this question. I would too if it were my company. So we need to be able to show how we are helping the teams and the organization grow and become better. How do we do that? We measure the impact of our work, and Karthik shares with us some of the metrics we can use to show the stakeholders around us what it is that we are contributing to.

In this episode we discuss experimentation and evolutionary change using Popcorn Flow, a continuous improvement approach developed by Claudio Perrone.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

Oct 11, 2017

Karthik had a challenge. He needed to prove the benefits of Agile and Kanban to a team that wasn’t ready yet. Luckily he was aware of the Kanban game and he started showing the team how that works. Listen in to find out how the game helped him convey the benefits for the team, and help them visualize what the future could look like once they adopted Agile.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 10, 2017

It is very common that teams stay in the cycle of no improvement. They go through the motions, even have retrospectives every sprint. But nothing happens. This can be very de-moralizing. How can we help our teams get out of the rut and start making a real impact in their results? Listen in for Karthik’s 3 suggestions to make your retrospectives more effective.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 9, 2017

As Scrum Masters we want to help our teams succeed. And we do everything we can to help them. Sometimes a bit too much. Sometimes we might become the bottleneck. Running from meeting to meeting, trying to answer all the questions, help everybody. But that does not scale. How can we break free from that anti-pattern? Karthik shares with us his journey and what he learned back then that helps him stay in his zone, help without taking over.

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Oct 6, 2017

When we work with organizations and teams that adopt Scrum, we need to have an understanding of what might be the inherent organizational and personal barriers to adoption. There are a number of tools we can use to learn about which barriers are active, and from that generate ideas about what might be the next step.

In this episode we refer to Henrik Kniberg’s Scrum Checklist (PDF), the Spotify Squad Healthcheck, and Adrian’s own post about the journey towards applying Scrum.  

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 5, 2017

All the teams we work with are doing their best. We believe so. And we also believe that certain mental models and practices are keeping them from doing much better, while still trying their best. In this episode we talk about the critical different developing software and releasing software. Releasing is a completely different problem. We discuss that and how to help teams get to the point where they can release software all the time, anytime something is ready.

In this episode we refer to the Scrum Guide.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 4, 2017

In change processes many behaviours, habits and practices need to change. As we adapt to the new way of working we struggle to find our footing in the new reality. How can a Scrum Master help a team in that kind of transition. What are the skills we should have? Where to go for those skills. Listen in to learn Adrian’s journey and how he found that coaching was a critical skill for him.

In this episode we refer to Behavior Driven Development, a practice that help teams collaborate with the product stakeholders, while defining concrete, automated tests.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 3, 2017

Teams need to care about their work. If teams are the only ones that care, that can’t last for long. In this story Adrian talks about the role of stakeholder engagement and how critical it is to learn to engage the stakeholders. When that engagement dies out, bad things start to happen.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Oct 2, 2017

In this story that Adrian shares with us we explore our tendency to hide the failures, to cover for each other rather than addressing the problems we are facing. We discuss the consequences of that Anti-Pattern and how we should, as Scrum Masters, help the teams we work with address the problems head-on.

In this episode we discuss the narcissistic personality trait and why we should always be on the lookout for such personalities.

 

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Sep 29, 2017

Systems affect the teams we work with. Systems develop certain patterns - the system conditions - that we must be aware of, and the people in the system also must be aware of. To find and understand those system conditions we need tools, practical tools that help us understand and describe the system conditions. In this episode we review 3 specific tools that help us understand the system conditions we deal with in our role as Scrum Masters.

During this episode we discuss the concept of the Lindy Effect, a useful heuristic that can help us understand the systems we are part of.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 28, 2017

Jacopo describes in this episode 2 patterns that may lead to success, and can help you define your own success as a Scrum Master. In the scope of those 2 patterns we also discuss multiple metrics that could be useful in navigating our own evolution and growth as Scrum Masters.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Sep 27, 2017

Change management, or as we like to call it, Change Leadership is a very difficult part of our job as Scrum Masters. There are great books out there that help people find the approaches to change management that work in an Agile context, however doing it in practice is never as simple as the books describe. In this episode we talk about a fundamental transformation that Jacopo was part of, and how a simple Kanban board helped the organization find the necessary changes and implement them in practice by allowing everyone involved to take part in the definition of the change.

 

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

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