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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 16, 2015

Today’s episode is the first where we tackle a new question: how to lead change in our role as a Scrum Master. Change management or change leadership is one of the core skills for us as Scrum Masters, and Amitai shares with us some of the tools he uses to help teams and organizations go through the change process. He also shares with us one approach he uses to develop trust between him and the teams he works with.

Today we play one more Agile in 3 Minutes episode that talks about what it means to be wrong and why that matters. Today’s Agile in 3 minutes episode is episode #5, titled “Wrong”.

 

About Amitai Schlair

Amitai is a Software development coach, and legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, award-winning bad poet, and creator of Agile in 3 Minutes, which is a great podcast about what Agile really is about. A must listen for anyone interested in Agile Software Development.

You can link with Amitai Schlair on LinkedIn and connect with Amitai Schlair on Twitter.

Dec 15, 2015

Amitai tells us the story of a team that was too large, and had an “inner team” that prevented anyone from influencing the larger team. We discuss the meaning, and impact of power structures inside teams that tend to perpetuate self-destructive behaviors.

Today we play one more Agile in 3 Minutes episode that talks about certain topics that are in line with the story Amitai shared with us. Today’s Agile in 3 minutes episode is episode #15, titled “Influence”.

 

About Amitai Schlair

Amitai is a Software development coach, and legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, award-winning bad poet, and creator of Agile in 3 Minutes, which is a great podcast about what Agile really is about. A must listen for anyone interested in Agile Software Development.

You can link with Amitai Schlair on LinkedIn and connect with Amitai Schlair on Twitter.

Dec 14, 2015

We all make mistakes at some point. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. However, the learning only starts with the mistake. In order for the learning to happen, we must go through a process. Amity shares with us the process he went through in this case, and we discuss why that process is so important.

In this Episode we play one of Amitai’s Agile in 3 Minutes podcast episodes. Today’s episode of Agile in 3 Minutes episode #23, titled “Vary”.

About Amitai Schlair

Amitai is a Software development coach, and legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, award-winning bad poet, and creator of Agile in 3 Minutes, which is a great podcast about what Agile really is about. A must listen for anyone interested in Agile Software Development.

You can link with Amitai Schlair on LinkedIn and connect with Amitai Schlair on Twitter.

Dec 11, 2015

Niko explains in this episode how to understand when there are problems that the team needs help resolving, and shares tips on how to keep the team’s tools improving over time. Finally he shares his story of Scrum adoption: From Chaos to Managed Chaos.

About Niko Kortelainen

Niko Kortelainen is a Scrum Master at Digia, which among other things commercializes the cross-platform Open Source framework Qt. In his journey he discovered that the most challenging problems in software industry are not technical problems and ever since then, he has been focusing on how to make everyday work more fun.

You can link up with Niko Kortelainen on LinkedIn and connect with Niko Kortelainen on Twitter.

You can read Niko Kortelainen blog, where he wrote about his experience with adopting Scrum.

Dec 10, 2015

Retrospectives are both important and hard to get right. There are many teams that stop having retrospectives and feel lost as to how to run them effectively. Niko shares with us his own view of how to run effective retrospectives, filled with tips and advice, this is a must listen episode about retrospectives.

About Niko Kortelainen

Niko Kortelainen is a Scrum Master at Digia, which among other things commercializes the cross-platform Open Source framework Qt. In his journey he discovered that the most challenging problems in software industry are not technical problems and ever since then, he has been focusing on how to make everyday work more fun.

You can link up with Niko Kortelainen on LinkedIn and connect with Niko Kortelainen on Twitter.

You can read Niko Kortelainen blog, where he wrote about his experience with adopting Scrum.

Dec 9, 2015

Hiring good Scrum Masters is never an easy task, Niko suggests that we look elsewhere. He suggests we consider the team as the source of the future Scrum Masters. Listen while Niko explains his experience in growing Scrum Masters from the team itself.

About Niko Kortelainen

Niko Kortelainen is a Scrum Master at Digia, which among other things commercializes the cross-platform Open Source framework Qt. In his journey he discovered that the most challenging problems in software industry are not technical problems and ever since then, he has been focusing on how to make everyday work more fun.

You can link up with Niko Kortelainen on LinkedIn and connect with Niko Kortelainen on Twitter.

You can read Niko Kortelainen blog, where he wrote about his experience with adopting Scrum.

Dec 8, 2015

Should we “fill” the sprint when planning? Or should we aim for helping the teams succeed first? Niko explains the importance of allowing the teams to succeed in their early phase before overwhelming them with work.

About Niko Kortelainen

Niko Kortelainen is a Scrum Master at Digia, which among other things commercializes the cross-platform Open Source framework Qt. In his journey he discovered that the most challenging problems in software industry are not technical problems and ever since then, he has been focusing on how to make everyday work more fun.

You can link up with Niko Kortelainen on LinkedIn and connect with Niko Kortelainen on Twitter.

You can read Niko Kortelainen blog, where he wrote about his experience with adopting Scrum.

Dec 7, 2015

There are many pressures on the development teams, especially when the business has clear needs, and short term deadlines. Niko explains how they were able to achieve sustainable pace despite all the pressures to deliver more.

About Niko Kortelainen

Niko Kortelainen is a Scrum Master at Digia, which among other things commercializes the cross-platform Open Source framework Qt. In his journey he discovered that the most challenging problems in software industry are not technical problems and ever since then, he has been focusing on how to make everyday work more fun.

You can link up with Niko Kortelainen on LinkedIn and connect with Niko Kortelainen on Twitter.

You can read Niko Kortelainen blog, where he wrote about his experience with adopting Scrum.

Dec 4, 2015

Working with large groups is challenging enough, but Alex went further and started hosting retrospectives for a large group of people (several teams). In this episode Alex explains how he hosts and facilitates retrospectives with larger teams than the default 7-+2 people.

About Alex Fürstenau

When I was 12, my father bought the first computer, a C64. The moment I saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when I knew I would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that "dream" became true.

I quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse (not surprising afterwards :-) ). During this time (around 2002) I thought "There has to be a better way" and I found several


You can link with Alex Fürstenau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Fürstenau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structure, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Dec 3, 2015

How to measure success will depend on the person or people measuring. Alex prefers to focus on team happiness. His approach is to collect feedback through surveys he sends out regularly to team members and stakeholders.

We mention the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

About Alex Fürstenau

When I was 12, my father bought the first computer, a C64. The moment I saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when I knew I would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that "dream" became true.

I quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse (not surprising afterwards :-) ). During this time (around 2002) I thought "There has to be a better way" and I found several


You can link with Alex Fürstenau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Fürstenau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structure, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Dec 2, 2015

It is not easy to find the right candidates for Scrum Master positions, and it becomes even harder when no other Scrum Masters are involved in the recruiting. Alex explains how he and his colleagues have changed the recruiting process to once again be able to control the recruiting process.

About Alex Fürstenau

When I was 12, my father bought the first computer, a C64. The moment I saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when I knew I would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that "dream" became true.

I quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse (not surprising afterwards :-) ). During this time (around 2002) I thought "There has to be a better way" and I found several


You can link with Alex Fürstenau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Fürstenau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structure, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Dec 1, 2015

When a team faces a problem they have a choice between blaming someone else (“them”), or taking ownership and making it happen even if that improvement looks beyond their reach. We as Scrum Masters can help teams take ownership, even when they need to involve other people in the resolution of the problem. Alex explains the problem, and some of the possible techniques to get the team to understand that they own the results of their work.

About Alex Fürstenau

When I was 12, my father bought the first computer, a C64. The moment I saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when I knew I would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that "dream" became true.

I quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse (not surprising afterwards :-) ). During this time (around 2002) I thought "There has to be a better way" and I found several

You can link with Alex Fürstenau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Fürstenau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structure, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Nov 30, 2015

Often we disregard this very simple fact, by the end of the sprint people are tired. Hosting the retrospective at the end of the day, on the last day of the sprint is not ideal from the engagement and energy level point of view. Alex explains how he failed at keeping the energy level high in one retrospective and what he learned from that moment, that he still applies today.

About Alex Fürstenau

When I was 12, my father bought the first computer, a C64. The moment I saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when I knew I would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that "dream" became true.

I quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse (not surprising afterwards :-) ). During this time (around 2002) I thought "There has to be a better way" and I found several

You can link with Alex Fürstenau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Fürstenau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structure, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Nov 27, 2015

Visualization is a powerful tool to help us understand what is really going on. Cliff is a visualization aficionado and explains how he uses visualization heavily in his work. In the process he gives me some advice that I’ve already put into practice with great success!

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 26, 2015

Using metrics to sense what is going on may be useful for certain activities, but the moment they are perceived to be “targets” they easily get subverted and lead to cheating. John Seddon’s I Want You To Cheat is a great book about this topic, and Cliff explains his own view on the topic.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 25, 2015

It is very easy to give in to the temptation of creating a “shopping list” of skills and then look for the “perfect candidate”. To avoid this common anti-pattern Cliff creates a list of 3 (or so) things that he wants to see in a candidate, but then gets to work. He describes Spotify’s hiring and onboarding process, which will definitely give you some good ideas to put in practice today.

 About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 24, 2015

It is hard to help teams take steps that move them to the next level. It is human nature to seek comfort and safety. Cliff developed an approach to get teams out of the rut, by helping them want to take their game to the next level. He uses some very simple tools that he explains in this episode.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 23, 2015

Very often we are in situations where we must quickly act to fend off some conflict situation. The natural tendency is to “take charge” based on our observations and conclusions about other people’s intentions. But is that the right approach? Cliff talks about how he learned to stay curious and never assume he knew other people’s intentions. Great advice!

We also mention the book Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning

You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Nov 21, 2015

Danilo started as a construction project manager, but during the years he transformed himself as well as his career. In this BONUS episode we explore that process of personal transformation that makes Danilo an Agile person, not just a person that does Agile.

We hear the story of how a change in the job market presented Danilo with a challenge, but also an opportunity. Then we explore what steps he took to adopt the ideas of Agile and how he applies those ideas even today in his own personal time management system which he dubs Agile.

Danilo created a time management course to help all of us that feel overwhelmed, but want to use our agile principles in our own personal time management. Danilo introduces the course and offers you a 80% discount (!!) for the first 30 people taking his course. Check it out, go to this Udemy link to access Danilo’s course.

About Danilo Tambone

Danilo Tambone is a project management professional with 12 years of experience in the field, he is a PMP and PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner.

Danilo started his career in the Construction Industry (very different from IT), but after the discovery of the agile techniques and their successful application on the job and for his own personal productivity, he has prepared a real career transition in an agile way, and has recently started his new working life as an IT Project Management Consultant.

You can link with Danilo Tambone on LinkedIn, and visit Danilo Tambone’s Udemy profile.

Nov 20, 2015

Sean describes talks about models, structural and organizational models that help us understand the system that affects our organizations.

Sean talks about his own model:

  1. Transformational Leadership
  2. Lean Product Development
  3. Technical Excellence (PDF)

It is critical that we build a model that allows us to think about the whole organization. And use questions to investigate the system. As Sean put it “questions communicate value”.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 19, 2015

Many will say that helping team meeting commitments is how Scrum Masters best do their work. Seann shows us another side of the job: developing teams. Helping them develop their skills, their collaboration, and focus on outcomes, not outputs.

We discuss that knowing “why” is often more important than focusing on the work at hand, and we mention the book by Simon Sinek: Start with Why.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 18, 2015

Recruiting is a key skill that organizations must develop if they are to grow in a healthy manner. Sean shares with us the story of a community of practice with the goal of improving the recruitment process and results.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 17, 2015

There are many reasons why teams fail. Sean shares with us 3 anti-patterns he has seen that indicate the team is on a downward spiral. The anti-patterns are:

  1. Lack of accountability (as a team)
  2. No shared objectives, everyone has a different agenda
  3. Individual’s names are the primary “reference” to ownership instead of the team itself.

For more information on these and other anti-patterns here are some books to help you:

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 16, 2015

There are many similarities between the way teams interact in many industries, but in this episode we explore the similarity between a team leader in the army and the role of Scrum Master. Listen in while Sean explains his story, and what he learned from it that he still applies today in his work as Scrum Master and Agile Coach.

He also shares with us his recipe for dealing with failure:

  1. Acknowledge that you are giving it your best. The prime directive also applies to ourselves, not just the teams we work with.
  2. Ultimately, our goal is to learn, so step back and reflect. Develop a set of questions you ask yourself when things don’t go as you expected. Frame mistakes in the context of learning.

About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach.  Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army.  In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.

That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.

You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.

Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Nov 13, 2015

Working with the system where our teams work is one of the critical skills for Scrum Masters, but for that to be possible we need to learn how to observe and “poke” the system to understand it better. In this episode we discuss the organizational system and how to work within the system to be able to help the teams we work with.  We also refer to ORSC: Organizational Responsibility Systems Coaching, a model that Zuzi uses in her work.

About Zuzi Sochova

Zuzi help companies and individuals to be more successful. She teaches teams and their managers how to be more efficient, how to provide better quality and how to communicate and organize teams so that people have fun, they are motivated and have high commitment.  Zuzi helps teams and managers find out how to handle customer relationship to help them improve customer satisfaction.

You can visit Zuzi’s website at: http://sochova.cz/, and link with Zuzi Sochova on LinkedIn, or connect with Zuzi Sochova on twitter, or your favorite conferece.

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