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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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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast: Agile storytelling from the trenches
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Now displaying: Category: Agile
Nov 12, 2015

What helps teams self-organize? What are the things that support, or prevent self-organization? Zuzi explains and guides us through her own model for self-organization and how we, as Scrum Masters can help teams reach a level where they self-organize.

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.

Nov 11, 2015

When we recruit we normally try to get the “most qualified” people. But what makes someone qualified for a position in a team? Can a lone-ranger super performer really work well in a team? What should we be looking for when we hire a team member? Zuzi suggests a few ideas, and explains why the hard skills are not where your focus should be.

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.

Nov 10, 2015

Many teams get stuck in a bad place, but there are some teams that also get stuck, but because they think they already are “good enough”. Listen in to learn how Zuzi learned to work with teams that already think they are “good enough”.

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.

Nov 9, 2015

There are many paths to starting our journey as a Scrum Master. Zuzi started as a line manager, but she soon learned the key differences between being a team leader and being a Scrum Master. She also explains why some companies still fail to improve, even when using Scrum.

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.

Nov 6, 2015

We observe the system we work on every day. We even have many ideas on how the system could or should change for work to flow better, for people to feel better. However, without a form of visualizing the system we work with those are just fuzzy speculative ideas that may or may not matter in the end. Jeff walks us through his version of a Value Stream Map for knowledge work, and how that helps visualize and understand the system we work with. It is only then that we can start changing the system.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 5, 2015

How can we prove the value we bring to organizations? He discuss the value metrics for Scrum Masters and how you can look at your work from the organization’s point of view. We also discuss the effectiveness of meetings and how that affects our own performance. We mention a research paper that explores the differences between stand-up and sit-down meetings, a must read for all Scrum Masters. Read the paper to know when each meeting format is the most appropriate (PDF link): The effects of stand-up and sit-down meeting formats on meeting outcomes.

 

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 4, 2015

We very often talk about recruiting the best Scrum Masters, but in this episode we take the opposite point of view. How do you make sure you get hired as a Scrum Master? Jeff shares with us his learning of when he was not hired, and what he learned from that experience.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 3, 2015

We’ve all done it in one way or another. We spend time in a retrospective criticizing what is wrong, and assigning blame to others. Jeff Campbell has been there as well, and in this episode he explains how you can get teams to stop spending their valuable time whining, and start taking action.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Nov 2, 2015

There are many learnings we collect along our journey as Scrum Masters. However, transformative lessons are not that common, except for Jeff in this particular job. Listen how he learned 2 lessons that totally changed how he looks at his job as a Scrum Master.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Oct 30, 2015

How do we get started mapping the system conditions we must face every day? Dennis suggests that you understand the stakeholders that the team needs to interact with. By understanding the map of the system you can then dig deeper with Expectation Mapping to understand what the team is expected to deliver to all those stakeholders. This will help you map the key system conditions. Use also visualization to understand how those other stakeholders interact among themselves and use Circles of Influence to understand what the team can affect on its own, and what they need help with.

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.

You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.

Oct 29, 2015

To define success for us as Scrum Masters we need to define also what it means not to succeed. Dennis defines what is failure, and uses 2 concrete tools to check the situation all the time. The tools are 5 Why’s and a simple powerful question: “how are we succeeding?”

Each of these tools tackles a different purpose that Dennis explains in this episode.

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.

You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.

Oct 28, 2015

Dennis and I explore many different options to shape our recruiting process, from ZAPPOS, to Fredric Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations, to a conclusion that the recruiting interview is a very inefficient way to recruit the right people. Teams are almost like families, after all we share 40+ hours of time every week together. We need to find other ways to find the right people.

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.

You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.

Oct 27, 2015

Teams never get into trouble because of one single reason. We discuss several patterns that get teams in trouble, and especially two patterns that relate to team-stakeholder and team member-team member relationship. Dennis explains one tool that he uses to detect these relationship anti-patterns that can destroy teams.

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.

Oct 26, 2015

We become Scrum Masters because we want to help teams, organizations, and ourselves to make a difference in the world, to create better working places. However, sometimes we want that too much. Dennis explains one such case and a key lesson he learned.

We also refer to Don Reinertsen’s book The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. We discuss a tool that you can use to manage expectations with the teams you work with: Expectation Mapping.

 

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.

You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.

Oct 23, 2015

We explore Systems Thinking with Matthew, and describe a 3 step process to apply Systems Thinking in our Scrum Master work:

  1. Look at “touch time” the time that the work items are actually worked on. Matt shares with us an example of what this means in practice
  2. Find out where are the queues and where the work “stops” and waits
  3. Make the work visual, make it transparent

This process will help you to understand the system of work and diagnose the systemic problems that you will need to address.

We mention the Quality Software Management: Systems Thinking by Gerry Weinberg and Toyota Production System by Liker, both great primers to Systems Thinking applied in practice.

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.

You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.

Oct 22, 2015

A common answer to the success question on the podcast is “when I’m no longer needed”, but that isn’t a great career advancing answer. So we explore what happens after “I’m no longer needed”.

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.

You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.

Oct 21, 2015

Matthew shares with us a story of a disaster hire, and why the regular hiring process is not likely to succeed. He finishes with a value bomb: he shares with us a tip that will help you hire the right person every time! Don’t believe me? Listen up!

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.

You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.

Oct 20, 2015

Many will think that having daily standups + iterations + user stories is enough to “do” Scrum. Well, that can be very far from what Scrum is about. In this episode we discuss some of the most critical anti-patterns in teams that end up under-performing or even worse: dis-integrating.

We also mention two very important books for every scrum master: Agile Software Development by Cockburn, and Team of Teams by McChrystal.

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.

You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.

Oct 19, 2015

It’s never hard to break with the status quo, and communicating the adoption process, positioning the change and managing the expectations can become the most important job for us as Scrum Masters. This was the hard-earned lesson that Matt shares with us in the podcast.

We also mention the book Agile Software Development With Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle, and refer to the 3 amigos: “The Three Amigos meeting is about the transition from user stories to scenarios. It is meant to happen before development starts, part of a good test first approach. It is meant to happen just before development starts.”

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.

You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.

Oct 16, 2015

Listening, taking notes and asking questions are the tools that Gitte uses to understand that system conditions that affect the teams that she works with. Look at who talks to whom, who eats alone, how each team member reacts to each other.

How to get people to talk? Create the spaces for conversation to happen, like watercoolers, coffee machines, etc.

About Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is a very pragmatic world-changer. She wants to make the world a better place today, not tomorrow. She’s also very experienced agile coach and regular speaker. But here’s the punch line: she talks about things that no one else talks about. She lives by the mantra "why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” and she says that her best coaching tools are listening and making people think.

You link with Gitte Klitgaard on LinkedIn, and connect with Gitte Klitgaard on twitter.

Oct 15, 2015

Success for a scrum master is when people start to take responsibility for their work, and collaborate to get problems solved. Gitte also mentions the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING in the idea of cross-functional teams. We discuss the book: Flow by Csikszentmihalyi.

About Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is a very pragmatic world-changer. She wants to make the world a better place today, not tomorrow. She’s also very experienced agile coach and regular speaker. But here’s the punch line: she talks about things that no one else talks about. She lives by the mantra "why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” and she says that her best coaching tools are listening and making people think.

You link with Gitte Klitgaard on LinkedIn, and connect with Gitte Klitgaard on twitter.

Oct 14, 2015

How do you hire an entire team? How to cope with different personalities? What to do about the coaches and Scrum Masters that turn into process police? These are just some of the questions we discuss in this episode.

About Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is a very pragmatic world-changer. She wants to make the world a better place today, not tomorrow. She’s also very experienced agile coach and regular speaker. But here’s the punch line: she talks about things that no one else talks about. She lives by the mantra "why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” and she says that her best coaching tools are listening and making people think.

You link with Gitte Klitgaard on LinkedIn, and connect with Gitte Klitgaard on twitter.

Oct 13, 2015

Gitte explains why teams sometimes forget to think and they that is a self-destruction pattern. Being agile requires us to be flexible, and when we stop thinking the best we can do is follow orders. Asking questions and being ready to sit back and listen helps us bring the thinking pattern to our team’s day-to-day work.

About Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is a very pragmatic world-changer. She wants to make the world a better place today, not tomorrow. She’s also very experienced agile coach and regular speaker. But here’s the punch line: she talks about things that no one else talks about. She lives by the mantra "why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” and she says that her best coaching tools are listening and making people think.

You link with Gitte Klitgaard on LinkedIn, and connect with Gitte Klitgaard on twitter.

Oct 12, 2015

People who have been successful all have one thing in common: they tend to fall back to the old ways that worked in the past. Gitte tells us a story of when this happened to her, how she overcame those temptations and why it is important to have different points of view in one project.

About Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is a very pragmatic world-changer. She wants to make the world a better place today, not tomorrow. She’s also very experienced agile coach and regular speaker. But here’s the punch line: she talks about things that no one else talks about. She lives by the mantra "why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” and she says that her best coaching tools are listening and making people think.

You link with Gitte Klitgaard on LinkedIn, and connect with Gitte Klitgaard on twitter.

Oct 10, 2015

We explore Leadership, what it means, and why it is such an important discipline for Scrum Masters.

Sean is an officer in the Canadian army reserves, turned Agile Coach. He shares with us what he learned about leading teams in his military career. How those lessons apply to knowledge work, and how to develop our Leadership skills.

In the armed forces, we look at leaders as someone who will be with us in harms way. To be able to function effectively as teams, leaders need to learn to work with teams in a manner that builds trust and empathy. Scrum Masters can learn a lot from how that is achieved in high-pressure situations.

The book mentioned on the topic of Trust: The 5 Dysfunctions of a team by Lencioni, includes many examples and practices on how we can help build trust within our teams. We also refer to Turn the Ship Around by Marquette, a book dedicated to explore the topic of leadership filled with lessons for Scrum Masters.

We also discuss what it means to be a successful leader, and review some of the Agile Manifesto principles that bear directly on leadership, and the practice of that discipline.

We are temporary stewards of our profession

Sean helps us to challenge our personal visions of leadership, what it means for our profession, and how it should influence our actions. “What type of organization do you want to build?”, Sean asks.

To help us develop our own understanding and vision of leadership Sean recommends 3 books:

 

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.

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