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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
Oct 9, 2015

There are many sources of inspiration that help us understand how to “see” the system. Daniel mentions the Logical Thinking Process by Dettmer, and The Goal by Goldratt as good places to start understanding the system and how to address it. But the real tool we all already use and can have a large impact on our understanding and influence is the Retrospective meeting. Daniel suggest the Circles and Soup Retrospective as a way to help the team understand the system and act on it.

About Daniel Hommel

Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general.

You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.

Oct 8, 2015

There are many ways to look at success. Daniel chooses to look at it from the learning point of view. He wants to see teams learn, and run experiments. He mentions the book Lean Change Management by Jason Little as an inspiration for the experiment mindset. As Daniel puts it: being fast is good, but being able to change direction quickly is much better.

About Daniel Hommel

Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general.

You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.

Oct 7, 2015

The “Lying Game” is what we all play in the recruiting process. And that’s why the default approaches to recruiting are not very effective. We try to go beyond the “lies” with better questions of different recruiting processes, but that’s only part of what is needed to hire the best Scrum Masters. Daniel explains how we can go beyond the first impressions and build a recruiting process that is beneficial for both sides, the employer and the future employee.

About Daniel Hommel

Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general.

You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.

Oct 6, 2015

Building trust in the team is a key challenge for all Scrum Masters. We have many tools we can use to build that trust and Daniel suggest some concrete tools.

Start by reviewing The 5 Dysfunctions of a team by Lencioni, then try other exercises like the Moving Motivators, Personal Maps or other Management 3.0 Workout.

About Daniel Hommel

Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general.

You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.

Oct 5, 2015

Many Scrum Masters start their career as part-time Scrum Masters. A few books read, a course or two attended, and here we go. What could go wrong? In this episode Daniel explains his first project, and the mistakes that come from lack of experience and part-time assignment.

We also discuss the book Product Development Flow by D. Reinertsen in the context of creating the necessary conditions for learning.

About Daniel Hommel

Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general.

You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.

Oct 2, 2015

Natalie explains her approach to understanding and visualizing the system conditions that affect the teams she works with:

  1. Start by asking “how are the tools, practices and policies affecting the team’s I work with?”
  2. Then take a pen and draw the links between the different observations, do this with the whole team. Expect to hear many different perspectives, and help the team make sense of those different views.
  3. Use also metrics, but not just one. Look at several metrics and ask people to look beyond a single metric, and beyond the metrics. What do these metrics tell us?
  4. Identify possible underlying conditions that affect the team.

Always keep in mind, that this process will be different for every team you work with, each team is different.

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.

You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Oct 1, 2015

There are many ways to measure success, and it’s not easy to choose just one of them. Natalie chooses to focus on the questions that the team asks. Are they asking questions that challenge you? Are they asking questions that make you feel uncomfortable? Natalie also suggests you focus on how your own questions make you feel. The job of the Scrum Master is not easy, and the questions we ask are supposed to be a critical part of our job. How many uncomfortable conversations did you have last week?

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.

You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Sep 30, 2015

In a recruiting interview many things get said, and sometimes it is easy to miss the subtle clues that illustrate the candidate’s thinking. In this episode we talk about how to practice active listening in recruiting interviews. Listen to the words being used as they give away a lot of the candidate’s personality and approach to the Scrum Master role.

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.

You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Sep 29, 2015

In the fast paced dot.com space there’s always many things happening at the same time. Team can get carried away be stuck in the eternal context switching problem. In this episode Natalie explains how she helped a team recover from constant change of focus, how she was able to bring in focus and value thinking to the team.

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.

You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Sep 28, 2015

When we start working in a new organization we must face a new environment, new people, and must therefore start building our support network. Natalie suggests you seek out a partner in the new organization that can support your work. We also discuss why the role of leadership is so critical for the success of the team.

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.

You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Sep 25, 2015

We can sometimes overwhelm the teams we work with by introducing too many methods. Anton explains how he likes to introduce methods to the team, by running experiments with the team to see if the method fits the team, and solves the problem they want to tackle. He also gives a critical advice on one of the most common anti-patterns for Scrum Masters: wanting to help too much.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.

You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Sep 24, 2015

Retrospectives are the tool for Scrum Masters to achieve success in their role. In this Episode we discuss many different types of retrospectives and Anton introduces the “themed” retrospectives as well as some tools on how to facilitate those. You can also read about one example of a themed retrospectives that Anton wrote especially for this episode. The Human Aspect Retrospective by Anton Zotin.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.

You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Sep 23, 2015

Recruiting is a critical process for any organization, not the least of which because hiring and wrong person and firing them later can destroy the team. Anton tells the story of a “perfect” hire that turned out to be very destructive for the team. He also asks us to involve the whole team in the process by asking the whole team to interview the person, and if possible, invite the candidate to work one day with the team.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.

You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Sep 22, 2015

Conflicts are part of the journey of any team. In this episode Anton explains the case of a team where conflicts were not addressed, and they became a source of problems for the team.

We discuss in this episode several Retrospective exercises that can help you address the conflicts by creating a more empathic atmosphere: the Journey Lines Exercise and The Constellation Exercise.

The Nonviolent Communication book by Rosenberg is also mentioned in this podcast.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.

You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Sep 21, 2015

As Scrum Masters we are often very passionate about what is the “right way”, we see a lot of problems immediately, and we know how to fix them. Anton shares the story of such a moment in his career and how he started to accept that “everyone has their own journey”. His recipe is:

  1. Gradually lead the time in the right direction. Don’t try to change everything at the same time.

  2. Whatever you think is going wrong, reflect that back to the team and help them find their own solution. Be an Agile Mirror!

In this Episode we mention 2 important books:

The Human Side of the Enterprise by McGregor, the classic that introduced the Theory X and Theory Y model, which we discuss in this episode.

Turn the Ship Around by Marquee, a book on leadership that presents a model that is very useful for Scrum Masters.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.

You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Sep 18, 2015

Many management approaches settle for measuring activity instead of outcomes. Marcus asks us to focus more on outcomes to be able to investigate the system conditions. After all it is outcomes that matter. He also asks us to be so precise about outcomes that we can measure it with a single metric. His process is:

  1. Go for smaller and smaller iterations as a way to help teams “own” their work

  2. Bring the outcome definition down to ground-level, so that everyone understands it

  3. Everyone needs to understand the metric. Simplify it.

  4. The metric needs to be one that changes often, so that we can use it as feedback.

  5. Update the metric daily

  6. Celebrate success

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.

One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.

You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Sep 17, 2015

Scrum Masters measure their success in many different ways, Marcus chose happiness in his last project with a software team. He walks us through that and suggests that we use Niko, Niko index as a tool to measure happiness.

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.

One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.

You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Sep 16, 2015

There are many questions we can ask in a recruiting interview, but not all help us find the right people for the job. In this episode Marcus shares with us the questions he goes to when the job is recruiting the best Scrum Masters out there.

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.

One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.

You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Sep 15, 2015

When we introduce visualization methods in an already dysfunctional organization, there’s a tendency to see problems and point at the guilty parts. However, our dysfunctional processes are the result of the system conditions, not the people in the system. Marcus reminds us of that fact and asks us to hate the sin, not the sinner. He also shares a great tip to get started with visualizing the work in progress.

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.

One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.

You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Sep 14, 2015

In many organizations we see teams rushing to adopt Scrum, only to be stuck in the Water-Scrum-Fall anti-pattern. Marcus shares with us one such case, and what he learned from the experience. He shares the metrics that matter in Agile, and why Lean is a perfect complement to the ideas of Agile and Scrum.

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.

One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.

You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Sep 11, 2015

The team is the center point of the Scrum Master’s attention. But this is not enough for us to be successful as Scrum Masters. We must focus on the system the team is part of. In this episode we cover how to view the team within that system and how to help the team, and beyond.

We discuss the PDCA cycle which was popularized by Deming, and discuss the role of management within a system.

 

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist.  Culture hacker. People focused.  Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.

You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

Sep 10, 2015

In this episode, we cover what success means for Scrum Masters and what questions you can use to assess your own success

  • Is the team achieving its purpose?

  • Is the team fulfilling its goals?

  • Is the team working according to the agile values?

  • Is the journey of the team an enjoyable one?

  • Did I address the blockers in a timely fashion?

  • How did I help solve the conflicts productively?

We also discuss the importance and how to ask for feedback from the team and stakeholders.

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist.  Culture hacker. People focused.  Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.

You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

Sep 9, 2015

This a tale of caution when recruiting. Ebenezer tells us the story of a person that was hired after a flawless interview process. He knew everything, all the answers. But in practice things did not work as well as in the interview. We discuss questions to ask that might help detect when people’s knowledge is not in line with their practice, and other recruiting techniques.

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist.  Culture hacker. People focused.  Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.

You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

Sep 8, 2015

What are the conditions for great teams to emerge? And what are the obstacles? These are some of the questions we cover in this episode. We mention also two very important books about teams, and how to build great teams: Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances by Richard Hackman and The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Katzenbach and Smith.

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist.  Culture hacker. People focused.  Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.

You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

Sep 7, 2015

Scrum Masters are very often people motivated to improve the way we work. That’s an asset, but it can sometimes turn into a handicap. Ebenezer explains what he learned from his earlier experiences as a Scrum Master, when he tried to help people that were not ready to be helped.

We refer to the Bonus Podcast episode with Bob Marshall, as well as to the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

 

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist.  Culture hacker. People focused.  Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.

You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

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