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Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

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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Jun 18, 2021

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

The relationship the PO has with stakeholders is key in their ability to say “no” and stay true to the Vision of the product. In this episode, we also discuss how sometimes, standing back and letting the team lead is the wrong thing to do for a PO!

The Great Product Owner: Helping Product Owners master 2 important aspects of the role

This PO was on top of their game when it came to knowing the product and their customers. The PO was able to say “no” to stakeholders, and was clear on the Vision for the product. And most importantly, the PO was very deliberate at checking if they had made the right decision. In this segment, we talk about the “Create a Compelling Product Vision” FREE e-course that helps Scrum Masters work with PO’s and stakeholders to define a clear Vision for the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: When steeping back as a PO is the wrong thing to do

Product Owners do well when they stand back and let the team step up and own the execution of the User Stories. However, sometimes the PO may judge the team to be more autonomous than they really are. In this segment, we talk about how we can assess if the team is ready to work with less PO guidance (which is needed, for example, when scaling up the PO role)

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

About Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Jun 17, 2021

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

In Pascal’s perspective, Scrum Masters can be successful if they help the teams be comfortable with change, and feel accountable for their delivery. In order to get there, we must help teams know what success means (they need to be part of defining it) and measure it (help them do it!) In this segment, we also refer to the “what could go wrong” retrospective exercise. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Questions that generate conversations

In this segment, we talk about a simple concept: “helping teams have a conversation”. Pascal shares some of the tips and questions he uses when helping teams get started with the improvement conversation we hope to trigger in every retrospective. 

Pascal also shares a critical tip on how to handle the situation when the team does not go along with your plan in the retrospective. Don’t miss it!  

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

About Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Jun 16, 2021

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

This company had been using Agile for a while, but now they wanted to introduce the concept of squads, chapters and guilds. This required that the teams be reorganized as this model requires teams to be cross-functional. Pascal helped the organization set up a “team market”. When Pascal started participating in this team market he started realizing that everyone had a different reaction to that event. In this episode, we talk about how change is really a personal process, and that we need to take into account individual experiences and expectations. We also refer to the self-selection workshop process. 

About Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Jun 15, 2021

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

Pascal was working with a team that had a team member that was particularly good at pointing out problems. She had worked at that company for a long time, and had developed a reputation for “being difficult”, which led to the other team members judging this one team member’s actions, and they ended up dismissing her actions. In this episode, we hear about how Pascal approached this situation, and modeled curiosity to help other team members understand why she was pointing out problems. 

Featured Book of the Week: From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate Using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling by Caitlin Walker

In Contempt to Curiosity by Caitlin Walker, Pascal learned about Systemic Modeling and Clean Language, which gave him a set of models to do group facilitation. It all starts with getting people to be curious about each other. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Jun 14, 2021

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

Pascal was working with a group of teams and Scrum Masters. In his attempt to help, he gave feedback to the Scrum Masters he was working with, but then a surprise hit. He was asked: “what are you doing here?” Pascal had made a common mistake, he had assumed everyone knew why he was brought in! In this episode, we discuss why it is important to set the stage when we start working with teams. We also refer to the idea of Systemic Modeling

About Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Jun 12, 2021

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

In this episode, we learn about applying Scrum and Agile in sales teams and for sales organizations.

About Brad Jeavons

Brad Jeavons is the author of the book Agile Sales and the host of the Enterprise Excellence Podcast and the Enterprise Excellence Youtube Channel. Brad is passionate about helping create a better future economically, socially and environmentally. He does this by sharing knowledge and supporting organizations to create cultures of continuous improvement and innovation at all levels.

You can link with Brad Jeavons on LinkedIn and connect with Brad Jeavons on Twitter.

Jun 11, 2021

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

In this episode, we challenge you to think about what is needed beyond a great PO to be able to help the Agile teams succeed. We also discuss how the planning practices in some companies actively destroy product ownership. 

The Great Product Owner: What we need beyond a great PO

Is a good Product Owner enough? Do we really need the PO role? These are some of the thought-provoking questions we tackle in this episode. We explore ideas from Lean Startup, Customer Development and mention the book Rethinking Agile by Klaus Leopold

The Bad Product Owner: How corporate planning destroys product ownership

The Product Owner is one of the hardest roles in Agile and Scrum. Tomo starts by sharing aspects of the PO role that are often forgotten or ignored. We also discuss the dynamics that often push PO’s to only focus on managing their backlog, and miss the impact of having a clear direction / Vision for the teams. 

In this segment, we refer to the Beyond Budgeting movement, which tries to bring Agile ideas and practices to the finance departments of large and mid-size organizations.

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

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years experience in project management, both waterfall and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson's first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter.

Jun 10, 2021

Tomo starts by recommending we always have more than one format ready to go when preparing a retrospective. However, we explore “The Best Story” retrospective format that helps team members talk about their work. In this segment, we also refer to the “mood-graph” (aka Journey Lines for the Sprint). 

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

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years experience in project management, both waterfall and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson's first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter.

Jun 9, 2021

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

When we work with Agile and Scrum teams, we may find that the team does not have a simple tool in place for visualizing work: a simple task or story board. In this episode, we explore how we can introduce the concept and the impact of a simple task/story board to the teams we work with.

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years experience in project management, both waterfall and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson's first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter.

Jun 8, 2021

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

Tomo worked with 6 teams on a project. Although the teams were good at developing software, they lacked something that was critical. As Tomo investigated further, he pinpointed what was missing, and focused on providing them with the tools to overcome their lack of innovation, and decision making ability. 

In this segment, we refer to the concept of Swarming, which when applied correctly can make times much more productive. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

 

Featured Book of the Week: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck is one of the foundational books for Lean applied to software. Although many have followed the Poppendieck’s, their book still has many learnings on how to apply Lean to software development. 

In this segment, we also refer to the work by Klaus Leopold, of which the book Rethinking Agile is one example

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years experience in project management, both waterfall and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson's first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter.

Jun 7, 2021

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

When Tomo took this position, he realized that it was a “make-it-or-break” kind of job. In that job, he successfully helped the team “inch” the velocity up, but the deck was stacked against the team. The company wanted the product to be #1 in the market, but that’s almost impossible job at the first try. Listen in to learn how Tomo and team tackled and learned from this nearly impossible mission. 

In this episode, we refer to ScrumBan which combines the best aspects of Kanban and Scrum. In this episode, we also refer to the book Inspired by Marty Cagan

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years experience in project management, both waterfall and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson's first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter.

Jun 4, 2021

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

Lack of details, can be a motivator for the team to bring their creative thinking. Great Product Owners can take advantage of that. In this episode, we also discuss what happens when the PO doesn’t really know what they own.

The Great Product Owner: Bring a problem, and solve it with the team

Great Product Owners inspire the team to think of solutions the PO could not think of. To do that, they share the context and pain of the customer, and leave the details out, so that the team asks questions, and starts imagining what the successful outcome would look like. In this segment, we also discuss how important it is that the PO gives time, and space to the team so they can work on the problem the PO brings to the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who does not know what he owns

Sometimes, the Product Owner isn’t clear on what exactly they own. In those cases, the team can’t be clear either on what they are trying to achieve. This lack of clarity can come from the fact that the PO “hat” is thrown to someone who isn’t right for the job, and may even have a few other “side” jobs they need to attend to. Are these characteristics present in your PO? Listen in, to learn how Dov suggests we tackle these PO anti-patterns.

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

About Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent and enabler, helping companies teams and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn.

Jun 3, 2021

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

When it comes to define success for a Scrum Master, Dov suggests we think of it as the success of a parent. Where the perspective, and the actions we take change constantly because the team (like a child) is also continuously evolving and changing. In this segment, we share many tips on how to review and assess our performance as Scrum Masters. 

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Silent Retrospective

Dov introduces the “silent retrospective”, an approach he takes to help the team reflect and share their insights in a way that allows all to share their views and thoughts. We also talk about how to prepare and facilitate the “silent retrospective”. 

 

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

About Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent and enabler, helping companies teams and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn.

Jun 2, 2021

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

It is often the case that in organizations that are in a process of change, the people who can block, or enable change are only a few. In this episode, we talk about these “linchpins” of change, and reflect on how we can build productive relationships with those stakeholders, with the aim to help progress Agile adoption. 

About Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent and enabler, helping companies teams and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn.

Jun 1, 2021

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

The problems in Scrum adoption can come from the conflict between a team and the person “pushing” the process. In this segment, we talk about the approaches we some times take as Scrum Masters that negatively affect the team and their Agile adoption.

Featured Book of the Week: The Agile Tao by Peter Merrel

The Agile Tao by Peter Merrel is based on the Book of Tao, an ancient book with series of meditations on the mysterious nature of the Tao--the Way, the Light, the very Source of all existence. Dov shares how The Agile Tao helped him understand better his role as Scrum Master. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent and enabler, helping companies teams and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn.

May 31, 2021

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

What are the necessary conditions for us to successfully implement, and benefit from Scrum? That’s a question that we explore in this episode, where Dov shares a story of a team that worked isolated from the rest, and which did not have a real Product Owner. In this episode, we also discuss what we should do when Scrum isn’t the right fit for the conditions around the team. 

About Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent and enabler, helping companies teams and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn

May 29, 2021

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

In this episode, we explore Luke’s lessons learned when working with Agile teams remotely. 

About Luke Szyrmer

Luke is the host of the Align Remotely podcast. Luke has managed or participated in fully remote teams for almost a decade. He has lead programs of widely distributed teams. Over the last 9 years, he has lead teams building software, running marketing and sales, and launched a bestselling book. Remotely. In many cases, with people he never met or spoke to in person.

You can link with Luke Szyrmer on LinkedIn and connect with Luke Szyrmer on Twitter

You can also follow Luke’s work at AlignRemotely.com.

May 28, 2021

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

Looking at the Product Owner in relation to the team is a critical aspect of our assessment when coming into a new team. In this episode, we talk about the PO that was absent, and let the team alone, and contrast that with a PO that saw herself as a team member and how that changed the perspective the team had on the PO role. 

The Great Product Owner: PO as a team member, not only team stakeholder

This Product Owner believed that the team needed to share her vision, and never missed a chance to share the purpose and the vision with the team. The PO also made sure that all the team members were heard, and role-modeled the idea of experimentation, and learning from exposing ideas to customers. Finally, the PO assumed the role of a team member, not a team stakeholder. 

The Bad Product Owner: Helping the PO focus on value and delight for customers

We’ve discussed often here on the podcast how “being absent” is one of the most common, and most dangerous Product Owner anti-patterns (see this article on how to solve that anti-pattern). But there’s an even worse variation that mixes in the “belief” that Agile will solve all the problems the team has, which leads the PO to step back even further. In this segment, we talk about how to bring the PO back into the conversation with the team and focus on value and delight for customers. 

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

About Kya MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter.

May 27, 2021

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

Kyla was working with a team of coaches, and they defined they vision as “We exist to support teams to deliver more value, more frequently with more ease and more delight”. This helped them accept that they were always there to push the teams forward, and then again move forward. To ensure they kept themselves accountable, they needed to keep score for themselves as a team of coaches. Listen in to learn how they measured themselves and the impact they had on the teams they worked with.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 3 V’s

Kyla shares the 3V’s format, where the team discusses Value, Velocity and Vitality! This format helped her introduce the concept of fulfillment and how the work we do has many dimensions. 

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

About Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter.

May 26, 2021

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

Kyla was working on an Agile transformation program. This program started with an inspiring question: “what would a great day look like at work?”

The CIO that had just arrived helped management learn from other organizations, and that started to transform the organization. Listen in to learn how that Agile transformation team helped change the mindset and desire to go to work for hundreds of people. 

About Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter.

May 25, 2021

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

Kyla was working with a team that was under a lot of pressure. They were busy, and stressed. No one in that organization wanted to disturb, or interrupt this team. So much so, that planning was done only with senior people. However, by not wanting to interrupt the team, the organization was making the team unaware of why they were working on, and confused. The story changes when the Product Owner starts involving the team in planning and decision making. 

Featured Book of the Week: Leadership is Language by David L. Marquet

In Leadership is Language by David L. Marquet (a previous guest here on the podcast), Kyla learned about how language impacts people and behaviours. A key lesson for us, Scrum Masters. In this episode, we also talk about The Skilled Facilitator by Roger M. Schwarz, where she learned some of the concepts she now applies in her work as Scrum Master. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter.

May 24, 2021

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

When Kyla worked with her first Agile team, she got lucky. The team was filled with great people, who were curious, and willing to change and learn. Later on, when working with another team, she had the same expectations. However, that team was not like the first. They thought Agile was a waste of time. This setup Kyla for a very important lesson that all Scrum Masters will have to learn, sooner or later. 

About Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter

May 21, 2021

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

In this episode, we talk about how an empathic Product Owner can make a big difference when working with Scrum teams. We also discuss how Product Backlogs are really owned by the PO and the team, not only the PO.

The Great Product Owner: Empathy, and handling pressure, key PO skills

A team will quickly notice if the Product Owner has empathy, which is a critical asset for Product Owners that want to succeed. A great PO will also know how to communicate with the team, so that they can work on handling the inevitable delivery pressure that will affect both the team and the Product Owner. Finally, we discuss how great Product Owners are proactive about involving stakeholders. 

In this episode, we talk about the #NoEstimates approach to determining release dates (We’ve also discuss the #NoEstimates ideas in these episodes).

 

The Bad Product Owner: Sharing the ownership of the backlog

Philip shares with us why he thinks that there is widespread confusion about the Product Owner role. Many think that it is only the Product Owner that writes / maintains the backlog. However, really great teams understand that the PO is only one of the people that ensures the backlog is ready and up to the necessary level for the team. We also discuss what we can do, as Scrum Masters, to help teams and Product Owners own the backlog together. In this episode, we also talk about the idea of the “3 amigos” session to refine product backlog items (we’ve covered the 3 amigos sessions and approach in these episodes).

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

About Philip Rogers

Phil, is a father of four children and volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an "agile whisperer" (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter.

May 20, 2021

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

When we try to assess our impact and success as Scrum Masters, we can look at team happiness and satisfaction. Measuring those will help us assess our impact, and there are simple ways to do it. In this episode, we talk about the Niko Niko Calendar (the Niko Niko Calendar has been previously discussed also in other episodes) and the ideas from the Spotify Health Check approach.

Featured Retrospective From for the Week: Pick Discussion Questions

Philip shares with us a format that can be setup relatively quickly, and focuses on helping the team get started with a productive discussion on some of the most pressing topics for them. Philip shares some of the questions he uses when starting this kind of retrospective, and suggests we use a Futurespective to help teams gain fresh insights on their approach to work. 

 

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About Philip Rogers

Phil, is a father of four children and volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an "agile whisperer" (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter.

May 19, 2021

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

Philip was working with a health care organization, and discovered that they had not yet had help from other agile coaches. As he started working with teams, he discovered that one of the people who brought him in, was not all that positive on the change Philip had been hired to do. 

This created confusion, and conflict. So Philip started working on how to align teams quickly and developed a “rapid alignment framework” using techniques like Inception from the book The Agile Samurai by Rasmusson

In this episode, we also discuss Story Mapping and the Scrum Master playbook by Philip

About Philip Rogers

Phil, is a father of four children and volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an "agile whisperer" (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter.

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