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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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Apr 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.

The way the PO involves the team in their work and decisions can make or break the collaboration between team and PO. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting approaches, and why the effective involvement of the team in the work of the PO is so important.

The Great Product Owner: User Experience focused PO

This particular Product Owner was very much focused on user experience, and that helped the team also focus on that aspect of their work. During meetings with the team, the PO constantly brought up the value they were trying to “drive” for the customer. 

In this segment, we refer to an approach Susannah calls “Metrics and Chill”. Listen in to learn what that is about.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that would have conversations without the team

Product Owners can help, or hinder the teams’ work. In this segment, we talk about a PO that would turn all blame on the team, and would have conversations with stakeholders without the team knowing about it, or being informed. This inevitably led to bad surprises that the team wasn’t ready for, and then was blamed for. Listen to these anti-patterns to learn to detect them before it is too late!

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 Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter.

Apr 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.

Can the team sustain the good practices they have in place? This is one of the questions that Susannah asks herself when assessing the impact of her work as a Scrum Master. She shares some tips that Scrum Masters can use to help the teams show if they are evolving in their Scrum and Agile journey. 

In this episode, we refer to the Personal Agility Movement

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Spinal Tap themed retrospective

One underrepresented retrospective format is that of a film-themed retro. Susannah, a musician herself, shares how she uses scenes from the Spinal Tap movie to help spark reflection and conversation in Agile Retrospectives. Susannah reminds us that the laughing that comes from watching some of the scenes in that movie, relaxes people and helps with the sharing of experiences.

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 Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter.

Apr 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.

As many teams have experienced during 2020/2021, Susannah was in the middle of a change from a co-located team, into a distributed/remote setting. This presented specific challenges to her as a Scrum Master. How to make the remote sessions as effective as the co-located ones? How to help the team feel connected, even when remote? In this episode, we learn about how easy it is to lose alignment when remote and what to do about it. 

In this episode, we refer to the concept of Psychological Safety, which has been a focus of several previous episodes here on the podcast

About Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter.

Apr 6, 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 project, the team was “forced” to report their work in a waterfall model: milestones, up-front plans, etc. This brought a series of problems that Susannah describes as “the joyless team”. This highlighted for her the important role Scrum Masters play in helping the team translate the information they have into a language that fits the needs of the stakeholders, but without going all the way back to waterfall plans and reports. 

Featured Book of the Week: Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear, by Sheridan et al. 

In Chief Joy Officer, Susannah found ideas and tools to help teams (and herself) find joy in the workplace. The book resonated with her, and offered ideas that fit the role of the Scrum Master very well. In the book, she also learned about using Joy as the metric that helps teams perform.

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 Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter

Apr 5, 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 story starts with Susannah working with two teams, in her role as a Scrum Master. This lead to her feeling torn between the two teams that she wanted to help. Multitasking and having to attend multiple ceremonies made her feel stressed and unsure about the best way to help the teams. How can a Scrum Master overcome the challenges of this situation and help the teams? Listen in to learn the important lessons Susannah took from this situation.

About Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter

Apr 3, 2021

About Alioscha Chaplits, Rachel Macasek and Daniel Lenhard

Alioscha Chaplits has 20+ years of experience with a large international non-profit organization as a team and project leader, mentor, coach, change agent, etc.

Alioscha  switched to IT three and half years ago to a QA role and since then. He’s got a great question for us to discuss in this panel discussion episode. We’ll get to that in a second.

You can link with Alioscha Chaplits on LinkedIn

Daniel Lenhart never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Rachel Macasek is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Apr 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.

From value-centered product ownership to interruption-based product ownership, two contrasting patterns we must be aware of.

The Great Product Owner: Value-centered, and able to communicate that to the Scrum team

A great PO has the mindset that they are there to understand and serve the customer with the help of the team. The great PO knows the environment (both inside the company and the customer’s environment); knows the customer very well, and most importantly understands how to bring that information to the team. Finally, the great PO has conversations centered around the idea of “value” for the customer and the company.

The Bad Product Owner: Interrupting the team and causing them to fail

This particular PO kept bringing new things to the sprint late in the process: “This has to go in as well” was the key phrase. This PO was heavily influenced by influential salespeople in the organization. All of this led the team to never finish the work they started. 

In this segment, we refer to the episodes with John Albrecht, who’s been a guest here on the podcast.

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 Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn.

Apr 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.

Serge invites us to define at first what we want to see as the outcome of our work. With this “end” in mind, he suggests we are then ready to start measuring the impact of our work. As the team progresses towards that goal, we celebrate the small successes and focus on enabling the growth of the team. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The OSCAR method

The OSKAR coaching model is a solution-focused coaching approach that we can use when setting up our retrospectives. It’s a method that starts by helping the team focus on the outcome, the result of their improvement ideas, and walks through what they need to put in place to reach that outcome. Starting with the outcome or end-result as the goal for the team.

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 Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn.

Mar 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.

Working in a bank, trying to help a team adopt the DevOps approach, Serge noticed that the people in the team were worried about how the new way of working would affect their position in the company. This taught Serge an important lesson: when in a change process, we need to address topics and issues that are not related to the object of the change but affect how people perceive and may reject the change process. 

In this episode, we refer to the ADKAR change framework.

About Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn.

Mar 30, 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 particular manager was a master “firefighter”. Perhaps because of that, the manager had been promoted to that position. But there’s a problem! When the manager is a firefighter, the team starts to mimic that behavior and starts to focus on finding, and fighting fires, instead of building a reliable and replicable approach to work. In this episode, we explore the many anti-patterns that emerge when the team starts copying the manager’s behavior. 

Featured Book of the Week: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. By Brené Brown

In Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, Serge learned some important lessons that have helped him as a Scrum Master. He understood that leadership is a critical aspect for Scrum Masters, as well as how to act on that leadership requirement for Scrum Masters. In this segment, we also refer to Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman, a book that helped Serge look at other’s actions from the “good intentions” perspective, something that he tries to apply in his 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 Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn.

Mar 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.

When Scrum Masters find blockers or problems in teams, and even in organizations, they need to think what’s the right approach to share those insights. The approach we select must be fit to the organization and the prevailing culture. In this story, we hear how Serge found a “tabu” that, when brought up, caused the organization to block it, and effectively invalidate the work Serge had done. 

About Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn

Mar 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.

About Christian Heidemeyer

Christian is a psychologist by training and a retrospective tool developer for Scrum Masters and Scrum Teams. His tool Echometer takes advantage of the latest science-based findings of team motivation and performance to help Scrum Masters run impactful retrospectives.

You can link with Christian Heidemeyer on LinkedIn.

Mar 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.

There are characteristics we see over and over again in great product owners, we discuss those with Ines, and we cover User Story Mapping, a technique to help PO’s improve their game.

The Great Product Owner: 3 characteristics for great Product Owners

Ines describes for us 3 characteristics for great Product Owners which help the teams to understand the context and impact of their work, to feel motivated to contribute to the product, as well as to understand all the necessary details before committing to do the work.

The Bad Product Owner: The Busy, Bossy and Absent PO

In this segment, we talk about the PO  that was just a broken telephone for the team, and on top of that was bossy and too busy to answer questions. When you see these characteristics in the PO, what do you do? We discuss some approaches that might help, and discuss the Story Mapping technique (See here for a fully defined facilitation guide for the Story Mapping worksho

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 Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Mar 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.

Ines shares with us two frameworks that she applies to help her team as well as review the impact of her work as a Scrum Master. The first framework is that of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose by Daniel Pink (from his book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us). The second is a framework that Ines has developed and describes in this episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start/Stop/Continue with More/Less

This Start/Stop/Continue/More Of/Less Of Agile Retrospective format expands on a simple and focused format and helps Ines work with teams to get tangible outcomes and results from their retrospectives. In this segment, Ines also shares an extra tip (the “My Needs” card) that helps team members verbalize what they need to be able to perform. 

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 Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Mar 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.

This particular team had been extremely successful up to the point when this story starts. From a single, small team providing a niche product, the company and the team had grown to serve over 2 million customers. The small, 4-people team, had grown to 40, and nothing was simple or easy anymore. The story starts with team struggling to organize and deliver on the Sprint planning. Ines helped the team to go through an evolution and change to be able to get to the same level of predictability. 

About Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Mar 23, 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 adopting Scrum, it is very easy for teams to “go through the motions, without emotions” as Ines puts it. Transforming how we work to reach our collective potential is not an easy process. In this episode, we explore a story of a team that was stuck in the “form”, but was missing the substance of Agile and Scrum. We also explore some of the tools and tactics we can use to help teams that are stuck in the “motions without emotions” anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Collective Genius by Linda A. Hill et al

In Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, Ines found insights on how we can help teams come together and be innovative in practice. In this segment, we also refer to Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist and to Ines’ own book Becoming more agile whilst delivering Salesforce

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 Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Mar 22, 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 working with new teams, or as a new Scrum Master to an existing team, we can easily fall into the trap of “wanting to show results”. In this story, we explore what can happen when Scrum Masters put a lot of pressure on themselves to “make” the teams perform. A common anti-pattern when we start our Scrum Master journey.

About Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Mar 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.

 

About Shawn Livermore

Shawn Livermore is a tech startup founder, entrepreneur, and technology consultant for over 20 years. After raising investment capital for his startups 6 times, Shawn began to look beyond the code to see the bigger picture: The systems, patterns, and models of thinking that most deserve our attention. Instead of hype and hustle, Shawn focuses on tangible, factual, and replicable bits to help people think, speak, and create like a tech genius.

You can link with Shawn Livermore on LinkedIn and connect with Shawn Livermore on Twitter

You can learn more about Shawn Livermore’s work at his website.

Mar 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.

The availability of the PO is a critical aspect of the dynamic between team and PO. Through our work we can help the PO establish a powerful collaboration with the team.

The Great Product Owner: Developing the team’s relationship with the PO

A great PO is available for the team to ask questions, and through that presence helps create a positive and energizing relationship with the team. Thanks to this presence, the team and the PO had a constant and quick feedback cycle established that helped them create a working collaboration.

The Bad Product Owner: Working with an absent PO

The background of what is going on with the Product Owner outside the work with our team can give us critical clues as to why they might be absent from the team’s ceremonies. In this segment, we talk about a specific type of “absent” PO, the PO that was involved in multiple projects. 

If you want to know how to help scale up the Product Owner role, check the e-course that helps you Coach Your PO, which includes a module specifically to handle this anti-pattern: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

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 Omar McNeill

Omar is a Principal Agile Practitioner at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Omar worked in the Federal Government space as an Agile Practitioner Consultant, Project Manager, and Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping teams create a collaborative and safe environment, participating in Agile Communities, and coaching. 

You can link with Omar McNeill on LinkedIn and connect with Omar McNeill on Twitter.

Mar 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.

Omar discusses some of the questions he asks himself to assess his work as a Scrum Master. He also shares some top tips on how to work with a distributed team, and when to use email vs. setting up a call with the people you need to collaborate with.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The “Oscars” Agile Retrospective

Omar shares the “Oscars” retrospective, a format that helps build a fun atmosphere around discussing the tough topics that the team needs to tackle. Omar also shares with us some more formats that might increase the fun and the value team members get out of the retrospective moment. In this episode, we refer to the ‘The Force Awakens’ retrospective and the ‘Fast and Furious’ retrospective.

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 Omar McNeill

Omar is a Principal Agile Practitioner at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Omar worked in the Federal Government space as an Agile Practitioner Consultant, Project Manager, and Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping teams create a collaborative and safe environment, participating in Agile Communities, and coaching. 

You can link with Omar McNeill on LinkedIn and connect with Omar McNeill on Twitter.

Mar 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 this organization, the teams were getting stuck at different steps in the process. There were several processes that prevented the work from flowing. While trying to sort out these issues Omar learned some important lessons about effecting change across multiple teams.

About Omar McNeill

Omar is a Principal Agile Practitioner at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Omar worked in the Federal Government space as an Agile Practitioner Consultant, Project Manager, and Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping teams create a collaborative and safe environment, participating in Agile Communities, and coaching. 

You can link with Omar McNeill on LinkedIn and connect with Omar McNeill on Twitter.

Mar 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.

In this team, the manager had developed the habit of overcommitting the team for side projects. Seeing this pattern, Omar worked with the team to understand how to deal with these “interruptions” that were bound to come from the manager. This story helps us understand how to plan for “unplanned” work in a team.

Featured Book of the Week: The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim

In The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Omar found a description of something that was happening in his company. From that he took lessons that helped him develop an approach to help his teams lower the work-in-process, improve flow and adopt a focus on experimentation.

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 Omar McNeill

Omar is a Principal Agile Practitioner at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Omar worked in the Federal Government space as an Agile Practitioner Consultant, Project Manager, and Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping teams create a collaborative and safe environment, participating in Agile Communities, and coaching. 

You can link with Omar McNeill on LinkedIn and connect with Omar McNeill on Twitter.

Mar 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.

Omar was working with a team that was constantly interrupted by their manager. As Scrum Masters, we need to be able to help the team overcome, and even eliminate constant interruptions. In this story we hear what can happen when the Scrum Master isn’t ready to step in at the right time and protect the team.

In this episode we refer to the book How To Manage Your Manager by Milo Denison.

About Omar McNeill

Omar is a Principal Agile Practitioner at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Omar worked in the Federal Government space as an Agile Practitioner Consultant, Project Manager, and Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping teams create a collaborative and safe environment, participating in Agile Communities, and coaching. 

You can link with Omar McNeill on LinkedIn and connect with Omar McNeill on Twitter.

Mar 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.

Product Owners that learn to be available to the team, and need to learn to say “no” to stakeholders are the two aspects of product ownership we talk about in this PO episode. 

The Great Product Owner: Helping PO’s learn to work with the Scrum team

Great Product Owners are able to make time to talk with the teams, and to be available when they have questions, and topics to discuss. But we should not forget that part of our job as Scrum Masters is to make sure the PO fully understands their role in the team. 

In this segment, we refer to the results of the PO survey we ran a few years back, which lists the 7 most common Product Onwer anti-patterns

The Bad Product Owner: Learning to say “no” to stakeholders, a critical PO lesson

The toughest part of the PO job is to be able to say “no” so that the team (and the PO) can focus on the right things for the product and the customer. When a PO is unable to push back, and say “no” to stakeholders, many anti-patterns develop. The reason is simple: there are always many, many ideas of what could be done, but most will never add value to the product and 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 Sarah Finn

Sarah Finn is an Agile Coach, within an Agile Practice Team in Red Hat. Sarah currently works with an open-source community facing team called "The Community Platform Engineering Team". Sarah also helps co-manage the Agile DevOps Community of Practice. Sarah believes by simply creating a safe environment for discussion & collaboration can open up so many opportunities to work together towards continuous improvement.

You can link with Sarah Finn on LinkedIn and connect with Sarah Finn on Twitter.

Mar 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.

When working with agile adoption, Sarah reminds us that we must help build momentum in the team by focusing on small wins at the start. This is especially important when working with a new team, that is not yet familiar with us. As time goes by, the team will learn to trust the change process is there to help them, not make it more difficult for them. 

When helping new teams adopt Agile, it is also critical to involve them in the process with simple techniques like asking them if they want, and feel ready, to run the Scrum ceremonies themselves. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 4L’s retrospective

Sarah shares the 4L’s retrospective, a format that helps the team focus on the small improvements that create and foster a culture of continuous improvement. 

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 Sarah Finn

Sarah Finn is an Agile Coach, within an Agile Practice Team in Red Hat. Sarah currently works with an open-source community facing team called "The Community Platform Engineering Team". Sarah also helps co-manage the Agile DevOps Community of Practice. Sarah believes by simply creating a safe environment for discussion & collaboration can open up so many opportunities to work together towards continuous improvement.

You can link with Sarah Finn on LinkedIn and connect with Sarah Finn on Twitter.

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