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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: general
Dec 2, 2022

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 Great Product Owner: How to win the trust of your team as a Product Owner

Great Product Owners think about the impact of their work on the team, not only the product. They plan the communication with the team and the stakeholders, and work with the Scrum Master to help facilitate workshops with the team and stakeholders. Over time, and thanks to their openness and honesty, great PO’s win over the trust from the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The project manager PO

Sometimes Product Owners fall into the project management temptation of splitting the work for the team. And in the worst case, they split the work even before the team is involved, or even defined. This approach creates waste, and makes the PO a single point of failure for the team’s success.

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 Elly Griffith-Ward

Elly is an Agile Coach at a major e-commerce company. Previously in user research (and a royal food historian). She aims to 1) improve the experience of work through reducing mental load, improving communication and forming strong teams 2) shift the focus from managing the worker to managing the work by focusing on flow and waste.

You can link with Elly Griffith-Ward on LinkedIn and connect with Elly Griffith-Ward on Twitter

Nov 30, 2022

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 communication with stakeholders was a problem. The stakeholders make it clear they were not satisfied with the information they were getting from the team. On top of that, Elly felt she was not able to connect with, and understand all the people in the team. She decided to try the DISC personality test with the team. She facilitated a workshop where the focus on the personalities in the team. 

In this episode, we refer to the book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss.

 

About Elly Griffith-Ward

Elly is an Agile Coach at a major e-commerce company. Previously in user research (and a royal food historian). She aims to 1) improve the experience of work through reducing mental load, improving communication and forming strong teams 2) shift the focus from managing the worker to managing the work by focusing on flow and waste.

You can link with Elly Griffith-Ward on LinkedIn and connect with Elly Griffith-Ward on Twitter

Nov 29, 2022

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 team Elly was working with had a very large number of items in progress (high WIP). This was also a result of the team being under a lot of pressure to deliver. The team was motivated to deliver, but was also feeling down because of the inability to deliver all they wanted, when they wanted. Elly started to help the team by understanding their context, and then trying to understand where the work was being held up. She started learning Value-Stream-Mapping, a technique that helped identify the bottlenecks, something she had learned about in the book The Goal by Goldratt. Through that research work, Elly found out some options to improve the flow of work for that team. Listen in to learn what those were, and what technique she used to help the team! In this segment, we talk about the concept of Shifting Left, and Extreme Programming.

Featured Book of the Week: Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberger

In Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberger, Elly found a book that helped her as a Scrum Master, but also in other aspects of her life. The book offers a model of communication that tries to focus on resolving conflicts, and helps us become more self-aware of how we communicate with others. In this segment, we also talk about the hand-brain model, and the two thinking/acting systems (System 1 and System 2) that Kahneman describes in the book Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow.

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 Elly Griffith-Ward

Elly is an Agile Coach at a major e-commerce company. Previously in user research (and a royal food historian). She aims to 1) improve the experience of work through reducing mental load, improving communication and forming strong teams 2) shift the focus from managing the worker to managing the work by focusing on flow and waste.

You can link with Elly Griffith-Ward on LinkedIn and connect with Elly Griffith-Ward on Twitter.

Nov 28, 2022

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.

Many Scrum Masters will recognize the impediment to Agile adoption that Elly mentions in this episode: there are other, interdependent parts of the organization that are not using Agile! However, the way in which this impediment expresses itself is very diverse between organizations. In this episode, we explore one of the anti-patterns that comes from trying to implement Agile in a previously waterfall organization. Listen in to learn to recognize the signs of problems, and how to help your organization despite this “glass ceiling”.

 

About Elly Griffith-Ward

Elly is an Agile Coach at a major e-commerce company. Previously in user research (and a royal food historian). She aims to 1) improve the experience of work through reducing mental load, improving communication and forming strong teams 2) shift the focus from managing the worker to managing the work by focusing on flow and waste.

You can link with Elly Griffith-Ward on LinkedIn and connect with Elly Griffith-Ward on Twitter

Nov 25, 2022

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 Great Product Owner: Thinking BIG, but executing the details together with the team

A great Product Owner is able to change their perspective easily, they are able to talk about “the big vision”, as well as discuss some detailed questions that the team needs to answer when implementing the stories selected for a Sprint. This PO kept a “one pager” with a visual representation of the product roadmap, which helped create a language about the product that helped define direction, and collect feedback from the team, as well as stakeholders.

The Bad Product Owner: Lost in the inbox, how PO’s can lose sight of what matters for the product and the Scrum team!

This PO saw themselves as the project manager. He delegated work to specific team me mbers, and saw his relationship with stakeholders as one of reporting only. This PO ended up acting like a (broken) telephone between stakeholders and the team. The PO was not able to focus on outcomes, instead focusing on detailed requests that arrived constantly by email and other means.

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 Caterina Reinker

Caterina is a social anthropologist and passionate Scrum Master. She regards organizations like villages - or cities - with their own language, institutions, and explicit and many implicit rules. Caterina works and lives in Germany and helps groups of people, big and small, in their agile journey.

You can link with Caterina Reinker on LinkedIn.

Nov 24, 2022

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.

Caterina invites us to evaluate success in the Scrum Master role by defining and making success measurable. She uses a Continuous Improvement roadmap to solicit feedback from her stakeholders and the team. Using transparency towards her work as a way to create the right conversations in the team, as well as with the stakeholders.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 5 Why’s, a facilitation guide to helping the team go beyond symptoms

Caterina’s favorite format for Agile Retrospectives is the 5 Why’s retrospective. In this segment, Caterina shares with us her insights on how to facilitate the conversation with the team, and how to avoid some potential pitfalls of that format.

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 Caterina Reinker

Caterina is a social anthropologist and passionate Scrum Master. She regards organizations like villages - or cities - with their own language, institutions, and explicit and many implicit rules. Caterina works and lives in Germany and helps groups of people, big and small, in their agile journey.

You can link with Caterina Reinker on LinkedIn.

Nov 23, 2022

change to happen

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 a new organization starts to adopt SAFe, they usually start with a push by management. However, it’s not always easy to keep management’s attention on that change for a long time. In this episode, we hear about a SAFe adoption where Caterina and the team were able to keep management’s attention on the adoption of SAFe enough to help all the teams learn, adopt and adapt to this new framework.

 

About Caterina Reinker

Caterina is a social anthropologist and passionate Scrum Master. She regards organizations like villages - or cities - with their own language, institutions, and explicit and many implicit rules. Caterina works and lives in Germany and helps groups of people, big and small, in their agile journey.

You can link with Caterina Reinker on LinkedIn.

Nov 22, 2022

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.

Caterina was working with a team who was really burdened by technical debt. The team talked about technical debt all the time. However, when the Product Owner started to be part of the conversation, the team realized that many of the things they worried about were not really that relevant for the customer. In this episode, we explore how some teams focus on certain aspects so much (like technical debt), that they end up forgetting other, eventually more important, aspects of their work.

Featured Book for the Week: User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton

In this episode, we explore the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton, who has been a guest on the podcast. Caterina shares the key lessons from the book, and describes how she uses this book almost every day because of the powerful, yet simple methods that it shares.

In this segment, we also talk about Distinction by Pierre Bourdieu, a book that helped Caterina understand the importance and impact of people’s backgrounds can have on how they relate to each other and communicate.

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 Caterina Reinker

Caterina is a social anthropologist and passionate Scrum Master. She regards organizations like villages - or cities - with their own language, institutions, and explicit and many implicit rules. Caterina works and lives in Germany and helps groups of people, big and small, in their agile journey.

You can link with Caterina Reinker on LinkedIn.

Nov 21, 2022

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.

Caterina was the Scrum Master for a team whose work she did not understand. This can be a tough spot, especially for new Scrum Masters. In this episode, we hear how Caterina learned to be a Scrum Master for a team, even when she did not understand the technical aspects the team was working on. A must have skill for Scrum Masters!

 

About Caterina Reinker

Caterina is a social anthropologist and passionate Scrum Master. She regards organizations like villages - or cities - with their own language, institutions, and explicit and many implicit rules. Caterina works and lives in Germany and helps groups of people, big and small, in their agile journey.

You can link with Caterina Reinker on LinkedIn.

Nov 18, 2022

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.

Matthias shares with us his perspective on what are great, and not-so-great Scrum Masters. His Product Owner perspective helps us understand our work as Scrum Masters from a totally different point of view.

The Great Scrum Master: Learning how to step back and still help the Scrum team succeed

Matthias describes a great Scrum Master as someone that is able to help the team grow, and own their work even when the Scrum Master is not there. We hear about a Scrum Master that was able to reduce their engagement with a team down to 20% of his time, but still help the team succeed. In this segment, Matthias also shares with all the Product Owners out there, what they can expect (and not) from Scrum Masters they work with. 

The Bad Scrum Master: When the SM protects the Scrum team far too much!

We know that a Scrum Master must be able to protect their teams. However, that can be too much sometimes. In this segment, we hear about a Scrum Master that was so successful at protecting the team, that they separated the team from the client to the point where collaboration with the client was no longer possible. Especially in consulting/third party software development, the role of the Scrum Master is critical when it comes to building a productive relationship with the client organization.

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 Matthias Kostwein

Matthias is a Project Manager, turned Programmer, turned PO, turned Client Service Director with a varied background in different industries from Mechanical Engineering to IT Agencies. Throughout all of his journey, Agile has been part of his work life, even before he knew what Scrum was.

You can link with Matthias Kostwein on LinkedIn

Nov 17, 2022

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 share two retrospective formats. The one that Matthias likes to use as the Product Owner, is the Client - Team retrospective, where the goal is to engage with the client and try and build a better relationship between Client and Team. 

Because Matthias is a Product Owner, we dive into his definition of a successful Product Onwer. He shares the importance of understanding the responsibilities that the Product Owner has, as well as the PO’s role in helping people achieve something great, instead of telling them what to do. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of setting great Sprint Goals, and Matthias shares with us a video that helps explain the importance of knowing how to communicate requirements as a Product Owner. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Meme Agile Retrospective, a fun and engaging format

Matthias prefers to focus on the core aspect of the Retrospective practice, helping the team stay constructive and productive. He likes to change formats regularly, and recommends the “meme retrospective” as a fun and active retrospective format that invites the team members to actively contribute to the 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 Matthias Kostwein

Matthias is a Project Manager, turned Programmer, turned PO, turned Client Service Director with a varied background in different industries from Mechanical Engineering to IT Agencies. Throughout all of his journey, Agile has been part of his work life, even before he knew what Scrum was.

You can link with Matthias Kostwein on LinkedIn

Nov 16, 2022

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 team had had a Product Owner from the client organization. However, that PO was no longer available, and Matthias joined the team as their new Product Owner. The team was overworked, and the client had many expectations which were causing further pressure on the team. Matthias, joining as the new PO, needed to help the team and the client align better their processes and even help change some processes in the client organization. As the Product Owner, however, he was in a tough spot. He needed to help the team define their work, but also help the client organization change. Listen in to learn how Matthias was able to take on the role of a change agent, even as the Product Owner for the team. 

 

About Matthias Kostwein

Matthias is a Project Manager, turned Programmer, turned PO, turned Client Service Director with a varied background in different industries from Mechanical Engineering to IT Agencies. Throughout all of his journey, Agile has been part of his work life, even before he knew what Scrum was.

You can link with Matthias Kostwein on LinkedIn

Nov 15, 2022

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.

Matthias shares the story of a team that was in trouble with their estimations. Matthias had just joined this team, and noticed that the team was not able to communicate the uncertainty of their estimates. On top of that, this team was working with a very demanding customer, who had pushed the team to “minimize” their estimates! As a Product Owner, Matthias had to help the team get back their confidence, and build trust between team and customer. Listen in to learn how Matthias (as a Product Owner) helped this team work better with this challenging client.

Featured Book of the Week: Lean from the Trenches (Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban) by Kniberg

Matthias recommends Lean from the Trenches (Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban) by Kniberg, and Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland. However, as he puts it, he’s learned the most about the Product Owner role from interacting with his peers, and trying to foster a more collaborative environment. He describes empathy as an essential skill for Product Owners. 

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 Matthias Kostwein

Matthias is a Project Manager, turned Programmer, turned PO, turned Client Service Director with a varied background in different industries from Mechanical Engineering to IT Agencies. Throughout all of his journey, Agile has been part of his work life, even before he knew what Scrum was.

You can link with Matthias Kostwein on LinkedIn

Nov 14, 2022

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.

Matthias joined, as a Product Owner, a project that was in trouble. A former Product Owner had quit, the team was having trouble predicting what they could deliver. On top of that, the Scrum Master and the Tech Lead did not see eye-to-eye. In this messy situation, Matthias had to help out the team and the Scrum Master recover! Luckly, Matthias had enough experience as a Scrum Master to help mediate the conflict! Listen in to learn how Product Owners can be critical partners to the Scrum Master when things aren’t working well! 

 

About Matthias Kostwein

Matthias is a Project Manager, turned Programmer, turned PO, turned Client Service Director with a varied background in different industries from Mechanical Engineering to IT Agencies. Throughout all of his journey, Agile has been part of his work life, even before he knew what Scrum was.

You can link with Matthias Kostwein on LinkedIn

Nov 11, 2022

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 Great Product Owner: Empathy as a key skill for Scrum PO’s

Great Product Owners have empathy for the customer, the organization and the team. As Ali describes it: it’s key to be human! Even if knowledge of the product and the business is very important, knowledge can be acquired, but the skill of empathy is not easy to acquire. 

The Bad Product Owner: Cheap and inexperienced, a combination that destroys value for the customer and the company

This company that Ali worked at used to hire graduates as Product Owners. Inevitably, with their lower salaries came a whole host of other problems. The PO’s would not have experience on the product, or the process of developing products and would focus on the wrong things. In this segment, we also discuss how to help Product Owners focus on value and impact.

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 Ali Asl

Ali is an experienced and accomplished Independent Agile Coach, Trainer and Scrum Master focused on supporting organizations and teams in the application of Agile values and principles to deliver quality and value.

You can link with Ali Asl on LinkedIn.

Nov 10, 2022

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.

Ali’s focus, as a Scrum Master, is to get the team to be autonomous, and run their own Sprints. In Ali’s opinion, a good team can self organize and self manage, and he uses that as his own success measure. In this segment, we refer to #NoEstimates.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simple formats to help drive conversations

Although Ali uses many different retrospective formats, he likes the simpler formats like Mad/Sad/Glad or the Good/Bad/Ugly movie retrospective. He likes the simplicity of the 3 categories, which helps him focus on asking probing questions. In this segment, we refer to the Prime Directive of Agile Retrospectives. 

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 Ali Asl

Ali is an experienced and accomplished Independent Agile Coach, Trainer and Scrum Master focused on supporting organizations and teams in the application of Agile values and principles to deliver quality and value.

You can link with Ali Asl on LinkedIn.

Nov 9, 2022

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.

Ali had been in that organization for 9 months. When he started, the team was too large (40 people), and he had to help split and reform the team. In this episode, we explore the steps and techniques Ali learned about helping teams re-form after splitting a team that is too large. 

In this episode, we refer to Portfolio Kanban, as a technique to help coordinate work in multiple teams. 

About Ali Asl

Ali is an experienced and accomplished Independent Agile Coach, Trainer and Scrum Master focused on supporting organizations and teams in the application of Agile values and principles to deliver quality and value.

You can link with Ali Asl on LinkedIn.

Nov 8, 2022

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 company, there was one developer who was considered the “hero” by everyone. Junior developers felt intimidated, and the management further promoted the view that this person was a “hero”. Even the Product Owner no longer acted as the Product Owner. Ali noticed that the team was deferring too much to the “hero”, who had become arrogant in their ways of communicating. Ali had to help move the “hero” to another team, and started a process of rebuilding the team again. Listen in to learn what you can do, to help recover a team after an “hero” anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: The Four Agreements, by Ruiz

In The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz, Ali found a book that helped him shape his way of thinking and acting as a Scrum Master. Even if this is not an Agile book, it shares important lessons for personal growth.

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 Ali Asl

Ali is an experienced and accomplished Independent Agile Coach, Trainer and Scrum Master focused on supporting organizations and teams in the application of Agile values and principles to deliver quality and value.

You can link with Ali Asl on LinkedIn.

Nov 7, 2022

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 team was stuck in a pattern where they used over-time and holidays to work on releasing their software. Ali was puzzled as to how to help the team. Over time he learned what was needed to help that team establish healthy boundaries to the demands their manager and Product Owner wanted to put on them! 

 

About Ali Asl

Ali is an experienced and accomplished Independent Agile Coach, Trainer and Scrum Master focused on supporting organizations and teams in the application of Agile values and principles to deliver quality and value.

You can link with Ali Asl on LinkedIn.

Nov 4, 2022

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 Great Product Owner: Collaborating with the Scrum Master to help the teams succeed.

This PO was able to defend the team in front of others, and also helped the team clarify their questions so that they didn’t have any doubts about their performance. He helped the team with reports and red-tape related tasks and focused on enabling the team to deliver. Finally, great PO’s know how to collaborate with the Scrum Master to help the team succeed. 

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that thought they “owned” the team

When Product Owners think they “own the team”, they might change the team’s priorities according to their own personal preferences. When this happens, they might start changing priorities every sprint, micro-manage the team and even bring conflict to the team. In this section, we also talk about a PO that insisted that the team release on a Friday (a well-known anti-pattern). In this segment, we discuss how Scrum Masters can avoid these anti-patterns by deliberately building a great rapport with the PO. 

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 Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter

 

Nov 3, 2022

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.

Have you “nudged” the system in the right direction? Bert asks us. Have people in the team, and around the team become the best version of themselves? We discuss these and other questions that Bert asks himself when evaluating his own performance as a Scrum Master. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee the most versatile retrospective format for Agile teams

Bert calls himself a “Lean Coffee Traditionalist”. He explains how the format works and why the format works so well in all kinds of contexts and teams. We discuss the origins of Lean Coffee and link to a video by Jim Benson presenting the format he created. 

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 Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter

Nov 2, 2022

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.

Bert shares a story of a change that affected a small team, of 6 people. As this story starts, we hear that the team was working within the Scrum framework, but they had a testing column in their board what was always full/busy. Bert started to help the team figure out why that was, and what they could do to get out of that anti-pattern. They discussed Theory of Constraints, Single Piece Flow, and Work in process limits (WIP limits), and decided to try and impose a limit to the number of items in the testing column. This proved to be a huge change for the team, and Bert shares some tips on how we can help teams going through similar changes.

 

About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter

Nov 1, 2022

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.

Bert was working in a team where one of the team members behaved like a bully. They evaded taking responsibility for work and were always pointing to other people’s mistakes. As Scrum Masters, we must be ready for meeting certain people that are, as Bert describes, “uncoachable”. We also learn about what happened to that team, and how to avoid having our teams “dominated” by the behavior of a bully. 

In this section, we refer to the “Peter principle”.

Featured Book of the Week: Antifragile by Taleb

In Antifragile by Taleb, Bert learned concepts that he is able to apply at work, like for example: “via negativa”, the idea that taking away things and not doing what is not necessary is often better than “naïve intervention”. This becomes a key concept for Scrum Masters, as it helps us meet teams where they are, understanding their context, and looking for simpler solutions than introducing more rules and processes.

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 Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter

Oct 31, 2022

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 teams that are under pressure of a tight deadline, it’s not so easy to find the right level of transparency with the clients and stakeholders. On one side we should protect the team, on the other side, the team needs to be open with the stakeholders to be able to find a solution when it seems the projects are going over the schedule and budget! In this episode, we explore some of the lessons Bert learned about finding the right level of transparency between the team and the clients and stakeholders.

In this episode, we refer to XP Explained by Kent Beck, and the concept of Single Piece Flow, a key part of Lean Thinking.

 

About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter

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