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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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Aug 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.

Shoaib took some time to learn to define success. He was inspired by Geoff Watts book “Scrum Mastery”, and started working on what success meant for him. With the idea that a great Scrum Master will, over time, become redundant, he explored the different lessons in the book, and started defining some questions he could use for his own reflection.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Appreciation Retrospective

After working for a while on the project, the team members spent a lot of time, and many retrospectives discussing problems and challenges. When that happens, there’s tension. The Appreciation retrospective is one way to create space for being grateful to each other for the help, and the solutions team members were able to come up with during the project. In the past, we’ve covered a similar format with the name: The Appreciation Shower Retrospective

In this episode, we also refer to the Build Your Own Scrum Master retro

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 Shoaib Naik

Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.

You can link with Shoaib Naik on LinkedIn, and follow Shoaib Naik’s blog

Aug 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.

Shoaib was both the project manager and the scrum master for this project. When the project started, Waterfall was the overall process framework the teams were using, and they thought it was the most adequate process because they were installing Data Centers from scratch. However, Shoaib was not convinced, and helped the teams understand the differences between Scrum and Waterfall. Listen in to learn how Shoaib introduced Agile and Scrum to a team that thought Waterfall was the only possible process for their work!

About Shoaib Naik

Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.

You can link with Shoaib Naik on LinkedIn, and follow Shoaib Naik’s blog.

Aug 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.

The team had finished their first 3 sprints, but failed to deliver on the sprint goal for any of those sprints. The team believed that the lack of understanding of their velocity (aka capacity), was the reason for their failure. However, the problem lied somewhere else! Listen in, to learn what Shoaib helped the team understand, and ultimately overcome. A very common anti-pattern in Agile teams! 

Featured Book of the Week: Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks ― My Life In The Death Zone by Nimsdai Purja

In Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks by Nimsdai Purja, Shoaib found a reminder that what seems impossible for some, is very possible for others. In that book, he learned about Nismdai’s approach to put together a mountaineering project that seemed impossible for others. But he thought otherwise, starting with naming the project: Project Possible! We, as Scrum Masters, also face situations that others might think are impossible, but we need to make them happen!

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 Shoaib Naik

Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.

You can link with Shoaib Naik on LinkedIn, and follow Shoaib Naik’s blog

Aug 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.

Failures help us stay grounded, they are reminders that reality isn’t always as we expect it to be. And these failures make us better Scrum Masters. In this episode, we talk about the learning journey for a young Scrum Master, and how Shoaib slowly climbed the learning curve, and what were the steps he took. Learning from other’s stories is a shortcut we can take in our own learning journey, and Shoaib’s story is a great example of that. 

 

About Shoaib Naik

Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.

You can link with Shoaib Naik on LinkedIn, and follow Shoaib Naik’s blog

Aug 12, 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: The PO that spoke the team’s language

This Product Owner was able to write stories with acceptance criteria, and descriptions the team members considered understandable. The PO was also able to write descriptive bugs and even did some testing. The PO also had enough technical background to help answer some more detailed questions by the team members. However, most importantly, the PO knew their limits and where to stop providing information.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching a PO on their availability to the Scrum team!

This PO was not always available, which led to a slow feedback loop. This slow feedback loop, and lack of availability can cause problems and demotivates the team. Mher describes how he raised the topic with the PO to be able to address the needs of the team. In this episode, we talk about the Sprint Checklist, a coaching tool we designed here at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to help you discuss the availability topic 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 Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Aug 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.

Mher likes to focus on his presence in the team when evaluating and reflecting on his own success. As tools for that reflection, he uses the 1-on-1 meetings with the team members, and regularly collects feedback, and includes discussions with the PO in that process.

In this episode, we refer to Curling, a winter olympics discipline. 

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

Mher suggests the 4L’s format as a way to enable discussion on a big spectrum of topics, and focusing on open ended questions. In this episode, we also refer to the Mad/Sad/Glad, Start/Stop/Continue and other related formats. In this episode, we refer to the website teleretro.com, a remote retrospective tool. 

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 Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter

Aug 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.

When Mher joined the team, he noticed that the team was going through the refinement meetings in a way that made the estimation the core aspect of the meeting. It took too long, and led to some team members to just sit there without participating. In this episode, we explore how to get over this estimation-centric refinement meeting anti-pattern!

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter

Aug 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.

Sometimes we face teams where team members start, and then get used to making decisions on their own without involving the rest of the team, or communicating those decisions to their colleagues. In this team, the people were changing, and the new team members were not “given” the right to speak, which led to the oldest team members making all of the decisions on their own. Mher noticed that this was causing a motivation problem in the team, and started to work with the team to overcome this anti-pattern. 

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland

In Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland, Mher found a book that was easy to read and understand, which reminded him of what Agile, Scrum, and Extreme Programming are all about. The book includes stories and the “why” behind Scrum’s impact. 

 

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 Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter

Aug 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.

Mher prepared a retrospective for his team, but 5 minutes past the starting time, there were only a few team members in the room. He looked around and saw that the team members that were present, were not fully engaged. “Something is wrong here, he thought… In this episode, we explore why sometimes team members don’t communicate and discuss what might be the reasons, and how to avoid it. 

In this episode, we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby

 

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter

Aug 5, 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: The PO as a key role in customer involvement, and understanding

A good PO has a good understanding of the product, and is also able to communicate the Vision they have for the product. This particular PO was also able to delegate to the team many of the decisions that were needed, and invested their time into building and maintaining relationships with the customers of that product. Because of that, he was able to set up user testing sessions, where the team was invited, to collect direct feedback and help the team understand the product, and the customer better!

The Bad Product Owner: Helping the PO understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

This PO was amazingly organized, and great at following up with the team. This was the PO’s superpower. However, in some cases, this superpower also had a negative effect. This team, which was working remotely, was being constantly interrupted by the PO, in their attempt to follow-up on the progress by the team. The team went to Catherine, and shared what was going on. This started a process of changing how the PO worked, so that the team could be given the time and focus to finish their work. 

In this segment, we talk about the concept of “maker time”, popularized in this article by Paul Graham.

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 Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn

Aug 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.

Catherine likes to use a metaphor to picture what success looks like for a Scrum Master. She describes the Scrum Master work, as that of a look-out on a ship. A person who is constantly paying attention to what is happening on, and around the ship. In that position, Scrum Masters are perfectly placed to understand what is emerging, but rely on others to tackle the challenges the team faces. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Control / Influence / Accept circles, helping teams accept what can’t be changed, and focus on what can!

When a team is playing the victim, complaining, but not taking action, this format helps them understand what they can influence. But it also helps them understand what they need to accept, and move on! The Control / Influence / Accept retrospective is similar to the Circles and Soup retrospective that we’ve presented on the podcast before. 

In this segment, we refer to the book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Covey.

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 Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn

Aug 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.

Catherine was in the process of helping set up a team with on-shore and off-shore team members, which was being setup as a hybrid work team. As she discussed with the team members, and stakeholders, she quickly understood the team setup would have to be thought through, and followed-up carefully. In this episode, she describes the process she used, and how she involved the stakeholders in the process of setting up that team. 

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn

Aug 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.

When Catherine joined this team, she was told by the previous Scrum Master that she should not bother with the “fluffy stuff”, as the team only wanted to “get on with the work”. As soon as she heard that, Catherine was alarmed, but also curious. A few weeks later, she knew what was going on. The team was a group of specialists, that had very deep, but narrow experience in the area they were working. This specialty-focus affected everything in the team, from the PO who had to choose work that fit the available specialist, to the motivation of the team, who felt bored and de-motivated when they did not have work for their specialty. In this segment, we talk about how Catherine approached the elephant in the room: the silos that were not allowing the team to perform!

Featured Book of the Week: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

In The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor, Catherine found research that helped her understand the impact of a positive outlook can have on her work, and the teams she works with. 

In this segment, we also refer to Essential Scrum by Ken Rubin, a book that presents Scrum for those wanting to go beyond what they can learn in their first Scrum training course.

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 Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn

Aug 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.

The team had a lot of unfinished work, and sprint-to-sprint spillovers. It started to feel that the management of the work was out of control. As Catherine investigated, she found that a lot of work was being added to the Sprint after planning. All of these new items diverted the team’s focus, and they were no longer predictable, or able to finish some of the critical user stories planned. In this episode, we explore what were the reasons the team got to that point, as well as what Catherine learned that helps, still today, avoid falling into the same trap. 

 

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn

Jul 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 Great Product Owner: The PO that is also a team member

Great Product Owners have the ability to make themselves part of the team. They put the team’s success on their first priority by focusing on what the team needs to succeed. They also help the team collaborate with different sides of the organization. 

The Bad Product Owner: Helping a “bossy” PO, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

When the PO thinks they are “the boss”, they usually develop certain behaviors that push the team to just follow orders. Although this may seem logical for some PO’s, the problems that arise will make the team uncomfortable, and ultimately conflict may arise between team and PO. 

In this segment, we also talk about how to prepare a conversation with this kind of PO, helping the team come forward and share how they feel, and resolve the problem together with PO, and team.

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 Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter

Jul 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.

When does a Scrum team not need their Scrum Master anymore? In this episode, we explore what that means in practice, and share some examples of the behaviors Scrum Masters can adopt to help their teams gain independence, and ownership of their work.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Avoiding Shame And Guilt In Retrospectives, with The Retrospective From The Future, Futurspective

Miguel likes to help teams discuss the success of the sprint, starting from the beginning of the Sprint, instead of doing it at the end. Although this may seem counterintuitive, the looking forward retrospective helps Scrum Masters prepare the team to discuss some uncomfortable topics later on, by having them point those out before they happen, and before there’s shame or guilt associated with those behaviors. 

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 Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter

Jul 27, 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.

Miguel, and a team of coaches were working with an organization in an Agile transformation process. When discussing how to start helping the teams, and the organization in general, they came to the decision that they would start with knowledge sharing, and helping team members understand each other better. Through small, but deliberate activities, the team of coaches helped the teams take ownership of their own practices, and proposed concrete ways in which the teams could improve their way of working. Throughout this process, the team of coaches was able to help the organization, and the teams move towards Agile, without ever pushing “the Agile change”.

 

About Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter

Jul 26, 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.

Miguel started observing that the team members in this Scrum team were constantly trying to establish their own ideas as the “winning ideas”. The behaviors he observed helped Miguel understand that the team members were competing with each other, instead of focusing on the shared success for their team. In this episode, we discuss how to help our teams move from competition to collaboration, through a series of deliberate, but small tweaks to the discussion, and decision making processes in the team.

Featured Book of The Week: The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Don Reinertsen

In The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Don Reinertsen, Miguel found a helpful understanding of queues, which affect the progress/flow of work in our organizations. In that book, there are also insights into how variability affects productivity of knowledge work teams, and Reinertsen also gives us concrete ways to work through these concepts with the teams we help. 

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 Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

Jul 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.

Started in a very enthusiastic way one of his first assignments as a Scrum Master. The enthusiasm was a positive, but, as it turned out, it was also a negative. In this episode, we explore what can happen when we focus on our enthusiasm and motivation, instead of the team’s success as the core of our work! 

 

About Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter

Jul 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.

The Great Product Owner: The Chief Clarity Officer, providing clarity and decisions when needed 

Great PO’s are able to influence, without being seen as “the boss”, and they take their work very seriously, even if they don’t take themselves too seriously. As Salvatore says: great PO’s become the Chief Clarity Officers, being present, answering questions, and clarifying what is necessary for the team to function. In this segment, we talk about the “kill criteria”, a concept you can use to help PO’s decide what to remove from the product, a skill that great Product Owners also exhibit. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to facilitate a conversation with an absent PO, so they understand the impact they have on the team

This PO was unavailable to the team, and that caused a number of problems for the team. In this segment, we talk about the anti-patterns that show up in the team, when the PO is too busy to be present with the team. Salvatore suggests a few things to try, to help the PO understand their impact on the team, and we refer to the Sprint Checklist, a hands-on guide that we produced to help you facilitate that conversation 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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn

Jul 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.

Salvatore focuses on assessing the team’s ability to work, and do what is needed without his presence or support. Salvatore describes for us a number of behaviors he looks for, and the set of skills a self-managing team shows when they are on their way to working independently and without constant support by the Scrum Master. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Celebration Grid, a Management 3.0 tool

The Celebration Grid, a Management 3.0 tool, helps the team think about practices, success, failures and experiments. It helps them get familiar with the process of learning, and accept that sometimes things don’t happen as expected, and that’s ok from a learning, and improvement perspective. 

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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn

Jul 20, 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 hear the story of a large-scale Agile transformation that started with the business units taking the lead on engaging Agile Coaches. At first, that was enough. However, soon the Agile Coaches realized that their potential impact was being hampered by the lack of understanding of where Agile could help these business units. Salvatore shares the story of how they turned the engagement model around, and started to work together with the business unit leaders, instead of waiting for them to call on the Agile Coaches. 

About Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn

Jul 19, 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.

Salvatore was working in a startup with a team that, on paper, was a star team. However, when he started to observe how they worked, he noticed that the team was rarely sticking to what they had planned for the Sprint, and even the PO was at a loss on how to help the team stay on track and focus on what they had planned. In this segment, we refer to Cost of Delay, one of the topics discussed in The Principles of Product Development Flow, and share some tips on how to help a team that is stuck in this situation.

Featured Book of the Week: The Goal by Elyahu Goldratt

In The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt, Salvatore found the principles behind lean thinking as well as a model that helped him in his work as a Scrum Master. The Goal is a book where Theory Of Constraints is introduced to a business focused audience concerned with improving the performance of their businesses. In this segment, we also refer to The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Don Reinertsen, which helped Salvatore understand how the flow of work can be investigated and improved in organizations.

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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn

Jul 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.

Salvatore was working in a large-scale transformation, when he and his colleagues started noticing that it was hard to get clarity across many team backlogs, and the planning sessions at scale were not delivering the value they expected. As the team of Scrum Masters started investigating the situation, they discovered that decision making was only happening outside the teams, in management groups or higher. As the Scrum Masters started to talk to managers, Salvatore realized that Scrum Masters were not allowed to influence the system around the teams. This taught Salvatore an important lesson about being able to, and focusing on influencing the system around the teams, not only the teams themselves or the PO. These are the 3 concerns Scrum Masters must pay attention to: the Scrum team, the PO and the system around them! 

 

About Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn

Jul 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.

The Great Product Owner: Connecting Stakeholders with the development team as a way to amplify and speed up feedback!

This PO was not only able to “own” the relationship with the stakeholders, but they were also able to involve the stakeholders with the development team. This PO strived to create a direct and productive connection between team and stakeholders. 

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s learn to work with and manage stakeholders and their input

This PO came to Ziryan and asked him to facilitate a User Story Mapping session with stakeholders. This was when Ziryan noticed that the team PO was not yet ready to take responsibility for one of their most important tasks: working with, and helping stakeholders make decisions. This helped Ziryan realize that the work with PO’s is a critical aspect of the Scrum Master’s work, and he decided to help this PO learn about User Story Mapping, by helping her with the facilitation, but clearly separating that facilitation from the management of stakeholders.

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.

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

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