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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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Jul 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.

Ziryan looks for “sparks” when assessing the team’s progress, and the success of his own work. He shares an example of a time when he announced to a team that he was going on vacation, and the team reacted by saying that he should not worry, they were ready to be on their own. In this segment, we discuss how you can help your teams take ownership of their process, and slowly, but surely become more independent! 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The pizza slices formats

Ziryan likes to help the teams focus on a holistic understanding of what happened during the Sprint. For that, he uses several formats that focus on multiple aspects. We talk about the Spiderweb retrospective and the Starfish retrospective formats to help teams look at the Sprint with a holistic mindset.

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!  

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.

Jul 13, 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.

Ziryan was working with 2 teams who were trying to use Scrum, but were struggling. As he started to learn more about the team, he noticed that the manager for that team had forced the team to adopt Scrum. Later on, the management team itself decided to adopt Scrum for their own work. As they started the process, one of the managers came to Ziryan explainiung why Scrum did not work for management work. This presented Ziryan with the opportunity to share that that manager’s team was also struggling with Scrum, and that they should move to Kanban instead… That’s when the story took an unexpected turn! Listen to learn how mirroring can transform the change process in your organization!

 

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.

Jul 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.

This team did not feel that they could make their own decisions. When observing the team, Ziryan noticed that management was heavily involved with the team, and the team did not feel comfortable making decisions without management involvement. As he started working with the team members 1-on-1, Ziryan started to notice the patterns that had trapped this team. Listen in to learn about those anti-patterns, as well as what Ziryan did to help the team get out of that self-defeating pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Yes-but what if it all works out? By Berthold Gunster

In Yes-but what if it all works out? By Berthold Gunster, Ziryan found an inspiring story of how to handle change with a “yes, and” rather than a “yes, but” attitude. The book helped Ziryan prepare for responding to, and harnessing change resistance. In this segment, we also talk about Scrum – A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, and the episode with Yves Hanoulle and Woody Zuill, where we discuss the heuristic: “Turn up the good”

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!

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.

Jul 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.

Zyrian shares 2 stories with us today. One story reminds us of our limits as Scrum Masters. It’s tempting to take on several teams, but is that really the right thing to do? We discuss what Ziryan learned when attempting to serve 3 teams! We also talk about a surprising event that happened to Ziryan, which reminded him of how important it is to prepare the team to take ownership of their work, and not be overly dependant on the Scrum Master. 

 

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.

Jul 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.

The Great Product Owner: A truly collaborative approach to the PO work

This PO was able to communicate clearly, but also step back, doing only enough research to provide options for the team to decide on. He helped the team clarify ambiguities and brought them challenges that the team could own and help resolve. It was a true collaborative approach to the PO work!

The Bad Product Owner: When the work is not linked to a specific product, it loses meaning, and destroys the ability to deliver value

This PO was not fully aware or able to communicate the products the team was working on. He did not have a clear picture of the portfolio of different products the team needed to support. This caused serious problems in prioritizing and communicating progress to stakeholders, as the team was not able to understand when they were jeopardizing certain products by working on work that was not related to that product. Rafał started a process to help the team, and the PO to list all of the products they had to support, and started to organize the backlog around the products, not just a list of tasks.

 

[IMAGE HERE] 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 Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn

Jul 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.

Is your team “chatty”? That’s the first question that Rafał suggests we ask from ourselves as we assess our progress, and success as a Scrum Master. We also talk about different metrics we can use to help us guide, and support the team. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 4L’s and Starfish retrospectives as possible options for different goals

In this segment, we hear from Rafał how the 4L’s retrospective and the Starfish retrospectives can be used for different purposes. He describes for us, what each of these formats is best for, and how he organizes his facilitation to help the teams focus on those different outcomes. 

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 Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn

Jul 6, 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 Rafał joined this organization, he realized the IT department was being blamed as the bottleneck for the speed of the organization. Together with his colleagues, they sent an email to the CEO explaining what they saw, and how they started to understand that the IT department could be more efficient (they had already done some changes), but their backlogs were empty, and not enough work was being added to the teams’ backlogs. 

This started a whole change process, where the CEO took the lead and helped them work with the rest of the organization to improve the situation. 

 

About Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn

Jul 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.

Rafał joined a large organization that was moving to Agile. Even if the team Rafał joined claimed to have been practicing Scrum, when he observed the team, it looked like they were organized around components, and the team also had a large amount of “hidden” work. There was not enough transparency on what was going on. This is when Rafał understood that a lot of work was needed to help this team understand the situation, and act on it. 

In this segment, we refer to the episode with Jeff Campbell and János Csorvási, where they also describe a similar situation, and how they got out of it. We also refer to the idea of using the Iceberg visualization to help teams understand that there’s a lot of “invisible” work that needs to be surfaced for the team to be able to take action.

Featured Book of the Week: Atomic Habits by James Clear

In Atomic Habits An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, Rafał found many ideas, and practices that helped him change how he operates both in his professional and personal life. In this segment, we also refer to the book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded by Watknis

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 Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn

Jul 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.

When Rafał joined this organization, he had a conversation with some of the Agile Coaches and Product Owners. In that process, he presented some ideas, and they came to an agreement of how to introduce Agile. However, that was not enough. Quickly, Rafał discovered that some critical stakeholders had not been listened to, which caused adoption problems. Rafał learned a key lesson in creating alignment between stakeholders before starting an engagement.

 

About Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn

Jul 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 Great Product Owner: The PO that could survive even the most embarrassing of situations, and help everyone move on

This PO was able to be involved with the team, but also let the team make their own decisions. But that was not the only superpower. This PO was also able to recover from the most awkward situations, and give everybody a sense of progress. Listen in to learn about a specific, and potentially embarrassing situation that the PO handled perfectly. 

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s get out of the “weeds”, by focusing them on the future, and the “why” question

When PO’s get involved with making technical decisions with the team (getting involved with the “how”), they tend to interfere more than help. The setup is so that the team usually then follows whatever the PO thinks they should do (as PO’s often have a technical background, or at least authority), and then the team loses the ownership of their own decisions. In this case, we also hear the the PO was so busy with the “how”, they didn’t have time to think about the future and the “why”. This is a self-perpetuating pattern that we need to help PO’s get out of. 

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 Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn

Jun 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.

Thomas’ approach to being a successful Scrum Master includes “making waves”, or has he describes it: “getting angry emails”. We talk about how important it is to look at the reactions people show when discussing the ways of working, and how important emotions are in showing us - the Scrum Masters - if we are having an impact! 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The double-diamond visualization to guide Scrum teams in their retrospectives

Thomas likes to use many different formats with the teams he works with. However, he strives to make the process of the retrospective explicit for the teams as they get started. He uses the Double-diamond visualization for the process of the workshop. After a few times of using that visualization, the teams know how the retrospectives go, and start being more natural and taking on the normal flow of 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 Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn

Jun 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.

Thomas was part of a team that had to replace a whole application. They decided to go with the StranglerFig pattern described by Martin Fowler. But, in this case, the pattern was being applied not only to the software, but also to the team, and interaction with the client. Thomas set-up a kick-off for the relationship, and based it on the key aspects we need to take into account as a Scrum Master: team agreement, expectations, vision for the product, and much more! Listen in to learn how Thomas used the first meeting with the client to set up the team’s agile ways of working, and get the customer involved in giving feedback and guidance to the team from day one!

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn

Jun 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.

This team was full of passionate people, and experts in their field. However, they had the sense that they were “busy”, and this led them to retreat to their own tasks, and forget about talking to each other. As they were “busy” with their own tasks, they didn’t dare ask for help either, which made the situation even worse, and pushed them further into their personal silos. How can a Scrum Master help a team in this situation? We discuss with Thomas the possible angles we can take to help such a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Good Talk: How to Design Conversations that Matter by Stillman

For Thomas, Good Talk: How to Design Conversations that Matter by Stillman, was a reminder that conversations don’t happen by chance, and that our job as Scrum Masters is to prepare and facilitate many conversations. The book gives some tools, and advice on how to prepare those conversations. 

In this segment, we talk about Thomas’ newsletter, which you can follow at TheBacklog.cc

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 Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn

Jun 27, 2022

when taking on a new team!

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.

Thomas was working with a scale up. The organization had grown quickly and the management felt that it was slowing down too much, so they wanted to work on their processes, and get the teams to collaborate better, and speed up the rate of delivery. After 6 months of trying, Thomas left. He felt that he had not had an impact on the organization, and needed to move on. Listen in to learn about what happened, and why that organization was not ready to improve. There’s a key lesson for all Scrum Masters starting to work with a new team or organization. 

 

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn

Jun 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.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that stepped back so much, the team had no choice but to take ownership!

This PO was “annoyingly laissez-faire”, which at first irked Erik, but ultimately proved to be an asset for Erik and the team. The PO empowered the team in practice, by stepping back, and letting the team write their own User Stories, while at the same time being available to answer their questions. 

In this segment, we talk about the movie “Master and Commander”.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that wanted to control everything about the team

This PO thought they knew better than anyone else. Even if Erik would be able to have a good conversation about Agile with the PO, when the time came, the PO would revert back to “controlling” everything the team was doing. Erik setup a retrospective with the PO about the issue they were facing, and tried to help the PO step back. They found a new way to organize the Backlog Refinement so that the PO would not be tempted to control the team. Listen in to learn about the tough conversations Erik had with the PO, and how he tried to help the team and 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.

Jun 23, 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.

“We adopt Agile because the world is complex” is Erik’s statement, as he starts to define success for Scrum Masters. He describes for us the challenges of “assessing” or measuring success and suggests that we start with defining our own goals, and make small experiments that we evaluate for impact. In the end, measurement is just a tool, and we need to pay attention to the teams and to ourselves possibly “gaming” the metric we choose.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures and the movie retrospective

Although Erik does not have a single format he prefers, he often looks into Liberating Structures for inspiration, and uses some “fun” formats (like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly movie retrospective) to help the team relax and start the conversation. He also favors the use of a simple ice breaker (e.g. what’s your favorite movie?) to get the retrospective started. 

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 Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Jun 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.

Sometimes, when we work with a team, we discover that the changes needed to help the team are needed outside the team. In this episode, we talk about such a situation where Erik was asked to explain Agile to a management team. He took the approach that he would use only what was needed or asked for by management. Listen in to learn about this example of how to introduce a complex topic (Agile) to management without overwhelming them. 

In this episode we discuss the Ball Point Game, Lean, Kanban, Liberating Structures, the Stacey matrix, and the book Humanocracy

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Jun 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.

Erik was working with a team that had been started under deadline pressure to build a critical application. But that was not all! That team had gone through all kinds of transformations and failed agile adoption processes. They were overworked, and had little trust among themselves and in management. Erik himself, was thought to be a spy for management. This was not the ideal scenario for a Scrum Master/Agile Coach to be able to help the team. Listen in to learn the key lessons Erik took from this difficult assignment. 

Featured Book of the Week: Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini was a book that opened Erik’s eyes to the problem Agile is trying to solve in practice. Even if the book does not mention Agile, it builds a powerful case for Agile in modern 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!

Jun 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.

Sometimes there are team members that have an outsized impact on the progress of the team. In this episode, we talk about a team member that was holding the team back. Erik tried several approaches to help this team member, but those did not work. After a while, this team member was moved to a new team, and Erik was afraid the same anti-pattern would happen again. However, something magical happened, and this team member was able to move on from his previous anti-patterns. How did this happen? Listen in to learn what was different in the second team, and how Erik was able to support the team member and the new team in a new approach that helped both the team and the individual succeed! 

 

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Jun 18, 2022

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).

Jeff and János share the story of a DevOps transformation at Meltwater, where they both work. We start by discussing the big differences between an Agile and a DevOps transformation. 

The big difference between Agile and DevOps transformations

As they describe it, a DevOps transformation is more about the technical aspects of software development. While in an Agile transformation we may look at processes, and team composition, the DevOps transformation that Jeff and János describe was focused on removing the hand-overs, and building the technical infrastructure necessary for that to happen. Their goal was to create, and support cross functional teams that would be able to implement, deploy and operate their software in production. 

Change management in a DevOps transformation

Like in any other transformation, however, it was critical to think about how to introduce, and support the change within the organization. In this segment, we talk about the change approach Jeff and János used to support the DevOps transformation. We discuss the importance of working through small and focused experiments that allow teams to try new things, but also learn and move on. As opposed to being “forced” to adopt something because someone outside the team told them so. 

In this segment, we refer to other episodes where this transformation has also been discussed with Jeff and other guests. You can listen to Jeff and Scott Rosenblatt discuss the DevOps transformation from the management’s perspective.

 

Experimentation, learning and management support as key success factors in the change

Like in any change process, certain things did not work as expected. However, the team at Meltwater was able to use those experiments (small changes designed to try a new approach, with a specific goal in mind) to learn and advance their practices. This approach, which is in contrast to “deploying” or “installing” a process, takes into account not only the technical aspects of the change (what needs to change), but also the human aspects (how we can introduce those changes, and what needs to evolve after being tried for the first time). 

In this segment, we talk about management support for the change, which we also discussed in this episode with Jeff Campbell and Simone Sciarrati. We also refer to another episode where the role of the Product Owner was used effectively to support the DevOps change.

About János Csorvási and Jeff Campbell

János is a Principal Engineer on Meltwater’s developer productivity team, he’s been with the company for several years in various roles including exploratory testing, infrastructure development, software engineering and helping other engineers succeed at their jobs.

You can link with János Csorvási on LinkedIn

You can also read Meltwater’s Engineering blog where they have described their transformation story as well. 

 

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility.

He is the author of actionable agile tools, which you can get on Amazon and directly from the author at bit.ly/aatbook

As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

You can also learn more about Jeff Campbell’s work at his company’s website.

Jun 17, 2022

Product Owners are constantly faced with many problems, or challenges that they need to address. When they lack the ability to prioritize and learn from feedback, they stop being helpful for the team, and can create a lot of confusion. In this episode, we talk about yet another anti-pattern to add to the lack of ability to prioritize: when the PO is, at the same time over confident, and stops listening to feedback from users and stakeholders. Listen in, to learn how feedback, or lack thereof, can destroy the team’s ability to be productive. 

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 Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium

Jun 16, 2022

Wilson‘s framework to define and measure success for his own role as a Scrum Master is defined in detail in this article. In this episode, he describes the key aspects of his framework, and how he applies it to his work using the Impact Mapping technique. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Modified Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format

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.

Wilson structures his retrospectives around the 5 steps described in Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby, but he uses the Mad/Sad/Glad, or Stop/Start/Continue formats as a basis with some modifications that he explains in this episode. He also puts some focus on the icebreaker exercises to get the team started and energized. For that he uses Kudo cards, and asks the team to describe the Sprint in one picture or one word. 

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 Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium

Jun 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.

Working through an Agile adoption change in our organizations is always a difficult process, as not everyone will feel the same excitement about the adoption of Agile or Scrum. In this organization, the company had put up posters about Agile, but Wilson quickly realized that the Agile mindset was missing in the teams he worked with. This realization started a process of going through the change and Agile adoption process in a deliberate manner, and Wilson describes the process they adopted for that deliberate change management process.

In this episode, we refer to John Kotter’s book on change management: Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions.

 

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium

Jun 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.

Wilson was working with a team that was new to Scrum. It was the first time that many different roles were working together. Then he noticed a pattern: people were no longer speaking up during the Scrum ceremonies. The testers would challenge the behavior of the software, but the developers would just ignore them. This was the start of a longer process of self-destruction for this team. Listen in to learn what happened, and how Wilson helped this team turn the situation around. 

In this segment, we refer to the Tuckman’s stages of group dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Ownership, How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Willink and Babin

In Extreme Ownership, How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Willink and Babin, Wilson found a reminder of how important it is to accept ownership of everything that happens. This is a leadership book from which Wilson learned some key lessons for him as a Scrum Master. 

In this segment, we also talk about the book The People’s Scrum by Meyer

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 Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium.

Jun 13, 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.

Wilson fell into the Scrum Master role by accident. And even if this is not an unusual story for a Scrum Master, this journey brings with it an identity crisis that Wilson describes for us. Wilson was both a Scrum Master and a tech lead, a technical Product Owner and a developer. These many hats seemed to work well together, until the release time came. Listen in to learn about how these many roles can interfere with each other and cause problems for the Scrum Master and the team. 

 

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium

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