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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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Now displaying: Page 3
Apr 20, 2024

In this BONUS episode, we delve into the merging of Scrum and Kanban with Todd Little, Chairman at Kanban University, and Joey Spooner, Vice President of Product Management at Kanban University. Join us as we uncover the journey and strategies behind integrating Scrum and Kanban to replace project management and enhance team productivity.

The Genesis of Agile and Kanban Integration 

"Finding the right balance between Scrum and Kanban came from a need to handle uncertainty in tech projects better," explains Todd. 

Both leaders discuss their initial encounters with agile methodologies and how challenges in their projects led them to innovate and blend Scrum with Kanban to improve flexibility and responsiveness.

Understanding Scrum and Kanban 

"There's a historical divide between the Scrum and Kanban communities, but bridging them can significantly enhance how teams operate." Notes Joey.

They break down the fundamental aspects of Scrum and Kanban, explaining how each contributes uniquely to managing projects and how combining them can mitigate the limitations of using one over the other.

Real-World Benefits of a Hybrid Approach 

Todd shares a case study from Vanguard, highlighting their "Scrum stall" and how integrating Kanban principles like mapping work flows and setting WIP limits dramatically improved cycle times and overall efficiency. Joey adds, "Visualizing work and adjusting processes to reduce bottlenecks, especially in QA, transformed our team dynamics and output."

Challenges and Insights in Combining Methodologies 

"Start where you are, and evolve incrementally," advises Todd 

Todd and Joey emphasize the importance of recognizing current practices and gradually introducing Kanban elements to enhance Scrum frameworks. Joey reflects on early challenges in adoption, suggesting a cautious approach to avoid overwhelming teams and to foster more sustainable improvements.

Navigating Change and Resistance 

The discussion touches on managing resistance to change. Todd and Joey highlight strategies like using historical data for forecasting and focusing on evolutionary change to gain buy-in from stakeholders and team members, ensuring a smoother integration of practices.

What Does Agile Look Like, When We Push it to 11?

Looking ahead, Todd envisions a focus on refining product discovery processes to make workplaces more dynamic and fulfilling. Both speakers emphasize the importance of continuous improvement and pushing the boundaries of current agile practices to maximize their impact.

Learn More and Connect 

To explore more about integrating Scrum with Kanban and to connect with Todd and Joey, visit the Kanban University website or find them on LinkedIn (see links below). Also, don't miss the upcoming Product Owner Summit for more insights from industry leaders.

About Todd Little 

Todd Little is the Chairman of Kanban University, a seasoned executive, and a pioneer in lean and agile methodologies. His extensive experience in leading technology developments and his contributions as an author and speaker have positioned him as a key figure in global project management circles.

You can link with Todd Little on LinkedIn and connect with Todd Little on Twitter.

About Joey Spooner 

Joey Spooner is the Vice President of Product Management at Kanban University, with a rich background in managing complex projects across various industries. He holds a degree from the University of Florida and is known for his innovative approaches to community development and product management.

You can link with Joey Spooner on LinkedIn.

Apr 19, 2024

Tom Baldwin: Agile Team Champion, The Product Owner Who Gave the Stage Away

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: Agile Team Champion, The PO Who Gave the Stage Away

This segment spotlights an exemplary Product Owner who, through openness and experimentation, fosters a strong bond between stakeholders, developers, and the Scrum team. Tom emphasizes the importance of backlog management, team involvement in decision-making, and the PO's non-technical, yet impactful, leadership style, illustrating how an effective PO can be a linchpin for team success and stakeholder satisfaction.

The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO As A Strategy To Overcome PO Anti-Patterns

Tom shares some critical anti-patterns often seen in the role of the Product Owner, like distance, dictatorship, and the toxicity surrounding the PO role. By proposing solutions such as empowering subject matter experts and adopting the Proxy PO pattern, Tom provides a blueprint for transforming the PO role into a catalyst for effective Scrum practices, ensuring a balanced and productive team dynamic.

 

[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 Tom Baldwin

Tom is a Lean-Agile Coach & Scrum Master, who is trying to solve the problem that it has been more than 20 years since the Agile Manifesto, but Business Agility is still not the norm. Tom is currently writing “Production line for the mind: The Practicing Principle”, with the idea of making agility simple to understand & to implement – and not just for software.

You can link with Tom Baldwin on LinkedIn.

Apr 18, 2024

Tom Baldwin: Beyond The Process Ceremonies, The Necessary Evolution Of Scrum Master Success Over Time

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.

Tom talks about how we need to, over time, evolve our signs and metrics of success for Scrum Masters, from mastering ceremonies to measuring lead times and value delivery. Emphasizing the importance of team engagement with users and customers, Tom offers insights into fostering a culture of responsiveness and continuous improvement, ensuring that the team's journey towards autonomy and efficiency is both measurable and meaningful.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: 5 Why's

Tom explores the essence of effective Agile retrospectives, focusing on the 5 Why's technique to address root causes of team challenges. He advocates for personalized approaches, ensuring the right stakeholders are present, and fostering an environment where the team can own the process and outcomes. Through strategic documentation and visualization, Tom illustrates how to guide teams towards self-improvement and a focus on collaboration.

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Tom Baldwin

Tom is a Lean-Agile Coach & Scrum Master, who is trying to solve the problem that it has been more than 20 years since the Agile Manifesto, but Business Agility is still not the norm. Tom is currently writing “Production line for the mind: The Practicing Principle”, with the idea of making agility simple to understand & to implement – and not just for software.

You can link with Tom Baldwin on LinkedIn.

Apr 17, 2024

Tom Baldwin: Agile Under Pressure, Strategies for Effective Organizational Change

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.

Tom shares a story about leading organizational change under a tight deadline, leveraging Agile principles to dismantle complexity and align teams with corporate goals. Through collaboration with an organizational design consultant, Tom emphasizes practical steps like optimizing team structures, engaging support functions, and applying throughput accounting to facilitate a transformation focused on simplicity, efficiency, and problem-solving, inspired by insights from Taiichi Ohno on eliminating waste.

 

[IMAGE HERE] As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Tom Baldwin

Tom is a Lean-Agile Coach & Scrum Master, who is trying to solve the problem that it has been more than 20 years since the Agile Manifesto, but Business Agility is still not the norm. Tom is currently writing “Production line for the mind: The Practicing Principle”, with the idea of making agility simple to understand & to implement – and not just for software.

You can link with Tom Baldwin on LinkedIn.

Apr 16, 2024

Tom Baldwin: From Centralized to Collaborative, Cultivating Independent Agile Teams

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

As Tom steps into a team entangled with centralized communication and decision-making issues, he shares his strategic approach to fostering team independence and effective communication, especially during a managerial hiatus. Key strategies include direct dialogue among team members, engaging leadership in problem-solving discussions, and advocating for managerial coaching, drawing upon a real-life transformation where team autonomy and progress shine despite initial resistance.

Featured Book of the Week: The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey

Tom sheds light on the pivotal role The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey played in his Scrum Master journey, emphasizing its approachability and practical insights into role expectations, task decomposition, and work management. With anecdotes and tips like fitting work to time and embracing various work breakdown strategies. In this episode, we also refer to the episode with Anton Skornikov on slicing User Stories.

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

 

About Tom Baldwin

Tom is a Lean-Agile Coach & Scrum Master, who is trying to solve the problem that it has been more than 20 years since the Agile Manifesto, but Business Agility is still not the norm. Tom is currently writing “Production line for the mind: The Practicing Principle”, with the idea of making agility simple to understand & to implement – and not just for software.

You can link with Tom Baldwin on LinkedIn.

Apr 15, 2024

Tom Baldwin: When the Stand-Up Turns Into Chaos, Conflict, Care, and Change for Agile Teams

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 a gripping episode with Tom, we talk about the chaos of a stand-up gone wrong, spotlighting how personal tensions can reflect deeper process issues. Tom recounts a fiery disagreement between developers, stemming from a pressured environment, and how it led to a transformative shift in team dynamics and location. We talk about how Scrum Masters can navigate through conflicts, focusing on psychological insights and team unity. Key takeaways include the importance of 1-on-1 chats, understanding triggers, and collective decision-making, all while referencing seminal works like Deming's 14 principles for management and Lencioni’s "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team."

 

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Tom Baldwin

Tom is a Lean-Agile Coach & Scrum Master, who is trying to solve the problem that it has been more than 20 years since the Agile Manifesto, but Business Agility is still not the norm. Tom is currently writing “Production line for the mind: The Practicing Principle”, with the idea of making agility simple to understand & to implement – and not just for software.

You can link with Tom Baldwin on LinkedIn.

Apr 12, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Leading with Heart, Empathy and Vision for Product Owners

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: Leading with Heart, Empathy and Vision for PO’s

In this segment, we explore the story of a Product Owner who exemplifies leadership, empathy, and the ability to inspire and unite a team. This episode showcases the qualities that make a Product Owner truly exceptional, from active listening and feedback to fostering a culture of openness and adaptability. It’s a narrative that illuminates the path to greatness in product ownership, setting a standard for others to follow.

The Bad Product Owner: The Facade of Busyness, And How it Burns Out Agile Teams

In this segment, Jörn shares the saga of a Product Owner whose quest for significance led to turmoil and team burnout. He tells the story of misplaced priorities and the destructive path of a PO favouring appearing busy over being effective. It's a cautionary tale that probes into the anti-patterns plaguing product ownership and the strategies to recover from, or avoid those anti-patterns in our teams.

[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 Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 11, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Self-Sustaining Agile Teams, The Art of Letting Go For Scrum Masters

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.

Jörn Hendrik defines success for Scrum Masters as reaching a point where the team can self-sustain, appreciating the Scrum Master's guidance but also be ready to venture forward independently. This episode explores the dynamics of trust, autonomy, and the subtle art of knowing when to step back. How does one cultivate a team's capability to navigate challenges without constant oversight?

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Keep/Drop/Try, and Creating Space For Conversation to Flourish

Discover the power of the Keep/Drop/Try retrospective with Jörn. He shares how we can use that format to create a space where emotions and conversations can flourish, fostering trust within teams. Learn how focusing on individual, team, and organizational layers can unearth emotions and enhance psychological safety. It’s a guide to nurturing openness and trust, essential for any team aiming to thrive in today’s corporate landscape.

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 10, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Building An Agile Framework for Construction Projects

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.

Join Jörn as he shares his pioneering Agile Model for Construction projects. He shares how he applied scrum principles to the engineering realm of a large-scale construction project. This episode unfolds the creation of a working model that harmonizes Agile with the construction industry's unique demands, showcasing the versatility and impact of Agile methodologies beyond software development. How does one adapt Agile to new territories, and what lessons can the construction industry teach us about Agile's universal applicability? Listen to find out!

 

[IMAGE HERE] As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 9, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: The Double-Edged Sword of Commitment, An Agile Team's Journey Through Innovation and Despair

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.

Jörn Hendrik recounts a sobering team story centered around the development and eventual discontinuation of a seemingly promising app. This episode sheds light on the dangers of commitment without flexibility, the value of listening to feedback, and the importance of recognizing when to pivot. It's a tale of commitment, disillusionment, and the hard-earned wisdom that sometimes, stopping is part of the journey to success.

Featured Book of the Week: Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson

Dive into Amy Edmondson's "Fearless Organization" with Jörn as he shares how this seminal work on psychological safety reshaped his approach to team management and workshop organization. This segment, explores the transformative power of psychological safety in the workplace, underpinned by practical insights from Jörn’s experience. Discover how breaking the silence on issues can propel teams towards better collaboration, innovation, and success. A must-listen for anyone looking to foster an environment where every voice is heard and valued.

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

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 8, 2024

Jörn Hendrik Ast: Championing Change Without Being a Martyr, A Scrum Master's Tale

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 a candid recount of dedication and its pitfalls, Jörn shares a personal fail story from his early days as a scrum master. His tale begins with a fervent desire to protect his team, a desire so strong that it led to a confrontational encounter with management over resource allocation. This clash ultimately cost Jörn his position, but it sparked a series of realizations about the essence of effective problem-solving and influence within a team setting. How can a scrum master navigate the fine line between protecting the team and engaging constructively with management? Jörn delves into practical tips on avoiding martyrdom, the importance of choosing battles wisely, and strategies for inspiring acknowledgment of issues by those in power. His insights underscore the significance of communication, understanding the impact of decisions on the team, and the crucial role of psychological safety in fostering a collaborative environment.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

Apr 6, 2024

BONUS: Agile Coaching With a Philosophical Twist, Exploring Michel Foucault's Work, The Panopticon, and Other Systems of Control With Michelle Pauk

In this episode, with Michelle Pauk - an Agile Coach - we explore what we can learn from philosophy, and Michel Foucault's work on systems of power and discourse. Learn more about the systems we need to adapt to, and even transform. From the Panopticon, to the systems that drive compliance, and remove creative thought! A must listen for those interested in changing the world of work!

Michelle's Journey into Agile Coaching

"It's not about predicting; it's about responding."

Michelle's journey into becoming an Agile coach was as unpredictable as volcanos can be, literally! Inspired initially by Michel Foucault during her studies, she found herself intrigued by the intricacies of thought and its impact on behavior. This intellectual curiosity led her to a company specializing in language learning software, where her role in project management opened her eyes to the stress and unpredictability inherent in the field. The realization that many of her challenges could be mitigated by Agile methodologies was a turning point. Agile, with its emphasis on adaptation over prediction, offered a solution to the guilt and responsibility she felt over uncontrollable factors, like a volcano disrupting her project. This journey not only transformed her approach to work but also challenged inherited industrial revolution-era notions of work processes.

Foucault's Influence

"The panopticon and Agile: Visibility without the constraint."

Michelle's admiration for Michel Foucault's work, particularly his book Discipline and Punish, provides a unique lens through which she views her role as an Agile coach. The book's exploration of the panopticon—a system for observing without being seen—parallels the modern open office plan and contrasts with Agile's emphasis on transparency and collaboration. Foucault's historical analysis of justice systems and control mechanisms resonates with the systemic changes Agile coaching aims to implement in the workplace.

Systems of Control and Culture

"Pay attention to what is *NOT* being said; it speaks volumes about your team's culture."

One of the core aspects of Agile coaching for Michelle is the focus on discourse and culture within teams—what is being talked about, and perhaps more importantly, what isn't. Drawing on Foucault and Wittgenstein, she emphasizes the power of unspoken norms and assumptions in shaping work environments. By encouraging teams to challenge these silent boundaries, Agile coaching not only aims to improve workflow but also to humanize the workplace, making it more receptive to change and innovation.

Awareness of Culture in Agile Practices

"Can we even think outside our language?"

The challenge for Agile coaches and Scrum Masters lies in becoming deeply aware of the surrounding culture and its influence on thought and action. By critically examining workplace norms and practices, Agile professionals can identify and challenge the limitations imposed by current systems of work. This awareness is crucial in fostering an environment where innovation thrives and work is humanized, reflecting the core goals of Agile methodology.

Philosophical Inspirations

"I'm curious on what I learn from literature. It helps to understand, and develop empathy."

Michelle's coaching philosophy is enriched by a broad spectrum of historical and literary insights, demonstrating a deep-seated belief in the value of diverse perspectives. Beyond Foucault, she draws inspiration from literature and other historical accounts of thought, believing that understanding different mental frameworks can enhance empathy and effectiveness in her coaching practice. Books like Edgar Schein's explorations of organizational culture further contribute to her holistic approach.

Exploring Systems of Control

"Understanding 'coercive persuasion' sheds light on resistance to change."

For those interested in delving deeper into the concepts of systems of control and their implications for learning and adaptation, Michelle recommends an article from the Harvard Business Review by Edgar Schein. This resource provides insights into 'coercive persuasion' and the natural resistance to change, topics that are crucial for Agile coaches aiming to navigate and mitigate these challenges in their organizations.

About Michelle Pauk

Michelle Pauk is the founder of Streamside Coaching, where she helps leaders and organizations thrive with change. She has over 15 years of experience working in diverse agile environments as a Product Owner, Scrum Master, project manager, and Agile coach. She is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and has a master's degree in leadership and organizational development.

You can link with Michelle Pauk on LinkedIn.

Apr 5, 2024

Joe Scherler: Curiosity and Collaboration, Critical Product Owner Traits That Scrum Masters Can Help Cultivate

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 Absent, and Team-Neglecting PO

In this episode, Joe talks about what teams face when Product Owners are seldom available. In this story, we hear about how that anti-pattern lead to disorganized meetings and neglected team interactions. This lack of engagement not only strained the team's dynamics but also skewed the product backlog toward the interests of a single stakeholder. How does an absent Product Owner affect the team and product development? Joe reflects on the importance of the Product Owner's role in retrospectives, the collaborative potential in backlog refinement, and the broader issues within the product organization. Learn from Joe's insights on supporting a Product Owner and tackling the root problems affecting team performance.

The Bad Product Owner: Curiosity and Collaboration, Critical PO Traits That Scrum Masters Can Help Cultivate

Explore the inspiring story of a junior Product Owner who defied expectations through curiosity, courage, and collaboration. Despite her inexperience, her eagerness to learn and understand the team's context transformed her into an exemplary leader. How can curiosity and open communication with stakeholders redefine the role of a Product Owner? This episode highlights the importance of feedback for the roadmap, the art of balancing technical and business discussions, and the power of a Product Owner in guiding the team toward delivering true value. 

 

[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 Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 4, 2024

Joe Scherler: The Self-Driving Team, Signs of a Self-Sufficient Scrum 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.

In this episode, we discuss how important it is to help a team evolve to the point where they no longer need direct guidance. But what are the signs of such a transformation? This episode explores possible indicators of a team's growing autonomy, from self-initiated process improvements to a shift from seeking solutions to seeking opinions. How can discussing value over output and engaging with the team on waste reduction contribute to this evolution? Discover the key questions and approaches Joe recommends for Scrum Masters aiming to foster truly self-sustaining teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Dialogue-Based Timeline

In this segment, Joe introduces a reflective and dialogue-rich retrospective format that begins with understanding the current state of the team and tracing back through the events of the last Sprint. By drawing a timeline and encouraging team members to share their personal experiences and impacts, this format fosters a deeper understanding of the team's dynamics. How can incorporating personal experiences into retrospectives enhance team empathy and collaboration? Learn how this approach helps teams transition from identifying events to interpreting their significance and planning actionable improvements, ultimately strengthening the team's ability to navigate challenges together.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 3, 2024

Joe Scherler: From Chapter Leads to Champions, Value Over Velocity in Scaled Agile

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, Joe shares his experience with implementing the Spotify model across several small, agile teams. Confronting the complexities of entrenched roles and slow decision-making, Joe explains how he tried to empower teams through delegation and a focus on value over output. How can challenging traditional reporting structures and coaching leaders on delegation unlock a team's full potential? Discover the transformative power of discussing team results in terms of value and fostering a collaborative environment where every team member is a catalyst for innovation.

 

[IMAGE HERE] As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 2, 2024

Joe Scherler: Agile Scaling Challenges, Fostering Empowered Decision-Making in Fast-Growth Teams

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 segment, Joe shares an enlightening story about a team of technical leads facing the challenges of rapid organizational growth without a scaling framework, leading to disempowered teams. How does hierarchical decision-making erode team initiative and communication? Learn about the emotional toll on teams, the dangers of a victim mentality, and practical tips for reinvigorating team autonomy and accountability, including the use of delegation poker. What steps can you take to descale an organization and foster a culture of empowered decision-making?

Featured Book of the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In this segment, we discuss some of the profound lessons of "Radical Candor" as recommended by a visionary leader Joe worked with. We explore the essential practice of speaking up and providing critical feedback from a place of care. Discover the SBI model (Situation, Behaviour, Impact) plus the question of intention to explore the feedback recipient's perspective. Why is holding back feedback a disservice, and how can adopting radical candor transform your team dynamics and leadership approach?

 

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

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Apr 1, 2024

Joe Scherler: Middle Management Maze, Joe's Scrum Master Journey Through Organizational Conflict

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, Joe shares his story of navigating through a high-stakes environment at a rapidly expanding organization, revealing the challenges of being caught between management demands and team expectations. How does one facilitate positive change when faced with resistance from above? Joe's story unfolds with rough (aka violent) communication between team members and a manager viewing him merely as a servant, leading to a significant toll on his mental health. Discover Joe's insights on the limitations of a Scrum Master's impact, the pitfalls of hierarchical rigidity, and the crucial tips for Scrum Masters facing similar trials. What strategies does Joe propose for engaging with resistant management to foster sustainable change and protect one's well-being?

 

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Joe Scherler

Having experienced Scrum and Agile in various roles, Joe’s mission is to unlock the hidden potential of teams and those who work with them to create a work environment that is as enjoyable as it is effective. He loves working on both soft and hard skills with the teams.

You can link with Joe Scherler on LinkedIn.

Mar 29, 2024

Lynn Runnels-Moss: Story Mapping to Success And The Role of the Product Owner in Team Dynamics

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: Story Mapping to Success And The Role of the Product Owner in Team Dynamics

This episode showcases how deep engagement with problems, stakeholders, and the development team can lead to remarkable outcomes. Learn about the power of story mapping, immediate feedback, and creating a shared vision for the project. This example serves as an inspiration for Product Owners aiming to elevate their impact and foster a collaborative, productive team environment.

The Bad Product Owner: The Disengaged Product Owner

Lynn recounts her challenging experience with an inexperienced and disengaged Product Owner at a travel company, highlighting the detrimental impact on team morale and productivity. This episode offers insights into how Product Owners can avoid common team collaboration pitfalls and the importance of that engagement and collaboration with the team. Learn strategies for Product Owners to foster a positive, productive relationship with their team, ensuring the success of their projects.

 

[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 Lynn Runnels-Moss

Lynn is a certified Agile coach and Business Coach, skilled in developing high-performance teams using Agile and Lean practices. She founded the London Comms Dojo, co-organises the London Code Dojo, and is a speaker in the Agile Leadership Community worldwide.

You can link with Lynn Runnels-Moss on LinkedIn.

Mar 28, 2024

Lynn Runnels-Moss: Value Delivery and Team Happiness, A Possible Scrum Master Success Definition

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

In this episode, we talk about the Scrum Master’s ability to deliver value to the customer and ensure a happy, cohesive team. This episode highlights the importance of psychological safety, continuous stakeholder collaboration, and the Scrum Master's role in fostering team connections. Discover strategies for aligning team efforts with user needs and stakeholder expectations, emphasizing the use of collaborative techniques to unite everyone towards a common goal.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Thinking Environment Retrospective

Inspired by Nancy Kline's work and Nancy’s book “Time to Think”, Lynn introduces a retrospective format focused on deep, uninterrupted thinking. Discover how creating a space where team members can speak without interruption can lead to profound insights and meaningful change. This episode offers practical tips for fostering an environment that values listening and encourages the evolution of ideas.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Lynn Runnels-Moss

Lynn is a certified Agile coach and Business Coach, skilled in developing high-performance teams using Agile and Lean practices. She founded the London Comms Dojo, co-organises the London Code Dojo, and is a speaker in the Agile Leadership Community worldwide.

You can link with Lynn Runnels-Moss on LinkedIn.

Mar 27, 2024

Lynn Runnels-Moss: Navigating Toxic Environments, A Guide for Scrum Masters

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 a story when Lynn was working within a large, multi-company project, highlighting the destructive impact of traditional management styles in agile environments. This episode explores the importance of respecting your boundaries and the power of walking away from toxic situations. Learn from Lynn's approach to using shared adversity as a motivator and the significance of choosing the right organizational culture that aligns with your values and boundaries.

 

[IMAGE HERE] As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

 

About Lynn Runnels-Moss

Lynn is a certified Agile coach and Business Coach, skilled in developing high-performance teams using Agile and Lean practices. She founded the London Comms Dojo, co-organises the London Code Dojo, and is a speaker in the Agile Leadership Community worldwide.

You can link with Lynn Runnels-Moss on LinkedIn.

Mar 26, 2024

Lynn Runnels-Moss: Challenging Success, Pushing High Performing Agile Teams Beyond Complacency

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, Lynn shares the nuanced challenge of leading a high-performing team into continuous improvement when complacency sets in. She shares insights on recognizing the signs of stagnation and the critical role of challenging the team with new, uncomfortable tasks to foster growth. This episode unpacks the dangers of the "don't break it" mentality and offers strategies for injecting innovation and learning into successful teams to prevent key members from seeking challenges elsewhere.

Featured Book of the Week: Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Explore the transformative power of Marshall B. Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication" as Lynn shares how it reshaped her approach to confrontational communication, impacting every relationship in her life. Discover how the principles of NVC can enhance your feedback process, making requests without demands, and fostering deeper understanding and cooperation in your team. This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to improve their communication skills and build stronger, more empathetic connections.

 

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

 

About Lynn Runnels-Moss

Lynn is a certified Agile coach and Business Coach, skilled in developing high-performance teams using Agile and Lean practices. She founded the London Comms Dojo, co-organises the London Code Dojo, and is a speaker in the Agile Leadership Community worldwide.

You can link with Lynn Runnels-Moss on LinkedIn.

Mar 25, 2024

Lynn Runnels-Moss: The Art of Psychological Safety in Agile Teams

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

In this episode, we talk about one of Lynn's pivotal experiences early in her career. A team was moving to Kanban from Scrum, and this transition taught her a crucial lesson about psychological safety within teams. One of the team members was fascinated by Agile methodologies. In that excitement, the team fell into some misunderstandings which revealed the importance of creating a psychologically safe environment for open communication. Learn how simple practices like check-ins and demonstrating allyship can transform team dynamics, fostering a space where every member feels valued, heard, and supported. Dive into this episode for insights on the subtle art of leadership and team management.

 

[IMAGE HERE] Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story - How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

 

About Lynn Runnels-Moss

Lynn is a certified Agile coach and Business Coach, skilled in developing high-performance teams using Agile and Lean practices. She founded the London Comms Dojo, co-organises the London Code Dojo, and is a speaker in the Agile Leadership Community worldwide.

You can link with Lynn Runnels-Moss on LinkedIn.

Mar 23, 2024

BONUS: The Agile-Product Continuum: Phillip Starke's Blueprint for Coaching Excellence

This episode was triggered by Phillip Starke’s blog post titled “Why agile coaches should strive to be product coaches”. You can read that blog post here, and listen in this episode to Phillip’s perspective and why he reached those conclusions. 

Agile to Product Coaching Transformation

"Agile Coaches are already product coaches in essence, they just need to realize and embrace it fully."

Phillip reflects on why agile coaches should also consider themselves product coaches. He argues for a unified approach to coaching that encompasses both agile and product development principles.

A Pivot Towards Product-Centric Coaching

"I had a turning point when I realized, despite our success, how much more impactful we could have been with a stronger focus on user interaction and discovery."

Phillip shares his experience transitioning from an agile-focused to a product-centric coaching approach, highlighting a project where greater emphasis on user discovery would have led to even more significant outcomes.

Enhancing Product Development Through User Engagement

"Talking to users directly is eye-opening. Watching real users interact with your product not only breaks down assumptions but also greatly motivates the team."

Phillip delves into the core of his coaching philosophy, which centers on the importance of direct user engagement for insightful product development, emphasizing how real user interactions can dramatically inform and motivate the development process.

The Hurdles to Product Coaching Evolution

"The leap to product coaching is often hindered by a lack of experience and a narrow focus on feature delivery within organizations."

In this segment, Phillip discusses the barriers that prevent agile coaches from evolving into product coaches, including a lack of holistic product development experience and organizational tendencies to prioritize feature delivery over comprehensive product strategies.

Missing Links: Skills and Practices for Agile Coaches

"Getting close to your users is key. Regular interactions and adopting a mindset of continuous discovery can significantly shift how we approach product development."

Phillip outlines the skills and practices that agile coaches often lack, emphasizing the importance of user interaction and a continuous discovery mindset for effective product coaching. In this segment, we refer to the book Continuous Discovery by Teresa Torres.

 

Marty Cagan's Principles for Success: A Closer Look

"Successful teams address risks early, build collaboratively, and focus on solving problems, not just adding features."

Phillip highlights the principles for successful teams as outlined by Marty Cagan, stressing the alignment between these principles and the goals of both agile and product coaching.

Deeper Insights and Common Oversights

"A common pitfall is designing first without involving engineering early on. To truly focus on problems, we need to run experiments and learn from them as early as possible."

In this segment, we discuss some common oversights in agile coaching, particularly the separation of design and engineering, and Phillip advocates for early experimentation to address problems efficiently.

Actionable Steps Towards Becoming a Product Coach

"Start small but think big. Engage with users regularly, increase deployment frequency, and aim for outcomes over outputs to begin transforming into a true product coach."

Phillip offers practical, actionable steps for agile coaches to start their transition towards becoming product coaches, focusing on user engagement and outcome-oriented development.

 

Future of Agile Coaching: Evolution and Challenges

"Agile coaches must broaden their focus from delivery to a holistic product development approach, embracing continuous learning and adaptation."

What is the future of Agile coaching? Phillip discusses the future evolution of agile coaching, emphasizing the need for coaches to adopt a broader perspective that includes all aspects of product development.

Imagining the Ultimate Product Development Process

"Imagine a world where product development is driven by continuous experimentation, where collaboration is seamless, and decisions are quickly validated through user feedback."

Phillip envisions an ideal product development process characterized by continuous experimentation, seamless collaboration, and rapid validation, encouraging listeners to adopt these practices to enhance their development efforts.

In this segment, we refer to the BONUS episodes on experimentation

 

About Phillip Starke

Phillip is a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and Product Owner who blends technology and team dynamics to deliver valuable products. He writes about product development on his newsletter, The Backlog. With a background in mechanical engineering and experience in the automotive, software, and data analytics industries, he now freelances to enhance team success in product development.

You can link with Phillip Starke on LinkedIn.

 

Mar 22, 2024

Inga Bergmann: Empathy in Action, How Great Product Owners Help Their Agile Teams Succeed

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 in Action, How Great PO’s Help Their Agile Teams Succeed

This episode shines a spotlight on a Product Owner whose empathy and people-centric approach set a gold standard for the role. Inga emphasizes how caring, empathy, and effective communication can elevate team creativity and bonding. Through this inspiring story, listeners will discover the transformative power of a Product Owner in harmonizing team dynamics and fostering an environment where people and projects thrive together.

The Bad Product Owner: The Trust Divide, When Product Owners Destroy Trust in Their Interactions With Agile Teams

This Product Owner constantly undermined team estimates. We take that example of a PO anti-pattern as the story that allows us to understand the nuances of trust, pressure, and negotiation. We also discuss how to engage constructively with such Product Owners. Inga’s approach to understanding and addressing the underlying pressures faced by Product Owners provides a compelling case study on fostering healthier team dynamics.

 

[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 Inga Bergmann

Inga is an empathic provocateur dedicated to unlocking the potential of teams on their way to high-performance. As Agile and Organizational Coach, she fosters psychological safe and thought-provoking environments where human-centred approaches and agile principles apply. She emphasizes trust and meaningful connections as enablers of successful collaboration and growth.

You can link with Inga Bergmann on LinkedIn.

Mar 21, 2024

Inga Bergmann: The Art of Being Present: Scrum Mastery in Remote Teams

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.

Inga explores the essence of a Scrum Master's success through personal anecdotes and practical tips. Success, as she depicts, is deeply rooted in trust, respect, and the ability to foster open communication. From remote work challenges to the subtleties of body language in meetings, this episode sheds light on the indicators of effective Scrum Mastering and the impact of genuine connections within teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: SWOT Analysis

Inga shares how to use the SWOT Analysis concept in an Agile retrospective, and it can help teams struggling with identity and direction. We discuss how the SWOT format can unearth underlying team dynamics, foster self-awareness, and guide teams towards a cohesive identity and purpose. Inga’s narrative provides valuable insights into facilitating meaningful retrospectives that resonate with and rejuvenate teams.

[IMAGE HERE] Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox! 

 

About Inga Bergmann

Inga is an empathic provocateur dedicated to unlocking the potential of teams on their way to high-performance. As Agile and Organizational Coach, she fosters psychological safe and thought-provoking environments where human-centred approaches and agile principles apply. She emphasizes trust and meaningful connections as enablers of successful collaboration and growth.

You can link with Inga Bergmann on LinkedIn.

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