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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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Jan 10, 2024

Nimi Bello: Strategies for Team Cohesion, And How To Build Trust With Agile Teams and Stakeholders

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 the episode, Nimi discusses her role in a complex sales force migration project. Juggling multiple hats as PO, Scrum Master, and project manager, she faced challenges such as resistance to the new system and a lack of team cohesion. Nimi provides valuable tips, emphasizing the importance of team understanding, intentional team building, and fostering a collaborative mindset. We talk about the book "The Speed of Trust" by Covey and share insights on creating trust through personal conversations and shared expectations. Nimi also offers strategies for job-seeking Scrum Masters, drawing inspiration from Zig Ziglar's advice on speaking the value language.

 

[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 Nimi Bello

Nimi Bello is a seasoned Agile professional with a diverse skill set. She currently serves as a Release Train Engineer at Deloitte. With over 8 years of experience, Nimi is an award-winning Creative Director, Principal Agile Consultant, and Strategic Partner. Her expertise lies in sales, technology, and guiding teams through the complex journey of transitioning to Agile methodology. Nimi is a global change agent with a fervor for building and scaling businesses and communities.

You can link with Nimi Bello on LinkedIn.

Jan 9, 2024

Nimi Bello: From Conflict to Growth, Lessons in Coaching as a Scrum Master, Even When Stakes are High!

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 the episode, Nimi talks about a challenging experience where a high-stakes project faced self-destruction due to a lack of psychological safety. The dominant engineering manager stifled team communication, leading to disengagement and reduced collaboration. Struggling as a Scrum Master, Nimi took the initiative to have a difficult conversation with the manager, emphasizing the team's perspective. By fostering understanding and shifting to solution-oriented thinking, the episode highlights the importance of addressing psychological safety issues for team well-being. Nimi shares how this experience propelled her growth as a coach and the significance of proactive communication.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Dan Pink

In the segment, Nimi discusses the impact that the books "Drive" by Dan Pink and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki had on her role as a Scrum Master. Emphasizing motivation and empowerment, Nimi delves into how “Drive” highlights the often-overlooked importance of the key concept of intrinsic motivation, emphasizing its significance for Scrum Masters. Nimi encourages listeners to delve into these influential reads for valuable insights into fostering team motivation and developing crucial interpersonal skills.

 

[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 Nimi Bello

Nimi Bello is a seasoned Agile professional with a diverse skill set. She currently serves as a Release Train Engineer at Deloitte. With over 8 years of experience, Nimi is an award-winning Creative Director, Principal Agile Consultant, and Strategic Partner. Her expertise lies in sales, technology, and guiding teams through the complex journey of transitioning to Agile methodology. Nimi is a global change agent with a fervor for building and scaling businesses and communities.

You can link with Nimi Bello on LinkedIn.

Jan 8, 2024

Nimi Bello: Prioritizing People, Strategies for Helping Agile Teams In Trouble

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, Nimi shares her experience leading a struggling team during a complex agile software development project. Amidst challenges like project delays, low team morale, and layoffs, Nimi emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive mindset and building strong relationships with team members. She reflects on the realization that the team had very limited control over their environment, and entered a fight-or-flight mode. Some of the tips Nimi shares include fostering open communication, understanding individual communication styles, and prioritizing the team's well-being. The episode highlights the Scrum Master's unique responsibilities in building trust, managing stakeholders, and creating a supportive team 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 Nimi Bello

Nimi Bello is a seasoned Agile professional with a diverse skill set. She currently serves as a Release Train Engineer at Deloitte. With over 8 years of experience, Nimi is an award-winning Creative Director, Principal Agile Consultant, and Strategic Partner. Her expertise lies in sales, technology, and guiding teams through the complex journey of transitioning to Agile methodology. Nimi is a global change agent with a fervor for building and scaling businesses and communities.

You can link with Nimi Bello on LinkedIn.

 

Jan 5, 2024

Josh Lambert: Priority Overload, When Product Owners Are Overwhelmed, So Are the 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.

The Great Product Owner: Validating Success, How PO’s Can Benefit From The Team’s Creativity And Engagement!

In this segment, Josh highlights how a great Product Owner is characterized by a learning mindset and a collaborative approach. The PO Josh describes, actively sought support from the Scrum Master, fostering a shared vision for teamwork. Conducting one-on-one sessions with team members, she prioritized listening and connection. Notably, she consistently validated delivery ideas with the team.

The Bad Product Owner: Priority Overload, When PO’s Are Overwhelmed, So Are the Agile Teams!

In this segment, Josh addresses a common Product Owner (PO) anti-pattern involving new POs handling multiple teams with conflicting priorities. Some PO’s struggled with this challenge, while others embraced the challenge and rose to the occasion. The PO's availability posed difficulties to the team. Additionally, the PO’s inability to prioritize led to everything being labeled as "top priority." Josh advises collaborative efforts with stakeholders to ensure adequate time allocation for POs supporting multiple 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 Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Jan 4, 2024

Josh Lambert: Enabling A Psychological Safe Place, The Pillar of Scrum Master Success

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, Josh delves into the essence of success for Scrum Masters, posing questions on facilitation skills, active team engagement, and the creation of a psychologically safe environment. Emphasizing the need for continuous practice, he suggests evaluating success by the team's participation in planning, refinement, and events. Transparency in showcasing the Scrum Master's contributions and a focus on psychological safety stand out as key indicators.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: It’s a 10! The Perfection Game Applied To A Scrum Team And Their Sprint

In this episode, Josh emphasizes the significance of retrospectives, deeming them the most crucial team event. His favorite format, "It's a 10!", involves a 10-column scorecard for team members to evaluate their sprint performance. Questions like "How do you think we did?" and "What would have gotten you to a 10?" encourage open dialogue. Additionally, he suggests periodic retrospectives on the retro itself, using three self-assessment questions to enhance facilitation skills.

 

[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 Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Jan 3, 2024

Josh Lambert: Introducing Estimation Consistency To An Agile Team With The Help Of Cycle Time Metrics

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, Josh shares his experience initiating change within a high-performing team. Silent observations revealed inconsistent cycle times and unstable story points. Recognizing a lack of focus and attention during story sizing, he implemented an internal sprint review and emphasized the impact on the Product Owner's decisions. Collaborating with the PO, a shared message strengthened planning consistency. Eventually, the team achieved shorter cycle times, and addressed bottleneck issues.

 

[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 Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Jan 2, 2024

Josh Lambert: Strategies for Improved Team Collaboration 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, Josh shares a team's struggles – newly formed, but spanning distant timezones, and facing communication issues. Individual work overshadowed teamwork, and this was made worse by very unclear responses from a team member that was not meeting their sprint goals. Frustration peaked on the final day of one of the Sprints. Reflecting on that story, Josh advocates transparent communication, urging team members to share when help is needed. He stresses the importance of a working agreement when seeking help and proposes conducting psychological safety assessments and focusing on team well-being.

Featured Book for the Week: "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins

In this episode, Josh recommends "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins for Scrum Masters. He highlights its enduring value, providing continuous support for navigating challenges. Drawing from a team member's experience feeling trapped in a "hamster wheel," Josh emphasizes the book's relatable stories, offering preparation for similar situations.

 

[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 Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Jan 1, 2024

Josh Lambert: T-Shaping Agile Teams, To Ensure Survival and Success When A Team Member Leaves

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 with Josh, we explore a high-performing team facing challenges. Despite excellent collaboration and goal achievement, knowledge silos arose due to a distributed application ownership among different individuals. When a senior developer announced their departure, it became clear the team would not be able to take on the extra responsibility. With the lessons from this story, Josh advises sharing real-life stories with the team, to highlight potential problems with siloed-ownership of code, and advocates "T-Shape the team" for broader skill sets, and suggests swarming on stories to address resource gaps. He also suggests the use of a skills matrix for effective knowledge sharing, and visualizing the skill gaps.

 

[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 Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Dec 29, 2023

BONUS: The Future Of Agility, Experiment Driven Development, With Vasco Duarte

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.

Merry Christmas, everyone! As we bid farewell to 2023, we present the final BONUS episode of this Christmas week—a glimpse into what we believe is the future for every Agile team out there. 

Brace yourselves for a deep dive into the heart of agility: learning at the speed of experimentation! Specifically, we'll explore the exciting realm of Experiment-driven development, a game-changer poised to reshape how teams approach learning and development. Don't forget, each episode this week complements the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.

Throughout this week, we've delved into five crucial topics that every Scrum Master should master, with each topic complementing a module in the Coach Your PO e-course. Today's focus is on The spectrum of experimentation—a concept that promises to revolutionize the way teams learn and evolve.

The Spectrum of Experimentation

In previous episodes, we emphasized that writing and deploying software is the slowest and most expensive way to learn about what adds value to our product and business. Recognizing this, we introduced the idea of paper-prototype-based usability tests as a means to define and run experiments in 24 hours or less. However, this is just one facet of the vast landscape of experimentation.

Why does it matter? Not all experiments and hypotheses are created equal. While some ideas could lead to a 10x improvement in our product, others may offer incremental gains that are challenging to quantify. The key is to align the effort spent on validating hypotheses with their potential impact.

The Experiment Spectrum

Enter the experiment spectrum—a versatile range of experiments designed to collect information spanning from minutes to months. Let's explore some options based on time scales:

On the Hour Scale (Minutes):

  • User Interviews: Direct conversations with potential users.

  • Usability Tests: Quick assessments of user interaction.

  • Paper Prototype Sales: A creative experiment—sell the paper version of the app to gauge interest.

On the Day or 24-Hour Scale:

  • All of the Above: Intensify by including more interviews or tests.

  • Customer Surveys: Quick insights if you have a means to reach your audience.

  • Sales Calls with Existing Customers: Conduct a "sales pitch experiment" to validate core adoption/sales hypotheses.

On the Week or Month Scale:

  • All of the Above: Scale up for more comprehensive data.

  • Landing Page Tests: Experiment with different landing page variations.

  • Email List Tests: Leverage existing mailing lists for experiments.

  • Podcast Episodes and YouTube Videos: Engage with a wider audience.

  • Running Software in Production: The traditional approach but still a valuable part of the spectrum.

The Value of the Spectrum

This spectrum acts as a strategic tool, ensuring teams don't over-invest in validating hypotheses that might not have a significant impact on their goals. Imagine how much unnecessary code could be avoided if teams could quickly validate assumptions!

Remember, an Agile principle is to "Maximize the work not done," and that the cheapest software to operate is the one that is not developed. Code is a liability, and confidence in its value must be established before investing in development, deployment, and maintenance.

Processes are Also a Domain of Experimentation!

As Scrum Masters, we are well aware that experimentation is not limited to products—it extends to our processes. Teams cannot improve unless they are constantly learning and experimenting. One powerful approach is self-experimentation, where teams start by experimenting with their process before venturing into product experiments. This builds confidence and familiarity with the concept of running experiments.

Experiment Driven Development: Summary

Today's episode focused on the evolution from learning to Experiment-driven development. Key takeaways include:

  • Understanding the experiment spectrum—a range of experiments designed for different time scales.

  • Examples of various experiment types, from quick-hour experiments to those spanning weeks.

  • The importance of running experiments with processes before transitioning to product experiments.

All this week's episodes are companions to the Coach Your PO e-course, available at bit.ly/coachyourpo. Related modules include:

  • Version 1, Module 4: Customer Needs – A valuable concept for assessing the potential impact of hypotheses.

  • Version 1, Module 6: Quick Prioritization Techniques – Techniques applicable not just for backlogs but also for prioritizing assumptions and experiments.

  • Version 2, Module 2: Setting up Product Goals – A crucial step before running experiments.

For more details or to purchase the Coach Your PO e-course, visit bit.ly/coachyourpo.

If personalized coaching is your preference, contact us at coaching@oikosofy.com.

As we conclude this special week of bonus episodes, we invite you to reach out for more information about our products and consulting services. Remember, a rising team lifts all products!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! See you next week for another regular week of episodes.

About Vasco Duarte

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 10 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

 

Dec 28, 2023

BONUS: Unleashing Agile Experimentation, Accelerating Learning Cycles With 24h Experiments, With Vasco Duarte

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.

Merry Christmas, everyone! In today's Christmas week BONUS episode, we're diving into the world of Agile experimentation, specifically exploring how to enable 24-hour experiments—a topic that promises to revolutionize the way we approach product development. As we explore this exciting subject, remember that each episode this week is a companion to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.

This week's episodes are designed to equip Scrum Masters with essential tools to assist their Product Owners in mastering five key areas. Today, we unravel the secrets of conducting rapid experiments that speed up your learning and development cycles.

First: Defining Experiments and Their Purpose in Product Development

Let's start by revisiting the Lean Startup methodology and its famed Build-Measure-Learn cycle. Lean Startup emphasizes that the purpose of "building" is not merely to deliver software but to validate hypotheses. Before running an experiment, it's crucial to define what you're trying to achieve, as discussed in Monday's episode on how to define value.

Taking Amazon’s website as an example, suppose a team aims to boost the conversion rate for users who have added items to their cart. The hypothesis could be: "Removing shipping costs from the checkout overview will result in a higher conversion rate for people who've added an item to their cart." This hypothesis, or belief, becomes the trigger for experimentation.

Second: Designing the Experiment

Once the hypothesis is clear, it's time to design the experiment. Think of it as crafting a story, but with a focus on experimentation. Here's a template to structure your experiment:

  • Title: Increase Conversion Rate for People Who've Added an Item to the Cart by Removing Shipping Costs from the Checkout Overview.

  • We Do: Specify the actions to set up the experiment.

  • We Expect: Clearly state the anticipated outcomes.

  • Data We Collect: List the crucial data points needed for analysis.

  • Conclusion: Outline the lessons learned and set a date for analysis.

This structured template ensures clarity and sets the stage for a comprehensive understanding of the experiment.

Third: Designing 24-Hour Experiments

Before we start brainstorming stories and features that would need to be implemented by the development team, we should think about running experiments in 24 hours or less. We do this, because we want to avoid one of the major sources of waste in our processes: doing work that would not need to be done at all in the first place!

As we explore the experiment above, we define the key question as, "Would a person not shown shipping costs be more likely to complete a purchase after adding an item to the cart?"

To achieve faster learning, consider alternatives to software changes. In this episode, we explore some concrete alternatives to writing and deploying software when it comes to answer the key question defined above. 

One example we explore is: conducting usability tests using paper prototypes with a small group. Through qualitative analysis and user feedback, you can gain confidence in your hypothesis without investing time in extensive software modifications.

Running 24h Experiments: Summary

In summary, today's episode tackled critical aspects of designing and running experiments, emphasizing the importance of learning. Key takeaways include:

  • Lean Startup's Build-Measure-Learn cycle focuses on validating hypotheses.

  • Experiment design involves specifying actions, expected outcomes, data collection, and drawing conclusions.

  • The concept of 24-hour experiments emphasizes the need for rapid learning.

All episodes this week complement the Coach Your PO e-course, available at bit.ly/coachyourpo. Related modules include:

  • Version 2, Module 8: Critical Documents for the PO Role – Utilize Impact Mapping to identify assumptions and expectations for designing experiments.

  • Version 2, Module 9: Collecting Feedback Faster – Explore methods for collecting feedback at various stages of product development, laying the groundwork for experiment-driven development.

  • In Version 1, Module 3, we delve into Actionable Metrics—an indispensable tool for anyone looking to run successful experiments.

For more details or to purchase the Coach Your PO e-course, visit bit.ly/coachyourpo.

If personalized coaching is your preference, contact us at coaching@oikosofy.com.

Continue your journey of learning, keep supporting your team, and join us for the final episode tomorrow!

See you tomorrow!

About Vasco Duarte

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 10 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

Dec 27, 2023

BONUS: Helping Product Owners Make Decisions Quickly With Experiments, And Lean Startup, With Vasco Duarte

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.

Merry Christmas, everyone! We hope your holiday season is filled with joy and festive cheer. As we continue our Christmas week BONUS episodes, today's focus is on empowering Product Owners (POs) to quickly make informed decisions based on the definition of value and value metrics. 

As usual in this year’s BONUS week of episodes, this episode is a crucial companion to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.

Quick Decision Making is the Goal!

While defining and measuring value are vital, our ultimate objective as Scrum Masters is to expedite the decision-making process. The pace of software development is directly correlated with the speed at which POs, stakeholders, and the team make decisions. Today, we discuss how Scrum Masters can help their teams, PO’s and stakeholders, make informed decisions faster.

Quick decision-making not only accelerates development but also contributes to learning faster, and discovering what does not need to be done at all! This aligns with Agile's principle of maximizing the work not done.

What Do POs Need to Make Decisions Quickly?

Understanding the obstacles to swift decision-making, we identify two types of obstacles:

  1. Lack of Information: Relevant information is crucial for decision-making, and when it is missing it makes decisions slow, or impossible at all.

  2. Timely Information: Having information at the right time ensures decisions align with current needs, information that is delivered too late does not help us avoid working on useless backlog items, among other things.

Let's delve into addressing each of these challenges.

First: Help Collect Information That Matters

  1. Define Value: As discussed on Monday, defining the value for products is the first step in collecting the right information.

  2. Measure Value: Tuesday's episode covered measuring value through metrics, providing valuable insights for decision-making.

  3. Experimentation: Today, we discuss the process of experimentation to collect information efficiently. Real-world examples illustrate how experiments reveal the right metrics, emphasizing the importance of evaluating whether the collected information aids decision-making.

Second: Collect Relevant Information in a Timely Fashion

  1. Strategic Metrics vs. Day-to-Day Metrics: As discussed in yesterday’s episode, distinguish between strategic metrics (top-level indicators) and day-to-day metrics (granular, changing metrics). These day-to-day metrics enable daily experiments and timely decision-making.

  2. Metrics Tree: Introduced in yesterday’s episode, the Metrics Tree tool helps decompose top-level metrics into lower-level, day-to-day metrics. This tool facilitates running experiments that deliver the necessary information for informed decision-making.

Speeding Up Decision Making For Product Owners: Summary

In conclusion, today's episode highlighted the significance of quick and adaptive decision-making for the Product Owner role. The key takeaways include:

  1. Ensure you're collecting the right information.

  2. Collect that information swiftly, even within 24 hours (more on that in tomorrow’s episode).

All episodes this week are companions to the Coach Your PO e-course, available at bit.ly/coachyourpo. Today’s episode is a complement to the following modules:

  • Version 1, Module 8: Defining the Perfect Sprint Goals – emphasizes using metrics for decision-making.

  • Version 2, Module 02: How Scrum Masters Can Onboard a New or Beginner Product Owner – discusses goal setting and metrics.

  • Version 2, Module 03: How to Work with a Skeptical PO – highlights the importance of requirements discovery in decision-making.

For more details, visit the Coach Your PO e-course page at: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

If live coaching aligns better with your needs, reach out to us at coaching@oikosofy.com.

Continue your learning journey, keep supporting your team, and join us for the next episode, where we discuss how to setup experiments that you can run in 24h or less!

About Vasco Duarte

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 10 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

Dec 26, 2023

BONUS: Helping the PO Measure Value, Unwrapping Metrics Mastery with Vasco Duarte

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.

Merry Christmas, dear listeners! We hope your festive season is filled with joy and warmth. Today marks another special BONUS episode in our Christmas week lineup, and we're diving into the crucial topic of helping Product Owners measure value. If you missed our previous episode on defining business value, be sure to check it out as today's content builds upon those insights.

This episode, like all others this week, is a companion to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.

Why We Need To Help Product Owners Measure Value

Ever envisioned driving a familiar road blindfolded? Many teams find themselves in a similar predicament, knowing their backlog and delivery process well but lacking clarity on their goal. A backlog of items, as emphasized yesterday, is not a goal.

Defining Value is Not Enough; We Must Measure It

While some teams may define goals, many stumble when it comes to measuring them early and consistently. Aligning with the Agile Manifesto, this episode emphasizes why continuous delivery of valuable software needs to be complemented with the same continuous measurement of value!

Leading and Lagging Indicators and Why That's Important

In this episode, we discuss the distinction between leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators provide insights into future events, while lagging indicators validate that the product is delivering value. Explore the significance of both in making informed decisions.

The Difference Between Strategic Metrics and Day-to-Day Metrics (The Metrics Tree Technique)

Building on yesterday's discussion about understanding the company's strategy, we explore the transition from strategic metrics (lagging indicators like revenue) to day-to-day metrics. This transition is essential for ensuring daily value delivery and supporting short-term, customer-focused experiments.

In this segment, we discuss the Metrics Tree technique which Vasco learned from Chris Matts.

Product Dashboards for the PO and the Team

Product Dashboards emerge as a crucial tool to keep teams focused on the right metrics throughout the development process. These dashboards visualize product goals, the target customer, current and future sprint goals, and key metrics. They serve as a cornerstone for team accountability, fostering self-management and autonomy.

In this episode, we discuss a Product Dashboard similar to the one illustrated below: 

How To Measure Value: A Summary

In today’s episode, we covered the following steps to help the PO measure value:

  1. Define value (discussed in the previous episode).

  2. Define appropriate metrics for the defined value.

  3. Consider both leading and lagging indicators.

  4. Ensure a balance of strategic and day-to-day metrics for decision-making.

  5. Build a product dashboard with the PO and the team to enhance self-accountability and self-management.

Explore these concepts further in the Coach Your PO e-course:

  • Module 3 (Version 1.0): Setting up ACTIONABLE metrics, distinguishing between ACTIONABLE and Vanity Metrics.

  • Module 2.0: Scaling up the Product Owner role for multiple teams and products, featuring insights into Product Dashboards and Vision.

  • Module 09: Techniques for quick feedback and leveraging process metrics critical for the discussed product dashboard.

For more details on the Coach Your PO e-course, visit bit.ly/coachyourpo.

If personalized coaching suits your needs, reach out to us at coaching@oikosofy.com.

Keep learning, keep helping your team, and we'll catch you in the next episode!

About Vasco Duarte

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 10 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

Dec 25, 2023

BONUS: How To Help Your Product Owner Define Value, with Vasco Duarte

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.

Merry Christmas, everyone! This is the first of 5 BONUS episodes for this Christmas week, each of these episodes complements one or more modules of the Coach Your Product Owner e-course available at bit.ly/coachyourpo.

In this episode, we delve into one of the crucial aspects of the Product Owner role: defining, measuring, and leveraging Business Value. 

Why We Need To Help Product Owners Define Value

We start the episode with an anecdote about training Product Owners. Many of those POs faced the common challenge of delivering from a well-defined, high-pressure backlog, which led them and their teams to "be a slave to the backlog."

Those PO’s understood during the training, that having a crystal clear definition of value turned the decision-making process into a more straightforward one.

The Importance Of Strategy In Defining Value

Not every company has a crystal-clear strategy. And having a clear strategy is critical to be able to have conversations about what value means for a specific organization. In this episode, we also talk about how we can help PO’s facilitate conversations with key stakeholders to align the product with the company's success metrics.

Translate the Product's Strategic Goal into a Concrete Measurable Goal

Eventually, once the strategy for the organization, and the product are clear, we need to turn the company's strategy into tangible, measurable goals for the product. In this episode, we walk through an example, we learn about Luke, the Scrum Master, assisting Leya, the ambitious PO, in reducing call center wait times through strategic experiments.

Key Steps:

  1. Understand Company Strategy

  2. Link Product to Strategy and Goals

  3. Define Specific, Measurable Metrics

This Episode Is A Companion To The Following Coach Your PO E-Course Modules

This episode is a companion, and a complement to the following Coach Your PO e-course modules:

  • Module 2 (Version 2.0): Onboarding New Product Owners

  • Module 8: Critical Documents and Artifacts for Product Owners (featuring impact mapping)

  • Module 3 (Version 1.0): Metrics That Drive Product Success

To learn more about the e-course, and to purchase it, visit bit.ly/coachyourpo.

If you think that getting coaching is a better option yourself, you can contact us at coaching@oikosofy.com

Keep learning, keep helping your team, and have a wonderful Christmas!

About Vasco Duarte

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 10 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

Dec 22, 2023

Sofia Katsaouni: The Pitfalls of Multiple Product Owners For One Team, And A Solution That Worked

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: Collaboration, Guidance And Trust, What Great PO’s work to achieve

In this episode, Sofia explores the qualities of a great Product Owner (POs), highlighting their guidance, collaborative problem-solving with the team, and how they shielded the team from interference. Trust-building is a key aspect, achieved by not imposing solutions and avoiding unilateral communication of deadlines. Sofia offers a tip on helping POs communicate "no" kindly to stakeholders. Additionally, she discusses the effective involvement of stakeholders, emphasizing onboarding and expectation-setting before demos.  

The Bad Product Owner: The Pitfalls of Multiple PO’s For One Team, And A Solution That Worked

In this episode, Sofia shares an early-career experience with dual Product Owners (POs) who were also team managers, causing chaos and confusion. She identifies the anti-pattern of having two POs without alignment, leading to an environment where the team felt constrained. Sofia provides tips on resolving this issue, advocating for a single PO, clarifying role responsibilities, and utilizing the PO proxy pattern to help coordinate and align stakeholder participation.

 

[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 Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn

 

Dec 21, 2023

Sofia Katsaouni: Adapt and Thrive, A Success Perspective For Scrum Masters And Agile Coaches

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, Sofia defines success for Scrum Masters as achieving team self-organization by fostering independence and ownership. Emphasizing adaptability in the evolving dynamics of organizational living systems, she advises focusing on changes and working to create acceptance. Sofia shares a practical tip of viewing the Kanban board from right to left. Success, to her, is marked by team members raising previously discussed topics, indicating ownership.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Separating Event From Impact, A Lesson In Coaching And Reflection Skills

In this episode, Sofia discusses a retrospective format focusing on "What happened?," "Impact on you," and "Your learnings." This format effectively separates events from their impact, encouraging diverse team experiences and fostering open communication. Sofia shares a retrospective involving an MVP release, highlighting how team members' perspectives enriched the discussion.

 

[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 Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn

Dec 20, 2023

Sofia Katsaouni: Collaborative Change, Lessons in OKR Adoption For Agile Organizations

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, Sofia shares insights from her involvement in a change process at the C-level, implementing OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) within the product engineering organization. Collaborating with the CTO, they navigated challenges, emphasizing the importance of clear messaging, team training, and collaborative spaces for discussion. Sofia provides practical tips on introducing OKRs, creating facilitation guides, and stressing organizational alignment.

 

[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 Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn

 

Dec 19, 2023

Sofia Katsaouni: Building Team Resilience And Transforming Team Dynamics with Agile Coaching

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, Sofia reflects on coaching three teams and the challenges that arose from small patterns evolving into significant issues. The lack of collaboration and knowledge sharing within the team led to failing to deliver, which in turn led to external pressure and low morale. Sofia emphasizes the importance of allowing teams to experiment for self-driven change, highlighting the human dynamics within teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Responsive Agile Coaching by Niall McShane

In this episode, Sofia discusses the book "Responsive Agile Coaching," which delves into diverse coaching approaches for Scrum Masters and Agile coaches. The author introduces various stances, such as the show-and-tell stance or Open-and-hold stance, offering a valuable framework to shape individual coaching experiences. 

 

[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 Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn

 

Dec 18, 2023

Sofia Katsaouni: The Importance of Mentorship in a Scrum Master or Agile Coach’s Journey

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, Sofia recounts her struggles as a junior coach facing challenges in a new team. Despite wanting to lead a kickoff, she was overruled by the engineering lead, leading to self-doubt and frustration. She emphasizes the importance of open communication, sanity checks with external perspectives, and listening to one self. The lack of support left her feeling overwhelmed, highlighting the need for mentorship in agile coaching. 

In this episode, we refer to nonviolent communication, an approach that can help us when we find ourselves in the middle of a conflict situation.

 

[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 Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn

Dec 15, 2023

Robert Briese: Beyond Requirements, Rethinking Agile Product Ownership

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: Impact Mapping And Other Tools Great POs Use To Focus On Outcomes

In this episode, Robert discusses the attributes of a great Product Owner based on an energy company's experience. The exemplary PO managed a budget, aimed to introduce new products, and emphasized impactful market presence. The PO's coachability and commitment to improvement are highlighted, along with insights from Marty Cagan's "Inspired." A great PO, as outlined, prioritizes impact over outputs, maintains clarity on product goals and business vision, and employs tools like Impact Mapping for outcome-focused development.

The Bad Product Owner: Beyond Requirements, Rethinking Agile Product Ownership

In this episode, Robert identifies Product Owner (PO) anti-patterns, emphasizing that many POs don't truly own a product. A common pitfall is when POs isolate themselves, detailing requirements independently and presenting them to the team for feedback. This approach creates a significant gap between development teams and POs, limiting the focus to "delivering requirements." The episode recommends a shift in approach, encouraging POs to step away from detailed isolation and instead bring direct customer/end-user information to development 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 Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who's seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW's level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He's on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter

Dec 14, 2023

Robert Briese: Measuring Autonomy, A Scrum Master's Success Metric

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, Robert discusses his definition of success for Scrum Masters, centered on team autonomy and leadership. He evaluates success by assessing whether the team takes ownership, becomes self-sufficient, and embraces servant leadership. Examples include measuring team members' inclusivity in discussions and gauging the Scrum Master's necessity for meeting facilitation. The episode emphasizes the Scrum Master's role in challenging and empowering the team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Visualization During The Sprint, A Catalyst For Great Retrospectives

In this episode, Robert recommends the Derby and Larsen 6-step retro agenda as his favorite retrospective format. He emphasizes a good Scrum Master's ability to adapt to various formats initially but evolves to offer valuable insights for meaningful changes in team dynamics. Visualizing information during the Sprint is Robert’s preferred approach, with tips like creating daily sprint board pictures and sharing speaking statistics.

 

[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 Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who's seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW's level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He's on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter

Dec 13, 2023

Robert Briese: Tools and Tips for Organizational Transformation, An Agile at Scale Approach

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, Robert shares insights from a change process aimed at meeting a challenging deadline for a customer event. The organization transitioned from functional to cross-functional teams, addressing bottlenecks and implementing the "chief product owner" system from the Agile scaling framework LeSS. The episode recommends strategies such as self-selection for teams, weekly PO alignment, visualizing deliverables, establishing overall priorities, and using tools like system modeling and Causal Loop Diagrams.

 

[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 Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who's seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW's level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He's on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter.

Dec 12, 2023

Robert Briese: Fixed Time/Scope Projects and The Pitfalls of Individual PO Goals

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, Robert discusses the challenges of supporting teams tasked with building an ecommerce platform. The teams were given a limited time, and a fixed scope to deliver! Each team had its own Product Owner (PO), leading to conflicting goals and self-destructive patterns. The looming deadline for a major customer event added pressure. Robert suggests practical tips, including creating a shared understanding above team and product management levels, aligning POs on a shared backlog, establishing shared priorities, utilizing user story mapping, and implementing the Chief Product Owner pattern.

 

Featured Book of the Week: "Large-Scale Scrum" by Vodde and Larman

In this episode, Robert recommends "Large-Scale Scrum" by Vodde and Larman for insights into large-scale product development, influencing his journey to become a trainer in this domain. He also suggests "The Skilled Facilitator" by Schwarz, emphasizing its focus on fostering a mindset conducive to real team collaboration. The book promotes a mutual learning mindset, acknowledging individual experiences and promoting cooperative game dynamics for collective success. The episode also touches on another recommended book on Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

 

[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 Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who's seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW's level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He's on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter

Dec 11, 2023

Robert Briese: Agile Retrospectives Without Blame, The Importance of The Retrospective Prime Directive

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 with Robert, we talk about what we need to consider when introducing Scrum in support organizations, navigating heated retrospective discussions, and emphasizing the use of the prime directive. Robert highlights the importance of avoiding blame and instead fostering an environment of continuous improvement. Norm Kerth’s retrospective prime directive serves as a tool to steer conversations away from finger-pointing, encouraging teams to address challenging issues constructively. The retrospective prime directive reads: “Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”

 

[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 Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who's seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW's level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He's on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter

Dec 8, 2023

Thorben Pantring: The Micro-Manager PO, And The Impact It Has On 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.

The Great Product Owner: Empowering Teams, The Art of Servant Leadership in Product Ownership

A greatProduct Owner, as described by Thorben, is an outward-facing individual who actively engages with customers, bringing their challenges to the team for collaborative problem-solving. This PO allows the team autonomy, offering ideas without being directive, fostering a collaborative atmosphere in refinement sessions. Engaged in large-scale adoption, this PO excelled as a master collaborator and embraced the servant leadership role. Thorben emphasizes the development team's centrality in software, debunking the notion of working for the team. This Product Owner embodied customer focus, collaboration, and servant leadership.

The Bad Product Owner: The Micro-Manager PO, And The Impact It Has On Agile Teams

In this segment, Thorben discusses Product Owner (PO) anti-patterns, highlighting issues like focusing on overly detailed feature specs leading to micro-management. This approach stifles openness to feedback and fosters a "just do what I tell you" mentality, making developers passive and hindering communication. This mode of collaboration leads to having pre-defined, upfront designed features with minimal room for adjustments even when problems are found! This pattern ultimately results in deadline-driven development and disengaged developers.

 

[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 Thorben Pantring

Thorben is an experienced Scrum Master & Team Lead in the eCommerce space, showcasing expertise in leadership, LeSS, Scrum, team management, and engineering. With an insatiable desire for learning and a relentless pursuit of progress, Thorben embodies a fervent passion for leadership, agility, and technology.

You can link with Thorben Pantring on LinkedIn

Dec 7, 2023

Thorben Pantring: The Three Dimensions Of Scrum Master Success, Team, Collaboration, and Organization

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.

Thorben outlines success for Scrum Masters in three dimensions: team, collaboration, and organization. Early in the Scrum journey, focusing on the team is vital, emphasizing self-management and shared responsibility. The sprint goal emerges as a powerful tool for team focus. Collaboration between teams is crucial, as he mentions on this week’s Monday episode. For organizational success, Thorben references the sprint review bazaar episode (Wednesday), emphasizing that success encompasses the entire department's ability to deliver value, narrating an illustrative story of a team focusing on code merging instead of value creation.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 5 Why’s Retrospective

Thorben's favored retrospective format thrives on physical presence, fostering collaboration and engagement. Held in a room with snacks, this co-located setting enhances communication, particularly in using the "5 Whys" retrospective. The benefits of in-person interaction, including non-verbal cues, contribute to a richer retrospective experience. When hosting remote sessions, Thorben recommends a shared whiteboard tool like MURAL, and offers tips to maintain attention. Introducing a "Lightning Question" which proved effective in re-engaging participants during remote retrospectives.

 

[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 Thorben Pantring

Thorben is an experienced Scrum Master & Team Lead in the eCommerce space, showcasing expertise in leadership, LeSS, Scrum, team management, and engineering. With an insatiable desire for learning and a relentless pursuit of progress, Thorben embodies a fervent passion for leadership, agility, and technology.

You can link with Thorben Pantring on LinkedIn

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