20 TOP Agile Blogs for Scrum Masters that you will not (easily) find on google searches (2017 edition)

Before reading the post, I wanted to share with you a great interview about how we, as Scrum Masters are always starting from Scratch (just like new year! 🙂 Here’s a Podcast episode as a new year gift from the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast archive built over the last 3 years interviewing Scrum Masters from all over the world.

Podcast Topic: We start a new with every team  (interview with Lucian Stroie)

Now for the list! 🙂

Here in the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, we share insights and inspiring stories from Scrum Masters every day of the week because we believe we need inspiration and ideas every day. Therefore we also visit sites and blogs for the same reasons. To end the year with a bang, I wanted to create a list of Top blogs / Sites for Scrum Masters. Was I in for a disappointment… read on to know why…

Continue reading 20 TOP Agile Blogs for Scrum Masters that you will not (easily) find on google searches (2017 edition)

Christiaan Verwijs on facilitation as the critical art for Scrum Masters

Sometimes it is hard to keep the team focused on the ceremonies that we facilitate. That’s ok and predictable. However, as Scrum Masters, we must be ready for it. We must be ready to regain the attention of the team on the issue at hand. Remember, the ceremonies are there for a reason. If they feel boring, or long, then they are probably not being used to tackle the important topics in the team’s mind.

In this episode we also talk about a facilitation book: Liberating Structures by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, and discuss one of the facilitation techniques that Christiaan learned from that and still applies today.

Featured book of the week

 

 

 

 

 

In this week we discuss the lessons Christiaan learned from two inspiring books. The first is about Agile and Scrum: Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber. The second, a completely different book that helps Scrum Masters understand how to work with complexity and ambiguity: Black Swan by Nassim Taleb.

About Christiaan Verwijs

Christiaan is passionate about building awesome products and creating motivating workplaces. He has extensive experience in both software engineering (b.Ec) and organizational psychology (M.Sc). He does this through his company Agilistic, where he helps, train and coach organizations.

You can link with Christiaan Verwijs on LinkedIn and connect with Christiaan Verwijs on Twitter.

You can also follow Christiaan’s blog at Blog.agilistic.nl.

Christiaan Verwijs on the importance of setting the example as a manager

Often, as Scrum Masters we see managers behave in ways that are counter the principles of Scrum. In this episode, we review such a situation. A manager and the team are in the same room for a workshop that Christiaan is facilitating. The conversation about the importance of safety comes up. What happens next? Listen in to learn what happened and what Christiaan learned from his failure in that meeting.

 

 

About Christiaan Verwijs

Christiaan is passionate about building awesome products and creating motivating workplaces. He has extensive experience in both software engineering (b.Ec) and organizational psychology (M.Sc). He does this through his company Agilistic, where he helps, train and coach organizations.

You can link with Christiaan Verwijs on LinkedIn and connect with Christiaan Verwijs on Twitter.

You can also follow Christiaan’s blog at Blog.agilistic.nl.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo and the benefits of all-in change

When a transition to Agile is ongoing there are a lot of aspects that are new to the organization. Those aspects may lead to problems later that are seen as “change resistance”. Krisztina shares with us an adoption approach that is quite different: All-in change. She describes her own journey and the benefits she observed in using that approach.

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience in several aspects of IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary, she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, then a project manager, test manager, and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo recommends: measure and visualize everything!

At the start of her journey, Krisztina did not measure success. Later she started measuring many things and making those metrics visible. Over time, she realized that the team benefited from that information and she was also able to assess her own impact on the team. Listen in to learn how Krisztina started using the metrics for her, and her team’s success.

 

Retrospective format of the week: Simple, yet effective format and a special tip

Good facilitation is a major part of a good Retrospective. This week Krisztina introduces the Scrum Games format for the Retrospective, and shares a very special tip that makes Retrospectives the best moments of the Sprint for the team.

 

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience of several aspects of IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary, she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, the project manager, test manager and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on adopting Scrum in a Corporate Environment from scratch

Adopting Scrum is a hard journey for most even when the conditions are right. But how about driving change in an organization that is adopting Scrum from scratch, and is historically a top-down command and control organization? Krisztina shares her own story of how that went, and the hard-earned lessons she collected at that time.

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience in several aspects of IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary, she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, then a project manager, test manager, and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on the complaining negative spiral of death

Teams complain. I mean, who can blame them? Often they have to deal with corporate policies that would destroy the motivation of even the most excited Agile adopter. As Scrum Masters, we know this. But how do we get the teams out of the complaining negative spiral of death? Listen to this episode to learn how Krisztina was able to turn the meetings around, helping the team focusing on improving, rather than complaining. She also shares the concrete tips and tricks she used in her approach.

In this episode, we refer to the book Kanban in Action by Joakim Sundén and Marcus Hammarberg. Shameless plug: Marcus Hammarberg is writing a book with Oikosofy on how he used Kanban to save a hospital from bankruptcy, twice! Check it out.

Featured book of the week: Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde describe their approach to leading large-scale Scrum implementations and suggest a number of practices that have worked in organizations around the world.

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience of several aspects to IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, the a project manager, test manager and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on a Project Management anti-pattern: leading the conversation

Many Scrum Masters transition from a Project Management position. This transition is not easy. It requires a change in stance (towards facilitation, instead of management) which is not always easy to achieve. In this episode, we talk with Krisztina about one of the common anti-patterns that new Scrum Masters face: they lead the conversation. Listen in to learn about how Krisztina detected and later changed that pattern to one that works much better for the team and delivers better results in the end.

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience in several aspects of IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary, she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, then a project manager, test manager, and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Viyoma Sachdeva on the anti-patterns that drive fear

Are the team members afraid? Do you hear a lot of “blame” words, or “us against them” comments? This may be because some of the patterns that Viyoma describes are active in your organization. Listen to this episode to find out what those patterns are and how Viyoma tackled them in the past.

About Viyoma Sachdeva

Viyoma has over 11 years of experience in Software and Product development across different domains and phases of software development cycle. She is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner and has worked in an Agile delivery model for the last 6 years. Her experience includes many different domains like Marketing, manufacturing, retail and Public sector and she has worked in a patent of Epidemic disease predictions.

Viyoma believes that the Agile mindset and practices are keys to solve complex problems.

You can link with Viyoma Sachdeva on LinkedIn and connect with Viyoma Sachdeva on Twitter.

Viyoma Sachdeva: The “How” is more important than the “How Much”

When defining success we often look for metrics that help us assess the progress of the team. That’s ok, but are you looking at the “how”? How is the team achieving that success is also important? So Viyoma asks 4 different questions that help us ensure that not only are we getting the “measurable” success, but we are also helping the team find their “sustainable pace”.

Retrospective format: 3 questions with written answers

Viyoma’s go-to retrospective format is simple enough. But she uses a practice that helps the team members reflect ahead of the retrospective: write the answers down ahead of the retrospective session. This helps the team reflect with more impact, and come up with solutions that are developed over time, not just the last-minute ideas that many retrospectives end up producing.

About Viyoma Sachdeva

Viyoma has over 11 years of experience in Software and Product development across different domains and phases of software development cycle. She is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner and has worked in an Agile delivery model for the last 6 years. Her experience includes many different domains like Marketing, manufacturing, retail and Public sector and she has worked in a patent of Epidemic disease predictions.

Viyoma believes that the Agile mindset and practices are keys to solve complex problems.

You can link with Viyoma Sachdeva on LinkedIn and connect with Viyoma Sachdeva on Twitter.

Viyoma Sachdeva on how to help stakeholders engage with the team

“Developing software for the shelf” is a common term that refers to the anti-pattern of developing software that no one uses. In this episode, Vyioma shares with us the story of a team that was doing just that. Creating software that was not used. What did she do? What were the practices to engage stakeholders? How to get the team to care again? Listen to this episode to hear the story and Vyioma’s solution to those questions.

 

About Viyoma Sachdeva

Viyoma has over 11 years of experience in Software and Product development across different domains and phases of software development cycle. She is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner and has worked in an Agile delivery model for the last 6 years. Her experience includes many different domains like Marketing, manufacturing, retail and Public sector and she has worked in a patent of Epidemic disease predictions.

Viyoma believes that the Agile mindset and practices are keys to solve complex problems.

You can link with Viyoma Sachdeva on LinkedIn and connect with Viyoma Sachdeva on Twitter.