BONUS Episode: Luca Minudel on the coaching role of Scrum Masters

Luca, who’s coached at the fast paced environment of the Ferrari F1 team surely knows what “speed” and “time-to-market” mean in the extreme cases. However, independently of all of that pressure Luca has been able to develop his coaching approach without focusing on pushing, forcing or manipulating people to do “the right thing”. How did he do that? We discuss his career and his learnings in this special episode about coaching.

Luca, just like all of us, tried to help people that did not want help, but that only led to his frustration as a professional and very little results. So he embarked on a journey to become a more effective coach. One of the key lessons Luca shares is about the commitment that is expected from the coach, as well as the team or individuals in the team.

Establish commitment and check often

As coaches, we need to ensure that we have the commitment of the people involved or risk failure and frustration. Luca shares his approach for how we can reach a mutual commitment with the people we work with in a way that supports their goals as well as the role we play as coaches and Scrum Masters.

Beyond the agreement between coach and team, we also need to learn to become better Scrum Masters. Luca shares his insights and the actions he took to learn to become a better Scrum Master and coach over his career. One simple tip he shares is: learn to facilitate key ceremonies in the process. The better you are at facilitating the ceremonies, the better the results will be with the team.

The information we need to learn our craft

On top of the work we must do to learn the facilitation role, we must strive to learn and improve ourselves at all times. For that we share in this episode several sources of knowledge and tools that can help us understand better organizations and people we work with. In short, if we are not improving on a regular basis, we are regressing in our knowledge.

Some of the knowledge areas we discuss in this episode are:

The challenges we must be aware of in an Agile adoption

As change agents, we face many challenges, and Luca shares the most common ones he has faced in his career. From the negotiated agreement on the role of the Scrum Master or coach (e.g using the GROW model as a basis for those conversations) to the support network we need to establish to support our work and the continued adoption (e.g. using the communities of practice pattern).

Do we need a Scrum Master when the team is working well?

The final question we tackle is: when is our job done? Luca shares a pattern from his previous employer (ThoughtWorks) that covers aspects that support the team in their efforts, but is not a Scrum Master role. We discuss the “Iteration Manager” role and what that might mean for Scrum Masters that want to continue to work with a team that has reached a certain maturity level.

About Luca Minudel

Luca Minudel is a Lean-Agile Coach & Trainer with 14 years of experience in Lean/Agile and 20+ in professional software delivery. He is passionate about agility, lean, complexity science, and collaboration.

 

He contributed to the adoption of lean and agile practices at Ferrari’s F1 racing team. For ThoughtWorks he has delivered training, coaching, assessments and organisational transformations in top-tier organisations in Europe and the United States. He worked as Head of Agility in 4Finance and he is working as coach for a top bank in Canary Wharf.

Luca is founder and CEO at SmHarter.com, a company that helps organisations turn their way of working into their competitive advantage.

You can link with Luca Mindel on LinkedIn and connect with Luca Mindel on Twitter.

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