Donald Ewart shares a simple question to detect system conditions

System conditions – which affect our teams, but are outside their control – are not always simple to tackle, but with this question, they will at least be simple to detect. In this episode, Donald shares with us a very powerful question when it comes to understanding what is affecting the teams we work with but is outside their power of influence.

We also discuss some of the anti-patterns that teams get stuck in when they don’t tackle the system conditions that affect them.

About Donald Ewart

For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.

With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.

You can link with Donald Ewart on LinkedIn and connect with Donald Ewart on Twitter. You can also find out more about Donald’s work on his website.

Donald Ewart the 3 steps to mastery for Scrum teams

Donald traces a path for the teams he works with. This path helps him assess his own success and helps him focus on the next steps that the teams need to go through.

In this episode we discuss leadership, and recommend the book Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet (David Marquet has been a guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast before). We also talk about Powerful Questions, as a tool that helps us, Scrum Masters, spark the right kind of conversions with our colleagues.

About Donald Ewart

For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.

With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.

You can link with Donald Ewart on LinkedIn and connect with Donald Ewart on Twitter. You can also find out more about Donald’s work on his website.

Donald Ewart on the Scrum theater we sometimes play

Donald joined one team and found that they only had a very superficial knowledge of Scrum. They knew the ceremonies, the meetings, the formalities, but something was off. In this episode we discuss how you can “test” if your team really understands Scrum, and how to help the team realize where they are in their journey to adopt Scrum.

About Donald Ewart

For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.

With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.

You can link with Donald Ewart on LinkedIn and connect with Donald Ewart on Twitter. You can also find out more about Donald’s work in his website.

Donald Ewart: it all starts with a human connection!

Featured book

In this episode, we introduce a new Feature: the Featured book! A recommendation by our guests that will help you choose which books to read. Every week a new book for you to read.

This week Donald recommends you revisit one of the classics: Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle. Listen in to learn why!

 

The human connection!

In this episode, we discuss how teams, in the forming phase, may get stuck in the avoidance of conflict, and how conflict may actually be a sign that the team is progressing in their journey to be an effective team. It all starts with a human connection! We describe tools and signs that help us detect if our teams are stuck.

 

About Donald Ewart

For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.

With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.

You can link with Donald Ewart on LinkedIn and connect with Donald Ewart on Twitter. You can also find out more about Donald’s work on his website.

Donald Ewart reminds us: you need to be setup to be Agile!

We sometimes face situations where the teams are not ready to be Agile. In this episode we discuss such a story and talk about what we need to have in place to even get started with Agile. This is a great reminder that we should not try to make all teams Agile or all projects Agile. First we need to discuss and agree on the conditions we need to get started on our Agile journey.

In this episode we talk about the book Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber.

About Donald Ewart

For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.

With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.

You can link with Donald Ewart on LinkedIn and connect with Donald Ewart on Twitter. You can also find out more about Donald’s work in his website.

 

Venetia Foo explains the Integral Agile Model as a systems thinking tool

When looking at the team and the system conditions that affect its performance we need tools that help us understand the team beyond its physical boundaries (people, room, tools). In this episode we discuss the Integral Agile Model, introduced by Lyssa Adkins and the Agile Coaching Institute. This tool can be used as a system thinking tool to look at the team and understand that overall system that affects the teams we work with.

In this episode we refer to the book Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Venetia Foo

Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.

You can link with Venetia Foo on LinkedIn and connect with Venetia Foo on Twitter.

Venetia Foo on how to get teams to solve their own problems

Scrum Masters are seen as problem solvers. But is it really what they are there to do? Venetia challenges us to think about how we can help the teams take over the problem solving process themselves. How can we do it? How can we motivate teams to “own” the solving of their problems?

These are some of the questions we tackle on this episode where we share many tools for you to help your team own their problem solving process!

About Venetia Foo

Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.

You can link with Venetia Foo on LinkedIn and connect with Venetia Foo on Twitter.

Venetia Foo gives a Project Management ninja trick: how to successfully change a project to another team without disruption

Venetia, a Scrum Master got the order from project management: the project must be moved to a new team, hundreds of miles away in another city! Wow, what a challenge!

When we discuss changes on the podcast we very often talk about Agile adoption, Agile transformation or some other “larger” kind of change. Venetia was facing a different story. She was facing a change of team for an existing product! In this episode Venetia shares how they were able to successfully onboard new team members (in a new city!) and change the whole project to that new team over a period of a few months. A real, tangible change that everyone needed to get used to, and execute it at the same time!

About Venetia Foo

Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.

You can link with Venetia Foo on LinkedIn and connect with Venetia Foo on Twitter.

Venetia Foo on how one team member can destroy a whole team

Many of us have been in teams where there’s a “dominant” team  member. But have we thought about the possible consequences that it may bring to the team? In this episode we explore the possible consequences that dominant team members can trigger. We also discuss a very unusual way to address such situations, one that takes into account the whole team, not just the dominant team member.

About Venetia Foo

Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.

You can link with Venetia Foo on LinkedIn and connect with Venetia Foo on Twitter.

Venetia Foo on how to integrate new team members in a Project team

A project is late and we think: let’s add more people. Project Managers all over the world use this technique to try to get their projects on schedule. However it’s not that easy…

In fact, integrating new project team members in an existing team actually changes the dynamic for the whole team! In this episode Venetia Foo walks us through a failure moment, where as Scrum Masters we are part of the integration process for a new team member, but that’s not an easy process at all! Listen to what Venetia learned from that story and what she does now when a new team member joins the team.

About Venetia Foo

Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.

You can link with Venetia Foo on LinkedIn and connect with Venetia Foo on Twitter.