Jovan Vidic asks: don’t do retrospectives by the book

Retrospectives are one of the practices that gets the most attention on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast. They get attention because they are important engines of improvement for the teams we work with. Jovan explains some of the practices he uses to facilitate retrospectives in a way that supports the change that is needed.
In this episode we talk about Gamestorming by Dave Gray, a book that helps us create new exercises to help facilitate retrospectives.

About Jovan Vidic

Jovan Vidić is an Agile Practitioner who repeatedly finds passion and inspiration in his job. He calls himself a people person, and when he had an opportunity to lead a team at the age of 24, that experience transformed him into an advocate of the self-organization, which does not impose limits on the thinking, working and creative processes of the team members, but on the contrary, it drives them to jointly contribute and prosper. This is actually the goal of the group Agile Coaching Serbia he founded in Novi Sad Serbia in 2014.
You can connect with Jovan Vidic on LinkedIn and connect with Jovan Vidic on Twitter.

Alex Fürstenau explains how retrospectives can help teams get out of the “us vs them” anti-pattern

When a team faces a problem they have a choice between blaming someone else (“them”), or taking ownership and making it happen even if that improvement looks beyond their reach. We as Scrum Masters can help teams take ownership, even when they need to involve other people in the resolution of the problem. Alex explains the problem, and some of the possible techniques to get the team to understand that they own the results of their work.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Alex Fürstenau reminds us that Retrospectives need energy

Often we disregard this very simple fact, by the end of the sprint people are tired. Hosting the retrospective at the end of the day, on the last day of the sprint is not ideal from the engagement and energy level point of view. Alex explains how he failed at keeping the energy level high in one retrospective and what he learned from that moment, that he still applies today.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Jeff Campbell on the Coffee Room Whining Anti-Pattern

We’ve all done it in one way or another. We spend time in a retrospective criticizing what is wrong, and assigning blame to others. Jeff Campbell has been there as well, and in this episode he explains how you can get teams to stop spending their valuable time whining, and start taking action.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.
You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Dennis Wagner: Sometimes the Scrum Master is the Impediment

We become Scrum Masters because we want to help teams, organizations, and ourselves to make a difference in the world, to create better working places. However, sometimes we want that too much. Dennis explains one such case and a key lesson he learned.
We also refer to Don Reinertsen’s book The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. We discuss a tool that you can use to manage expectations with the teams you work with: Expectation Mapping.

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.
You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.

Anton Zotin on why retrospectives are your tool for success as a Scrum Master

Retrospectives are the tool for Scrum Masters to achieve success in their role. In this Episode we discuss many different types of retrospectives and Anton introduces the “themed” retrospectives as well as some tools on how to facilitate those. You can also read about one example of a themed retrospectives that Anton wrote especially for this episode. The Human Aspect Retrospective by Anton Zotin.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.
You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Francesco Attanasio on how unique the role of Scrum Master

The role of the Scrum Master is new. It is not an adapted Business Analyst role or a slightly changed Project Manager role. Many fail to understand how unique this role is, and therefore fail to help the teams effectively. In this episode we also discuss how Scrum Masters can evaluate their own performance.

About Francesco Attanasio

Stefano Porro Scrum Master toolbox podcastFrancesco Attanasio is an Agile practitioner, Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) and Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM), Developer, Trainer, Reader, Dreamer and Runner.
He’s now been working as Scrum Master for more than 3 years. Having worked so far as Scrum Developer and Scrum Master in several teams, Francesco has fieldwork experience of how Scrum can be implemented with success. He provides Lean/Agile/Scrum training and coaching to Product Owners, Scrum Masters and Development Teams.
You can find Francesco Attanasio on twitter. You can also find Francesco Attanasio on LinkedIn, and in the Scrum Alliance website.

Stefano Porro explains how he helps his team take ownership of the daily meeting

Teams don’t often take ownership of the daily meeting. They turn to the scrum master as if expecting an order, or confirmation. Stefano created a technique that helps his teams take ownership of the daily meeting, and make it a productive part of the daily routine.

About Stefano Porro

Stefano Porro Scrum Master toolbox podcastStefano is from Turin, Italy. He has worked since 2001 in IT projects and he feels lucky because he does what he loves. He learned about Scrum in 2007 when the company where he was working decided to adopt Scrum. For the first two years he was part of a Scrum team, and he was fascinated from the role of the Scrum Master because he always loved to help team’s members. For him, becoming a Scrum Master, was a natural evolution.

You can find Stefano Porro on Twitter, and connect with Stefano Porro on Linkedin.

Stefano would also like you to be in touch with him through gmail (stefano.porro81@gmail.com) or skype (stefano.bowen). mail: stefano.porro81@gmail.com

You can follow Stefano’s blog to know more about his work and his ideas.

Antti Tevanlinna helps break the team anti-pattern: “nothing ever changes here”

“Nothing ever changes here” is a team anti-pattern that sometimes takes over and freezes team behavior. Teams experiencing that anti-pattern will often complain, be discouraged, but will not take action to change their situation. How to help teams like that? Antti tells us a story of a team that was in that situation and what he and his colleagues did to change the situation and save the project.

About Antti Tevanlinna

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton Antti is an agile practitioner, who got started with agile in my own very first Agile project way back in 2004. He’s been through all kinds of roles, from team member, to management, to customer-facing roles.
You can connect with Antti Tevanlinna on twitter, and check Antti Tevanlinna’s blog.

Stephen Thomas shares his recipe to help the organization adopt scrum and engage with the scrum team

How do we help organizations to recognize the value that scrum teams can bring, and the obstacles they face in the process? Stephen Thomas shares his recipe and describes a few ideas of how the retrospectives can be an effective practice to help organizations evolve and get better.
Stephen’s recipe for organization improvement:

  1. Help the teams understand their progress with a physical (as opposed to digital) and visual burndown (colorful if possible).
  2. Write the principles on the wall and make sure people see them regularly. Point to them when needed.
  3. Have lots of wall space for teams to use and create their shared view of their work.
  4. Help start and facilitate organization-level retrospectives, because improving one team is not enough for lasting change.
  5. Make the team independent

Before implementing all of this, make sure that the organization has the necessary knowledge to work in an agile manner, helping organize training if needed, and working with stakeholders regularly.

About Stephen Thomas

Stephen Thomas Scrum Master toolbox podcast Stephen has been managing digital projects since 2004. Initially specialising in e-learning, he now looks after multiple projects that range from rapidly produced native apps to large-scale social networks. Based in Oxford, he is also one of the founders of the DOPM meetup.
You can connect with Stephen Thomas in LinkedIn, and follow Stephen Thomas on Twitter.