Sebastian Hitzler and the case of the missing Product Owner

Product Owner is a critical role in Scrum. When it is missing there’s many things that don’t work. Prioritization, answering questions about the product quickly, you name it. But what is a Scrum Master to do? Listen in and explore with us the many anti-patterns that emerge when the Product Owner is missing in a Scrum team.

In this episode, we refer to the Oikosofy Story Mapping Workshop facilitation guide.

About Sebastian Hitzler

Sebastian works as a dedicated Scrum Master for two delivery teams at Fidor Solutions in Munich. The team members are from 10 different countries and spread into 3 different locations in Germany, Spain and Ukraine. Fidor enables clients to become digital banks based on their ecosystem. Sebastian also works with the wider organization to help them transform with lean and agile.

You can link with Sebastian Hitzler on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Hitzler on XING.

Barry Overeem from Project Management to Scrum Master

There are many paths to the Scrum Master role. One that is quite common in the IT industry is that of moving from Project Management to being a Scrum Master. As you’d expect there are quite big differences. In this episode, we talk about those differences and what Project Managers must take into account when changing their role to Scrum Master.

In this episode, we talk about a paper that Barry authored where he describes the 8 stances of a Scrum Master. A good list to have in mind, especially when transitioning from Project Management to Scrum Master.

If you are on your journey from Project Management to Scrum Master you might be interested in this episode with Danilo Tambone who made that transition himself!

About Barry Overeem

Barry, the learning facilitator as he calls his blog, considers himself a 100% Scrum Master. It’s such a comprehensive and interesting role that he gives it his full focus and keeps learning and discovering new aspects every day!

You can link with Barry Overeem on LinkedIn and connect with Barry Overeem on Twitter.

You can also check the many resources that Barry Overeem shares on his website!

Joe Anderson on the role of Courage as a Scrum value

In a big agile transformation, there are many stakeholders, many expectations that affect our work as Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches. In those environments, Courage becomes a critical value for us. Joe explains his story of failure and the role that Courage can take in helping you avoid the anti-pattern that Joe describes in this episode.

 

About Joe Anderson

Joe is a Scrum Master at a small travel technology company with a passion for bringing out the best in people and building deep relationships. He works hard to foster an environment of safety, fun and learning with a focus on relentless improvement.

You can link with Joe Anderson on LinkedIn and connect with Joe Anderson on Twitter.

Arif Bobat on why sometimes you need to get fired as a Scrum Master

Working with a team that had very little going for them, Arif tried his best. He tried to raise awareness of the problem, he tried to help the team improve, he raised obstacles to management. Was that enough? Listen in as Arif describes his journey in an impossible situation, and explains why – sometimes – you need to get fired as a Scrum Master otherwise you are not doing your job!

In this episode, we discuss the GROW model of coaching.

About Arif Bobat

Arif is an experienced Scrum Master with a passion for enabling teams to achieve their potential, Arif loves challenging situations. In the last 5 years, he has been made redundant twice and fired twice. He is not afraid of speaking up when he sees anti-patterns and/or a lack of willingness to change behaviors.

You can link with Arif Bobat on LinkedIn and connect with Arif Bobat on Twitter.

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 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.

 

Balazs Tatár shares tips on being a Remote Scrum Master

Being a Scrum Master to a few local teams can be challenging enough, but how do you support multiple distributed teams? Balazs shares his steep learning curve on working with remote teams and shares also some important etiquette tips on working with remote teams.

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Samantha Webb on how to succeed with Agile Transformations

Samantha shares with us a story of how agile transformations sometimes go, the pitfalls, that anti-patterns, and also what we need as Scrum Masters. Once we reach that level where we have our own skills in place, there’s still a lot of anti-patterns we must face and overcome in organizations in the middle of an agile transformation. We discuss agile transformation for organizations as well as for us: Project Managers on the journey to be Scrum Masters.

During this episode, we refer to the books Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher et al and Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn.

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time, she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Karthik Nagarajan on how to break-out of the super-hero anti-pattern

As Scrum Masters we want to help our teams succeed. And we do everything we can to help them. Sometimes a bit too much. Sometimes we might become the bottleneck. Running from meeting to meeting, trying to answer all the questions, help everybody. But that does not scale. How can we break free from that anti-pattern? Karthik shares with us his journey and what he learned back then that helps him stay in his zone, help without taking over.

 

 

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Adrian Kerry reminds us that showing our failures helps us recover faster

In this story that Adrian shares with us we explore our tendency to hide the failures, to cover for each other rather than addressing the problems we are facing. We discuss the consequences of that Anti-Pattern and how we should, as Scrum Masters, help the teams we work with address the problems head-on.

In this episode we discuss the narcissistic personality trait and why we should always be on the lookout for such personalities.

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.