Natalie Cervantes on how to work with an absent Product Owner

The role of the Product Owner is critical for the success of a Scrum team. However, that’s also one of the roles that is the most affected by company policies and culture. Product Owners are not usually shielded from management, and in fact sometimes they are management. In this episode we talk about a Product Owner that was also the CEO of the company. What can we do when the Product Owner is so hard to reach? Listen to what Natalie has learned about engaging absent Product Owners.

About Natalie Cervantes

Natalie is a Certified Scrum Master and Agile Coach with over 12 years experience working with both veteran and new agile teams. Her experience spans everything from mobile and embedded systems to enterprise scale website projects with a client base that includes Microsoft, Amazon, Coca-Cola and many others.

You can link with Natalie Cervantes on LinkedIn.

Tanner Wortham on the importance of cross-functional teams

Tanner’s military background has taught him that team members need to help cover for each other. And they can’t do that by seating on their own silos and working only on one type of tasks. Tanner explains how he got trained in multiple skills in his military career and how that can help us as Scrum Masters.

In this episode we discuss the LeSS framework for large-scale Scrum and how to use the Causal Loop Diagram to understand the system we work within.

About Tanner Wortham He’s helped many organizations in their journey toward agility. He’s been accused that his military training would mold him into a rigid, unmoving Scrum Master, but nothing could be further from the truth. What civilians call agile, the Corps calls leading Marines, and it’s through his experiences as a Marine that he derives most of his insight as a Scrum Master.

You can link with Tanner Wortham on LinkedIn and connect with Tanner Wortham on Twitter.

Miguel Santos: Anti-pattern of repeating the same approach with every new team

If something worked in the past, it must work with new teams in the future. Or must it? In this episode we explore how the system around the team significantly affect what works in practice. The same daily meeting format may have worked in some teams before, but how is this new team’s context affecting the format of the daily meeting? As Scrum Masters we must be aware of the team culture, the management culture, the technical tools and other critical system conditions. Only then can we know what might work, and what will not work in that team’s context.

About Miguel Santos

Miguel is a Brazilian living in Germany and currently Scrum Master for two teams at NewStore. He believes that there is no single methodology (agile or not) to lead projects and teams to success. Because of that, he would like Scrum Masters to be less biased when working with their teams.

You can link with Miguel Santos on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Santos on Twitter.


Richard Kasperowski on how to diagnose systemic problems by listening to the team

When looking at the systemic causes for problems we see in the team, we need to take into account many aspects: trust, metrics, conversations, relationships. Where to start? Richard suggests that we look at the Comparative Agile diagnostic and the Agile Fluency model and diagnostic. But of course, those are just starting points. A lot of the work needed to identify systemic problems is to listen to the conversations happening in the team, and with stakeholders. In this episode, Richard describes the process he uses to observe and analyze the conversations happening in the team, so that he can pinpoint systemic problems.

About Richard Kasperowski

Richard is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author focused on high-performance teams. Richard is the author of The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness. He leads clients in building great teams that get great results using the Core Protocols, Agile, and Open Space Technology. Richard created and teaches the class Agile Software Development at Harvard University. Learn more and subscribe to Richard’s newsletter at

You can link with Richard Kasperowski on LinkedIn and connect with Richard Kasperowski on Twitter.

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.

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.

Susan McIntosh describes on recurring pattern that can help you pinpoint system conditions

System conditions are patterns that happen over and over again in organizations but the teams can’t solve on their own. With Susan, we explore an approach that can help us detect those anti-patterns that can be traced back to the system, the policies, and rules set up in that organization. In this episode, we discuss a pattern of behavior in teams that can help us pinpoint the system conditions they struggle with.

About Susan McIntosh

Susan McIntosh is an agile coach and scrum master, especially interested in training and agile transformations – both fast and slow. She finds analogies to improving workplace culture in her experience in theater, teaching, cooking, and parenting. Susan is an active participant in the agile community in Denver, Colorado.

You can link with Susan McIntosh on LinkedIn and connect with Susan McIntosh on Twitter.

Sebastian Hitzler on how decision makers shape the system with lack of communication

System conditions come in many shapes and forms. In this episode, we talk about the impact of communication (or lack thereof) on the system. We discuss the case of a team that had information withheld from them, and what that led to. And Sebastian shares some great teams on how to handle the expectations of stakeholders and the teams we work with.

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 and The 3 Pillars of Scrum

Scrum Masters are familiar with the 3 pillars of Scrum or the values that are at the core of Scrum. In this episode we discuss how focusing on those 3 pillars of scrum, the Scrum Masters can help make the system conditions visible. The system conditions are the things we must focus on uncovering and help change to enable the adoption of Agile and Scrum in the organization. After all, Scrum and Agile transformation are not easy!

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 how to look for cultural markers

“Culture eats process for breakfast” goes the quote. Culture is one of the big aspects of the system of work we interact with, so we need to be aware of what are the cultural trends in the organizations and teams we work with. What are those? Joe discusses with us methods and practices to identify the “cultural markers” that can help us, as Scrum Masters, understand the system we need to interact with.

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.