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.

Arif Bobat 3 tools that help Scrum Masters understand the system

When joining a new team or organization we need to be aware of what is going on before we can start our efforts to help the organization. How can we do that? Arif shares with us 3 tools he uses regularly that help him understand the system and define his next actions as a Scrum Master.

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 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.

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.

Jac Hughes: “The Scrum Master must help manage the system”

Jac shares with us a workshop he uses to help the teams he works with identify the system around them. This is the system that may be helping them (keep), or preventing them (change) to reach their goals. During this episode we talk about some specific tools that help us facilitate this workshop, like for example, the Moving Motivators from Management 3.0.

About Jac Hughes

Jac is a scrum master who has a passion to help teams become empowered, autonomous but mostly importantly productive. Jac has served 7 years in the Royal Navy before moving into the world of IT.

You can link with Jac Hughes on LinkedIn.  

Balazs Tatár on how to transform the intangible systemic problems into actionable solutions

In the regular Retrospectives we find the symptoms of the systemic problems we have to face. We can use Retrospectives as the engine to find and create possible improvements to solve those systemic problems. Balazs shares his approach to Retrospectives and some examples of how he applied this approach in his work. We also discuss a critical technique to make the “intangible” problems more concrete and actionable. This technique can take your team from complaining to taking action.

About Balazs Tatár

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 suggests: be an agile paramedic, go where the pain is

When we start our role of Scrum Master in a new team or organization, Samantha suggests, listen first. Pay attention to the interaction, the way people relate to each other, the language they use. When you know where the pain is, be an agile paramedic. Go where the pain is, help the teams reflect and find their real pains, and possible solutions.

Samantha also shares with us a specific retrospective format that helps teams find where they are not following the Agile principles and values. You can use this format to help teams reflect on what is preventing them from growing.

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.

Adrian Kerry on the tools you need to understand the system you are part of

When we work with organizations and teams that adopt Scrum, we need to have an understanding of what might be the inherent organizational and personal barriers to adoption. There are a number of tools we can use to learn about which barriers are active, and from that generate ideas about what might be the next step.

In this episode we refer to Henrik Kniberg’s Scrum Checklist (PDF), the Spotify Squad Healthcheck, and Adrian’s own post about the journey towards applying Scrum.  

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.