Making Agile Retrospectives Impactful – A Visualization Tool by Jeff Campbell

This is a guest post by Jeff Campbell, author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook)

Visualizing Continuous Improvement

I am a big believer in continuous improvement, weather that be in the form of Retrospectives, a Kaizen approach, or something else that helps the team reflect regularly. But for the earlier years of my career as a Scrum Master I found myself frustrated by a lack of improvement despite all this reflection (retrospectives that have no impact…).

Often,what I was seeing was that we talked about the problems the team was facing, and then didn’t follow-through with the actions we agreed to take.

When we tried to change our behavior. We might have succeeded for a day or two and then would forget about it. This isn’t continuous improvement this is just continuous discussion!

We need a good way to make sure we are actually making the change we set out to make!

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Henrique Centieiro: navigating introvert/extrovert cultures in Scrum teams

When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum Masters must be aware of the dominant temperament for their teams and use that to help teams collaborate, especially when there are contrasting cultures in one team.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Henrique Centieiro: I Like / I Wish Retrospective Format

For Scrum Masters, success must include the team’s success. In this episode, we talk about the metrics and the type of feedback we must help teams collect, and how to use that to measure our Scrum Master success as well.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: I Like / I Wish and other games

Sometimes Scrum Masters must focus on helping teams feel at home, so that team members can discuss the issues that bother them. In this episode, we talk about how a CEO/CTO can derail a retrospective and what kind of games we can use to help teams focus on improving, even when managers are present in the retrospectives. The retrospective format we talk about is “I Like / I Wish”.

In this segment, we refer to Retromat, a service that helps you choose games/activities and plan your retrospective.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Henrique Centieiro how to help Scrum teams prioritize for value

Prioritization is not a simple, or easy task for Product Owners and teams. Sometimes, the teams focus on what they want to work on, sometimes on what is easy to do, but those are prioritization anti-patterns.

As Scrum Masters, we must assess the prioritization practices of our teams. When necessary, we must help them adopt new approaches to prioritization. Henrique shares one of those times with us.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Henrique Centieiro on what to do when Scrum Teams are missing feedback

Even when teams are motivated, and progressing at a rapid pace, there’s an ingredient that, if missing, can derail the whole project. That ingredient is feedback from customers and users. In this episode, we talk about what happens when feedback is missing and how Scrum Masters can help their teams focus on collecting and reacting to feedback.

Featured book of the Week: Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time

A book that introduces Scrum to a wider audience, Scrum: the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland is a book explaining the ideas and principles of Scrum when applied to the wider world of work, not only software development.

In this segment of the episode, we also refer to Edx.Org, a website that focuses on education and includes Agile training as well.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Henrique Centieiro and the tool-Scrum anti-pattern

Joining a team, it is good to see that they have their tools in order. They can follow-up progress, track what is missing and even leave notes for each other in the items they add to the tool. The problem is when the tool starts to take over the team, instead of the team owning the tool. In this episode, we talk about the tool-Scrum anti-pattern, when the team focuses more on the tool than the things it should enable: communication, collaboration, progress assessment, and metrics.

In this episode we refer to the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries and the work on Hypothesis Driven Development by Barry O’Reilly.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Selling Agile – How to get Buy-In from Management? – Q&A with Jeff Campbell

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How do you get management to buy-in to the Agile transformation

You, as I have for sure, have seen companies where Agile starts with a dictate from management, it is pushed top-down by management. They say: We all need to get more agile!

But when I go it and ask, why do you want Agile? They usually lack the business reasons. It’s all a bit fuzzy.

Even if the team is on-board, management is not. Management change is outside of the span of control of the team, and then their resistance keeps coming back in the retrospectives but end up being considered not actionable and thus simply create frustration

How have you been able to break through that gate of IT and start talking about the wider Agile adoption?

Resources and tools

During this episode, we refer to the book Lean Change Management by Jason Little.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

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 organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Ajeet Singh: how to help multi-cultural Scrum teams

In today’s software development world, having multiple cultures in one team is quite common. That presents specific challenges for Scrum Masters, who must be able to help teams where contrasting cultures must co-exist.

In this episode, we talk about the possible challenges Scrum Masters may face when working with multi-cultural teams and also how they can help those teams jell and collaborate productively.

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Ajeet Singh shares when to use the Well/Start/Stop agile retrospective format

Ajeet has come to value 4 specific ways to measure his impact as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we review these 4 benchmarks and how he uses them regularly to improve his approach.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Well/Stop/Start retrospective format

In the Well/Stop/Start retrospective format (see a facilitation guide here), we have a simple format that can trigger important conversations. Especially when team members see each other’s contribution to those 3 categories.

This is a format that suits very well teams that are action-oriented, and have a high degress of collaboration already.

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Ajeet Singh: helping QA teams adopt Scrum

QA teams are isolated in many organizations. When Scrum Masters work with those teams, the first challenge is to help them see beyond their silo, and create a definition of success that includes working and collaborating with other teams.

In this episode, we talk about a QA team, and how they were able to transition to a more collaborative way of working, which – for the first time – included other teams.

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.