Building Skyscrapers and Shattering Dreams in Product Development | Guest post by Rainer Tikk

Rainer Tikk writes this guest blog post about what Product Development looks like from the perspective of a leader of a software organization in a mid-size bank. He’s the Head of Software Development at LHV, an Estonian bank betting on IT as a competitive advantage.

To a non-IT person, developing an IT solution might often seem like a mystical activity that boys with ponytails (and some girls) do in a dark basement somewhere. Moreover, software development, in general, is an expensive activity altogether and often takes more time than it really should. And even if there is money available to pay for the software development, more often than not, it’s almost impossible to find a developer to build the stuff you need.

Continue reading Building Skyscrapers and Shattering Dreams in Product Development | Guest post by Rainer Tikk

Dmytro Balaba: Working with Scrum teams that have lost hope, and help them get better

Sometimes we need to work with teams that have lost hope. The team might be cynical about future improvements and look at Agile or Scrum skeptically. This was what Dmytro had to face in his team. In this episode, we talk about how to work with a skeptical team, and get them engaged in improving their work. This is a critical lesson for all Scrum Masters, don’t miss it!

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: The Product Owner that shamed the team

There are few anti-patterns as problematic as the PO that shames the team. Here’s what Andy has learned about that, and also an example of a PO that was able to communicate the Vision clearly and was then available for the team.

The Great Product Owner: Communicate the Vision, and be available

A Product Owner that is able to communicate their Vision, and is then available for the Scrum team when they have questions might be one of the best Product Owners out there. In this segment, we talk about how those simple behaviors can help a Scrum team succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: the PO that shamed the Scrum team

When it comes to anti-patterns, there are few that could have such a devastating effect as this one. A Product Owner that does not communicate clearly, and then shames the team for not delivering what was not communicated. What is a Scrum Master to do in these cases? Listen in as we explore this anti-pattern with Andy.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: A Christmas Agile Retrospective format to inspire your Scrum Team!

Are you passionate? What is preventing you from finding that motivation and intensity in your work. This is one of the questions that Andy asks us to consider when reviewing our work, and assessing our contribute to the Scrum team.

In this segment, we also talk about the importance of learning how to get things moving, even when we lack the authority.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Christmas Carol retrospective

Sometimes, referring to a familiar experience can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate ideas they would otherwise ignore. In this Agile Retrospective format, Andy shares how a familiar story (A Christmas Carol) can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate improvement ideas

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: 4-steps to help Scrum teams change

Even when Scrum Masters need to work with teams through a change process, they can be impeded by the organizational structures. In this episode, we talk about the Scrum Master who was part of a separate department but needed to help the team go through a difficult change. The key? 4 steps that Andy shares with us and get us started.

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: Having tough conversations with Scrum team stakeholders

When things go wrong, it is critical to help the team prepare how the discuss and recover from bad news. The worst that can happen is when teams (and Scrum Masters) just drop “the bomb” of bad news and put the responsibility on others. In this episode, we talk about how to prepare those tough conversations.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Andy found a new perspective on self-development and team development.

In this segment, we also mention Perfect Time-Based Productivity: How to rescue your peace of mind as time demands increase by Francis Wade, a book that allowed Andy to design his own time-management system, a must-have tool for all Scrum Masters.

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: What to do in Waterfall companies when teams start to adopt Scrum and Agile

Sometimes, in our role as Scrum Master we find teams that are not able to adopt Agile right away. The worst that could happen would be for us to send those teams to “Agile detention”. In this episode, we explore what Scrum Masters can do when their teams are just starting their Agile adoption journey, in organizations where Agile is not yet the standard approach to work.

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: The Product Owner that didn’t collaborate with the Scrum team

From the user-centric PO to the over-planner PO that failed to collaborate with the team, this episode covers plenty of aspects to keep an eye on when collaborating with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: The user-centric Product Owner

Great Product Owners have a clear Vision for the product. But there’s a lot more to a great PO than the Vision. In this segment, we talk about the PO who was able to learn from quick releases, and validate their own assumptions about what value might mean for the end customer. Including, finding opportunities to help customers who were looking for a competitor product!

The Bad Product Owner: The non-collaborating Product Owner

Usually, a Product Owner that has a clear set of items they want the team to work on would be on the “great product owner” category. But not in this case. Listen in to learn how a PO was good at planning but then failed at the most important thing: team collaboration.

In this segment, we talk about the User Story Mapping workshop facilitator guide by Vasco Duarte. Check it out if you want to know how to prepare, and host a great User Story mapping workshop.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: StoryCubes as a tool for Agile Retrospectives

Are people asking you for help? This is the question we start Eddy’s definition of success for Scrum Masters. But the conversation does not stop there. We also discuss the role of coaching agreements with the teams, and some of the anti-patterns Eddy witnessed in Agile teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Storytelling with Story Cubes

In this segment, we discuss what might be some of the factors affecting the effectiveness of your Agile Retrospectives. We also discuss how we can use Story Cubes (video example) as a facilitation technique in some of the steps of the standard Agile Retrospective format.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: Simple serious games that can transform your Agile team in one single session

Retrospectives are a ceremony where we usually facilitate some prepared games or sessions to help the team gel. But is that the only place where we can use these games, and facilitated sessions? In this episode, we talk about Happy Salmon, a game that helped change a team in one session. They way people interacted, and related to each other was totally transformed. It may sound like a simple change, but this “serious game” can transform your team.

Listen in to learn about other serious games that Eddy uses when helping teams change. We also refer to the 2 truths and 1 lie game.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: From “group” to Agile Team, a Scrum Master coaching roadmap 

This team had all the ceremonies in place. They were “doing” Scrum by all accounts. But they weren’t even a team. We explore the “group, not team” anti-pattern with Eddy, and discuss what might be some of the techniques and approaches Scrum Masters can use to help these teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Eddy found a new approach to the eternal question of motivation. He found a new paradigm to help him understand the role of managers and management in organizations.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.