What you need to learn about being a Scrum Master, but will never get from a CSM course

No matter how many courses you attend, there are things that, as a Scrum Masters, you only really learn the important lessons on the field. Doing the work.

One of the reasons I don’t think certification courses are enough for Scrum Masters that certifications courses very often focus on the rules and regulations of the job, but not on the problems, the hardships and the obstacles we face, day-in, day-out when we try to do a good work as a Scrum Master.

So, what can we do when courses aren’t enough?

Continue reading What you need to learn about being a Scrum Master, but will never get from a CSM course

Jeffrey Koors: The full-stack Product Owner

The Product Owner role is not a simple one, so it is critical we help them understand the complete spectrum of topics the PO should be aware of. Even when the PO does not take care of all of those topics, they are critical in enabling the team by thinking about process, business and collaboration.

The Great Product Owner: The full-stack Product Owner

Product Owners that are able to manage their time to be present when the team needs them are sure to have a great contribution, but PO’s really excel when they are able to collaborate well with the team, and understand that reducing WIP, running-tested-software, and good communication with stakeholders are critical aspects of their role.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that didn’t care about the details

When a Product Owner fails to discuss the details with the team, that leads to many possible misunderstandings and a deteriorating relationship between team and PO. In this segment, we talk about how to help PO’s go through the details enough so that the team feels confident they understand the story and are able to implement their vision.

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 Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jeffrey Koors: Defining actions from Agile Retrospectives with the sphere of influence

The question that Jeffrey asks when reflecting on this work is “how may I be able help others?” That question drives the reflection on how to achieve success as a Scrum Master as it helps Jeffrey focus on the specific needs and support each team member may need. Not all team members struggle with the same problems.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sphere of Influence

Jeffrey likes to follow the 5 stage process that Diana Larsen and Esther Derby write about in the book Agile Retrospectives, however, he focuses on bringing in different exercises for each of the stages in the process. 

In this segment, we also talk about how to find the issue to work on as a team and discuss how the concept of “sphere of influence” helps teams find the right topic to address.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter

Jeffrey Koors: Helping Scrum teams when the blockers are outside the team

Even when we try to help the teams we serve, we often encounter problems that the team itself can’t solve. When that happens, what’s a Scrum Master to do? In this episode, we explore what Scrum Masters can do when the issues plaguing the team extend beyond the team’s boundaries.

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter

Jeffrey Koors: Searching who to blame is what destroys many Scrum teams

In certain teams, there’s a need to find “the fall guy”, a person that takes the blame for the collective misses of the team. However, even when there is a fall guy, that search for someone to blame leads to many anti-patterns that destroy the team. In this episode, we talk about how we can help teams get out of this anti-pattern and be ready to take the steps necessary to succeed as a team

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willing

In Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willing, Jeffrey found a great reminder that we must always be asking “how may I contribute to help this team/these teams?” This helped Jeffrey understand how to communicate this aspect to teams and stakeholders. It’s only what we think we own that we are ready to improve.

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jeffrey Koors: Collaboration at scale, the challenge that scaled Agile poses 

Agile at the team level is not easy, and it has serious challenges that need to be overcome for a team to reach their potential. However, agility in the large is even harder. We have to help teams collaborate across departments, functions, and sometimes even across different companies. In this episode, we dive into collaboration at scale, the challenge for Scrum Masters working with multiple teams in a scaled agile context.

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Charles Rodriguez: How to help the PO focus on value

In this episode, we talk about the PO’s role inside the team, and how we can help Product Owners focus on value.

The Great Product Owner: The PO who focuses on team success

The Product Owner in Scrum is a very difficult role, maybe even a super-human role. Unless we start thinking about the role as part of the success of the team, rather than the only responsible for the product. Great Product Owners focus on helping the team succeed, and learn to say “no” to everything that gets in the way, even if that’s a feature they “love”.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that focuses on the “how” instead of the “why” 

When a PO focuses on the “how”, they miss their ability to communicate with the team in a way that describes what value is. The Value should be the center of the PO’s attention, but when the PO starts telling the team “how” something should be developed, they lose time outside the “value conversation”. In this episode, we explore ways to help the PO focus on, and define value for the team.

In this segment, we refer to an insight by David Hussman called “Dude’s Law” (Value = Why? / How?).

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 Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Charles Rodriguez: Creating a learning model for Scrum Master success

Charles provides a clear vision for what success is for a Scrum Master, and we discuss what are some of the growth models that help us improve our performance. 

In this episode, we refer to the book Turn The Ship Around! by David Marquet, to the learning model based on Shu-Ha-Ri, and a movie, The Karate Kid, which illustrates a learning journey from the very early moments to a moment of mastery.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

Metaphor retrospectives help teams enter a mood of reflection by creating a scene where the team projects their feelings and thoughts. In the sailboat retrospective, the metaphor helps the team talk about what is going on at that time, but also to plan for the future and draw a map to achieve their goals. Watch this video for a hands-on example of the sailboat retrospective.

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Charles Rodriguez: Creating environments where Change is inevitable, a primer for Scrum Masters

Charles was visiting an Agile Coach Bootcamp organized for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches to get a solution to his problem: how to make other changes. It was then he noticed that everyone in that room had the same problem. What Charles realized was that his role as a Scrum Master was not to lead change, but rather to create the conditions for change to happen on its own. In this episode, we talk about the method that Charles uses to foster change-friendly environments. We also refer to a reference book: Leading Change by Kotter

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter

Charles Rodriguez: Scrum Teams that fail because they can’t face conflict

This team had very talented developers, they were able to work without conflict. But that’s when Charles started to realize that this team might be averse to conflict. Instead of confronting bad ideas, the team would go along with every idea because they didn’t want to start a conflict. In this episode, we talk about The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, where this pattern is explored in detail as part of one of the dysfunctions.

Featured Book of the Week: Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet

In Turn the Ship Around! by David Marquet, Charles found a leadership model that he could relate to, and adopt in his work. David Marquet has been a guest on the podcast where he explained the main ideas of Turn The Ship Around! 

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Charles Rodriguez: When a successful team gets canceled, it is also the Scrum Master’s responsibility

As Charles joined this team, all seemed to be working perfectly. The team really got Agile, and they were following the ceremonies and producing high-quality software. But something was off. With time it became clear that there was a gap between the team and the stakeholders. Finally, the team realized that their project was about to be canceled. What happened? How could this team’s amazing work be canceled? The lessons Charles learned from that story are a critical warning for all of us. Listen in to learn what happened, and why you should start looking at your own team (even if successful) to look for possible early signals of the same pattern.

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter