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

Adrienne Rinaldi: Managers as Scrum team members, a cautionary tale

Adrienne was working with a small team, in a governmental organization, that had started their Agile adoption journey. A supervisor/manager was assigned to be a team member in that team. In this episode, we discuss how the relationships of power or hierarchical superiority can destroy a team, if we don’t pay special attention to the collaboration between team members.

Featured Book of the Week: Leadership is Language by L. David Marquet 

When reading Leadership is Language by L. David Marquet, Adrienne learned about some aspects of language, and the words we use that can directly affect the success of our work as Scrum Masters and leaders. We also talk about the importance of language in helping people accept they can make a change to their own lives, and at work.

In this segment, we refer to the special BONUS episode with L. David Marquet

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn

Adrienne Rinaldi: Scrum Masters as the lighthouse in impossible situations

As Scrum Masters, we will sometimes face an impossible situation. Or at least, it will seem that way. In this episode, Adrienne tells the story of a team that was set up for failure, and we explore what Scrum Masters can do in those situations. 

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn

Arjay Hinek: The 4 Product Owners of the Apocalypse

The balance between Vision and detailed guidance can make or break a PO. We also discuss the 4 PO’s of the Apocalypse. A tale about some of the worst PO anti-patterns.

The Great Product Owner: Balancing Vision and detailed guidance.

We talk about the careful balance between Vision and details that describes a great Product Owner’s ability to keep the team focused on the Vision while helping define the necessary details that teams need guidance on. A great PO is also able to communicate the Vision in the form of a definition of success through storytelling and the use of metaphors.

In this segment, we also refer to The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning.

The Bad Product Owner: The 4 Product Owners of the Apocalypse

In this episode, Arjay walks us through what he describes as the 4 Product Owners you meet in hell. He then explains how those patterns happen in reality with the help of a real-life story of a PO he worked with. From this conversation, it becomes clear how critical it is to help Product Owners through our work as Scrum Masters.

 

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 Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/

Arjay Hinek: How to define success for Scrum Masters

“To be able to help others, you need to define success.” Arjay starts this episode with the reflection on how important it is to discuss and define success for ourselves. We then move on to discuss what are some of the practical approaches he takes to define and measure success in his work with the team and the Product Owners.

The Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Improving the classic Retrospective format of What went well/Tripped us up/Can be improved

Sometimes the easier formats are just what we, Scrum Masters, and the teams need. However, we need to constantly be adapting the format to the needs of the team. In this episode, Arjay shares with us how he’s improved on the standard Retrospective formats, and we talk about how to understand the team well enough so that we can adapt the retrospective format to their needs.

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 Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years, he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/.

Arjay Hinek: How Scrum Masters can coach transformations

In this episode, we dive deep into the role of a coach, and what are some of the aspects we must keep in mind for all of our assignments. We also discuss how to work with leadership to help the Agile transformation take shape and progress.

In this episode, we refer to the SPINE model, a simple and powerful model for understanding, mapping and working with human work systems. We also refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

About Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/

Arjay Hinek: The critical Scrum Master task of helping Product Owners

When this story starts, we hear about a Product Owner that had the unfortunate habit of micro-managing the team and assignments. On top of that, the PO was also a yes-man, who wanted to say “yes” to everything the stakeholders came up with. We explore how these behaviors led to the team imploding, and discuss what we can do to help teams and PO’s who start showing the same symptoms.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love

In Agile Product Management with Scrum by Roman Pichler, found a book that distills the concepts down to practical advice and helps the teams and the Scrum Masters focus on customer needs. He also found that the book allowed him to have great conversations with Product Owners, and coach the PO’s he worked with.

In this segment, we also refer to The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning.

 

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 Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/.

Arjay Hinek: Adapting Agile to any industry, tips and lessons learned

From his early days as a Project Manager adopting Agile, Arjay was hooked. He saw how Agile could help him and the teams he worked with. However, when he tried to apply Agile outside the software industry, he discovered how the industry context had a direct impact on the applicability of some of the Agile ideas he had learned to love. Arjay shares what he learned about how to adapt Agile ideas to any industry.

About Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years, he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/

BONUS: Simon Severino on Strategy Sprints, Agile turned all the way up to 11!

Does Agile apply when managing a company? In this episode, Simon Severino shares his story and his business of taking Agile to the C-Suite of fast-growing companies!

If you follow this podcast, the success of Agile methods is not a news item. It’s clear that Agile has improved greatly our ability to deliver software products to the market. In this episode, however, we look at a different application of Agile ideas. What if we could apply Agile to the methods we use to manage our businesses? That’s where this interview focuses: how Agile changes our approaches to running a business. 

Simon is a growth consulting, he works with business leaders to help them improve the performance of their business. He does that using methods that will sound familiar to all Agile product development team members. 

Managing your business as if it were an empirical problem, not a planning problem

Continue reading BONUS: Simon Severino on Strategy Sprints, Agile turned all the way up to 11!

Leland Newson: Creating commitment to the work in a Scrum team, a tale of two Product Owners

From the PO that was able to inspire the team to the PO that was only a PO on weekends. Two contrasting examples of how to help the teams commit to the outcome of their work.

The Great Product Owner: The Storytelling PO that inspired the team

Great Product Owners are able to tell great stories. Stories that engage the audience, and help the team find purpose (the “why”) for the work that they have to take on. Leland shares the story of the “three bricklayers” as a metaphor for what that Product Owner was trying to create: commitment to the outcome of the work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Overly Busy PO

This PO was so busy that their “PO work” was called by the PO themselves as “weekend work”. The stage was set for trouble. This led to the team not getting feedback from the PO. The stories were not accepted in time for the end of the sprint, it was hard to do any work on the product backlog refinement. Finally, as the situation would not get better, the company finally decided to hire someone else. 

If you are facing this situation right now, you may want to check our Sprint Checklist, a tool to help you deal with an Overly Busy PO.

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 Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Leland Newson: Delivering business value as the benchmark for success in a Scrum team

Discussing the definition of Agility, we talk about how to help teams act in an agile way, by moving quickly and with grace. We discuss what that means in practice, and what aspects make a team successful at delivering business value, the ultimate focus for a Scrum Master and the team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Learning Matrix

Leland shares the Learning Matrix, and a retrospective format based on the Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

We also discuss the use of Appreciations, an approach that can help get your retrospective started with the right focus, and energy.

 

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 Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.