Elena Astilleros: When culture is used as an excuse for the Status Quo

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a popular phrase that tries to highlight the importance of culture. However, sometimes culture can be used to hide. Teams that use the “it’s not in our culture” phrase a lot may be avoiding facing a change that is staring them in the face. How do we know when culture is a real obstacle or just an excuse? That’s what we talk about in this Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Elena Astilleros: How to execute an Agile Retrospective in 30 min or less and still get lots of value from it

Scrum Masters can use their self-check-in every day to assess their progress. In this episode, we talk about questions you can ask yourself to assess your progress and find the areas that are working or need more focus.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The 5 steps, how to execute them when time is of the essence

The Agile Retrospectives steps that Derby and Larsen shared in Agile Retrospectives can take a while to execute in a retrospective setting. Sometimes we don’t have that much time. In this episode, we discuss how we can implement the standard 5 steps of a retrospective even when time is of the essence and we only have 30 min or less.

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Elena Astilleros: Helping teams recover from the day-to-day pressure of business as usual

Sometimes, the teams and organization are excited about the change. Possibly the adoption of Scrum or some other Agile methodology. However, it is not enough to have the enthusiasm of the team. Without a clear direction for the change process, “business as usual” will catch up, the pressures of daily work will take over and the change will stall. We talk about how we can avoid, or recover from the “business as usual” pressure cooker that teams will inevitably face during the change process.

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

How the right metric, communicated the right way can engage your team. By Marcus Hammarberg

This is a guest post by Marcus Hammarberg, author of Salvation: The Bungsu Story, How Lean and Kanban saved a small hospital in Indonesia. Twice. And can help you reshape work in your company. (available on Amazon)

When we first started to work with the Bungsu hospital they were in a devasting situation. Their finances were at an all-time low after years of decline in patient visits. Their operational permit had not been renewed and they were operating on probation, the staff was disengaged and blasé … oh, and one more thing: the roof of the entire second floor had collapsed.

Still, to my great surprise, not many people were upset, engaged or even cared about the survival of the hospital.

Fast forward 1,5 years and you would see a hospital that was making money every day, had not only an operational permit but also got awards for their services, happy and engaged staff … oh yes, and they had a newly renovated roof.

We didn’t hire or fire a single person during this time – and all the work to save The Bungsu was done by the people in the hospital, I merely acted as a guide for new ways of working.

In the end, we turned the hospital from a situation where only the director and her closest staff cared, to a situation where 100 people in the hospital were actively engaged in everyday improvements.

How is this possible? What kind of magic was applied?

We soon realized that the scary state of the hospital’s finances was not only our number one priority but it was also too vague for the staff when expressed in numbers. Billions of rupiah in deficit didn’t mean a thing for the staff.

First of all, those numbers were unrelatable for the average employee, even if we broke it down per day. Saying “we need 18.000.000 rupias per day” to someone that earns 1.000.000 per month doesn’t spark engagement.

We need 18.000.000 rupias per day!

Secondly, and perhaps most important, the staff in the hospital was not interested in budgets, forecasts or financial plans. They worked with patients! We needed something more concrete and closer to their day-to-day reality.

Armed with those two realizations we started to track “the number of patients we served per day”. We hoped this concrete metric would engage the staff. The numbers of presented were truly awful; our financial target was 134 services sold per day and we were averaging on 60-70. Half of what we needed to be able to improve the financial situation!

our financial target was 134 services sold per day and we were averaging on 60-70. Half of what we needed to survive!

I was shocked but the reaction in the room was something very different. Indifferent, unfocused or the occasional shrug. Almost angry, I got up and added a new line, for the number of patients required to break-even; 120. In my upset mood I blurted out:

Below this line we lose money by having the hospital open and we may need to close it!

That got their attention. The jaws of the 70 people in the room dropped to the floor at once. We now had our one metric that matters and most importantly: everyone understood it.

In the next blog post, you will see how this metric, visualized and understandable not only helped us focus on what is important but also made us into a team.

Do you need the one metric that matters to engage your team? This booklet is for you!

In the Bungsu’s Pirate Code for Visualization downloadable booklet I will go into details on how we made this “one metric that matters” engaging, kept it relevant and ultimately saved the hospital by keeping our focus there – using what we referred to as the Bungsu Pirate Code. Click here to download your guide to using the “one metric that matters” in your own team.

This is a very actionable tool that you can you use today in your organisation to make your visualizations matter to everyone all the time.

The Bungsu Story is a fascinating account of a real-life crisis, and how Agile, Lean and Kanban saved the Hospital from bankruptcy! Twice! Get ready for the journey, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is the author of Salvation: The Bungsu Story (available on Amazon), an inspiring and actionable story about how simple tools can help transform the productivity and impact of an organization. The real-life stories in The Bungsu can help you transform the productivity of your team. Marcus is also an renowned author and consultant in the Kanban community, he authored the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén.
You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Elena Astilleros on a step-by-step approach to help Scrum teams in crisis

Elena joined a team that was about to implode. We discuss the context, what was causing the problems, and then share a step-by-step approach to help teams that are in crisis.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams, by Lysa Adkins

Elena shares with us 3 books, from The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler, to Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown and Coaching Agile Teams by Lysa Adkins.

In Coaching Agile Teams, Elena found a good reminder of how Scrum Masters and team members should be aware of how they relate to each other and how that can have a huge impact on the team’s performance.

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Elena Astilleros on why every Scrum team is a different challenge for Scrum Masters

After a successful assignment as a Scrum Master, it is possible we think we’ve got the role down to a T. However, reality between teams is so different that even great Scrum Masters can struggle when moving from one team to another. We share one such story, and what principles and practices we can take as Scrum Masters to focus our work on the new team.

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

BONUS: ¿Qué es Lean Change Management y cómo puede ayudarte a gestionar el cambio en tu organización? – En Español

This is a Spanish language episode where we introduce the Lean Change Management book for our Spanish speaking listeners.

For more on the Lean Change Mangement approach, check out our week of episodes with Jason Little, or visit the book page at http://leanchange.happymellyexpress.com.

Our guests in this episode are Ivan Corps Lopez and Patrick Verdonk who was part of the translators for the Lean Change Management book, Spanish edition.

About Ivan Corps Lopez

Nacido en Ciudad Real (España). Completó Ingeniería informática en la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Apasionado por Lean y Agile desde 2013 para ayudar a las empresas a obtener lo mejor de su gente con esta nueva mentalidad. Ahora trabajando en ING ayudando con la transformación ágil de toda la entidad. Mis valores fundamentales son Libertad, Coraje, Curiosidad, Integridad y Diversión

Ivan Corps Lopez en LinkedIn

About Patrick Verdonk

Patrick siempre ha estado involucrado en cambios que afectan a las personas en muchos roles diferentes. El “cambio”, especialmente el impacto del cambio en las personas, siempre ha tenido mi interés. En octubre de 2017, Patrick dejó su rol corporativo y se juntó a Alquimia del Talento. Començó a ayudar a otras personas y empresas con la gestión de sus cambios (personales y organizativos) a través de consultoría y capacitación.

Patrick Verdonk en LinkedIn

 

Leading agile teams through collaboration – 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 teams to collaborate to reach a goal?

Continue reading Leading agile teams through collaboration – Q&A with Jeff Campbell

Eduardo Ribeiro on how to deal with conservative cultures in Scrum teams

In some cultures, people value tradition and what has happened before. They might even look wearingly to the outside and focus more on their “internal” knowledge. That’s a problem for Scrum teams, but some teams live and breath that kind of culture. How can Scrum Masters help teams get out of their “self” focus and learn more from others and newer approaches to work? That’s the question we discuss in this episode.

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Eduardo Ribeiro: The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Format

When working with teams, the team’s metrics should also become the Scrum Master’s metrics. In this episode, we talk about metrics that teams use but can also be important for Scrum Masters to assess their success, and help the teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Format

The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective format is a format that helps teams use a metaphor to explore their current problems (ballast) and the things that are working well (heat, wind, etc.) Metaphors help teams get out of their minute task focus and focus more on themselves as a group.

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.