Daniel Heinen on how Scrum Masters can protect the team from political games in the organization

In this episode, Daniel tells us the story of when the Product Owner took a “leader” role, and hid information from the stakeholders. The Product Owner promised many things to management to ensure funding for the project. This is a common anti-pattern in project organizations, but it can have serious consequences in an Agile environment because of the additional transparency that Agile and Scrum bring to the process.

In this episode, we talk about how Daniel and the team handled the difficult and delicate situation they were facing.

In this episode, we refer to the #NoEstimates movement, and the concept of Muda (Type 1) from Lean Manufacturing.

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

David Denham on how indirect feedback affects the Scrum Master job an Agile adoption

David works in Ireland, and even if the workplace is multi-cultural and diverse, there are some national culture traits that show up often. In this episode, we discuss the feedback culture, and how feedback is given and should be understood in Ireland.

Working as Scrum Masters, the type of feedback and how it is conveyed becomes a key topic for us. Although we must adapt to the local culture, we must also be aware of how national cultures handle conflict (or avoid it). In this episode, we talk about indirect-feedback cultures and how that affects the Scrum Master work.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

David Denham on how Scrum Masters can overcome the Impostor Syndrome

Scrum Masters can easily feel the Impostor Syndrome. After all, we are there to help a team, that usually works with a technology we don’t fully understand, and develops a product for a business we might not be familiar with. How can we them overcome the Impostor Syndrome? David suggests that we should focus on a set of simple questions that guide our actions. These questions help us focus on the core role of the Scrum Master, and help us acknowledge our strong points and main responsibilities as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Using metaphors to help generate creative ideas

There are many metaphor formats for retrospectives. The Speed Boat Retrospective, the Amazon Product retrospective, the Sailboat Retro, the Hot-air Baloon Retro, etc. All of these formats help the team be creative about finding the impediments they want to focus on. It helps the team get out of their day-to-day scenarios and think deeper about the issues they want to tackle. Metaphors also help the teams discuss problems that they would otherwise hesitate addressing.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

David Denham how to reach a fast concept-to-cash cycle with the help of the Scrum Master

David started working with a group of teams that were component-focused and started seeing the usual anti-patterns. The “concept to cash” cycle was too slow. How do you help an organization get out of the component-focused organization and switch to a more outcome-oriented organization?

In this episode, we explore one approach that David put in practice, and how that may help your organization recognize what they are missing by sticking to the silo-prone component-based organization.

In this episode, we refer to Design Sprints, a method that focuses on a quick learning process, and also discuss the game “Build Your Own Scrum”.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

The (surprising) 9 most common challenges that Product Owners face, and affect their Scrum Teams

Product Owner anti-patterns, round 2Would you want to have a simple, collected, set of solutions (techniques and strategies) to solve the most common challenges Product Owners face? So would I! But before we can collect the solutions, we must understand the problem!

That’s what I did in 2018.

I asked the listeners of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast and the readers of the blog what were their most common challenges when working with Product Owners. So, if you are a Scrum Master, an Agile Coach or a team member who wants to help the Product Owner, the list below is for you! (NOTE: there are links to solutions as well! ?) Continue reading The (surprising) 9 most common challenges that Product Owners face, and affect their Scrum Teams

David Denham on the over-commitment anti-pattern in Scrum teams

In this team, David saw a sense of panic! The team was trying to define and commit to the maximum possible amount of work that could fit in one increment. They were measured by their “predictability” (how much of what was committed was actually delivered), and that led to lots of escalations to management. The team started being late and pushing QA/testing to the next sprint. The conditions were set for a disaster!

Listen in to learn about this story and how David and his colleagues helped this team.

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

David found the ideas in the book to be helpful in his own journey as a coach. He refers to the learning model for teams (Shu-Ha-Ri) and the many tools in the book that helped him in his job.

In this segment, we also talk about the book User Story mapping by Jeff Patton.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

David Denham on what happens when Scrum Masters have their own Agenda

When Scrum Masters come to work with a team they must make a critical decision. Are they there to help the team, in their own terms, or to “bring in” Scrum or improvements? There’s a critical difference between these alternative approaches.

In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can fail when they come to the team to “bring in” Scrum. Listen in to learn how that looks like, and how to detect that anti-pattern before it is too late.

In this episode, we refer to the Kanban Method.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

David Sabine on how corporate culture affects Agile adoption

As we explore the impact of culture in the adoption of Agile and Scrum, we must also reflect on the impact of the corporate culture. Despite the influence of national cultures, international corporations also bring their own culture which may, or may not align with the national culture.

In this episode, we look at how individuals quickly adapt to the prevailing culture, and how corporate cultures can influence disproportionately the Agile adoption process.

In this episode, we refer to the book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide by Edgar Schein.

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

You can link with David Sabine on LinkedIn and connect with David Sabine on Twitter.

David Sabine on the core job of the Scrum Master

When thinking about what success means for Scrum Masters, David follows the ideas in the Scrum Guide. We reflect on the Scrum Artifacts, and how the Scrum Master’s job can be summarized as increasing transparency of the Scrum Artifacts.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee

In The Lean Coffee, a group of people select a set of topics they want to discuss, then prioritize those topics and discuss them one-by-one, ending with an action or conclusion for each item. For David, this is a technique that helps the team be fully focused on the discussion at hand. It can be a fast-paced conversation (set a shorter time-box) or a leisure-pace conversation (longer time-box) depending on how much time you have available.

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

You can link with David Sabine on LinkedIn and connect with David Sabine on Twitter.

David Sabine on how to survive a large Agile adoption process

When we are involved in large organization transformations there can be a sense of overwhelm. That the organization and the different groups are too large to grasp. So how do you survive a large transformation process? In this episode, we explore some of the practices that David learned through his own story when involved with a transformation in a large organization.

In this episode, we refer often to the book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide by Edgar Schein.

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

You can link with David Sabine on LinkedIn and connect with David Sabine on Twitter.