BONUS: How to get a job as a scrum master when you don’t have enough industry experience, with Alioscha Chaplits, Rachel Macasek and Daniel Lenhart

In this episode, we explore a difficult topic for many people who want to start their career as a Scrum Master in an industry where they don’t have experience yet. This can be someone who wants to move into IT (listen to Rachel’s great story on this) or someone who already has IT experience, but wants to move into Marketing, Sales, or other industries. 

Being Agile, as Scrum Masters, means being able to learn and adapt to whatever life throws at us. And that means that we must be ready to learn new industries, technologies, or even new cultural habits when moving to new industries. 

How to start finding the right jobs in a new industry?

Rachel shares her story, of how she moved from a manufacturing background into IT. It was a long journey, but she was deliberate about her goals and learned some important lessons about finding a job in a new industry that she shares with us. 

The key lesson is: don’t trust the “application process” that many companies have. Networking with people around you, visit local meetups, participate in the community and get opportunities that way! 

We also learn about some great tips to use in every interview you have as a potential hire for a Scrum Master position. 

What do I invest in, when seeking a Scrum Master position in another industry? 

How to get ready for a job in another industry? That’s a question we explore and share some ideas and tips based on the experience our guests have. The most important lesson is, however, to find a mentor, someone who is familiar with the industry you are in. Maybe offer to help that person in some way first, and slowly learn from them about what matters in that particular industry. When moving industries, we have to start by learning the new cultural norms, the new terminology, and of course, the companies that are likely to hire you! A mentor can help with all of that. 

What have you learned about searching for a job as a Scrum Master? Share your lessons learned below in the comments and help your future colleagues get the job they seek! 

About Alioscha Chaplits, Rachel Macasek and Daniel Lenhard

Alioscha Chaplits has 20+ years of experience with a large international non-profit organization as a team and project leader, mentor, coach, change agent, etc. Alioscha switched to IT three and half years ago to a QA role and since then. He’s got a great question for us to discuss in this panel discussion episode. We’ll get to that in a second.

You can link with Alioscha Chaplits on LinkedIn. 

Daniel Lenhart never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Rachel Macasek is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

 

Serge Huybrechts: Value-centered Product Ownership for Scrum teams

From value-centered product ownership to interruption-based product ownership, two contrasting patterns we must be aware of.

The Great Product Owner: Value-centered, and able to communicate that to the Scrum team

A great PO has the mindset that they are there to understand and serve the customer with the help of the team. The great PO knows the environment (both inside the company and the customer’s environment); knows the customer very well, and most importantly understands how to bring that information to the team. Finally, the great PO has conversations centered around the idea of “value” for the customer and the company.

The Bad Product Owner: Interrupting the team and causing them to fail

This particular PO kept bringing new things to the sprint late in the process: “This has to go in as well” was the key phrase. This PO was heavily influenced by influential salespeople in the organization. All of this led the team to never finish the work they started. 

In this segment, we refer to the episodes with John Albrecht, who’s been a guest here on the podcast.

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 Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn. 

Serge Huybrechts: “Start with the end in mind”, a Scrum Master mantra

Serge invites us to define at first what we want to see as the outcome of our work. With this “end” in mind, he suggests we are then ready to start measuring the impact of our work. As the team progresses towards that goal, we celebrate the small successes and focus on enabling the growth of the team. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The OSKAR method

The OSKAR coaching model is a solution-focused coaching approach that we can use when setting up our retrospectives. It’s a method that starts by helping the team focus on the outcome, the result of their improvement ideas, and walks through what they need to put in place to reach that outcome. Starting with the outcome or end-result as the goal for the team.

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 experience: 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 Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn. 

Serge Huybrechts: Addressing emotional blockers in a DevOps transformation

Working in a bank, trying to help a team adopt the DevOps approach, Serge noticed that the people in the team were worried about how the new way of working would affect their position in the company. This taught Serge an important lesson: when in a change process, we need to address topics and issues that are not related to the object of the change but affect how people perceive and may reject the change process. 

In this episode, we refer to the ADKAR change framework.

About Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn.

Serge Huybrechts: How to overcome “firefighting” and help Scrum teams learn to collaborate

This particular manager was a master “firefighter”. Perhaps because of that, the manager had been promoted to that position. But there’s a problem! When the manager is a firefighter, the team starts to mimic that behavior and starts to focus on finding, and fighting fires, instead of building a reliable and replicable approach to work. In this episode, we explore the many anti-patterns that emerge when the team starts copying the manager’s behavior. 

Featured Book of the Week: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. By Brené Brown

In Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, Serge learned some important lessons that have helped him as a Scrum Master. He understood that leadership is a critical aspect for Scrum Masters, as well as how to act on that leadership requirement for Scrum Masters. In this segment, we also refer to Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman, a book that helped Serge look at other’s actions from the “good intentions” perspective, something that he tries to apply in his work as Scrum Master. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn. 

Serge Huybrechts: The right way to bring up blockers and problems to leadership

When Scrum Masters find blockers or problems in teams, and even in organizations, they need to think what’s the right approach to share those insights. The approach we select must be fit to the organization and the prevailing culture. In this story, we hear how Serge found a “tabu” that, when brought up, caused the organization to block it, and effectively invalidate the work Serge had done. 

About Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn.

Ines Garcia: The 3 characteristics great Product Owners have

There are characteristics we see over and over again in great product owners, we discuss those with Ines, and we cover User Story Mapping, a technique to help PO’s improve their game.

The Great Product Owner: 3 characteristics for great Product Owners

Ines describes for us 3 characteristics for great Product Owners which help the teams to understand the context and impact of their work, to feel motivated to contribute to the product, as well as to understand all the necessary details before committing to do the work.

The Bad Product Owner: The Busy, Bossy and Absent PO

In this segment, we talk about the PO  that was just a broken telephone for the team, and on top of that was bossy and too busy to answer questions. When you see these characteristics in the PO, what do you do? We discuss some approaches that might help, and discuss the Story Mapping technique (See here for a fully defined facilitation guide for the 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 Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Check out Ines’ books on Amazon.

Ines Garcia: Two frameworks to evaluate Scrum team growth and effectiveness

Ines shares with us two frameworks that she applies to help her team as well as review the impact of her work as a Scrum Master. The first framework is that of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose by Daniel Pink (from his book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us). The second is a framework that Ines has developed and describes in this episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start/Stop/Continue with More/Less

This Start/Stop/Continue/More Of/Less Of Agile Retrospective format expands on a simple and focused format and helps Ines work with teams to get tangible outcomes and results from their retrospectives. In this segment, Ines also shares an extra tip (the “My Needs” card) that helps team members verbalize what they need to be able to perform. 

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 experience: 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 Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Check out Ines’ books on Amazon.

Ines Garcia: Helping a Scrum team that had grown too big

This particular team had been extremely successful up to the point when this story starts. From a single, small team providing a niche product, the company and the team had grown to serve over 2 million customers. The small, 4-people team, had grown to 40, and nothing was simple or easy anymore. The story starts with team struggling to organize and deliver on the Sprint planning. Ines helped the team to go through an evolution and change to be able to get to the same level of predictability. 

If you want to read through the story in detail, Ines has written an article for you to read and base your own change process on her learning. Read Ines’ article on Facilitating a change process here.

About Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Check out Ines’ books on Amazon.