Priyanka Keswani: Helping teams go from “doing” to “being” Agile

Success for a Scrum Master can mean many things and is also directly affected by the context of the team. In this segment, we talk about one aspect of that success: how good are the team at thinking about their performance outside the simple execution of a process. As Priyanka defines it: helping the team going from “doing” Agile to “being” Agile. 

In this segment, we refer to the tool “mood board”

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat retro and why it works so well

We start this segment by discussing when, and why, the basic retro formats are useful for teams. Then we move on to discuss why the retrospective is about much more than just process, or how we work and discuss how the Sailboat format helps the teams think outside their usual context of process and tools. 

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 Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter

Priyanka Keswani: How to use a maturity model as a guide for teams adopting Agile

While helping the teams at her company move towards Agile, Priyanka and her colleagues defined a maturity model that helped explain to the teams where they were in their journey to Agile. Priyanka explains how the Scrum Masters went about developing the model and implementing it with teams. Listen in to learn how you can use a maturity model as a guide for teams adopting Agile.

About Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter.

Priyanka Keswani: Individual performance appraisals as an obstacle to teamwork in Scrum teams

We start this episode with a quote by Goldratt: “Tell me how you will measure me, and then I will tell you how I will behave. If you measure me in an illogical way, don’t complain about illogical behavior.” We dive into how metrics can totally affect the team’s performance, and why individual performance appraisal destroys teamwork. 

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland

In Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland, Priyanka found inspiring stories that helped her understand how Scrum applies in real life. Priyanka also refers to the book “Start with Why” by Sinek, a great reminder that we must help the organizations define their purpose as an enabler for improvement.

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 Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter.

Priyanka Keswani: How to recover from the siloed-expert anti-pattern in a Scrum team

When the organization started moving to Agile, Priyanka was a lead for a QA team. As the transformation progressed, Priyanka took on the role of Scrum Master and started to face “resistance” in the team she was helping. The anti-pattern she was observing was a common one: some team members overworked, while others didn’t have enough to do. Listen in to learn how Priyanka helped the team recover from the first pain of transition, as well as the siloed-expert anti-pattern. 

About Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter.

Lena Löfdahl: How pressure destroys the trust between PO and Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: How to simply explain a very complex functionality

This Product Owner worked with an Offshore team that had the mission to completely overhaul the search function in a major company’s website. The PO could have worked in detail, and written down many ideas of how that search function could work, however, the PO simply conveyed what was needed with a high-level vision, and the team worked through a clickable wireframe to collect feedback and deliver a great experience!

The Bad Product Owner: How pressure destroys the trust between PO and Scrum team

This PO was new to the team, and the organization had already put lots of pressure on the team and PO. The PO, unable to cope with the pressure pushed the team, and made them nervous. This ended up disrupting the relationship between PO and team, created a lot of interruptions and conflict. Lena understood that, before working on the methods/processes, the key was to start working on the relationship between PO and team.

Are you having trouble helping the team work 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 Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with a specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn.

Lena Löfdahl: The 6 faces of Jack Sparrow, a fun Agile Retrospective

As Scrum Masters, we must define our own success. That definition will depend on what organizations we are at, and their place in the Agile adoption journey. Lena also shares how important it is for us to learn and move on from what might have been great practices in the past, but end up being inadequate in certain situations.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 6 faces of Jack Sparrow, a fun retrospective

The Pirates of the Caribbean retrospective is a metaphor retro that helps the team reflect on their progress through the different phases of Jack Sparrow in the movie “The Pirates of the Caribbean”. As the team discusses the 6 different emotions/faces of the main character. Those create insights about their own work, and what to improve. Find and print 6 different faces of Jack Sparrow from the movie The Pirates of the Caribean, and then ask the team to share their insights according to the emotion in the face. The 6 faces of Jack Sparrow are: 

  1. Happy 
  2. What the Fudge
  3. Thoughtful 
  4. Auch 
  5. Mad 
  6. Mexican standoff 
  7. Makes people laugh and relax 

 

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 Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with a specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn

Lena Löfdahl: Sometimes, it just takes one try to get the organization to change, here’s why…

This team adopted Agile quickly and started to move towards continuous delivery. However, shortly after that, they realized that the organization was not ready for it. The team would not get requirements in time for their Sprints, and the team started idling. To try and overcome this problem, Lena and her colleagues organized the first “big room planning” session in that company. And then, a big surprise happened…

About Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn

Lena Löfdahl: The “we’re too busy to share knowledge” Scrum team anti-pattern

The team Lena was working with had the assignment to move all customer information from multiple systems into one. The pressure was high, so the team wanted to focus on continuous progress. However, and because of that, the team had neglected the need to share knowledge among team members. This, in turn, led to having a siloed team, where they could not help each other when a task was stuck. Listen in to learn how to deal with the common “we’re too busy to share knowledge” anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum and XP from the trenches, by Kniberg 

In Scrum and XP from the trenches, by Kniberg, Lena found a book that spoke to her in a language she could understand and helped her by explaining situations that she was familiar with. The book is freely available to download by signing up here.

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 Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn

Lena Löfdahl: Hiring for culture fit is even more important than you thought, in a Scrum team

In a growing team, hiring a super qualified person is often a great achievement. A senior person can help the team grow, bring in the knowledge that would otherwise take a long time to acquire, and more! However, it does not always happen like that. In this story, we hear about a senior team member that created conflict and demoralized the team. Listen in to learn about the critical lessons Lena learned about onboarding and integrating senior team members in an existing team.

About Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with a specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn

BONUS: Why Experience is the Agile 3.0 with Jurgen Appelo

To start us off, Jurgen shares a personal secret that he had not shared before. And that secret explains why discuss some of the topics we do in this episode. 

Jurgen has applied a fair amount of the insights he’s collected over the years during 2020 when his own business got severely affected by the COVID19 crisis. Some of the projects he took on are on his blog –  like this Painting 3.0 post –  but there’s a lot more he shares in this segment. He hear about how Jurgen experimented with his own business during the pandemic. One piece of advice he shared, was to go to extremes with the experiments, trying something completely different from your regular approach or product. 

Introducing the idea of an Agile 3.0

We reflect on the 20 years of the Agile Manifesto (published in 2001), and what that means for product and software development. Jurgen shares a personal story to illustrate how a different approach to customers (“the experience approach”) can significantly change the perspective that people have on the services and products they use. 

This focus on experience may become what Agile 3.0 is all about. Including the role of games, and game mechanics in the design of products and services. But Jurgen takes it further and talks about experiences at all levels, not just the customer. We talk about the experience we have as employees working for an organization, and the need to start talking about “experience owners”, not “product owners”. 

Gamifying learning, to create a rewarding learning journey

We know that continuous learning is an aspect of modern work, knowledge work. However, how do we create that need, and design to continuously learn? Jurgen shares his latest project shiftup.work, a site where people can learn at their own pace, and get credits for learning. He uses gamification mechanics to create a rewarding learning journey through a community site. To learn more about shiftup.work, check out the learning site

About Jurgen Appelo

Jurgen describes himself as “the creative networker”. But sometimes he’s a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, illustrator, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, leader, freethinker, or… Dutch guy. Inc.com has called him a Top 50 Leadership Expert and a Top 100 Leadership Speaker. He’s also one of the most influential Agilists, thanks to his work on Agile Management with his book Management 3.0

You can link with Jurgen Appelo on LinkedIn and connect with Jurgen Appelo on Twitter.