Sami Prentice: Helping Scrum teams accept and fix their anti-patterns

As Scrum Masters, focusing on helping teams succeed and collaborate, we will often notice certain negative patterns before the team members realize what is going on. It is then our responsibility to help the team understand what is going on. However, that’s not always an easy process. In this episode, Sami explains how she introduced an anti-pattern to the team, how they reacted, and especially how her own calm persistence (she calls it “gentle pressure”) helped the team realize what was going on, and improve the situation.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Sami Prentice: When consensus destroys Scrum teams

Sometimes teams need to focus on consensus building, but at other points in their journey, their need to seek consensus is a sign that the team is avoiding conflict. In this episode, we talk about the case of a team that was undermining itself by trying to always establish consensus before taking action.

In this segment, we refer to the book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

Featured Book for the Week: Radical Candor, Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Sami learned about the importance of building relationships and being in compassionate mode with fellow co-workers. She also found invaluable tips on how to get and give feedback to her co-workers. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey, which includes a lot of ideas on how to handle the challenges that Scrum Masters typically face.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Sami Prentice: Scrum Masters are also responsible for process development in their organizations

When leadership in an organization changes, they bring their own practices and habits with them. In this episode, we explore what happened in an organization when new leadership stopped some of the practices that were working for that organization. A good reminder that the role of the Scrum Master also includes developing the process for the organization. Listen in to learn how Sami took responsibility and helped the organization improve.

In this episode, we also talk about how we can improve as Scrum Masters by participating in our local communities. We refer to meetup.com as a place to find your local community and start taking part in their events.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

BONUS: What CEO’s need to know about Design with Audrey Crane

In this episode, we explore what is design, and why you should be deliberate about helping teams, and organizations invest in the design of their products and services.

Every product is designed. Design is an integral part of the product development process. Your customers perceive it when they interact with your product, so the question is: how deliberate are you at creating the experience your customers have when they interact with your product and/or service?

Read more to learn what were the key takeaways from this episode, while you listen to the show.

Critical design questions your team should be asking

Continue reading BONUS: What CEO’s need to know about Design with Audrey Crane

Tom Suter: The Caretaker Product Owner

From saying “no”, to not saying “no”. Two contrasting patterns by Product Owners and their impact on the team’s and product’s success.

In this episode, we talk about People OS, a product that Tom is involved in

The Great Product Owner: Saying “no” with a smile

One of the most impactful activities a Product Owner can perform is to decide what NOT to develop. In this segment, we talk about a PO pattern that helps them, and their team succeed: knowing how to say “no”, and still keep the support from stakeholders!

The Bad Product Owner: The Caretaker Product Owner

When Product Owners don’t have a clear goal for their products, they run the risk of becoming simply “caretakers” for their product. In this segment, we explore the “caretaker” PO anti-pattern and what that means for their teams and products.

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 Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

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Tom Suter: 5 Requirements for great Agile Retrospectives

When it comes to having a positive impact on the teams, and companies we work with, the way we help teams focus on value delivery is critical. 

In this episode, we talk about how Scrum Masters can enable teams to focus on business value creation with different techniques.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: 5 Requirements for great Agile Retrospectives

Tom’s approach to the Retrospectives is informed by 5 requirements he tries to fulfill for every retrospective. In this episode, we explore what those are, and how to prepare and host impactful retrospectives.

In this segment, we refer to Retromat, and Fun Retrospectives, two websites that help you get more exercises for your retrospectives.

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Tom Suter: Gamification for Scrum teams

Bugs happen. And sometimes teams get overwhelmed by the number of bugs they need to deal with. How can we help teams change their approach to bugs and recover from that quality debt? In this episode, we talk about using a gamification technique to help a team that was struggling completely turn their situation around and become a better team, while “killing” many of the bugs that had previously burdened them.

In this episode, we refer to a video that Tom created about the technique he explained.

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Tom Suter: Helping Scrum teams get out of a negative spiral

It’s impossible for us to go an entire career without having to face difficult anti-patterns by management. We need to be ready to tackle those. In this episode, we talk about a team that wasn’t ready, and how the bad decisions by management triggered a negative spiral for that team. 

In this segment, we refer to “external locus of control” as a way to explain the team’s resignation when they should react.

Featured Book for the Week: Scrum and XP from the Trenches

In Scrum and XP from the Trenches by Kniberg, Tom found a source of inspiration that gave him the energy and belief he needed at the start of his career. 

In this episode we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, and Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan.

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Tom Suter: Agile adoption beyond Scrum, and what that means in practice

Many of us start our Agile journeys with Scrum. It is only later that we start putting Scrum in the Agile context, and there’s much to learn and change when we do. In this episode, we talk about what changes when we focus on enabling our teams to be Agile, and not only follow Scrum.

In this episode, we refer to the book Scrum and XP from the trenches by Kniberg.

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Thomas von Busse: Bridging communication gaps between Scrum teams and stakeholders

Communication to remove misunderstandings is perhaps one of the most important roles of a Product Owner. In this episode, we talk about enabling communication between the team and stakeholders. We also explore what happens when PO’s try to manipulate teams through estimation discussions.

In this episode, we refer to Thomas’ article on retrospectives based on the Slow Thinking Manifest.

The Great Product Owner: Bridging the communication gap

Great Product Owners worry about helping the team to understand what the goals are, and how the business can benefit from the work being discussed. In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner that enabled communication between the team and stakeholders directly. Avoiding miscommunication may be one of the major concerns for the Product Owner role, and the pattern we discuss in this segment may be the right answer for you.

The Bad Product Owner: The estimation manipulator

Product Owners that have a background in software development may have the temptation to second-guess the teams they work with. However, the situation gets even worse when they try to second-guess their estimates. There are many reasons why this anti-pattern has a negative impact on the team, and that’s why we need to be ready to tackle it 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 Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter