Anubhuti Agarwal: How to facilitate great Agile Retrospective conversations

What distinguishes a successful Scrum Master from a not so successful one? In this segment, we explore the questions that Anu asks as well as the behaviors she evaluates to assess her progress in the Scrum Master role.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: Facilitating product conversations

In this segment, Anu shares her tips on how to select the right format for the retrospective based on what has happened to the team during the Sprint. We talk about why certain formats work better and discuss the core role of the Scrum Master when it comes to facilitating a retrospective: facilitate productive conversations.

 

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 experiences: 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 Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Anubhuti Agarwal: Helping Scrum teams adapt to wildly different timezones

Remote teams often deal with timezone problems. In this episode, we explore the story of a distributed team that needed to change their way of working to accommodate the different timezones. We discuss some of the techniques you can use to help your distributed team make decisions and adapt their way of working to the reality of distributed work, and wildly different timezones.

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Anubhuti Agarwal: Taking care of a Scrum team that just lost key team members

Sometimes, when team members leave the team, the ones that stay behind have a lot to deal with. The uncertainty caused by team members that leave can lead to negative anti-patterns. In this episode, we discuss some of the actions Scrum Masters can take to take care of the team, even when some of the team members are leaving.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations by Patterson et al.

In Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson et al., Anu found a book about a critical skill set for Scrum Masters. Anu also shares a concrete example of how she applied the learnings from that book in a tough situation.

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn

Anubhuti Agarwal: How to build a new Scrum team when a project starts

When we enter a new organization as consultants or employees, how do we get a new team started? In this episode, we explore the difficult task of the Scrum Master as a team builder and catalyst. 

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Thomas Kofoed: Coaching the PO together with the Scrum team

Great Product Owners can tell stories, and motivate the team. They focus on the Vision and the “why” questions. In contrast, the anti-pattern we discuss in this episode is that of the command and control PO, who wants to know who’s working on what, and how they are doing it.

The Great Product Owner: The Great Storyteller

Thomas shares with us what a great storyteller Product Owner looks like. We discuss the impact of storytelling, and the need for the PO to be constantly learning so they can bring the right information and answer the team’s questions.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching the PO together with the Scrum team

What should a PO focus on? In this segment, we discuss how the command-and-control PO’s focus on the wrong topics, and miss the most important aspects of their work. We also discuss how to encourage the team members to help coach the PO towards the most effective behaviors and actions.

 

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 Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn

Thomas Kofoed: The flexible Agile Retrospective, a method to constantly adapt to the team’s needs

When Scrum Masters reach a successful state with the team, they will feel confident to skip a few events with the team. That’s a good way to help the team take more ownership of the events, and eventually, take over. 

Thomas shares his recipe to “step back” from the work with the team, and let them take over.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Structuring an adaptable retrospective

Thomas asks us to consider the retrospective as an adaptable practice which is flexible to the needs of the team at a certain time. He’s asking us to have a structured approach (a “box”) to which we bring many different exercises and activities to help the team reach their breakthroughs. 

In this segment, we refer to the Toyota Kata format.

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 experiences: 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 Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn.

Thomas Kofoed: Setting up the right expectations when working with a new team

When a Scrum Master gets hired or called into a team there might be mixed expectations between managers, team, and yourself, the Scrum Master. How can we prepare for that possible problem? 

In this episode, we discuss the setting of expectations and the early agreements we need to establish when starting to work with a new team.

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn

Thomas Kofoed: The “hero” culture that destroys Scrum teams

When we start out as a Scrum Master we might not yet be able to detect the anti-patterns that may develop in teams. That lack of experience can turn against us. One anti-pattern that emerges over and over again is that of the “hero”. In this episode, we explore what leads people to assume the “hero” role and how that negatively affects the team. 

In this episode, we refer to the graphic novel series Asterix and Obelix

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership by Geoff Watts, found many good stories and examples that make a difference between “good enough”, and “really great” Scrum Masters. The book does this via many short stories that illustrate the differences. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Scrum Guide as well as Gunther’s Scrum – A Pocket Guide. 

Both Geoff Watts and Gunther Verheyen have been previous guests on the podcast. 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn

Thomas Kofoed: Solution focussed coaching, a solution for problem-centric Scrum teams

Thomas, a game 3d artist turned Scrum Master, got started in his journey thanks to a mentor who was a Scrum Master in his team. As he started his own journey he fell into the trap of focusing only on questions, which was important, but led teams to dwell on the problem for too long. Invariably the retrospectives turned into a complain fest, and there was little time to focus on solutions. It was then that he learned about “problem-focused” cultures and what to do about it. Listen in to learn how Thomas got his teams from problem-centric to solution-centric. 

In this episode, we talk about the book Solution-Focussed Coaching: A Manager’s Guide to Getting the Best from People by Grant and Greene.

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn.

BONUS: Agile Retrospectives Masterclass, PART 1 with David Horowitz

This is the first of a multi-part series on Agile Retrospectives with David Horowitz who’s the CEO of Retrium, a company that builds tools to help you facilitate remote retrospectives. The links to Retrium’s Retrospectives Academy below are affiliate links, if you prefer to follow a link that takes you to Retrium’s site, but does not give anything back to the podcast, you can. Just follow this link: Retrium.com. On the other hand, if you want to help us grow this podcast, you can follow the links below or this link to Retrium’s Retrospective’s Academy.

In the first installment of the Agile Retrospectives Masterclass with David Horowitz, we talk about the basic setup for a successful retrospective. It all starts with what David calls the triangle of success: People, Process/facilitation, and Follow-through.

How to set up your Agile Retrospectives for success with the right people

Continue reading BONUS: Agile Retrospectives Masterclass, PART 1 with David Horowitz