Erik de Bos: Introducing Agile to a management team without causing overwhelm or eye-rolling

Sometimes, when we work with a team, we discover that the changes needed to help the team are needed outside the team. In this episode, we talk about such a situation where Erik was asked to explain Agile to a management team. He took the approach that he would use only what was needed or asked for by management. Listen in to learn about this example of how to introduce a complex topic (Agile) to management without overwhelming them.

In this episode we discuss the Ball Point Game, Lean, Kanban, Liberating Structures, the Stacey matrix, and the book Humanocracy.

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: When Self-organization does not work, the missing conditions for a critical transformation in a Scrum team

Erik was working with a team that had been started under deadline pressure to build a critical application. But that was not all! That team had gone through all kinds of transformations and failed agile adoption processes. They were overworked, and had little trust among themselves and in management. Erik himself, was thought to be a spy for management. This was not the ideal scenario for a Scrum Master/Agile Coach to be able to help the team. Listen in to learn the key lessons Erik took from this difficult assignment.

Featured Book of the Week: Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini was a book that opened Erik’s eyes to the problem Agile is trying to solve in practice. Even if the book does not mention Agile, it builds a powerful case for Agile in modern organizations.

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 Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: The magical ingredient that transformed a team member, from bad apple, to team player!

Sometimes there are team members that have an outsized impact on the progress of the team. In this episode, we talk about a team member that was holding the team back. Erik tried several approaches to help this team member, but those did not work. After a while, this team member was moved to a new team, and Erik was afraid the same anti-pattern would happen again. However, something magical happened, and this team member was able to move on from his previous anti-patterns. How did this happen? Listen in to learn what was different in the second team, and how Erik was able to support the team member and the new team in a new approach that helped both the team and the individual succeed!

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

BONUS: A DevOps transformation from the point of view of the development teams with János Csorvási and Jeff Campbell

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).

Jeff and János share the story of a DevOps transformation at Meltwater, where they both work. We start by discussing the big differences between an Agile and a DevOps transformation.

The big difference between Agile and DevOps transformations

As they describe it, a DevOps transformation is more about the technical aspects of software development. While in an Agile transformation we may look at processes, and team composition, the DevOps transformation that Jeff and János describe was focused on removing the hand-overs, and building the technical infrastructure necessary for that to happen. Their goal was to create, and support cross functional teams that would be able to implement, deploy and operate their software in production.

Change management in a DevOps transformation

Continue reading BONUS: A DevOps transformation from the point of view of the development teams with János Csorvási and Jeff Campbell

Wilson Govindji: How a Product Owner can take advantage of a technical background in the PO role

The Great Product Owner: Taking advantage of a technical background in the PO role

This PO had a product background, and a strong tech background, but that meant that the PO could communicate both with the team (technology people) and with the stakeholders (non-technology people). This background, instead of giving the PO overconfidence, helped with understanding the feedback, and look for more feedback. This PO was able to bring his past experience into the role, instead of replacing the responsibilities of a PO with the “fake” knowledge from his past experience.

The Bad Product Owner: When PO’s destroy the team’s ability to be productive

Product Owners are constantly faced with many problems, or challenges that they need to address. When they lack the ability to prioritize and learn from feedback, they stop being helpful for the team, and can create a lot of confusion. In this episode, we talk about yet another anti-pattern to add to the lack of ability to prioritize: when the PO is, at the same time over confident, and stops listening to feedback from users and stakeholders. Listen in, to learn how feedback, or lack thereof, can destroy the team’s ability to be productive.

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 Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Wilson Govindji: A success model and framework for Scrum Masters

Wilson‘s framework to define and measure success for his own role as a Scrum Master is defined in detail in this article. In this episode, he describes the key aspects of his framework, and how he applies it to his work using the Impact Mapping technique.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Modified Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format

Wilson structures his retrospectives around the 5 steps described in Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby, but he uses the Mad/Sad/Glad, or Stop/Start/Continue formats as a basis with some modifications that he explains in this episode. He also puts some focus on the icebreaker exercises to get the team started and energized. For that he uses Kudo cards, and asks the team to describe the Sprint in one picture or one word.

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 Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Wilson Govindji: How to be deliberate about the change that Agile transformation brings

Working through an Agile adoption change in our organizations is always a difficult process, as not everyone will feel the same excitement about the adoption of Agile or Scrum. In this organization, the company had put up posters about Agile, but Wilson quickly realized that the Agile mindset was missing in the teams he worked with. This realization started a process of going through the change and Agile adoption process in a deliberate manner, and Wilson describes the process they adopted for that deliberate change management process.

In this episode, we refer to John Kotter’s book on change management: Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions.

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium.

Wilson Govindji: How a new Scrum team struggled, and then learned what working as a team is about 

Wilson was working with a team that was new to Scrum. It was the first time that many different roles were working together. Then he noticed a pattern: people were no longer speaking up during the Scrum ceremonies. The testers would challenge the behavior of the software, but the developers would just ignore them. This was the start of a longer process of self-destruction for this team. Listen in to learn what happened, and how Wilson helped this team turn the situation around.

In this segment, we refer to the Tuckman’s stages of group dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Ownership, How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Willink and Babin

In Extreme Ownership, How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Willink and Babin, Wilson found a reminder of how important it is to accept ownership of everything that happens. This is a leadership book from which Wilson learned some key lessons for him as a Scrum Master.

In this segment, we also talk about the book The People’s Scrum by Meyer.

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 Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Wilson Govindji: Why you must stop being a developer when you become a Scrum Master

Wilson fell into the Scrum Master role by accident. And even if this is not an unusual story for a Scrum Master, this journey brings with it an identity crisis that Wilson describes for us. Wilson was both a Scrum Master and a tech lead, a technical Product Owner and a developer. These many hats seemed to work well together, until the release time came. Listen in to learn about how these many roles can interfere with each other and cause problems for the Scrum Master and the team.

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Jeremia Riedel: The Visionary Product Owner that was able to help the team own their Backlog

The Great Product Owner: The Visionary PO that was able to help the team own their Backlog

Great PO’s are often visionary. They have an idea of what they want to deliver and focus on conveying that to the team. They set the context for the Vision, and work from that Vision to explain the direction to the Scrum team. They don’t necessarily spend much time working on the backlog, because the teams are able to translate the Vision into the detailed stories to implement. Great PO’s focus on “what problem we should solve in the next iteration”!

In this segment, we talk about the Product Vision Canvas, and the Story Map tool.

The Bad Product Owner: The Requirements Manager

This particular PO acted like a requirements manager, focusing on collecting requirements from stakeholders, and doing whatever the customer had explained they wanted. However, for teams to be able to succeed, the PO role needs to be much more than a mere requirements collector and manager. In this segment, we discuss the role of Vision and the PO’s responsibility to go beyond merely writing down requirements.

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 Jeremia Riedel

Jeremia is an Agile Coach that describes himself as an Explorer, Enthusiast and Challenger.

You can link with Jeremia Riedel on LinkedIn, and read Jeremia Riedel’s blog on Medium.

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This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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Internal Conference
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Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works

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