Kathryn Tancos: Tweaking Retrospectives to help silent Agile teams speak up

Even when measuring our success can be difficult, we can define a set of questions that help us reflect and help teams. Kathryn shares some of those questions, as well as a “guideline” for our success as Scrum Masters. Listen in to learn about Kathryn’s success questions. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Tweaking Start/Stop/Continue to help teams that have a hard time speaking up

Kathryn likes to adapt the format to the team. Even when using simple formats, such as Start/Stop/Continue, Kathryn prefers to add some twists so that all team members participate actively. In this segment, Kathryn shares a story of a team that had a hard time speaking up, and what she did to help the team contribute actively in the retrospective. 

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 Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter.

Kathryn Tancos: Scaling up an Agile transformation through practical actions by Scrum Masters

An organization that started an Agile transformation, hired 2 external consultants to help the transformation. However, the 2 transformation coaches were not enough to cover the many teams in that organization. This put Kathryn and other Scrum Masters in a tough spot. In order to contribute, Kathryn started to ask questions, and discuss with the 2 transformation coaches, which turned out to be a practical way to scale their knowledge and influence in the overall organization. In this segment, we discuss how we can help setup the Agile transformation in our organizations, starting by focusing on the “why” and the values the transformation is supposed to bring into the organization.

About Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter.

Kathryn Tancos: How to Agile transformations succeed or fail

Kathryn was part of an agile transformation and working with 6 different teams. As she dug deeper into the ways of working in those teams, she found that there were patterns in their behaviors that negatively affected their performance. Among these, there was the belief that the team knew all the solutions and did not need to talk to, or listen to other teams. In this segment, we hear about how Scrum Masters can help change these patterns, and the other organizational patterns that make Agile transformations fail. 

Featured Book of the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Kathryn found a framework for giving and receiving feedback that helped her with the difficult conversations she needed to have in her Scrum Master role. The book shares ideas, and stories on how to build an environment of trust and respect. 

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 Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter.

Kathryn Tancos: How to help Agile teams collaborate

Kathryn started as a journalist, and was “recruited” to help in an IT project that aimed to help journalists in their day-to-day work, that took her on a journey towards Agile and eventually she took on the PO and later the Scrum Master role. As a Scrum Master, later on in her career, she tried to help a team working remotely, and that was only part of the challenge. As the team started to work on the product, they did not seek feedback from the partners and stakeholders, leading to a lot of surprises in the Sprint Reviews. This story helped Kathryn learn an important lesson for her as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the critical tip she has to share based on this story.

About Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter. 

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Agile Transformation and Business Agility in the Large with Peter Lam

Agile is necessary by not sufficient for Agility

When teams start adopting Scrum, it’s easy to think that when they are proficient in Scrum, the work is done. However, that’s not nearly enough to help the organization achieve its goals. What are the outcomes that the team is aiming for? Are those outcomes part of the team’s Vision, and Mission? 

Peter suggests that we should start our work by defining together with the team and stakeholders what success means. That becomes the first question to ask before we start our work with the team.

Bing bang approaches are sometimes necessary, but not sufficient for the momentum of change that is needed

Continue reading SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Agile Transformation and Business Agility in the Large with Peter Lam

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Team Performance Predictors, with Sally Elatta

When we look at team performance in a business, we need to take into account 3 different metrics. Sally explains those 3 key metrics at the start of this episode, and we dive into why some metrics are good leading indicators of team performance. 

As we dive into performance metrics, we discuss what are some of the enablers for team performance, as well as how leaders, and leadership teams can positively impact the agility and performance of their teams. 

Measuring Maturity, Performance and Outcomes, the critical aspects of performance 

Continue reading SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Team Performance Predictors, with Sally Elatta

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: The Joy of Agility, looking at Business Agility with Joshua Kerievsky

As Joshua started to research his book, he discovered many stories of people applying the principles and ideas behind agility to their lives, and their businesses. The Joy Of Agility is a book that collects those stories and explains what agility is really about. And it’s not about Scrum, or any other process framework. 

Joshua starts by telling us a story of a young Richard Branson who, having been left stranded on an airport, came up with an idea to get to his destination while helping other fellow passengers who had also been left stranded. This is a story of a person being resourceful in the face of adversity. Being resourceful is one of those aspects of agility that we often don’t discuss, but is – as Joshua puts it – at the core of Agility.

The art of perfecting your act

Continue reading SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: The Joy of Agility, looking at Business Agility with Joshua Kerievsky

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Personal Agility Framework to help unlock your potential, with Maria Matarelli and Peter Stevens

The Personal Agility Framework started with a conversation between Peter and Maria after Peter started to talk publicly about his own challenges as a business owner and an Agile Coach/Scrum Master. Peter realized he was working too much and needed some direction, some supporting structure to help him manage his work as well as his consulting business. 

The Personal Agility System emerged as a way to tackle the common problems many of us suffer every day: too large backlog, not having a clear direction, feeling overwhelmed and not having a clear goal focus. 

Peter describes the Personal Agility System as a foundational shift that helped him regain control over his life and his business, and that’s a theme we hear much more about as the episode progresses and Maria and Peter share stories of others that also applied the Personal Agility System. 

Transforming an executive team with the help of the Personal Agility System

Continue reading SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Personal Agility Framework to help unlock your potential, with Maria Matarelli and Peter Stevens

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Human Business and Business Agility with Thomas Juli

Thomas’ perspective on business starts with the idea that businesses exist to generate value for people. The ones inside, as well as outside the business.  

As he started the book, he realized that the digital age had transformed our ideas about what being human in that medium was all about. He set out to write about what it meant to be humn in the digital age. However, that was just the start of the book. 

In that first part of the book, Thomas explores questions such as “am I a resource?”, a very common question we hear when we talk to teams. 

This exploration leads to the realization that businesses have to generate value for customers, stakeholders, but also (and critically) for employees. 

The needed transformation of business on the path to Business Agility 

Continue reading SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Human Business and Business Agility with Thomas Juli

Rasmus Lund-Jensen: Can developers be great Product Owners? Two contrasting Agile stories

The Great Product Owner: The developer that became a great PO!

This Product Owner had been a very skilled developer (just like the Bad PO story), however the reason why this skilled developer had moved to the PO position was because he wanted to have a higher impact, and saw that the PO position helped achieve that impact. This PO was able to communicate with stakeholders, and represent the product as well as the technical perspective of the team. The PO was able to listen to, and respect the team’s perspective in a way that made the team feel trusted. 

In this segment, we refer to situational leadership.

The Bad Product Owner: The developers that became a bad PO!

Rasmus shares with us the story of a developer that, being motivated by the prestige and salary, wanted to move to the PO position. The developer saw that as the only way to progress in the career, and that’s when the problems started. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that developed because of this career move that was motivated by all the wrong reasons.

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 Rasmus Lund-Jensen

Rasmus is an agile coach and Scrum Master from Denmark. He is passionate about finding pragmatic ways for teams to reach their potential. He previously spent six years at the LEGO Group where he learned the power of bad jokes. If people are laughing, it means they are listening. 

You can link with Rasmus Lund-Jensen on LinkedIn and connect with Rasmus Lund-Jensen his website.