Luís Santos Silva: Measuring and learning from the level of morale in your Scrum team

Failure stories are an important part of our community, and as Luís puts it: “battle scars are the things that help us grow”, so we explore one of those stories in this episode. Luís was working with a team that was very low on morale. The team had been forced to adopt Scrum without being ready for it. Luís needed to find a way to make this visible. 

We discuss how we can make morale transparent to the team itself, as well as to the stakeholders. 

In this episode, we refer to the Niko Niko Board, as well as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

About Luís Santos Silva

Luís is not your typical Agile Coach as he doesn’t have an IT background. He worked his way from a contact center up to Lean and Agile Coach and is now a Agile Coach team lead at OutSystems.

You can link with Luís Santos Silva on LinkedIn.

BONUS: The art, and science of making prediction with #NoEstimates. With Dan Vacanti and Marcus Hammarberg

We explore a real-life project that Marcus was part of, and how the #NoEstimates methods he used helped him make predictions, even if did not estimate the work to be done.

This conversation started from an article that Marcus had posted earlier on social media. In that article Marcus explained how he had used data, as opposed to estimates to make a prediction of when the project would be finished. This approach still creates a lot of controversy on twitter, even if it has been (at the time of recording) 10+ years since the original discussion around estimates started by Woody Zuill and Vasco Duarte on twitter under the tags of #NoEstimates and #Estwaste respectively. 

As Marcus quickly found out in this project, the rate of progress could not have been predicted easily at the start (if at all). When he first started the project, the progress was swift, but at one point he faced a problem he could not solve for several days. This phenomenon is not new for any programmers in the audience, and is quite common. Also, one of the reasons why using methods like #NoEstimates (as explained in the #NoEstimates book, and in Marcus’ blog post), can help uncover information that estimation would not. 

Dealing with surprises: the information you need to share with stakeholders

Continue reading BONUS: The art, and science of making prediction with #NoEstimates. With Dan Vacanti and Marcus Hammarberg

Bevan Williams: From Absent to Awesome! A Product Owner transformation story

The Great Product Owner: From Absent to Awesome! A PO transformation story

This Product Owner was absent at first. A common anti-pattern for PO’s. The PO was spread over 5 teams. That’s when Bevan got together with the PO and asked: “how do we solve this together?” Listen in to learn how this PO went from being absent, to being a great PO with the help of Bevan! 

In this segment, we refer to intent based leadership by David Marquet, who’s been a guest on the podcast. 

The Bad Product Owner: Solving the absent PO anti-pattern.

This Product Owner was often absent, a common anti-pattern in larger organizations. To make it even harder, this PO was only assigned to the role part-time. The team was sorely missing answers that would help them progress. What can we do in these situations? Bevan shares some of the solutions he’s tried to solve the Absent PO anti-pattern. 

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 Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter.

Bevan Williams: Questions to help you reflect on your success as a Scrum Master

There are a few questions that we can ask ourselves to assess the impact of our work as Scrum Masters. Bevan shares the questions he asks himself, including: does the team own their work board? Do they share and help other teams use their progress information? Do they define and develop their own way of working? 

These questions are reflection queues that help us define where to focus our efforts. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Timeline Retrospective

Bevan likes to mix different retrospective formats, but one of his favorite formats is the Timeline Retrospective, because it takes into account the whole timeline of the Sprint, and gives the team the needed time and input they need to reflect on what happened over the whole Sprint. 

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 Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Bevan Williams: Helping an organization increase their speed with a change process you can use

When Bevan started working with this organization, he heard the CEO say that the development was too slow. So the change started with a clear mandate, which Bevan and the team took on and started working with. They used tools like Value Stream Mapping, and went through a process to involve the teams in defining and ultimately overcoming their slowness. In this episode, we refer to Clean Language and Systemic Modelling by Caitlin Walker.

About Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter.

Bevan Williams: Helping a team grow and step out of their comfort zone

Bevan was working with a product tenma that ghad started their move towards Agile. But he started to notice an anti-pattern in their behavior. They acted as if Agile meant freedom to do “anything we want”. The team was focusing on their own comfort, and happiness, but did not seem to be worried about the product they were trying to develop. Listen in to learn how Bevan helped this team step out of their comfort-only anti-pattern and grow. 

Featured Book of the Week: How Emotions Are Made, by Lisa Barrett

In How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Barrett, Bevan learned how important it is to understand the people we work with, and starting with ourselves. This book helped Bevan understand deeply the role of feedback and empathy on the Scrum Master role. 

In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, which provides “a good overview of what is expected from the Scrum Master role”, as Bevan puts it. 

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 Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Bevan Williams: How to cope with the dual manager and Scrum Master role!

Bevan was in a dual role: a manager and a Scrum Master. He had been always striving to improve the organizations he world at, and now was his chance to do just that. He had the power, and he was in an influential position. But how did it go? Listen in to learn how to cope with the dual manager and Scrum Master role!

About Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Pratik Dahule: How to help a Product Owner bring the right amount of work to a Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: Present and thorough, two great PO qualities

This Product Owner had the customer and end users in mind, and was very thorough in their preparation of the stories. The PO was present at all times and helped the team during refinement. This helped the team understand the scope, and break down enough the stories and epics they had to work on. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to help a PO bring the right amount of work to a team

When Product Owners force teams to take on more work, that’s never a good sign. And this PO was no exception to that rule. Additionally, the PO seemed unaware of how much they had already asked the team to take on, leading the team to burn out, and to have quality problems. Pratik understood that this anti-pattern had to stop, and he explains how he helped the PO and the stakeholders to find a new way of working with the team. In this segment, we also refer to User Story Mapping, a technique all Scrum Masters should bring to their work!

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 Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn

Pratik Dahule: Helping teams define their purpose, a step towards Scrum Master success

Pratik suggests that, for us to achieve success in our role as Scrum Masters, we must focus on a single purpose. As Scrum Masters, we can help the teams we work with understand that, and define their own purpose. Pratik also suggests a few questions that we can use to help understand and define that purpose for the team.

In this segment we refer to Vince Lombardi, an American Football coach, and the lessons we can take from his approach to the game.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Exercises to improve the team’s emotional intelligence

In this segment, we start by talking about Emotional Intelligence, as one of the skills that Scrum Masters must bring to the Agile Retrospectives they host, but also help their teams understand. We discuss the Hot Air Balloon retrospective format and the Peaks and Valleys Timeline exercise using the Happiness gradient.

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 Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn

Pratik Dahule: Helping a waterfall team move to Scrum with the Kotter change model

As Geoff Watts (a previous guest on the podcast) puts it: “a good scrum master helps a scrum team survive, a great scrum master helps to change the organization culture to help the team thrive.” Pratik was working with a Scrum team that needed to interact with another department, where they still used waterfall. Working with that waterfall team, Pratik helped them move to Agile and Scrum following the Kotter change model, which he explains in this episode.

About Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn