Alex Fürstenau explains how to host retrospective with large groups

Working with large groups is challenging enough, but Alex went further and started hosting retrospectives for a large group of people (several teams). In this episode Alex explains how he hosts and facilitates retrospectives with larger teams than the default 7-+2 people.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Alex Fürstenau on the importance of asking the right questions

How to measure success will depend on the person or people measuring. Alex prefers to focus on team happiness. His approach is to collect feedback through surveys he sends out regularly to team members and stakeholders.
We mention the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Alex Fürstenau on taking ownership of the recruitment process

It is not easy to find the right candidates for Scrum Master positions, and it becomes even harder when no other Scrum Masters are involved in the recruiting. Alex explains how he and his colleagues have changed the recruiting process to once again be able to control the recruiting process.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Alex Fürstenau explains how retrospectives can help teams get out of the “us vs them” anti-pattern

When a team faces a problem they have a choice between blaming someone else (“them”), or taking ownership and making it happen even if that improvement looks beyond their reach. We as Scrum Masters can help teams take ownership, even when they need to involve other people in the resolution of the problem. Alex explains the problem, and some of the possible techniques to get the team to understand that they own the results of their work.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Alex Fürstenau reminds us that Retrospectives need energy

Often we disregard this very simple fact, by the end of the sprint people are tired. Hosting the retrospective at the end of the day, on the last day of the sprint is not ideal from the engagement and energy level point of view. Alex explains how he failed at keeping the energy level high in one retrospective and what he learned from that moment, that he still applies today.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Cliff Hazel: Visualize all the things

Visualization is a powerful tool to help us understand what is really going on. Cliff is a visualization aficionado and explains how he uses visualization heavily in his work. In the process he gives me some advice that I’ve already put into practice with great success!

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel scrum master toolbox podcastCliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning
You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on Twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Cliff Hazel on why targets are bad for your organization

Using metrics to sense what is going on may be useful for certain activities, but the moment they are perceived to be “targets” they easily get subverted and lead to cheating. John Seddon’s I Want You To Cheat is a great book about this topic, and Cliff explains his own view on the topic.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel scrum master toolbox podcastCliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning
You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on Twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Cliff Hazel asks us to not look for unicorns when hiring

It is very easy to give in to the temptation of creating a “shopping list” of skills and then look for the “perfect candidate”. To avoid this common anti-pattern Cliff creates a list of 3 (or so) things that he wants to see in a candidate, but then gets to work. He describes Spotify’s hiring and onboarding process, which will definitely give you some good ideas to put in practice today.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel scrum master toolbox podcastCliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning
You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on Twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Cliff Hazel on moving teams to the next level

It is hard to help teams take steps that move them to the next level. It is human nature to seek comfort and safety. Cliff developed an approach to get teams out of the rut, by helping them want to take their game to the next level. He uses some very simple tools that he explains in this episode.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel scrum master toolbox podcastCliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning
You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on Twitter and catch him in some conference near you.

Cliff Hazel asks us to stay curious and never assume you know what others are thinking

Very often we are in situations where we must quickly act to fend off some conflict situation. The natural tendency is to “take charge” based on our observations and conclusions about other people’s intentions. But is that the right approach? Cliff talks about how he learned to stay curious and never assume he knew other people’s intentions. Great advice!
We also mention the book Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker.

About Cliff Hazel

Cliff Hazel scrum master toolbox podcastCliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning
You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on Twitter and catch him in some conference near you.