Pascal was working with a group of teams and Scrum Masters. In his attempt to help, he gave feedback to the Scrum Masters he was working with, but then a surprise hit. He was asked: “what are you doing here?” Pascal had made a common mistake, he had assumed everyone knew why he was brought in! In this episode, we discuss why it is important to set the stage when we start working with teams. We also refer to the idea of Systemic Modeling.
About Pascal Clarkson
Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.
When Tomo took this position, he realized that it was a “make-it-or-break” kind of job. In that job, he successfully helped the team “inch” the velocity up, but the deck was stacked against the team. The company wanted the product to be #1 in the market, but that’s almost impossible job at the first try. Listen in to learn how Tomo and team tackled and learned from this nearly impossible mission.
Tomo has 20 years of experience in project management, both waterfall, and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson’s first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.
What are the necessary conditions for us to successfully implement, and benefit from Scrum? That’s a question that we explore in this episode, where Dov shares a story of a team that worked isolated from the rest, and which did not have a real Product Owner. In this episode, we also discuss what we should do when Scrum isn’t the right fit for the conditions around the team.
About Dov Tsal
Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent, and enabler, helping companies teams, and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.
When Kyla worked with her first Agile team, she got lucky. The team was filled with great people, who were curious, and willing to change and learn. Later on, when working with another team, she had the same expectations. However, that team was not like the first. They thought Agile was a waste of time. This setup Kyla for a very important lesson that all Scrum Masters will have to learn, sooner or later.
About Kyla MacDonald
Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).
Philip was helping an organization setup an offshore operation by helping a team startup. That caused communication problems as the times the teams could be at work did not have sufficient overlap. But there were many other anti-patterns that came from having 2 teams on opposite sides of the planet.
In this episode, we talk about how to setup a global software development operation, and share some of the practices that can help, even when teams are globally distributed.
About Philip Rogers
Phil, is a father of four children and volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an “agile whisperer” (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.
Evelien was asked to help an organization transition to Agile using Scrum. There were multiple teams in that organization which Evelien and others started working with. With a mix of training and hands-on support they started working with all the teams. However, later it became clear that leadership in that organization was not aware of what Agile or Scrum meant in practice. Leadership started to ask for the same things, and in the same way that they always had. Effectively pushing the teams back into waterfall!
We discuss what we can do, when starting to work with a new organization, to help leadership understand what changes when we adopt Agile.
About Evelien Acun-Roos
Evelien Acun-Roos is an experienced Agile Trainer at Xebia Academy, Professional Scrum Trainer at Scrum.org and a Certified Trainer for “Training from the Back of the Room”.
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).
The Agile Coach team, at that time, had 9 people. And they all saw different problems in the organization. They struggled with slow decision making, problems at the team level, but when it came to seeing solutions, they all saw different approaches.
Over time, they recognized they needed to coordinate their work to be successful. If nothing else, because several teams needed to be involved in solving some of the problems the organization was facing.
The coaches started asking themselves: “Are we really performing as a team?”
This was what started the need for regular collaboration between the coaches.
At first, they started by having a regular get-together with the team of coaches.
Helping the organization see the whole, even when tackling local problems
She started her Agile transition after a long stint within a waterfall organization, and she shares some of the most contrasting changes she experienced when moving to an Agile organization. Ultimately, she reminds us, the Agile approach is much closer to the final purpose: solving a problem for a customer out there. And she reminds us that we should try to keep that purpose front and center at all times.
Learning to be persuasive: a key lesson for Scrum Masters and all agile practitioners
When we dive into Katrina’s most important lesson learned in her Agile journey, we discuss the need to bring our best persuasive game with us. We discuss some of the reasons why the ability to persuade others is so important, for example testers will often be outnumbered in an Agile team, and their ideas are less likely to be followed if they can’t “bring others along”. In this segment, we refer to a key book for all wanting to learn more about influencing colleagues and building collaborative relationships: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
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 Katrina Clokie
Katrina is an accomplished and experienced IT leader. She is a regular keynote at international conferences where the main themes include leadership, knowledge sharing, and communicating change. In 2017 Katrina published her first book, A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps. Katrina was a finalist for the Inspiring Individual of the Year Award at the 2018 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.
Peter and Michael just finished the first half of a book they are writing together on the topic of shifting our attention, and focus from the “product” focused techniques to “people” focused techniques in order to achieve superior performance.
Jeff is also the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).
Why does Management resist Agile change?
This is the first question of the episode and one that Scott and Jeff have worked together on for years. Scott shares how his past as a developer has helped him understand the role of management in an Agile organization.
We also talk about how to understand the reaction of managers when employees come to them with gripes, or ideas for changes to implement. We tend to think that when managers don’t do what we ask, they haven’t listened to us. Is that really so?