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Tom Siebeneicher: A Deep Dive into Agile Dysfunction, And The Journey Back To Healthy Scrum

Tom shares the story of a team that slowly drifted away from Scrum, and it’s values, but without noticing it themselves! The team followed the rituals, but their retrospectives pushed them aways from Agile and Scrum principles. The team inadvertently, and over time, adopted a waterfall approach. To avoid this in your teams, Tom advocates for digging into root causes instead of symptom-fixing. Eventually, Tom helped the team do a “scrum reset” which realigned the team, prompting a valuable tip: conduct resets every six months. Tom emphasizes double-loop learning, urging a focus on long-term improvement amidst day-to-day challenges.

Featured Book of the Week: The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

Tom delves into the transformative impact of Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup.” The book revolutionized his perspective on Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), emphasizing radical experimentation and learning over rigid planning. It liberated him from the constraints of plan-driven approaches, emphasizing the dynamic nature of execution. Tom underscores the criticality of continuous measurement and learning, a principle he now prioritizes in his approach. He shares valuable advice: never underestimate the power of measuring and learning in the pursuit of agile success.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Tom Siebeneicher

Tom is an engaging speaker, who has delivered presentations at conferences like the Atos DREAM Conference, the Agile Leadership Day, and TED XKE by Xebia. Their enthusiasm for discussing Agile is evident in those talks.

You can link with Tom Siebeneicher on LinkedIn.

Sónia Won: How to Overcome The Pressure in a Small Feature Team Serving Multiple Products

In this episode, Sónia shares her experience with a small feature team consisting of 3-4 members responsible for delivering 3 products, each with separate calendars. The team constantly faced pressure, and the knowledge of the products was concentrated in just 2 team members. This knowledge imbalance led to overwork and complaints from those 2 members. In retrospectives, the team decided to address the issue and brainstormed solutions. They chose not to assign any work to the 2 overloaded members, leading to the knowledge spreading across the team over a few sprints. Sónia highlights the importance of discussing such challenges in retrospectives and emphasizes that team-driven solutions are key to addressing knowledge transfer issues during team growth.

Featured Book of the Week: Transforming Nokia, by Risto Siilasmaa

In this segment, Sónia discusses her favorite book, “Transforming Nokia” by Siilasmaa. The book explores how to handle tragedy scenarios while maintaining inspiration and optimism. It shares radical stories of optimism and serves as a valuable lesson for large companies, emphasizing that the market dictates the direction. The book’s concepts are linked to VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). Sónia highlights that Scrum’s essential aspect is the ability to swiftly adapt to new requirements, making it a crucial tool for coping with changing circumstances in the business world.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: Tackling Corporate Politics for Agile Success, The Scrum Master’s Perspective

In this episode, Frederik discussed his experience with corporate politics in an agile software development project. Initially a Product Owner, he became a Scrum Master while a colleague took over as the single Product Owner. Facing a team of 20 people, Frederik encountered challenges with the client’s perception of the team as a “feature factory” and their desire for a perfect end product delivered all at once.

He emphasized the importance of incremental thinking and work, offering tips such as being proactive, using User Story Mapping, prioritizing work through slicing, and collaborating with stakeholders. Frederik stressed the need for a strong relationship with management and higher-level stakeholders and highlighted the value of retrospectives in fostering understanding and promoting agile principles. Overall, the episode highlighted the challenges of corporate politics and provided practical strategies for successful agile software development projects.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference – this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

Mike Salogub: Learning to measure success as a Scrum Master, focusing on team behaviors

In this segment, we discuss how to measure the success of a scrum master. Mike mentions several questions that can help determine the effectiveness of a scrum master, including whether the team will continue to meet for sprint planning in their absence, or whether team members are actively participating and solving problems together. The goal is to assess whether the team is thriving and hitting their own ambitions even when the scrum master is not present.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat retrospective, as a conversation catalyst for Agile teams

In this segment, Mike shares his favorite retrospective format, which is the “Sailboat” format. He explains that this format involves visualizing a sailboat and discussing its different aspects, such as the wind, anchor, and rocks. This visualization helps the team reflect on their work and start conversations that they may not have had otherwise. The sailboat format also helps introverted team members share more and encourages those who tend to dominate discussions to listen more. Mike offers tips for facilitating this retrospective format, including knowing your team and finding ways to encourage everyone to participate.

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Mike Salogub

Mike’s an accomplished, committed and creative Scrum Master with over 10+ years of expanding horizons in the healthcare technology industry. Focused on continuous improvement using data to inform business decisions, and driving innovation to meet the needs of patients.

You can link with Mike Salogub on LinkedIn and connect with Mike Salogub on Twitter.

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Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
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 clickable PO Cheat Sheet
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
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
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
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
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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