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Isshai Kamara: Redefining Government Projects, A Tale of Agile Empowerment

In this episode, Isshai shares the challenging transition from a waterfall to an Agile project for a U.S. government initiative. Initially, waterfall methods led to slow testing and limited team involvement in requirement gathering. Shifting to Agile drastically quickened development, reducing the time to demonstrate working software from months to weeks and enabling earlier risk identification. The project was delivered sooner than anticipated. Key to this success was a focus on team-building, close collaboration with organizational support structures, comprehensive training, and a user story writing workshop to enhance team and PO’s skills in collecting requirements.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Isshai Kamara

Isshai Kamara is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience, specializing in Agile delivery roles and Scrum implementation. Initially a Technologist, he later transitioned into Project and Engineering Management. With 8 years in Agile delivery, Isshai has become an advocate for IT careers, aiding professionals in transitions and conducting bootcamps for tech roles. His extensive experience in Agile methodologies and commitment to IT career development make him a distinguished figure in the tech community.

You can link with Isshai Kamara on LinkedIn and connect with Isshai Kamara on Instagram.

BONUS: How I Planned My Wedding With Scrum, and Other Key Agile Adoption Lessons With Julien Déray

Julien wrote the book titled “How I Planned My Wedding with Scrum” to apply his knowledge of Scrum to the process of wedding planning. Scrum provided him with a sense of assurance, clarity, and familiarity with the tools he knew best. By deepening his understanding and applying Scrum principles, Julien found that it helped him feel more in control and provided clarity throughout the planning process. Furthermore, working as a team with his parents and family members reinforced the collaborative nature of Scrum.

Why Use Scrum for Wedding Planning?

Continue reading BONUS: How I Planned My Wedding With Scrum, and Other Key Agile Adoption Lessons With Julien Déray

Harri Tunturivuori: Helping Product Owners, and navigating conflicting priorities as a Scrum Master: A case study

In this episode, Harri discusses a challenging situation he faced while working as a Scrum Master on a product that had three internal customers in different countries with different needs. The biggest problem was getting an ordered backlog, which was difficult because they did not have a product owner. Instead, they agreed on a committee of product owners consisting of one representative from each country. However, it was difficult to get agreements on what was most important, so Harri ended up making the decision of what the team should work on. To shield the team from the confusion with the product owners, Harri only relayed the technical details to them. The team was happy with the work, but unfortunately, when they presented the product to stakeholders, it did not meet their expectations.

Harri’s personal failure as a Scrum Master in this situation was that he did not engage with customers and stakeholders enough. He emphasizes the importance of having a single product owner and engaging with customers and stakeholders to avoid similar issues. Harri also mentions that he loved the product, which made it easier to work with the team, but he should have focused more on meeting the stakeholders’ expectations. This episode serves as a great lesson for other Scrum Masters and product owners who may be struggling with similar situations, and Harri’s tips on engaging with stakeholders and having a single product owner can help them avoid similar failures.

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 Harri Tunturivuori

Harri is an experienced leader, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach who was introduced to the world of agile software development in 2010. Since then, Harri has had the pleasure of leading great agile teams in various forms.

Harri enjoys working in a fun environment where there is room for innovation, and Harri is driven by the challenge of growing a group of good people into a great team.

You can link with Harri Tunturivuori on LinkedIn.

Meena Venkataraman: Building Psychological Safety, lessons from helping an Agile team to share interpersonal feedback

In this segment, Meena shares her experience coaching a team that struggled to take off and was stuck in a cycle. Despite being nice to each other during scrum events, team members were not sharing feedback with each other, and psychological safety was not present in the team. Meena stresses the importance of having hard conversations and discussing the interpersonal topics in the team, and she suggests that teams should have the necessary tools to talk about difficult topics.

By highlighting the value that a team coach can bring to a team, Meena emphasizes the importance of psychological safety and how it plays a crucial role in team dynamics. She suggests that teams should be aware of the small things that can become big things and make sure that they are having hard conversations to address interpersonal issues. Ultimately, Meena’s experience coaching this team shows that building a successful team is not just about being nice to each other but also about creating a culture of openness, trust, and psychological safety.

We also discuss how using approaches such as non-violent communication can help the Scrum Master create an open environment that is also psychologically safe.

Featured Book of the Week: Sooner Safer Happier, by Jonathan Smart

In this segment, Meena Venkataraman recommends the book “Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility” by Jonathan Smart as a valuable resource for scrum masters. She notes that as a scrum master, it’s important to have a holistic view of agile and to be “T-Shaped” – understanding the various facets of product development. Meena highlights that the book brings the 12 principles of agile to life and is a resource she refers to often.

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 Meena Venkataraman

Meena is an Agile & Lean coach who helps organizations and teams transition to Agile ways of working. She is passionate about the neuroscience behind team dynamics and is interested in organizational design and the application of Agile principles across different business domains. Meena enjoys speaking at conferences and is an avid learner.

You can link with Meena Venkataraman on LinkedIn.

Meena Venkataraman: Dealing with Dysfunctions in the Wider System, a story of Agile adoption

Meena discusses her lessons learned from her first experience in navigating agile adoption. She emphasizes how important it is for us to have a sponsor in our role as Scrum Masters, and notes that we should look out for anti-patterns such as agile being just a buzzword. Meena also highlights the importance of dealing with dysfunctions in the wider system and staying neutral while accepting when things don’t work. She suggests coaching managers and asking questions before accepting a job to understand how the organization works. Meena also suggests investigating conversations to find out more about people and aligning expectations with a sponsor as a coach or Scrum Master.

Overall, Meena’s lessons learned highlight the importance of navigating change with patience.

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 Meena Venkataraman

Meena is an Agile & Lean coach who helps organizations and teams transition to Agile ways of working. She is passionate about the neuroscience behind team dynamics and is interested in organizational design and the application of Agile principles across different business domains. Meena enjoys speaking at conferences and is an avid learner.

You can link with Meena Venkataraman on LinkedIn.

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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
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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
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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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