Mher Nalbandyan: When team members skip the retrospective, a communication problem in the Scrum team

Mher prepared a retrospective for his team, but 5 minutes past the starting time, there were only a few team members in the room. He looked around and saw that the team members that were present, were not fully engaged. “Something is wrong here, he thought… In this episode, we explore why sometimes team members don’t communicate and discuss what might be the reasons, and how to avoid it.

In this episode, we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby.

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Catherine Kraus: What leads Scrum teams to be unpredictable, and unreliable!

The team had a lot of unfinished work, and sprint-to-sprint spillovers. It started to feel that the management of the work was out of control. As Catherine investigated, she found that a lot of work was being added to the Sprint after planning. All of these new items diverted the team’s focus, and they were no longer predictable, or able to finish some of the critical user stories planned. In this episode, we explore what were the reasons the team got to that point, as well as what Catherine learned that helps, still today, avoid falling into the same trap.

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Miguel Moro: Team success, or Scrum Master motivation? Which one is a better success indicator?

Started in a very enthusiastic way one of his first assignments as a Scrum Master. The enthusiasm was a positive, but, as it turned out, it was also a negative. In this episode, we explore what can happen when we focus on our enthusiasm and motivation, instead of the team’s success as the core of our work!

About Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

Salvatore Rinaldo: Helping a team reach self-management, the behaviors to look for

Salvatore focuses on assessing the team’s ability to work, and do what is needed without his presence or support. Salvatore describes for us a number of behaviors he looks for, and the set of skills a self-managing team shows when they are on their way to working independently and without constant support by the Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Celebration Grid, a Management 3.0 tool

The Celebration Grid, a Management 3.0 tool, helps the team think about practices, success, failures and experiments. It helps them get familiar with the process of learning, and accept that sometimes things don’t happen as expected, and that’s ok from a learning, and improvement perspective.

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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn.

Salvatore Rinaldo: When helping a Scrum team is unable to stick to a Sprint plan, look outside the team

Salvatore was working in a startup with a team that, on paper, was a star team. However, when he started to observe how they worked, he noticed that the team was rarely sticking to what they had planned for the Sprint, and even the PO was at a loss on how to help the team stay on track and focus on what they had planned. In this segment, we refer to Cost of Delay, one of the topics discussed in The Principles of Product Development Flow, and share some tips on how to help a team that is stuck in this situation.

Featured Book of the Week: The Goal by Elyahu Goldratt

In The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt, Salvatore found the principles behind lean thinking as well as a model that helped him in his work as a Scrum Master. The Goal is a book where Theory Of Constraints is introduced to a business focused audience concerned with improving the performance of their businesses. In this segment, we also refer to The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Don Reinertsen, which helped Salvatore understand how the flow of work can be investigated and improved in organizations.

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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn.

Ziryan Salayi: Helping Product Owners work productively with stakeholders to maximize feedback!

The Great Product Owner: Connecting Stakeholders with the development team as a way to amplify and speed up feedback!

This PO was not only able to “own” the relationship with the stakeholders, but they were also able to involve the stakeholders with the development team. This PO strived to create a direct and productive connection between team and stakeholders.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s learn to work with and manage stakeholders and their input

This PO came to Ziryan and asked him to facilitate a User Story Mapping session with stakeholders. This was when Ziryan noticed that the team PO was not yet ready to take responsibility for one of their most important tasks: working with, and helping stakeholders make decisions. This helped Ziryan realize that the work with PO’s is a critical aspect of the Scrum Master’s work, and he decided to help this PO learn about User Story Mapping, by helping her with the facilitation, but clearly separating that facilitation from the management of stakeholders.

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.

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

Ziryan Salayi: Helping Scrum teams mature, and evaluate their maturity to work without a Scrum Master

Ziryan looks for “sparks” when assessing the team’s progress, and the success of his own work. He shares an example of a time when he announced to a team that he was going on vacation, and the team reacted by saying that he should not worry, they were ready to be on their own. In this segment, we discuss how you can help your teams take ownership of their process, and slowly, but surely become more independent!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The pizza slices formats

Ziryan likes to help the teams focus on a holistic understanding of what happened during the Sprint. For that, he uses several formats that focus on multiple aspects. We talk about the Spiderweb retrospective and the Starfish retrospective formats to help teams look at the Sprint with a holistic mindset.

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!

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

Ziryan Salayi: Lessons learned about preparing teams for the Scrum Master to leave

Zyrian shares 2 stories with us today. One story reminds us of our limits as Scrum Masters. It’s tempting to take on several teams, but is that really the right thing to do? We discuss what Ziryan learned when attempting to serve 3 teams! We also talk about a surprising event that happened to Ziryan, which reminded him of how important it is to prepare the team to take ownership of their work, and not be overly dependant on the Scrum Master.

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

Rafał Witaszek: What is often missing when an Agile adoption process starts to fail

When Rafał joined this organization, he had a conversation with some of the Agile Coaches and Product Owners. In that process, he presented some ideas, and they came to an agreement of how to introduce Agile. However, that was not enough. Quickly, Rafał discovered that some critical stakeholders had not been listened to, which caused adoption problems. Rafał learned a key lesson in creating alignment between stakeholders before starting an engagement.

About Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn.

Thomas van Zuijlen: A key lesson for Scrum Masters when taking on a new team!

Thomas was working with a scale up. The organization had grown quickly and the management felt that it was slowing down too much, so they wanted to work on their processes, and get the teams to collaborate better, and speed up the rate of delivery. After 6 months of trying, Thomas left. He felt that he had not had an impact on the organization, and needed to move on. Listen in to learn about what happened, and why that organization was not ready to improve. There’s a key lesson for all Scrum Masters starting to work with a new team or organization.

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn.

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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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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
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Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works