Chris Garvey: When Agile Alone Can’t Save the Day, Avoiding The Temptation To “Save” A Scrum Team

In this episode, Chris recounts a challenging experience as a Scrum Master in emergency services product development. Faced with exploding software development and delayed deliveries, the team turned to Agile for a solution. The immense pressure led Chris to take the role too seriously, causing a detrimental shift in focus. To top it all, three team members were experiencing burnout. Chris emphasizes the importance of coaching by invitation and avoiding the temptation to micromanage the team. Ultimately, this episode raises questions about leadership’s openness to change in such high-pressure situations.

In this episode, we refer to the book Shift From Product To People, a book that explores the need to focus on working with people first, before being able to work with the product.

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 Chris Garvey

Chris is passionate about people, and creating empowering spaces where people can thrive. He is a coach at heart having been a Life Coach before becoming an Agile Coach. For close to 10 years he has been working in the agile space as a Scrum Master, then Agile Coach, then trainer, and now as an Enterprise Agile Coach.

You can link with Chris Garvey on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: Avoiding Burnout in Agile Teams, The Importance of Seeking Outside Perspectives as a Scrum Master

In this episode, Gemma discusses a project where the team was building a database of customer data and a UI to interact with that data. The team was highly motivated and excited about the solution they had come up with, but slowly started to conflate the solution with the outcome. They became so focused on the “one big idea” that they struggled to let go, which resulted in burnout for some team members. The team was great at inspection but not at adaptation.

To avoid this type of situation, Gemma suggests seeking outside perspectives and speaking with your peers. As a Scrum Master, she fell victim to the team’s energy in the beginning, but realized something was wrong and sought insights from an Agile Coach. It is important not to get too focused on the work without thinking about the process, and seeking outside perspectives can help to prevent this. To get different perspectives, and get out of the day-to-day work focus, why not join our podcast community to network and seek additional perspectives? Join us here.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery By Geoff Watts (Geoff was a previous guest on the podcast), Gemma found a reminder that, even if the Scrum Master role can sometimes be seen as “the facilitator”, in practice it is much more than that. In this segment, we also talk about the book Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile by Mike Burrows, that helps Scrum Masters understand how they contribute to the production of value in their role.

In this segment, we also refer to the book Lean UX, whose authors were previous guests on the podcast: Jeff Gothelf, and Josh Seiden, and about Lean in general, an approach that can inspire how we implement Scrum in practice.

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 Gemma Murray

Gemma works as an Agile Coach for MOO, a branding company whose vision is to provide ‘Great design for everyone’. Having worked in various change roles using both waterfall and agile approaches throughout her career, Gemma believes in the diversity of teams to unlock innovation, creativity and delivering value.

You can link with Gemma Murray on LinkedIn.

Jovan Vidic on the danger of burnout for Scrum Masters

We want to improve the world, change the way we work, fix all the problems we see. And often all of the above at the same time. That’s laudable, a great mission, but it has a dark side: burnout! Jovan shares with us a story of one such moment so that we may avoid that in our own career. Stay safe dear friends!
Keep an eye on those burnout signs with these 10 signs you may be on the verge of a burnout.

About Jovan Vidic

Jovan Vidić is an Agile Practitioner who repeatedly finds passion and inspiration in his job. He calls himself a people person, and when he had an opportunity to lead a team at the age of 24, that experience transformed him into an advocate of the self-organization, which does not impose limits on the thinking, working and creative processes of the team members, but on the contrary, it drives them to jointly contribute and prosper. This is actually the goal of the group Agile Coaching Serbia he founded in Novi Sad Serbia in 2014.
You can connect with Jovan Vidic on LinkedIn and connect with Jovan Vidic on Twitter.

Henrik Mårtensson on how to deal with sociopaths at work

Sometimes we will face even sociopaths at work. People who are willing to sacrifice everything and everybody in support of their own individual goals. How do we tackle those cases? And how do we recognize those cases? Henrik describes a story of how a sociopath destroyed a project – and lived to pretend it didn’t happen.

About Henrik Mårtensson

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton If there is one word summing up Henrik Mårtensson, it is “curious”. Henrik is a systems thinker, strategy methodologist, process improvement consultant, project manager, author, and trick photographer. In 2014 he built a network organisation for photography and media production from scratch, to more than 200 people. He is kind to strangers, but has made friends dive off cliffs.
You can follow Henrik Mårtensson on Twitter and read Henrik Måretensson’s blog where he shares his ideas and breakthroughs in the field of Agile, Theory of Constraints and management in general.

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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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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
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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
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