Felix Handler on how growing companies can end up drowning in meetings

Companies that are successful are likely to grow. As they grow, they enter the meeting inflation period, and some may even become meeting obsessed. In this episode we review such a situation, and the tools and approaches Felix used to create a healthier culture around meetings. He shares many tips on how to re-evaluate and eventually drop some the meetings that end up removing the focus from the real work.

About Felix Handler

Felix likes to bring out the best in as many people as possible by providing an environment in which people can sustainably thrive. After his Bachelor in Computer Science he wanted to develop people rather than software. He also is part of 12min.me, a movement for inspiring people.

You can link with Felix Handler on XING and connect with Felix Handler on Twitter.

Leonardo Bittencourt on how to go from detailed plan to shared goal

Teams, and their stakeholders tend to think that the more they invest in planning, the easier the work will go. However, there’s a lot of problems a plan does not solve. For example, more time in planning does not ensure we know “why” we are working on a specific product or feature-set. How can we help the teams go from task-orientation to goal-orientation? If we are able to bring in that change, the team is more likely to feel satisfied, the product owner is more likely to get what they want, and ultimately we create the environment for self-organization to emerge.

Listen in to learn about Leonardo’s journey with that team, and how he helped the team and PO go from detailed plan, to a shared Sprint goal.

In this episode we discuss the template for defining a Sprint Goal, by Roman Pichler, whose blog you can find here. And we also talk about David Marquette’s work, whom we’ve interviewed on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

About Leonardo Bittencourt

Currently Leonardo is a Scrum Master at Equifax Ireland. Focused on building high performance teams through Agile and/or Lean adoption, he is an enthusiastic about Lean and Agile mindset in the Software Development industry as the transformation agent to create great working environment as well as products that matters.

You can link with Leonardo Bittencourt on LinkedIn and connect with Leonardo Bittencourt on Twitter.


Ryan McCann on leading change by focusing on the people instead of the process

Organizational change is a constant in our lives. We are faced with tiny changes, or big changes all the time. And how we react to those changes is a critical part of succeeding or not with the change. In this episode, Ryan shares the story of an agile transformation he went through, and how he focused on the people aspects much more than in the process to help that change succeed. He also shares some of the tools he used in that change, and we discuss how using questions can help people find the right change for them, without anyone pushing them to change.

About Ryan McCann

Ryan is a former waiter, car detailer, line worker, cemetery worker, intern, financial analyst, tech support rep, team lead, QA manager, Scrum Master and Product Owner. Current husband, father, school board member, community volunteer and agile coach. He believes in building trust and social capital, which is not easy for any of us (himself included)…Ryan does his best everyday to help teams make this happen.

You can link with Ryan McCann on LinkedIn and vist Ryan McCann’s website at: MaybeMyDesk.com.

Natalie Cervantes on changing from a Project Management culture to an Agile culture

In many organizations Project Management is the defining paradigm for developing and delivering products to the market. How do we bring Agile to such organizations? Natalie shares with us a story of such a transition. We discuss concrete ways to bring Agile practices to that organization without overwhelming everybody, and explore ways to make that changes sustainable over time.

About Natalie Cervantes

Natalie is a Certified Scrum Master and Agile Coach with over 12 years experience working with both veteran and new agile teams. Her experience spans everything from mobile and embedded systems to enterprise scale website projects with a client base that includes Microsoft, Amazon, Coca-Cola and many others.

You can link with Natalie Cervantes on LinkedIn.

Tanner Wortham on collaborating with the Product Owner as a way to help the team evolve

Tanner joined a team where the “Scrum Master as a secretary” had evolved. When he brought in a new approach that caused problems, and confusion. How to deal with that change? Listen in as Tanner describes his approach of collaborating with the Product Owner to bring about a change in ways of working, and how to tackle those difficult situations we inevitably face over time.

About Tanner Wortham

www.SpikesAndStories.com. He’s helped many organizations in their journey toward agility. He’s been accused that his military training would mold him into a rigid, unmoving Scrum Master, but nothing could be further from the truth. What civilians call agile, the Corps calls leading Marines, and it’s through his experiences as a Marine that he derives most of his insight as a Scrum Master.

You can link with Tanner Wortham on LinkedIn and connect with Tanner Wortham on Twitter.

Miguel Santos: Change management in the small

Agile at scale is all the rage, but is that what we should be focus on? Miguel shares a story of how change management is hard even in the small things that need to improve. As Scrum Masters we need to learn to deal with change in the small, with the team, only then are we ready to take it further and apply what we learn to larger problems and eventually to larger organizations. Just like in software development, let’s ask the question: what’s the smallest change that could work to get us towards our goal?

About Miguel Santos

Miguel is a Brazilian living in Germany and currently Scrum Master for two teams at NewStore. He believes that there is no single methodology (agile or not) to lead projects and teams to success. Because of that, he would like Scrum Masters to be less biased when working with their teams.

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


Richard Kasperowski on how to introduce Scrum without using buzzwords

In many organizations there is a history with Agile. Some might have already tried a few waves of Agile and are affected by the past results. So how do we help teams that “don’t like” Agile? Or Scrum? In this episode we explore what it might look like to introduce Scrum without mentioning the technical terms we often associate with Scrum.

In this episode we refer to the Scrum Master Toolbox BONUS episode with Johanna Rothman.

About Richard Kasperowski

Richard is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author focused on high-performance teams. Richard is the author of The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness. He leads clients in building great teams that get great results using the Core Protocols, Agile, and Open Space Technology. Richard created and teaches the class Agile Software Development at Harvard University. Learn more and subscribe to Richard’s newsletter at

You can link with Richard Kasperowski on LinkedIn and connect with Richard Kasperowski on Twitter.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on adopting Scrum in a Corporate Environment from scratch

Adopting Scrum is a hard journey for most even when the conditions are right. But how about driving change in an organization that is adopting Scrum from scratch, and is historically a top-down command and control organization? Krisztina shares her own story of how that went, and the hard-earned lessons she collected at that time.

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience in several aspects of IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary, she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, then a project manager, test manager, and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Viyoma Sachdeva on how to help stakeholders engage with the team

“Developing software for the shelf” is a common term that refers to the anti-pattern of developing software that no one uses. In this episode, Vyioma shares with us the story of a team that was doing just that. Creating software that was not used. What did she do? What were the practices to engage stakeholders? How to get the team to care again? Listen to this episode to hear the story and Vyioma’s solution to those questions.


About Viyoma Sachdeva

Viyoma has over 11 years of experience in Software and Product development across different domains and phases of software development cycle. She is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner and has worked in an Agile delivery model for the last 6 years. Her experience includes many different domains like Marketing, manufacturing, retail and Public sector and she has worked in a patent of Epidemic disease predictions.

Viyoma believes that the Agile mindset and practices are keys to solve complex problems.

You can link with Viyoma Sachdeva on LinkedIn and connect with Viyoma Sachdeva on Twitter.

Susan McIntosh on conversations as a change tool

When we have a huge change in front of us. The organization is growing. It can’t be stopped. How do we handle the change that is inevitable? How do we help the organization evolve and change?

In this episode, we review how conversations can help us in our role as change agent. Where to use conversations, what they are good for, and how to spark the right kind of conversations.

About Susan McIntosh

Susan McIntosh is an agile coach and scrum master, especially interested in training and agile transformations – both fast and slow. She finds analogies to improving workplace culture in her experience in theater, teaching, cooking, and parenting. Susan is an active participant in the agile community in Denver, Colorado.

You can link with Susan McIntosh on LinkedIn and connect with Susan McIntosh on Twitter.