Mher Nalbandyan: Reducing estimation arguments, and focusing on better refinement for Scrum teams

When Mher joined the team, he noticed that the team was going through the refinement meetings in a way that made the estimation the core aspect of the meeting. It took too long, and led to some team members to just sit there without participating. In this episode, we explore how to get over this estimation-centric refinement meeting anti-pattern!

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: How to setup an Agile team working remote and hybrid

Catherine was in the process of helping set up a team with on-shore and off-shore team members, which was being setup as a hybrid work team. As she discussed with the team members, and stakeholders, she quickly understood the team setup would have to be thought through, and followed-up carefully. In this episode, she describes the process she used, and how she involved the stakeholders in the process of setting up that team.

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: Leading change in an organization, without mentioning Scrum

Miguel, and a team of coaches were working with an organization in an Agile transformation process. When discussing how to start helping the teams, and the organization in general, they came to the decision that they would start with knowledge sharing, and helping team members understand each other better. Through small, but deliberate activities, the team of coaches helped the teams take ownership of their own practices, and proposed concrete ways in which the teams could improve their way of working. Throughout this process, the team of coaches was able to help the organization, and the teams move towards Agile, without ever pushing “the Agile change”.

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: Taking the lead in an Agile transformation, the Agile Coaching approach

In this episode, we hear the story of a large-scale Agile transformation that started with the business units taking the lead on engaging Agile Coaches. At first, that was enough. However, soon the Agile Coaches realized that their potential impact was being hampered by the lack of understanding of where Agile could help these business units. Salvatore shares the story of how they turned the engagement model around, and started to work together with the business unit leaders, instead of waiting for them to call on the Agile Coaches.

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: The 3 critical concerns Scrum Masters must focus on

Salvatore was working in a large-scale transformation, when he and his colleagues started noticing that it was hard to get clarity across many team backlogs, and the planning sessions at scale were not delivering the value they expected. As the team of Scrum Masters started investigating the situation, they discovered that decision making was only happening outside the teams, in management groups or higher. As the Scrum Masters started to talk to managers, Salvatore realized that Scrum Masters were not allowed to influence the system around the teams. This taught Salvatore an important lesson about being able to, and focusing on influencing the system around the teams, not only the teams themselves or the PO. These are the 3 concerns Scrum Masters must pay attention to: the Scrum team, the PO and the system around them!

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: A simple mirroring technique that can skyrocket your change process! An Agile adoption story

Ziryan was working with 2 teams who were trying to use Scrum, but were struggling. As he started to learn more about the team, he noticed that the manager for that team had forced the team to adopt Scrum. Later on, the management team itself decided to adopt Scrum for their own work. As they started the process, one of the managers came to Ziryan explainiung why Scrum did not work for management work. This presented Ziryan with the opportunity to share that that manager’s team was also struggling with Scrum, and that they should move to Kanban instead… That’s when the story took an unexpected turn! Listen to learn how mirroring can transform the change process in your organization!

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: Leading change bottom-up and top-down at the same time!

When Rafał joined this organization, he realized the IT department was being blamed as the bottleneck for the speed of the organization. Together with his colleagues, they sent an email to the CEO explaining what they saw, and how they started to understand that the IT department could be more efficient (they had already done some changes), but their backlogs were empty, and not enough work was being added to the teams’ backlogs.

This started a whole change process, where the CEO took the lead and helped them work with the rest of the organization to improve the situation.

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: Setting up a Scrum team for success when working as a contractor

Thomas was part of a team that had to replace a whole application. They decided to go with the StranglerFig pattern described by Martin Fowler. But, in this case, the pattern was being applied not only to the software, but also to the team, and interaction with the client. Thomas set-up a kick-off for the relationship, and based it on the key aspects we need to take into account as a Scrum Master: team agreement, expectations, vision for the product, and much more! Listen in to learn how Thomas used the first meeting with the client to set up the team’s agile ways of working, and get the customer involved in giving feedback and guidance to the team from day one!

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.

Erik de Bos: Introducing Agile to a management team without causing overwhelm or eye-rolling

Sometimes, when we work with a team, we discover that the changes needed to help the team are needed outside the team. In this episode, we talk about such a situation where Erik was asked to explain Agile to a management team. He took the approach that he would use only what was needed or asked for by management. Listen in to learn about this example of how to introduce a complex topic (Agile) to management without overwhelming them.

In this episode we discuss the Ball Point Game, Lean, Kanban, Liberating Structures, the Stacey matrix, and the book Humanocracy.

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Wilson Govindji: How to be deliberate about the change that Agile transformation brings

Working through an Agile adoption change in our organizations is always a difficult process, as not everyone will feel the same excitement about the adoption of Agile or Scrum. In this organization, the company had put up posters about Agile, but Wilson quickly realized that the Agile mindset was missing in the teams he worked with. This realization started a process of going through the change and Agile adoption process in a deliberate manner, and Wilson describes the process they adopted for that deliberate change management process.

In this episode, we refer to John Kotter’s book on change management: Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions.

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium.

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