Daniel Lenhart: Helping an Agile organization change despite lack of leadership action

Daniel and the team started working on a change effort to help the organization improve how they communicated. However, leadership did nothing even after listening to the ideas and recommendations from the group. This is a very common situation, but Daniel and the team did not stop there. They took ownership of the change and made concrete changes. Listen in to learn how they were able to help the organization change and improve despite the lack of support from leadership.

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Katrina Clokie on retaining the purpose for your Agile adoption

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

 

Katrina is the author of A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps, a book that offers direction and advice relevant to anyone involved in testing in a DevOps environment.

She started her Agile transition after a long stint within a waterfall organization, and she shares some of the most contrasting changes she experienced when moving to an Agile organization. Ultimately, she reminds us, the Agile approach is much closer to the final purpose: solving a problem for a customer out there. And she reminds us that we should try to keep that purpose front and center at all times. 

Learning to be persuasive: a key lesson for Scrum Masters and all agile practitioners

When we dive into Katrina’s most important lesson learned in her Agile journey, we discuss the need to bring our best persuasive game with us. We discuss some of the reasons why the ability to persuade others is so important, for example testers will often be outnumbered in an Agile team, and their ideas are less likely to be followed if they can’t “bring others along”. In this segment, we refer to a key book for all wanting to learn more about influencing colleagues and building collaborative relationships: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Books for Agilists and Agile leaders

The books that Katrina chose to recommend remind us that often we need to express our leadership abilities, and we can do that only if we cultivate those through reading and practice. We talk about Lara Hogan’s Resilient Management, The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier, and Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren et al. 

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 experiences: 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 Katrina Clokie

Katrina is an accomplished and experienced IT leader. She is a regular keynote at international conferences where the main themes include leadership, knowledge sharing, and communicating change. In 2017 Katrina published her first book, A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps. Katrina was a finalist for the Inspiring Individual of the Year Award at the 2018 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

You can link with Katrina Clokie on LinkedIn and connect with Katrina Clokie on Twitter

 

Steve Silbert: Starting small and making big Agile adoption changes

When Steve joined this team, they had been working on a governmental website project for 2 years, and there was very little visible progress. Steve started by observing what was going on in the project and found that the teams were not working together, and time was spent finger-pointing. Steve started his work by first accepting where the teams were, and did simple things like continuing the Status Meeting they had already, but making subtle changes to instill an Agile mindset. And then things started changing. Listen in to learn about the tools and approaches Steve used to completely transform those teams and that environment.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter.

Jesse Houwing: Moving from component-based Scrum teams to Feature Teams

In a project within a health care organization, Jesse observed that the structure of the software was starting to mimic the structure of the organization, it was following Conway’s Law, which states that the software architecture will mimic the structure of the organization that develops it (and vice-versa). 

In that organization, they wanted to move towards a more cross-functional setup, implementing the idea of Feature teams. In this episode, we discuss how a change like this can be implemented.

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Ludmila Reyter: Fighting meeting fatigue in Scrum teams

In a regulated environment, where tools and processes were mandatory, Ludmila started to work with a team that was already overwhelmed with process-related meetings. How do you work with a team that wants “no meetings”… Listen to this episode, as Ludmila describes her approach and what worked for her and the team.

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now – but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Mahesh Jade: Small steps to improvement, even when you don’t know what would work

When trying to help Scrum teams, we may get stuck in discussing what to do to improve. In this story, Mahesh shared how he went about working with a team to improve even when they didn’t know what would be the “right” solution for their problems. This is a story that emphasizes the importance of working continuously, even if in small steps, to help the teams we work with.

About Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Leigh Griffin: Futurespective as a Change Management tool for Scrum teams

When Leigh started to work with this team, he wanted to help them focus on improving their process without pushing Scrum or Agile on them. This was a startup team, they were already pretty “agile”. 

Leigh started with a Futurespective, to help them get a sense of the direction they wanted to go in. Leigh then used different data sources to help the team improve, and the outcome of the Futurespective to help them prepare for some of the difficult situations they would have to face. 

About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter

Ben Maynard: Being a Director and a Scrum Master, lessons learned in change management

We often see Scrum Masters come from the team’s ranks. A tester, a developer and sometimes even project managers take on the Scrum Master role. Ben suggests a different approach and shares his own story. Ben started his Scrum Master role when he was a director of a department, and he explains why senior leaders benefit from, and should also practice the role of the Scrum Master.

In this episode, we talk about adopting Scrum in larger organizations, and the key role that leadership roles play in that process.

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

You can link with Ben Maynard on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Maynard on Twitter.

Jacy Ong: How to help non-software teams adopt Scrum

In this episode, we talk about a legal team that was adopting Scrum. Adopting Scrum in non-software teams can be a challenge, and we talk about the challenges that Jacy faced when working this team. We share some of the most important lessons about understanding the different situation those teams are in, and learning to adapt to their needs, instead of pushing the software perspective on them.

About Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: “nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)”

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn

Chris Stone: Introducing an Agile process the right way, step-by-step instructions

This is the story of a merger between an older, bigger company and a startup. The scene was set for conflict, as these companies had very different cultures and different structures, and that was just the start of the troubles that Chris and the team had to face. The older, more established company, naturally wanted the startup to start following their process, but how they went about it, made things even worse. In this episode, we talk about how we can introduce a process to a new team (or teams) in a way that gains commitment, and engagement. 

About Chris Stone

Chris is The Virtual Agile coach, a #PeopleFirst champion, and an Agile Evangelist / Agile Transformation Lead / Scrum Master possessing over 8 years of experience within the IT industry.

You can link with Chris Stone on LinkedIn.