Chuck Durfee: What Makes a Great Scrum Master, a Development Manager’s Perspective

The Great Scrum Master: Facilitating Productive Conversations, How a Great Scrum Master Drives Team Engagement

In this segment, Chuck discusses the qualities of a great scrum master who maximizes time and talent within the team. He shares an example of a scrum master who displayed exceptional empathy and understanding of team dynamics, even in remote meetings. This scrum master skillfully selected retrospective formats that facilitated discussions on crucial topics. Additionally, the scrum master played a valuable role in helping Chuck understand his own responsibilities as a development manager. Chuck provides tips on the importance of addressing resistance to change and the scrum master’s responsibility in communicating with stakeholders. Overall, a great scrum master possesses empathy, effective communication skills, and the ability to facilitate meaningful discussions within the team.

The Bad Scrum Master: Conflict Resolution in Agile Teams, Addressing the Challenges of Inflexible Scrum Masters

In this segment, Chuck addresses the issue of scrum masters becoming overly rigid in their adherence to the process, which can lead to conflict within the team. He highlights that successful agile practitioners understand the need to adapt Scrum to fit their specific context. Chuck shares an example of a novice scrum master who insisted on a particular story pointing process, causing frustration among senior developers. He advises providing feedback to the scrum master and encourages self-reflection on whether one is imposing processes on the team. In this segment, we mention the book “NoEstimates” as a resource for further exploration of this topic. The segment emphasizes the importance of flexibility and considering individual team dynamics in Scrum implementation.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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.

About Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on Twitter.

Chuck Durfee: The Metrics that Matter, Key Factors for Success as a Development Manager, And How Scrum Masters Can Support Them

In this episode, Chuck discusses the qualities that make a successful development manager. While scrum masters are measured on different metrics, dev managers are primarily evaluated based on results and retention. They are responsible for delivering projects on time and within budget, and it is their role to establish effective mechanisms and processes. They also need to consider the people aspect, striking a balance between team demands and the challenges of finding and retaining talented individuals. Chuck advises scrum masters to understand the factors of time and talent and find the right timing to discuss matters with dev managers. The episode highlights the importance of achieving results while managing people effectively in the role of a dev manager.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Release Movie Poster

In this episode, Chuck shares his favorite Agile retrospective format that he used with a team after completing a project using Kanban. He introduced the activity of designing a movie poster (explained here) that would encapsulate the story of bringing the feature to life. The team had a lot of fun with this exercise, and it fostered creativity and honesty.

Chuck explains that the activity of storytelling enabled the team to express themselves in a more imaginative and authentic way. The ultimate goal of this retrospective format was to encourage creativity and facilitate open and honest discussions within the team.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!
About Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on Twitter.

Chuck Durfee: Experiential Learning and Visible Results, The Power of Incremental Development and Motivation in Agile Transformation

In this episode, Chuck discusses his experience as a Dev Manager implementing a change process to help a team adapt to a new organizational structure. He started by asking developers to volunteer and assist in refactoring a subsystem using the “strangler pattern.” The subsystem was divided into smaller slices and distributed among team members. Chuck introduced the practice of running single test cases before release, allowing others to witness the practical application of Scrum. He emphasized the importance of experiential learning and leveraging previous successful examples to motivate the team. Their efforts resulted in delivering ahead of schedule. Chuck recommends explaining the holistic process and choosing demo-able increments to showcase the benefits of incremental development.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on Twitter.

Chuck Durfee: Clash of Perspectives, Managing Differences between Startup and Established Company Mindsets in an Agile Team

In this episode, Chuck discusses a team he led for a mission-critical software project with structural challenges. The arrival of a new developer from a startup background, while the rest of the team had experience in larger companies, created friction. Misunderstandings arose when the new developer pushed the message “move fast, break things,” leading to frustration as the team, and the company were not ready to hear and act on that message. Chuck sought help from his manager, who asked questions to understand the situation. Lessons learned included the importance of setting clear expectations, focusing on people problems, fostering relationships with product managers, and ensuring regulatory clarity. Effective communication and problem-solving within the team were highlighted as crucial elements for success.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Coaching Habit” by Bungay Stanier

In this segment, Chuck recommends the book “The Coaching Habit” by Bungay Stanier, which focuses on the power of asking questions. Chuck highlights that he found seven specific questions from the book to be highly effective in his role. One of these questions is the strategy question: “If I say YES to this, what do I need to say NO to?” This question helps in making thoughtful decisions by considering trade-offs. Chuck also advises staying curious a little bit longer, emphasizing the value of maintaining a curious mindset during coaching conversations.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on Twitter.

Chuck Durfee: Agile Adoption Through Agile Conversations and Stakeholder Management, a Development Manager’s Perspective

In this episode, Chuck, a development manager, shares his experience as a team lead and scrum master for a non-software company. He discusses the mistake he made in assuming others had knowledge of agile practices. Through conversations with skeptical stakeholders, Chuck realized the need to ask questions and challenge assumptions. He emphasizes the importance of remaining curious, leveraging proven training materials, and using experiential learning tools like the GetKanban game, Pizza Kanban game, and Scrum Lego City game. The episode highlights the significance of effective communication, managing expectations, and avoiding assumptions when introducing agile methodologies to non-software teams.

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 Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on Twitter.

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