Jacopo Romei asks us: Find the upper limit to your coaching skills and respect it

When working in certain organizations we are challenged with contexts that we just can’t cope with. Whether it is a personality problem, or just a complex social conflict, it is crucial to understand where our limits are, and accept those. Being humble is key to keep our sanity and move on. As a Scrum Master we should be very clear on what kind of situations we are not ready, or even wanting to face. Jacopo shares just that kind of story in this episode.

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

BONUS Episode: Luca Minudel on the coaching role of Scrum Masters

Luca, who’s coached at the fast paced environment of the Ferrari F1 team surely knows what “speed” and “time-to-market” mean in the extreme cases. However, independently of all of that pressure Luca has been able to develop his coaching approach without focusing on pushing, forcing or manipulating people to do “the right thing”. How did he do that? We discuss his career and his learnings in this special episode about coaching.

Luca, just like all of us, tried to help people that did not want help, but that only led to his frustration as a professional and very little results. So he embarked on a journey to become a more effective coach. One of the key lessons Luca shares is about the commitment that is expected from the coach, as well as the team or individuals in the team.

Establish commitment and check often

As coaches, we need to ensure that we have the commitment of the people involved or risk failure and frustration. Luca shares his approach for how we can reach a mutual commitment with the people we work with in a way that supports their goals as well as the role we play as coaches and Scrum Masters.

Beyond the agreement between coach and team, we also need to learn to become better Scrum Masters. Luca shares his insights and the actions he took to learn to become a better Scrum Master and coach over his career. One simple tip he shares is: learn to facilitate key ceremonies in the process. The better you are at facilitating the ceremonies, the better the results will be with the team.

The information we need to learn our craft

On top of the work we must do to learn the facilitation role, we must strive to learn and improve ourselves at all times. For that we share in this episode several sources of knowledge and tools that can help us understand better organizations and people we work with. In short, if we are not improving on a regular basis, we are regressing in our knowledge.

Some of the knowledge areas we discuss in this episode are:

The challenges we must be aware of in an Agile adoption

As change agents, we face many challenges, and Luca shares the most common ones he has faced in his career. From the negotiated agreement on the role of the Scrum Master or coach (e.g using the GROW model as a basis for those conversations) to the support network we need to establish to support our work and the continued adoption (e.g. using the communities of practice pattern).

Do we need a Scrum Master when the team is working well?

The final question we tackle is: when is our job done? Luca shares a pattern from his previous employer (ThoughtWorks) that covers aspects that support the team in their efforts, but is not a Scrum Master role. We discuss the “Iteration Manager” role and what that might mean for Scrum Masters that want to continue to work with a team that has reached a certain maturity level.

About Luca Minudel

Luca Minudel is a Lean-Agile Coach & Trainer with 14 years of experience in Lean/Agile and 20+ in professional software delivery. He is passionate about agility, lean, complexity science, and collaboration.

 

He contributed to the adoption of lean and agile practices at Ferrari’s F1 racing team. For ThoughtWorks he has delivered training, coaching, assessments and organisational transformations in top-tier organisations in Europe and the United States. He worked as Head of Agility in 4Finance and he is working as coach for a top bank in Canary Wharf.

Luca is founder and CEO at SmHarter.com, a company that helps organisations turn their way of working into their competitive advantage.

You can link with Luca Mindel on LinkedIn and connect with Luca Mindel on Twitter.

Victor Bonnacci on leading a multi-team, entereprise change process

There are many factors to take into account in a change process. When many teams are involved this becomes an even more important realization. Victor explains his experience with a large Entreprise change management process.

About Victor Bonnacci

Vic coaches software teams at Bio-Rad Laboratories using Scrum and XP practices. He’s worked in IT for twenty years; first as a webmaster, programmer, project manager and currently as a scrum master and coach. Vic lives in Southern California where he is very active in the local community, and he hosts the Agile Coffee podcast.
You can link with Victor Bonnacci on LinkedIn, and connect with Victor Bonnacci on Twitter.
Be sure to follow Victor Bonnacci’s podcast: Agile Coffee.

Victor Bonnacci explains how each team is different from each other

Although it is tempting to “see” patterns in the teams we work with, the fact is that every team is different. Even the same team is different from project to project, and from day to today. Victor shares his journey from focusing on the process to focus on the team, and how important that is for all Scrum Masters.

About Victor Bonnacci

Vic coaches software teams at Bio-Rad Laboratories using Scrum and XP practices. He’s worked in IT for twenty years; first as a webmaster, programmer, project manager and currently as a scrum master and coach. Vic lives in Southern California where he is very active in the local community, and he hosts the Agile Coffee podcast.
You can link with Victor Bonnacci on LinkedIn, and connect with Victor Bonnacci on Twitter.
Be sure to follow Victor Bonnacci’s podcast: Agile Coffee.

Victor Bonnacci on the importance of letting the team solve their own problems

All of us who have a background in more directive roles (manager, project manager) from our time before Agile, are tempted to take over the problems and solve them for the team. However that’s not how we help teams grow. In this episode Victor shares his story of a recovering Project Manager that needs to learn to help the team solve their own problems.

About Victor Bonnacci

Vic coaches software teams at Bio-Rad Laboratories using Scrum and XP practices. He’s worked in IT for twenty years; first as a webmaster, programmer, project manager and currently as a scrum master and coach. Vic lives in Southern California where he is very active in the local community, and he hosts the Agile Coffee podcast.
You can link with Victor Bonnacci on LinkedIn, and connect with Victor Bonnacci on Twitter.
Be sure to follow Victor Bonnacci’s podcast: Agile Coffee.

Ruben Sadoyan on the importance of asking the right questions to understand the system

What are the right questions? In this episode we review some of the critical questions that we must ask to begin to understand the system. The questions may seem easy to understand and even simple to ask, but how do we enable the organization and the people in the team to reflect on those questions?

About Ruben Sadoyan

Ruben has played many different roles in his career. Agile Coach, Team Engineer, Scrum Master with IT Project Management and Software Development background are just some of those. He’s also been an Account executive with software/web development roots and business development, experienced in team and client relationship management.
He’s also launched a startup named Internet Company and has more than 15 years experience in IT. He describes himself as Focused on constant improvement and self-education. Result driven, able to lead in a Lean way, identify root causes and gradually improve teams to make results happen.

Oana Juncu on the importance of fostering dialog in the teams

Teams can enter negative patterns and eventually self-destruct. Dialog in the team and between the team and the stakeholders is a crucial part of a healthy team.

About Oana Juncu

Oana likes to present herself as a Business DJ, mixing whatever practices, from Agile and Lean(Startup) to storytelling , User Experience and neuroscience. In her day to day Oana helps teams and organisations unfold creativity, become proud of their achievements, and delight their customers.
You can connect with Oana Juncu on LinkedIn, or follow Oana Juncu on Twitter.
Oana’s website can be seen at coemerge.com.

Angel Medinilla on the three tools that drive success for Scrum Masters

The three tools we discuss and describe in this episode are: One-on-One meetings between the Scrum Master and team members; Lab Time: how we learn together; Retrospectives: learning about how we can work better.

About Angel Medinilla

Ángel Medinilla (Spain, 1973) has 18+ years working experience in the ICT market. In 2007 he started his own Agile Consulting firm. Today, Proyectalis is considered the leading Agile consulting and coaching company in Spain, and one of the most well-known in Europe and Latin America,
He is a regular speaker at Agile conferences all over the world
He is the author of Agile Management (Springer) and “Agile Kaizen: Continuous Improvement Far Beyond Retrospectives’ (Springer). He also contributed to Beyond Agile: Stories of Agile Transformations, (Modus Cooperandi).
In 2015 he co-founded Improvement21, whose goal is to bring the continuous improvement habit to all kind of organizations in order to create better cultures, teams, processes and products.
You can connect with Angel Medinilla on LinkedIn, and contact Angel Medinilla on Twitter.

Angel Medinilla on the importance of the Sprint Goal for teams to grow

We very often focus on the process of Scrum, but forget the importance of the “why”. Why are we working on the items we are working on? Why are we working the way we are? This return to the why, every sprint using the Sprint Goal metaphor is one of the tools we discover in this episode.
In this Episode we mention the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek.

About Angel Medinilla

Ángel Medinilla (Spain, 1973) has 18+ years working experience in the ICT market. In 2007 he started his own Agile Consulting firm. Today, Proyectalis is considered the leading Agile consulting and coaching company in Spain, and one of the most well-known in Europe and Latin America,
He is a regular speaker at Agile conferences all over the world
He is the author of Agile Management (Springer) and “Agile Kaizen: Continuous Improvement Far Beyond Retrospectives’ (Springer). He also contributed to Beyond Agile: Stories of Agile Transformations, (Modus Cooperandi).
In 2015 he co-founded Improvement21, whose goal is to bring the continuous improvement habit to all kind of organizations in order to create better cultures, teams, processes and products.
You can connect with Angel Medinilla on LinkedIn, and contact Angel Medinilla on Twitter.

Alberto Brandolini on the power and importance of observation

When are we successful as Scrum Masters? We don’t really know until we start observing the patterns of behaviour and communication between the team members and other stakeholders involved. Alberto describes some patterns of behaviors he looks for to assess his success.

About Alberto Brandolini

Alberto looks at himself as sit at the intersection between the Agile/Lean community and the Domain-Driven Design community. Sometimes, he says, the solution is to write better software, sometimes the solution is to take a big modelling surface and see “the problem” in all its magnificence, sometimes the solution is to have a beer.
You can link up with Alberto Brandolini on LinkedIn, or connect with Alberto Brandolini on Twitter.