Kirill Golubev: How the Scrum Master’s Role Contributes to Team Success

In this episode, Kirill discusses the difficulty of measuring the value of a Scrum Master and how success is ultimately tied to the success of the team. He emphasizes the importance of paying attention to retrospective preparation and capturing concerns expressed by the team. Kirill measures his own success and that of the team by the value delivered to a satisfied customer.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Making Agile Accessible and Using User-Friendly Retro Formats

In this segment, Kirill discusses the importance of using different retrospective formats depending on what the team wants to achieve and the inputs involved. He mentions examples such as the hot air balloon and sailboat retrospectives, which can visually illustrate the key principles of Agile and help the team reflect on how they implement those. Kirill emphasizes the importance of avoiding the use of hard vocabulary in retrospectives, and making sure that everyone, including those unfamiliar with Agile, can actively participate and benefit from the session.

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 Kirill Golubev

Kirill considers himself an Agile and common-sense apologist. He wants to see simple processes in place, when people self-organize and manage themselves without constant push from management.

You can link with Kirill Golubev on LinkedIn.

Kirill Golubev: The Challenges with Scaling and Product Ownership for a Growing Scrum Team

In the podcast episode, Kirill Golubev shares a story of a team he was working with, which had grown larger. As they grew larger, they added a second and a third product manager. However, this led to constant fighting for priorities among the product managers. What was worse, the product managers were organized around components, rather than features, which caused even more conflicts, and delays in delivery for the team.

In this episode, we talk about the importance of having only one Product Owner working on the backlog. In that situation, the team adopted the Nexus framework to scale their approach to Scrum and created three different teams for the three different components. This was not optimal, but helped to avoid the biggest PO anti-patterns.

Finally, Kirill emphasizes the importance of building agreements between teams and Product Owners to ensure a successful outcome. Overall, Kirill’s story highlights the challenges that can arise when a team grows too large and the importance of effective communication and collaboration between Product Owners, Scrum Master, and teams.

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 Kirill Golubev

Kirill considers himself an Agile and common-sense apologist. He wants to see simple processes in place, when people self-organize and manage themselves without constant push from management.

You can link with Kirill Golubev on LinkedIn.

BONUS: The Collaboration Equation, Fostering Effective Collaboration in Agile Software Development with Jim Benson

In this episode, we explore Jim Benson’s latest book: The Collaboration Equation. Scrum Masters should read this book because it offers a systematic approach to building the right environment for Agile software development. Having been involved in Agile since 1997, Jim has seen many projects start with excitement, only to fall apart over time. His book offers an approach to avoid the Agile adoption decay, and a way to make changes stick by helping professionals learn to act with agency in an environment that supports their efforts. Jim has applied this approach in many different organizations, and shares some aspects of those stories in this episode.

According to Jim, every Scrum master and product owner is a change agent, responsible for bringing opportunities for change to humans. However, these change agents can become frustrated when others don’t see the clarity that Agile methodologies are supposed to bring. This is where his book comes in, helping change agents to identify the right environment for their organization by considering factors such as how work flows and what culture they want to create. By providing this systematic approach to Agile software development, Jim’s book offers a valuable resource to anyone involved in the process of change within an organization.

Discovering Agile: A Story of Continuous Improvement and Paying Attention to End-Users

Continue reading BONUS: The Collaboration Equation, Fostering Effective Collaboration in Agile Software Development with Jim Benson

Alina Thapliyal: Key Traits of an Exceptional Product Owner in Agile Teams

The Great Product Owner: Key Traits of an Exceptional Product Owner in Agile Teams

A great product owner, according to Alina, is someone who is knowledgeable and confident about the product they are overseeing. They build trust within the team by being respectful and involving everyone in decision-making processes. The ability to move the team forward is an important characteristic of a great PO. In order to support a PO, Alina suggests having open communication and avoiding assumptions. A great PO opens the door for discussion and finding ways to help the team succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: Overcoming Challenges with a Bossy Product Owner

In this segment, Alina describes a conversation with a scrum team about their Product Owner. The team agreed that their product owner was very bossy, dictating decisions and pushing the team. This kind of behavior from a product owner can create conflict, as the team is not involved in decision making and the product owner is not considering the needs of the team.

The relationship between the product owner and the team, as well as the relationship between the product owner and the scrum master, is critical to the success of a project. Alina offered tips on how to address this issue, such as talking with the product owner to understand their role and finding ways to support them in finding their potential. She also recommended resources such as the Product Owner Summit and the book “Scrum Product Ownership” by Bob Galen to help better understand the leadership roles of both the product owner and 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 Alina Thapliyal

Alina is the Scrum Master for a team within the public sector. Her aspiration is to become an agile coach. She grew up in Romania and has been living in Germany for 13 years. She loves jogging, reading and actively listening to people’s life stories.

You can link with Alina Thapliyal on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: Maximizing Impact of Agile Coaching at Moo, Feedback and Measurement Strategies

In this episode, Gemma discusses her work as an agile coach at Moo and how they measure the impact they have on the organization. She emphasizes that feedback is important but measurement helps us reflect and grow. When it comes to defining success, she shares that to measure the impact of their coaching, the coaches at Moo use engagement surveys that touch on Scrum values and use one or two of the survey questions to build their agile coach OKR’s. These metrics provide a lagging indicator but at the same time, they help the coaches define shorter term actions, and metrics, and eventually the OKR’s help measure their impact on a longer time scale.

In addition to using engagement surveys, they also use collaboration questions for which they ask an evaluation on a 1-5 scale to measure the level of collaboration among teams towards a shared goal. The collaboration questions align with their OKR’s as Agile Coaches and help them to see the impact they are having on the organization.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simplifying Agile Retrospectives to amplify their impact on Scrum teams

In this segment, Gemma shares her favorite approach to conducting agile retrospectives. She emphasizes the importance of keeping the format simple, especially for new teams or teams that are adapting to retrospectives. Gemma shares one example, where she uses a smiley face column, a sad face column, and a question mark column to initiate a wide-ranging conversation and to capture various types of feedback and perspectives. To complement the conversation, she captures the action items that the team wants to put into practice, using frameworks such as CAT (Concrete, Attainable, Timely) and SMART. Gemma views retrospectives as a conversational format and emphasizes the importance of asking “what’s the next immediate step?” and making small changes that have a big impact. Additionally, she mentions the 15% solutions from liberating structures and Toyota Kata as helpful tools in facilitating agile retrospectives.

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 Gemma Murray

Gemma works as an Agile Coach for MOO, a branding company whose vision is to provide ‘Great design for everyone’. Having worked in various change roles using both waterfall and agile approaches throughout her career, Gemma believes in the diversity of teams to unlock innovation, creativity and delivering value.

You can link with Gemma Murray on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.