BONUS: Learning what makes a great place to work with Woody Zuill and Yves Hanoulle

The idea for this episode started with a conversation with Yves and Woody when recording one chapter for the Tips from the Trenches Audiobook (check out the audiobook). In this episode, we talk about, and try to define what makes a great place to work, or as Woody calls them: wonderful places to work!

Woody starts by describing two different workplaces, one that was “wonderful”, and one that was not. We explore what the differences were between those two places, and what we can learn from those stories as Scrum Masters. 

As Scrum Masters, our role is to help our teams, and our organizations move towards a better place to work, therefore these lessons are critical for us to act on. 

In this segment, we refer to MobProgramming, an approach to teamwork that Woody has been talking and writing about for some years; and Cynefin, a model that tries to describe the differences between different levels of complexity, and defines certain strategies for managing different types of work.

“Turn up the good” a heuristic to build great places to work

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BONUS: Highlights of the Scrum Master Summit 2022 with the track hosts Kjell de Ruiter and Ari-Pekka Skarp

In this podcast we explore some of the main highlights from the Scrum Master Summit 2022 with track hosts Kjell de Ruiter and Ari-Pekka Skarp. 

We also name the remaining track hosts and the other tracks that you can check out at https://scrummastersummit.org/. Those include: 

  • Dana Pylayeva, will host the coaching track at the summit, where we explore some of the hard lessons we need to be aware of when adopting coaching in our practice
  • Ayodeji Ishola, hosts a track on the state of Agile in the African continent, and will be showcasing talks that address the cultural specific aspects of Agile in Africa
  • Mariana Trigo, will have 6 sessions on career advice for Scrum Masters and hiring advice for those hiring Scrum Masters. She’ll have a special focus on how you can get into the Scrum Master role even if you don’t have a tech background. 
  • Yves Hanoulle, the co-author of the Tips from The trenches audiobook, hosts a track on Hybrid work, very topical now that we have our teams remote most of the time
  • Martin von Weissenberg, will share patterns of scaled agile. Not the frameworks we always hear about, but rather practical, down-to-earth advice for specific needs when we scale agile 

Accepting and learning to deal with Social Complexity in Agile adoption 

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BONUS: Social Complexity and the work of the Scrum Master with Jurgen Appelo and Ari-Pekka skarp

Social Complexity is a topic that does not get enough attention in the Agile community. Even if Social Complexity has been studied for a long time and has a significant influence on the study of groups, and society at large, we seem to have dropped it, or even missed it’s importance in the world of Agile.

Agile organizations, and agile teams are a prime subject for the use of tools and methods from Social Complexity research. So what do we need to learn from that field in our roles as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

What is Social Complexity? A primer for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

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Nilesh Makan: The future of Change Management in Agile organizations (warning: advanced topics!)

Often we refer to Change “management”, however, managing change in practice is very difficult. When we think of “change” as a normal path of evolution, however, things change. The metaphor helps us discover new approaches and possibilities. In this episode, we explore how thinking about change as an evolution changes the work we do as Scrum Masters and change agents. 

In this segment we talk about the books Theory U by C. Otto Scharmer, Knowledge for Action by Argyris; and we refer to Systems Thinking and some of the thinkers that influenced the Agile movement: Ari-Pekka Skarp, Esko Kilpi, Ralph Stacey.

About Nilesh Makan

Nilesh is the founding Director at Padawan Consulting, where the vision is to build transformed businesses through transformed people. He works with companies in the arena of Digital Transformation, considering how to leverage people, process and technology to design and build innovative solutions.

You can link with Nilesh Makan on LinkedIn and connect with Nilesh Makan on Twitter.

SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Human Business and Business Agility with Thomas Juli

Thomas’ perspective on business starts with the idea that businesses exist to generate value for people. The ones inside, as well as outside the business.  

As he started the book, he realized that the digital age had transformed our ideas about what being human in that medium was all about. He set out to write about what it meant to be humn in the digital age. However, that was just the start of the book. 

In that first part of the book, Thomas explores questions such as “am I a resource?”, a very common question we hear when we talk to teams. 

This exploration leads to the realization that businesses have to generate value for customers, stakeholders, but also (and critically) for employees. 

The needed transformation of business on the path to Business Agility 

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BONUS: Agile Leadership Fitness, get your HR leader to listen to this episode! with Nick Horney

As he helped leaders, Dr. Nick Horney worked hard to understand what was going on in the business world in a way that could be explained to others, and to form a curriculum for leaders in worldwide organizations. He came up with the acronym VUCA, which stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. 

Nick wrote a book titled VUCA Masters: Developing Leadership Agility Fitness for the New World of Work, and created a curriculum to help leaders deal with complexity in a VUCA world, this curriculum is part of the VUCA Masters Academy

In this episode, we dive into what VUCA means in practice and share insights that Scrum Masters can take and help the leaders in their organization.

About Nick Horney

Dr. Horney has written four books. The most recent is VUCA Masters: Developing Leadership Agility Fitness for the world of work, the topic of this episode. 

Nick retired from the U.S. Navy (Special Operations) at the rank of Captain and has applied that experience to his work with high performance team agility. He serves as a coach for The Honor Foundation focusing on the successful transition of Navy SEALs to the business world.

Dr. Horney founded Agility Consulting in 2001 and has been coaching leadership agility and organizational agility for over 30 years.

You can link with Nick Horney on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Horney on Twitter

Gunther Verheyen on the role of imagination when working with dynamic systems

When working with organizations, we are part of facilitating the right aspects. Gunther asks us to facilitate the system, not the mechanics of the system. What that means for us as Scrum Masters will depend on the phase of transition the organization is in. Listen in to hear Gunther’s views on how to facilitate a system (not the mechanics of the system).

About Gunther Verheyen

Gunther left consulting in 2013 to partner with Ken Schwaber, Scrum co-creator, at Scrum.org. He represented Ken and Scrum.org in Europe. Gunther left Scrum.org in 2016 to continue his journey of Scrum as an independent Scrum Caretaker.

He calls himself a connector, writer, speaker, humaniser. Gunther assists, serves, advices teams, individuals and executives.

Gunther believes that Scrum – the most applied software development framework – will not only increase the value that software delivers to organizations but is also a way to re-humanise the workplace for people. Gunther likes to inspire individuals, teams, departments, and organizations to realize their potential.

Beyond Scrum, Gunther is all about his family, life, books, and music. He communicates in Dutch and in English. Gunther is co-creator to Agility Path and the Nexus framework for Scaled Professional Scrum.

You can link with Gunther Verheyen on LinkedIn and connect with Gunther Verheyen on Twitter.

Tony Richards on tools to use Retrospectives as a Systems Thinking tool

Tony shares with us a huge toolbox and many tips on how to use Retrospectives as a tool to understand the system conditions that affect the teams we work with. Listen how these tools helped one team member understand the negative consequences his success had in other teams.

About Tony Richards
tony-richards-scrum-master-toolbox-podcast-1
Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn, and see Tony Richards’ posts on Front Row Agile.

Zach Bonaker on discusses his views on some Systems Thinking tools

In this episode we review several systems thinking tools with Zach and discuss their applicability to situations we all face as Scrum Masters. We mention Cynefin as one of the models that can help us wrap our heads around the complex environment we work within.

About Zach Bonaker

Zach Bonaker is Benevolent Trouble-Maker from San Diego. He’s an agile coach who specializes in bringing lean thinking to organizations and teams over varying sizes across the country. Zach builds relationships to help transform people, systems, and structures towards safer and faster ways of delivering high quality software. When he isn’t thinking about next-generation agile ideas, Zach can be found enjoying the sunny west coast weather and connecting with people all around the world. Follow Zach Bonaker on Twitter, and connect with Zach Bonaker on Linkedin.

Amitai Schlair on the importance of understanding our environment

When we start working with a team, we don’t actually work with that team. That team is part of a larger system, and we must understand the system before we can help the team. Amitai uses ideas from Theory of Constraints, and mentions The Goal, by Goldratt as a foundational book in his own journey as a Scrum Master. He also shares with us Schmoz’s theory, a critical insight when we work with and within human systems.
Today we play one more Agile in 3 Minutes episode which describes how we can reach freedom in our work. Today’s Agile in 3 minutes episode is episode #12, titled “Free”.

About Amitai Schlair

Amitai is a Software development coach, and legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, award-winning bad poet, and creator of Agile in 3 Minutes, which is a great podcast about what Agile really is about. A must listen for anyone interested in Agile Software Development.
You can link with Amitai Schlair on LinkedIn and connect with Amitai Schlair on Twitter.

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