Psychological Safety is a commonly discussed topic in Agile circles. We’re frequently reminded how important it is for team performance. But how do we, as Scrum Masters, help our teams achieve that state, where they are free to express their thoughts on the challenges they face as a team without the fear of being overruled, ridiculed, or chastised for having a non-standard opinion?
In this episode, we explore Psychological Safety with Stephan Wiedner, and discuss what we can do to help create an environment where each individual can excel and help the team perform.
A personal lesson learned about the critical importance of Psychological Safety
This story starts with what was supposed to be a normal, routine daily standup. However, that was not to happen. Two team members started a shouting match that left Juan confused, and surprised. Listen in to learn what happened next, and how to prepare for those, unexpected, but eventually unavoidable conflicts that Scrum Masters will face!
About Juan Rodriguez
Juan started his career as a Drafter. He then transitioned to Engineering IT support, eventually landing in software development. His first introduction to agile-like practices was in 2014, which did not go that well. A few years later, Juan was introduced to Scrum, where he now enjoys being a Scrum Master.
The Great Product Owner: The PO that helped the Scrum Master improve their game!
A great Product Owner is able to balance the stakeholder expectations and the team expectations. In this episode, we also discuss how the Product Owner can help the Scrum Master in their job, by helping the Scrum Master step back when necessary, and help manage the pressure put on the team. Finally, we talk about how great Product Owners are able to listen to the team.
The Bad Product Owner: When PO’s don’t understand the team’s work, they actively destroy it!
One of the aspects that make Product Owners negatively affect the team, is their inability to understand the importance of some aspects of the team’s work. When the PO does not understand why, and how release planning helps the team, they might be tempted to skip that practice, or shortchange it, leading to problems for the team, and ultimately conflicts. In this episode, we explore how bad Product Owners slowly undermine the team, especially when they don’t speak up! Helping the team speak up, and working through that with the Product Owner are key responsibilities for the 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 Shoaib Naik
Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.
This team had a conflict that no one wanted to address. The team behaved as if they just hoped things would go back to normal. It was wishful thinking, though. Things got so bad, that the team members started to fake agreement, just to avoid facing the conflict. Jakub wasn’t happy with the situation, and started working on how to resolve that conflict, and learned key lessons on how to prepare to handle the conflict.
Featured Book of the Week: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Jakub discovered a guide on how he could live his life to the full potential. In the book, which he still re-reads, he finds something new every time he picks it up. It’s a book that reminds him of what an Agile life could look like.
About Jakub Jurkiewicz
Jakub is a kaizen practice lead who participated in his first standup in 2005 and facilitated his first retrospective in 2007. Previously a software developer, team leader, Scrum Master and Agile consultant, Jakub is also, a podcaster and trainer at Agile Coaching Lab. Loves wine, bicycles and his wife (in the reverse order).
Conflict is a natural process in teams. How teams handle, and survive conflict becomes therefore a critical aspect of their work. In this episode, we explore some of the skills/tools that help teams survive and benefit from (constructive) conflict, instead of suffering and being destroyed by (destructive) conflict.
Featured book of the Week: One From Many, The Rise Of The Chaordic Organization by Dee Hock
Agile Person, for the team by the team, used to be a developer. Got into Agile via Extreme Programming (XP), then Kanban, then Scrum. Some of his key ideas are Principles over Practices, #noestimates, love working with teams and organizations, the softer side, finding what they and customers need and what works for them.