Kulsoom Pervez: The Struggle for Team Unity, And How To Recognize Our Limits As Scrum Masters

In this episode, Kulsoom shares her experience with a group of skilled individuals who struggled to function as a team. As their Scrum Master, she noticed a lack of accountability and ownership, issues with completing sprint stories, and a blame culture during retrospectives. The team, marred by tension between developers and QA, created an unhealthy environment. Despite her efforts to revitalize retrospectives and foster change, progress was slow and draining. Eventually, Kulsoom and several team members left the company, leading her to understand the limits of her influence and the importance of self-care and mental health for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches.

Featured Book Of The Week: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Grenny et al.

Kulsoom delves into how the book “Crucial Conversations” profoundly influenced her role as a Scrum Master. She emphasizes the book’s impact in shaping her approach to crucial conversations, vital for anyone in a change agent role like hers. Highlighting the importance of courage and skill, Kulsoom discusses the book’s framework for managing critical discussions effectively. She underscores how having a structured approach to conversations is essential for effective communication and problem-solving in agile environments.

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 Kulsoom Pervez

Kulsoom is passionate about constructing sustainable, resilient, and high-performing teams, consistently delivering value to customers through the transformative power of Agility. She embodies a leadership style that inspires, empowers, and fosters the growth of her colleagues. Kulsoom enjoys reading and has also dabbled in blogging.

You can link with Kulsoom Pervez on LinkedIn.

Eliza Gregory: The Power of Crucial Conversations, Helping Resolve Conflicts in Change Management

In this episode, Eliza discusses a specific experience in a new company where processes were not yet solidified. She describes a situation where an external person, known as the “JIRA god,” had access to her team’s backlog and re-opened an item without consulting the team. This led to an argument and conflict, prompting Eliza to apply the Crucial Conversations techniques to resolve the issue. She emphasizes the importance of understanding different expectations and avoiding judgment during such conversations. Eliza shares tips, including clarifying the desired outcome and the benefits of the proposed change, as most people are unlikely to change unless they see the benefits. She also suggests taking a break from the computer, seeking feedback and support from other scrum masters, and giving the situation time to evolve. Ultimately, she highlights the significance of effective communication and patience in navigating conflicts.

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 Eliza Gregory

Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.

You can link with Eliza Gregory on LinkedIn and connect with Eliza Gregory on Twitter, and you can read about her novel Painting the Whiskey Blue.

Eliza Gregory: Addressing Communication Issues by Building Trust and Safety With The Scrum Team

In this episode, Eliza shares a story about an international team that faced trouble with communication and escalation issues. The team initially attempted to create team agreements using a shared whiteboard. However, Eliza later discovered that team members were escalating concerns directly to management without involving her. This raised concerns about whether the team felt safe communicating with her. Eliza offers the tip of addressing this issue through one-on-one conversations, emphasizing the importance of creating a safe space for team members to express themselves. She found that these coaching conversations had the most significant impact. Eliza advises making it clear to team members that you are there to listen and understand their concerns. Additionally, she recommends setting up one-on-one meetings and allowing individuals to define the cadence that suits them best. Eliza also suggests conducting more workshops, especially for teams that are not yet mature, to facilitate better communication and collaboration.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Grenny et al.

In this segment, Eliza describes the book “Crucial Conversations.” She highlights that the book is dense and cannot be read in one sitting. Although it is not specifically focused on Agile or Scrum, it delves into conversations that occur when emotions are high and people feel unsafe or threatened. The book emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space and presents essential skills for effective communication with one’s team and others. Eliza emphasizes the significance of recognizing within oneself when entering a crucial conversation.

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 Eliza Gregory

Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.

You can link with Eliza Gregory on LinkedIn and connect with Eliza Gregory on Twitter, and you can read about her novel Painting the Whiskey Blue.

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: When collaboration fails in Agile teams, and what Scrum Masters can to about it

In this episode, Frederik shares a story about a software development team that self-destructed due to a lack of collaboration and issues with code quality. The team had differing opinions on code quality but failed to openly address the problem, leading to slow progress and frustration. Frederik provided tips such as visualizing the problem, having individual meetings with team members, and promoting feedback sharing. He facilitated a retrospective on communication using the “Stinky Fish Canvas” method and encouraged anonymous data collection to surface issues. The episode emphasized the importance of addressing code quality concerns, fostering collaboration, and creating a culture of open communication within teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high by Grenny et al.

In this segment, Frederik discussed his favorite book, “Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high” by Grenny et al. Frederik emphasizes its importance for collaboration with management and leadership. He highlighted that the book provides a model for conducting effective conversations and emphasized the need to continuously ensure a safe space within conversations. Frederik noted that the book offers valuable tools for structuring conversations and recommended using them to understand others’ thoughts and perspectives. Additionally, we also refer to a related book, “Crucial Accountability” by the same authors, which provides further insights on handling accountability in crucial 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 Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference – this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

BONUS: How to answer commonly asked Scrum Master interview questions, with Jeff Campbell and Vasco Duarte

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).


In this episode, Vasco and Jeff share answers to common Scrum Master interview questions. They also discuss how to address stakeholder resistance to Agile practices.

When it comes to resistance, Jeff suggests focusing on early adopters and individuals who are already open to change. It is important to understand the needs and concerns of those who resist Agile practices, rather than simply dismissing them as being wrong.

Jeff emphasizes the importance of being patient and dancing with the system, as there is no straight line to success. He also recommends building relationships with stakeholders and gaining their trust by being curious and asking questions.

Jeff and Vasco also discuss active versus passive resistance and suggests putting things on the table to differentiate between the two. They also encourages using real stories to illustrate an understanding of stakeholder concerns and focusing on the problems that can be solved. Jeff offers tips for improving storytelling abilities and recommends working with early adopters who can help amplify the impact of Agile practices.

In this episode, they refer to NoEstimates and Mooseheads on the Table, the book by Karin Tenelius.

About Jeff Campbell and Vasco Duarte

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large and has published a book on the subject: bit.ly/aatbook.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn.

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 8 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

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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
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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
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.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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