Doug Rabow: Daily Standups as a Success Barometer in Agile, And Other Lessons For Scrum Masters

In this segment, Doug discusses the dual aspects of success for Scrum Masters: defining it and demonstrating it to others. We also talk about how the quality of daily standups reflects the overall health of the Agile practices in the team. We also explore how fostering an environment of good-faith feedback and continuous improvement can lead to success for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Asking Questions

In this segment about Agile Retrospectives, Doug highlights the importance of asking pointed, empathetic questions during retrospectives to uncover deep insights about team dynamics and challenges. We learn about the role that well-crafted questions play in driving continuous improvement. And learn how Doug’s approach of integrating impactful questions into conversations, helps teams to navigate and overcome obstacles more effectively.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

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 Doug Rabow

Doug is a passionate practitioner of Lean-Agile strategic management with a focus on developing empowered teams and Lean process improvement.

You can link with Doug Rabow on LinkedIn.

Peter Müller: Improving Scrum Daily Stand-Ups That Have Lost Focus And Become Long And Cluttered

When Peter took over a larger team, the daily stand-ups became cluttered with discussions that made the stand-ups long and unfocused. Stakeholders joined in, turning these meetings into mini-conferences that were even less focused. Peter initially thought he had a solution, but the team quickly reverted to old habits.

Does the Scrum Master need to step in to fix this anti-pattern? Or would it complicate things further? This episode dives into the nuances of managing a large team’s dynamics and the importance of discerning which battles to fight. Peter shares crucial coaching tips, reflecting on why asking “why” might not always unearth the underlying issues. Discover how a solution-focused approach can redirect team efforts towards more productive outcomes.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

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 Peter Müller

Peter is a seasoned Agile coach and transformation consultant with extensive experience in fostering agile environments and enhancing team dynamics. His expertise in solution-focused coaching has helped numerous teams optimize their operational efficiency and adapt to agile methodologies effectively.

You can link with Peter on LinkedIn.

Toby Rao: Success Metrics for Scrum Masters Which You Can Observe In The Daily Meeting

In this episode, we discuss how to achieve true self-organization within the team. Toby’s perspective is that success is measured by several key factors, including active participation and engagement in daily standup meetings. Toby suggests we assess our success by observing if team members are paying attention, interacting with one another, and openly sharing solutions during these meetings.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 4 L’s and generating learning opportunities

Toby’s favorite retrospective format is the “4 L’s retrospective,” which stands for Liked, Learned, Lacked, and Longed for. In this segment, he highlights its effectiveness in generating ideas, with a particular emphasis on the “learned” component. Toby stressed the importance of continuous learning for both himself and his team, making it a central theme in his retrospectives. The format encourages sharing valuable learning moments and contributes to the team’s growth and improvement.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

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 Toby Rao

Toby is an ICF-credentialed Coach and accredited IC Agile trainer, and practices as a certified Executive coach. With a dynamic Agile journey beginning in 2007, he’s an active contributor to the global Agile community. He is based in Washington DC Metro, and speaks at Agile events worldwide and co-founded the A20 Agile conference. Toby also co-founded two thriving Agile meetups in the Washington DC area, with a combined 1300 members.

You can link with Toby Rao on LinkedIn and connect with Toby Rao on Twitter.

Stacey Taurah: Counterintuitive! When an Agile team of A-players started acting like a team of C-players! 

This team had people with an excellent technical background, and they were all driven and focused on delivering. It was therefore a surprise to see how the team started to act disengaged, and to see how the team was unable to deliver. When looking into it, Stacey found out that the team – even if it was filled with great people – was not working as a team. Listen in to learn about what drove this team apart!

In this segment, we refer to the Impostor Syndrome, a phenomenon that Scrum Masters often need to deal with.

Featured Book of the Week: The Goal by Godratt

In The Goal by Godratt (already mentioned in previous episodes), Stacey found important tips and lessons on how to have conversations about planning and resourcing with the whole business, and to understand that sometimes, what seems like a blocker can be solved by using the Five Focusing Steps of Theory Of Constraints.

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 Stacey Taurah

A seasoned agile coach with a squiggly line into tech and delivery. From forensics to frameworks and all that’s in between.

You can link with Stacey Taurah on LinkedIn.

Juan Rodriguez: Helping to bridge the foreign language barrier in a distributed Scrum team

Juan was working with a marketing team. This team was divided between China and the USA, and on top of that, the team did not share a language. While the USA part of the team used English to communicate, the China based portion of the team would not feel comfortable with English in all situations, and preferred to use Chinese. This meant that the manager, who spoke Chinese, quickly became the bottleneck in communication, as she needed to translate all the conversations in the team. Juan had a problem to solve: how to help a team communicate regularly (in the daily meeting) without the manager having to be in the middle? Listen in to learn what Juan tried, and what eventually unblocked the communication between the team members!

Featured Book of the Week: Fish! A proven way to boost morale and improve results by Stephen Lundin

Fish! By Stephen Lundin, is a book that uses the story of the fish market in Seattle, to show how teams can become happier and more productive. In this section, we also refer to The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, a book that helped Juan introduce the role of the Scrum Master using a metaphor that even non-technical people can understand.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

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.

You can link with Juan Rodriguez on LinkedIn.

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Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
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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
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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.