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Michael Schmidt: Ensuring Kanban Sustainability Despite The Scrum Master’s Absence

In this episode, Michael shares his experience with implementing Kanban in a software development team. Despite a functional team, the input quality was not good enough, and the team also had too many people taking on the product manager role. Michael collaborated with them, establishing a workflow and introducing a “Ready-kanban” system. Daily product standups were instituted, but progress halted when Michael went on vacation. Upon his return, he discovered no improvements, highlighting a trust deficit in the Kanban process. Michael emphasizes the need for collective ownership and sustainability of the practice, urging reflection on its benefits for lasting success.

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 Michael Schmidt

Michael a Berlin-based Agile Coach for teams, roles and organisations around software based product development. Michael invented “the taskboard” on his own, which ignited his working agile by conviction some 13 years ago.

You can link with Michael Schmidt on LinkedIn and connect with Michael Schmidt on Twitter.

BONUS: From journalism to Scrum Mastery, collected lessons on working with teams by Ian McGrady

Ian’s journey from journalism to becoming a Scrum Master is a testament to his adaptable mindset and persistence. His transition stemmed from a unique start; he secured his first job due to his fast typing skills and a desire to meet Peter Jennings. Ian’s persistence in seeking a meeting with Jennings honed his tenacity. The introduction to the Scrum Master role came through recognizing the news industry’s agile, continuous delivery setup. Despite challenges, like sending out 400 resumes for just 3 interviews and a job offer, Ian’s honesty on his resume and his ability to relate his existing skills to the software field were pivotal. In interviews, he remained coachable, acknowledged his learning curve, and emphasized genuine interest in others. He underlines the importance of not striving to be the smartest person in the room, instead focusing on collaboration and curiosity.

From TV News Deadlines to Agile Leadership, learning how to work under pressure

Continue reading BONUS: From journalism to Scrum Mastery, collected lessons on working with teams by Ian McGrady

BONUS: Diana Getman – How checklists make Agile teams faster and deliver with high quality, without adding more processes

In this episode, we explore the role that checklists can have in helping teams improve their process and their performance without adding more processes. 

It is a normal tendency to “add more processes” to fix a problem a team is experiencing. In this episode, we challenge that view. Checklists, we argue, are a simple, effective tool that helps you reach a similar goal, but does not require the process to grow, and become bloated. 

2 Common types of checklists that help teams improve how they work

There are several types of items we can add to a checklist. In this segment, we discuss 2 common types of checklists, and how they can help teams. We start by discussing the “process checklists”, which may include important tips on how to execute a certain process. 

The key thing to remember is that checklists don’t replace processes, but are rather a set of reminders, or items that help teams execute a process once they’ve already read and understood the process. 

The second type of checklists we discuss are those that summarize a series of requirements or pre-conditions that a team needs to follow-up on. This may include quality requirements or certain tasks that need to be completed before a certain work item is considered complete. 

The most common checklists Scrum teams use

Scrum teams have a common set of checklists that they use. We discuss the commonly used Definition of Done, and also talk about the importance of having a Definition of Ready, and how that may help teams get started on the right foot when a new Sprint is about to kick-off.

Additionally, we talk about a pre-release checklist. With a pre-release checklist, teams are able to keep a memory of what they’ve learned from the past about meeting the release requirements, and can continuously improve that critical aspect of any team’s process.

In this segment, we also tackle the usual objections that people given when asked to consider the use of checklists. Checklists may be seen as “more bureaucracy”, but instead, they are there to help teams summarize a process that already exists, provides transparency about the process execution, and ultimately it should be a time saver for the team.

How about you? How have you used Checklists in your work? Share your experience in the comments below.

About Diana Getman

Diana Getman has more than 25 years of experience as a project manager leading cross-functional teams, in both startup and non-profit organizations. Diana has held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach and is the current President at Ascendle, a custom software development firm in Portsmouth, NH.

You can link with Diana Getman on LinkedIn, or visit Ascendle’s blog for more on checklists.

Elena Popretinskaya: Definition of Ready, a Scrum tool to help teams start a Story on the right foot

Teams that are motivated, can also find themselves in trouble. This happens, for example, when teams are eager to get started and rush into implementing stories that are not well understood or defined.

In this episode, we talk about the possible pitfalls of being “too” driven, and how we can help teams get ready to start implementing before committing to early.

In this episode, we refer to a tool called “Definition or Ready”, a simple checklist (à lá Definition of Done) that helps teams make sure that they have enough information to get started implementing.

Featured Book for the Week: Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman

In Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Elena found an explanation and a reminder that humans are not computers. We are emotional creatures. Our emotions drive our behavior as much as anything else.

About Elena Popretinskaya

Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier 🙂

You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.

Jon Eversett discusses what is and why we need a Definition of Ready

Definition of Ready is a term that has emerged recently in the Scrum / Agile community. In this episode we discuss why that concept is important, and how it can help teams improve their performance. We also discuss why planning a little bit in the Sprint is better than trying to plan the whole sprint up front.

About Jon Eversett

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton Former Business Analyst, Product Owner wannabe, currently a Scrum Master. Jon works with teams with different maturity levels and some relatively new Product Owners. You can find Jon Eversett on LinkedIn, or interact with Jon Eversett on Twitter. You can read Jon Eversett’s blog to find out more about his ideas on the role of the scrum master and all things agile.

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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