Franziska Moenster: The missing ingredient for a Scrum team to be able to work remote! 

This is the story of a team that, even if they had a long history of working together, was faced with a new reality: remote work! During the pandemic years, many teams had to change from co-located work to remote work, and that change had big impacts on their work, and relationships. We discuss the lessons learned by Franny about teams that made that transition, and what is usually missing that leads to problems!

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Lencioni

In The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Lencioni, Franny found a reminder that conflict is a necessary, and – if managed correctly – productive part of the team’s development. We discuss how everyone in the team has a different relationship with conflict, and why Scrum Masters should take that into account when observing, and intervening in team conflicts.

In this segment, we also talk about the book New Work needs Inner Work: Ein Handbuch für Unternehmen auf dem Weg zur Selbstorganisation, a German language book that helped Franny understand that the inner structures we have as Scrum Masters also need some work for us to be able to adapt ourselves to Agile.

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 Franziska Moenster

Franny (short for Franziska) loves seeing the power of building strong performing teams that build products in a customer centric way. She’s been working as a Scrum Master/Agile Coach for over 5 years. Profiting from her hands-on experience on scaling agile across teams and her joy of trying out new things she is always inspecting and adapting on an organizational level as well! On a personal note, she has recently moved to Tenerife to follow her passion of freediving.

You can link with Franziska Moenster 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.

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 

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

How to coordinate #remote teams (and improve collaboration in #covid19 times)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We started a survey to collect your biggest challenges when it comes to transitioning to remote work. You can submit your answers here.

From that survey, the early results are conclusive, one of the biggest challenges you are facing right now is to help your teams coordinate their work, and collaborate effectively after transitioning to #Remote work.

So, to help you adapt to this new #Remote work reality, we collected the following strategies and tools for helping #Remote teams coordinate and collaborate effectively.

Scrum is #Remote ready, especially this one tool…

Read on for the full list…

Continue reading How to coordinate #remote teams (and improve collaboration in #covid19 times)

Working from home with Kids: Our #Remote work journey continues

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Many of us have started to work from home while our children are also at home, which presents additional challenges. Here’s a collected list of tips from our listeners on Twitter. You are not alone! Many others like you are working from home with kids!

Stay calm, be empathic with your colleagues

One of the most important rules when working from home is to respect each other, we are all in the same situation, we are all getting started in our #Remote work journey. A simple practice that will help you with this is to tell your self: “We are all figuring it out,” she said. “It might get a little messy.” Yes! It will, sometimes, get messy. But it will also improve over time.

Be understanding with your colleagues, give the example and say also to them at the start of your next call: “We are all figuring it out,” she said. “It might get a little messy.”

Use your mute button generously, but accept when the noise comes from the other side! Have a post-it ready to remind your colleagues they are not on mute. Be kind, though 🙂  

Pay attention to your children. You’ve gained time, give it to them

Our previous Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast guest and listener Bola Adesope reminds us that we have gained time by not having to commute. It’s only fair that you dedicate that time to your children. You will all benefit. In Bola’s own words:

Sotiris adds:

Talk to your partner/spouse. Agree on how you will help each other

Many of you are working from home with your spouse or partner. You are probably both in the same situation, so talk early about how to handle the situation.

Daniel suggests ~2 hours shifts, talk about it, and agree on what would work for you.

Another tip is to share your work meetings calendar with your spouse/partner and try to help each other. You may try to book meetings when one of the adults in the house is not having another meeting (if possible).

In any case, don’t forget: be empathic with your spouse/partner too! You are both going through the same experience.

Anna has a slightly different approach, she suggests short bursts (more likely to work with smaller children), it’s a bit like the famous Pomodoro technique (which some already call Mozarella technique because “Pomodoro” apparently have been trademarked ??‍♂️)

Adjust your expectations, but know that you are learning and improving as you go

Rene reminds us:

Remember, this is what being empathic towards others and yourself means! However, you are an Agilist! You also know that you will be adapting and improving over time. Stay with it.

Create a routine of reflection, individually and with your partner/spouse. And if your kids are old enough include them in that reflection. They will benefit from your example and will learn to be deliberate about reflecting and adapting to novel situations in their lives.

Help your children learn and practice skills at home, it’s a win/win!

The final tip comes from Paul:


Do your children already want to practice a skill? Maybe playing the piano or guitar? Or learn how to draw? Help them out. Buy them an internet course, and let them practice. Those skills will be beneficial immediately for you, and in the future for them! It’s a win/win!

What other techniques and approaches have worked for you? Share your learnings below in the comments!

Stay healthy, #stayhome and enjoy your children!

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