In this episode, Jean shares a pivotal moment in his role as a Scrum Master with a newly formed team. With limited experience in Scrum, the team struggled to grasp the concepts of ownership, accountability, and responsibility. Jean recognized the need for experimentation and introduced the idea of pushing a car from point A to B, emphasizing that the task was about getting the car to its destination, not just pushing it. Through this analogy and patient guidance, Jean successfully shifted the team’s focus from tasks to delivering true value in their Agile practices.
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 Jean Coetzee
Jean is passionate about humans, and how they work together from a psychology and neuroscience perspective.
Jean, credits the early ScrumMaster podcasts for shaping his Agile career. These insightful episodes provided vital guidance during the early days, boosting confidence in serving others effectively. Jean learned to navigate uncertainties and gain confidence in their Scrum Master role, all thanks to this and other podcast contributors.
The Great Product Owner: Learning and Leading through Experiments, The Scrum Master Who Turned Product Owner
In this episode, Seye highlights a remarkable product owner with a background as a Scrum Master. Her calm demeanor and willingness to experiment, even without a clear endpoint, stood out. She actively engaged in collaborative experimentation, asking “Can we try this?” and collectively defining and learning from experiments with the team. This experimental mindset contributed to her effectiveness as a Product Owner. Moreover, she adeptly interacted with all team members and had the valuable skill of calming down heated discussions.
The Bad Product Owner: Beyond To-Do Lists, Overcoming Anti-Patterns in Backlog Management
In this episode, Seye discusses the disengaged Product Owner (PO) anti-pattern. He underscores the significant impact of PO engagement on performance, highlighting the necessity for their active involvement in discussions that lead to clarity. Other anti-patterns include treating the backlog as a simple “to do list” and having insufficiently detailed backlog items (DEEP Backlog) for prioritization and estimation. These issues stem from diverse causes, such as organizational oversight of product ownership. Seye suggests assisting POs in understanding their role, offering guidance to rectify these patterns and enhance their effectiveness in Agile teams.
The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a 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 Seye Kuyinu
Seye has been a Scrum Master for about a decade now. He first connected to Agile, frustrated with the lack of adequate communication that plagues traditional complex projects. He finds People and Interactions over Processes & Tools cannot be overstated, while seeing that everything is a fractal- our individual, team, organization and societal challenges are the very same. The solution in every layer is the same- an understanding of ONENESS!
In this episode, Daniel emphasizes the importance of collecting data from day one in product development. He discusses how data can help assess the capability of the system in place and create forecasts to assess delivery dates. He mentions the NoEstimates movement and suggests counting the product backlog items that can be finalized in one sprint as a useful metric. Daniel also provides tips for helping teams accept the data, and continuously updating forecasts. He emphasizes the need to work in hypotheses rather than requirements, as it allows for acceptance that they may be wrong. Finally, he notes that data gives us information on how to act and change over time.
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 Daniel Westermayr
Daniel is a Kanban Trainer with a knack for all things Lean and Theory of Constraints. He wants to help teams achieve and measure their continuous improvements.
Jeff and Chad start the podcast by describing the key differences between a frantic and stressful backlog vs a strategic and focused one. In this segment, Jeff and Chad describe their observations of product backlogs in many of the clients they work with, noting that the backlogs tend to be task-based and the Product Owners try to please everyone.
They emphasize that saying “yes” to something in the backlog means saying “no” to something else, and they suggest that focusing on outcomes and impacts and thinking about options can help prioritize backlog items.
They caution against task-based backlogs leading to a project management pattern for the Product Owner and suggest that helping the team get clarity while focusing on setting goals can be more effective.
They introduce the idea of “strategic distance”, i.e. how far from strategy is a certain backlog item. They determine that distance by asking the “why” question for any item on the backlog, and they give an example of how it might take many “why” questions to get to the essence of a backlog item.
They suggest zooming out and capturing more of the what and the why for backlog items and caution against using the backlog as a “catch-all” in an anti-pattern.
Creating Strategic and Focused Backlogs with Impact/Outcome Statements
In this episode, Bram shares the story of a workshop where people participated and found that they liked it, but soon after, started to find reasons not to apply what they were excited about during the workshop. The team felt they were not allowed to make decisions, and the manager was not trusting that the team was capable. Bram highlights the common anti-pattern of a manager projecting fear onto the team and how to help the manager and team overcome that anti-pattern. He suggests considering what the worst case scenario is and to focus on celebrating successes instead. Bram also highlights that often, teams don’t feel they are allowed to experiment, and how he helps teams experiment and learn from their failures. We also talk about how to encourage managers to let teams work on safe-to-fail experiments, as they can help the team learn and grow. The episode aims to help managers and teams to overcome the fear of failure and to be more open to experimentation and learning.
Featured Book of the Week: Getting Things Done by David Allen
Bram recommends ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen, the ultimate productivity guide for anyone looking to streamline their workflow and achieve more. This book is a comprehensive guide that covers a lot of techniques to capture what is on your mind, what you need to do and get all those things out of your mind and into a system. The book offers strategies for getting calmer, being more effective and letting go of things that are holding you back. It emphasizes the importance of starting with a system and how to create one that works for you. This book will help you to achieve your goals and work smarter, not harder. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to be more productive and organized.
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 Bram De Block
Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.