Often we disregard this very simple fact, by the end of the sprint people are tired. Hosting the retrospective at the end of the day, on the last day of the sprint is not ideal from the engagement and energy level point of view. Alex explains how he failed at keeping the energy level high in one retrospective and what he learned from that moment, that he still applies today.
About Alex Fürstenau
When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.
We’ve all done it in one way or another. We spend time in a retrospective criticizing what is wrong, and assigning blame to others. Jeff Campbell has been there as well, and in this episode he explains how you can get teams to stop spending their valuable time whining, and start taking action.
About Jeff Campbell
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 organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.
You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.
Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.
You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.
Retrospectives are the tool for Scrum Masters to achieve success in their role. In this Episode we discuss many different types of retrospectives and Anton introduces the “themed” retrospectives as well as some tools on how to facilitate those. You can also read about one example of a themed retrospectives that Anton wrote especially for this episode. The Human Aspect Retrospective by Anton Zotin.
The role of the Scrum Master is new. It is not an adapted Business Analyst role or a slightly changed Project Manager role. Many fail to understand how unique this role is, and therefore fail to help the teams effectively. In this episode we also discuss how Scrum Masters can evaluate their own performance.
About Francesco Attanasio
Francesco Attanasio is an Agile practitioner, Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) and Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM), Developer, Trainer, Reader, Dreamer and Runner.
He’s now been working as Scrum Master for more than 3 years. Having worked so far as Scrum Developer and Scrum Master in several teams, Francesco has fieldwork experience of how Scrum can be implemented with success. He provides Lean/Agile/Scrum training and coaching to Product Owners, Scrum Masters and Development Teams.
You can find Francesco Attanasio on twitter. You can also find Francesco Attanasio on LinkedIn, and in the Scrum Alliance website.
Teams don’t often take ownership of the daily meeting. They turn to the scrum master as if expecting an order, or confirmation. Stefano created a technique that helps his teams take ownership of the daily meeting, and make it a productive part of the daily routine.
About Stefano Porro
Stefano is from Turin, Italy. He has worked since 2001 in IT projects and he feels lucky because he does what he loves. He learned about Scrum in 2007 when the company where he was working decided to adopt Scrum. For the first two years he was part of a Scrum team, and he was fascinated from the role of the Scrum Master because he always loved to help team’s members. For him, becoming a Scrum Master, was a natural evolution.
“Nothing ever changes here” is a team anti-pattern that sometimes takes over and freezes team behavior. Teams experiencing that anti-pattern will often complain, be discouraged, but will not take action to change their situation. How to help teams like that? Antti tells us a story of a team that was in that situation and what he and his colleagues did to change the situation and save the project.
About Antti Tevanlinna
Antti is an agile practitioner, who got started with agile in my own very first Agile project way back in 2004. He’s been through all kinds of roles, from team member, to management, to customer-facing roles.
You can connect with Antti Tevanlinna on twitter, and check Antti Tevanlinna’s blog.
How do we help organizations to recognize the value that scrum teams can bring, and the obstacles they face in the process? Stephen Thomas shares his recipe and describes a few ideas of how the retrospectives can be an effective practice to help organizations evolve and get better.
Stephen’s recipe for organization improvement:
Help the teams understand their progress with a physical (as opposed to digital) and visual burndown (colorful if possible).
Write the principles on the wall and make sure people see them regularly. Point to them when needed.
Have lots of wall space for teams to use and create their shared view of their work.
Help start and facilitate organization-level retrospectives, because improving one team is not enough for lasting change.
Make the team independent
Before implementing all of this, make sure that the organization has the necessary knowledge to work in an agile manner, helping organize training if needed, and working with stakeholders regularly.
About Stephen Thomas
Stephen has been managing digital projects since 2004. Initially specialising in e-learning, he now looks after multiple projects that range from rapidly produced native apps to large-scale social networks. Based in Oxford, he is also one of the founders of the DOPM meetup.
You can connect with Stephen Thomas in LinkedIn, and follow Stephen Thomas on Twitter.