Leslie McCormack: How to host impactful Agile Retrospectives

Retrospectives are an important ceremony for Agile teams. The goal of the retrospectives is to help the teams assess their practices, learn and improve. Without that ceremony, Scrum would not be an Agile practice. After all the manifesto clearly states: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”

So, it’s no surprise that when Leslie struggled with her first retrospective, she went about learning how to host better, more engaging, and more impactful retrospectives. 

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Darren Smith: Scrum Masters are wrong all the time. Here’s why!

I’ve often said that we don’t coach the same team two days in a row. Each team is unique, but each team changes also daily. We must, as Scrum Masters, be on our toes and ready to adapt. In this episode, we explore a story that shares why that is important. We talk about a solution that worked for a team but backfired in another team. Same problem, same solution, completely opposite results! What do you believe in, which worked before, but might be wrong today? 

About Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter.

Addo de Visser: Why Scrum Masters must keep their values even when the situation is against them

When we face difficult situations at work, sometimes we let go of what we believe in. Has that happened to you? In this episode, we talk about what happens when Scrum Masters “forget” their values and personal identity and try to adapt to a reality that is not theirs. Addo invites us to think: are we the right person for the job we are struggling with? 

About Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.

Rik Pennartz: How to coach your Scrum team like a Pro!

When Scrum Masters start their journey but come from project management or even line management background, there’s the temptation to “tell people what to do”. However, that’s not a good approach to help teams grow and improve. In this episode, we explore the role of the Scrum Master as a coach, and discuss how to set up and host “Coaching Conversations”. 

In this episode, we refer to Gregg Popovich, legendary coach of the Basketball team San Antonio Spurs

About Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who’s worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter.

Moana Pledger: How to help Scrum teams stuck in a Waterfall organization

Not all teams have the benefit of working within an Agile organization. Some of the teams we work with are stuck between Waterfall and Agile. And as Scrum Masters, we very often get asked to work with teams that are struggling with exactly that problem. In this episode, we discuss how we can help teams that are in a similar situation, and what Mo learned from that story that you can use to your advantage.

In this episode, we refer to Martine Davos, and Agile Coach and Scrum trainer.

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She’s pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledgeron LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter.

Chelsie Raiola: How Scrum Masters can help teams handle critical escalations

Once in while, Scrum teams need to face critical situations. In this episode, we explore what a Scrum Master can do to help a team that is facing a critical customer escalation. These are situations where urgency can easily lead to conflict and negatively affect a team. Are you ready to handle such a situation? Listen in to learn how Chelsie tackled that challenge.

About Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Ellen Santamaria: How to keep Scrum teams motivated in the Agile adoption process

Let’s say that a team has started adopting Scrum. That’s great, right? No so quick! Did the team start adopting Scrum of their own accord? Or was it a dictate from above? As a Scrum Master, we need to pay special attention to why the teams started adopting Scrum. And we must work with them to define and help them stick to their own work agreements. It’s easy to say that people are motivated to do the work they themselves define, but as a Scrum Master are you helping the team define what they want to achieve, and how they want to work? 

About Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Valeria Greco: The critical step some Scrum Masters skip, and get into problems for

As Scrum Masters, we may be tempted to go straight to problem-solving when we join a team. As “quick” as that may sound, what Valeria learned in this story was that it makes our Scrum Master work harder, not easier. There’s a critical step we must go through before the team is ready and willing to work with us. Listen to learn what that step is. 

About Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: “I build teams!” And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)”

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Reinald Kirchner: How Scrum Masters can solve team conflicts (or not ;)

After discovering Extreme Programming, Reinald decided that Agile was the way to go and started looking for education and a job as a Scrum Master. He started working as a group lead with a team that “wanted to go in the Scrum direction” instead though, and the surprises just kept coming. There was a hard conflict to solve in that team. Listen in to learn what Reinald learned about conflict management and resolution in software development teams.

About Reinald Kirchner

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchner on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchner on Twitter.

Dmytro Balaba: Working with Scrum teams that have lost hope, and help them get better

Sometimes we need to work with teams that have lost hope. The team might be cynical about future improvements and look at Agile or Scrum skeptically. This was what Dmytro had to face in his team. In this episode, we talk about how to work with a skeptical team, and get them engaged in improving their work. This is a critical lesson for all Scrum Masters, don’t miss it!

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.