Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras: On the Scrum Master’s difficulty to step back, and let the team lead

When we want to help the teams we work with, sometimes we go too far. In this episode, we share a story of a Scrum Master that did just that, only to find out that it is critical that the teams take ownership over the solutions they choose to implement. No matter how much experience we have, as Scrum Masters, it is ultimately the team that needs to improve and live with their choices.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

You can link with Katy Cabral on LinkedIn.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

You can link with Joseph Contreras on LinkedIn.

Nick Vitsinsky on the Scrum Master’s failure to motivate the team

Scrum Masters work with teams every day. The way teams feel about the work they do is extremely important for them to be engaged and motivated. However, sometimes we overlook that and fail. In this very personal story by Nick, we learn about what happens when Scrum Masters overlook and even ignore the motivation and engagement of the team.

About Nick Vitsinsky

Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.

You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.

Mili Shrivastava explains how Scrum Masters can help teams finish more stories in a Sprint

Often, teams get too eager to deliver. So eager, they end up planning too much for one Sprint. What usually follows, is that teams leave a lot of stories unfinished at the end of the Sprint, which in turn affects the next Sprint.

In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can progressively get the teams to understand what creates that anti-pattern and how to overcome it so that teams start finishing more, if not all, the stories during the Sprint.

About Mili Shrivastava

Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn.

Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst): the challenges with moving from developer to Scrum Master

When we move from a developer role to a Scrum Master role, many things change. In this episode, we talk about our relationship with our colleagues (the good and the bad), as well as the critical aspect of learning to ask for feedback from the team.

About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)

Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.

You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.

Bradley Pohl: how to help PO and team collaborate better

The relationship between Product Owner and the team is critical. So critical that if it does not work, it has the potential to derail the whole effort. In this episode, we talk about how to identify possible problems in collaboration between the team and PO, and how to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Bradley Pohl

Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an “Agile Transformation.” As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

Jeremy Willets: Component teams make you slow, are you paying attention?

How we set up teams has a direct impact on their ability to deliver. As Scrum Masters, we should pay attention to the early signs that something is going wrong. In this episode, we discuss the “platform team” anti-pattern, the dependencies that it causes and how we can raise the issue early enough to have an impact.

In this episode, we refer to the Marshmallow experiment blog post by Marcus Hammarberg, a great illustration that quick iteration with the result in mind can be much more effective and efficient for Scrum teams.

About Jeremy Willets

Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He’s passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!

You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.

Elena Popretinskaya on what we can learn from Modern Agile about forming a Scrum team

Teams change. It’s a fact. Some team members join, sometimes two teams get merged. That’s the story we talk about in this episode. Elena was facing a challenge. A new team was formed from two previous teams. How to help the team form?

Elena tried several things, including forming the team around a common goal they called “a mission”.

However, forming a team is not an easy task. What have you tried? Listen in to learn what Elena tried, failed, and then learned from this story.

In this episode we talk about Modern Agile, a movement to highlight some aspects of Agile that often get forgotten.

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.

Catrine Björkegren on how to react to conflict in a Scrum team

As we work with several teams, it is impossible to avoid working with team members that just don’t have good chemistry. As Scrum Masters, we should be ready for when that happens! In this episode, we talk about a particular incompatibility between team members and reflect on how to handle this type of conflicts.

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

Kristopher Stice-Hall: how to keep meeting-inflation in check for remote Scrum teams

When working with remote teams we must be aware that the number of meetings can easily balloon up because the team does not meet in the corridor. As Scrum Master, we must help remote teams find workarounds for the calendar-driven, meeting-inflated anti-pattern for remote teams.

In this episode, we discuss how a Scrum Master can help a team find the right balance between meetings and ad-hoc interaction even when remote.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Varun Maheshwari: common mistakes Scrum Masters do when getting started with Scrum

Scrum is a relatively small framework for teams to adopt. Certainly much smaller than some of the Agile at scale frameworks. However, even small frameworks can take a while to adopt. In this episode, we reflect on some of the most common mistakes Scrum Masters make when helping teams adopt Scrum.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather “Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’” are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.