Oskar Collin: The Scrum Master as a status chaser, Anti-pattern

As Scrum Masters, we often want to help the PO, or other stakeholders that ask us questions. This wish to please can sometimes lead to the Scrum Master becoming a “status chaser” for the remote or otherwise absent stakeholder. In this episode, we talk about the dangers of becoming a “status chaser” as a Scrum Master, and how to help the team take ownership of the communication with the PO.

About Oskar Collin

Oskar is a former software developer who became a passionate agile coach and Scrum master. He did so mainly because he was better at helping teams working together than building software. He loves experiments and questioning the status quo. He is passionate about helping teams build digital products and deliver value continuously. 

You can link with Oskar Collin on LinkedIn and connect with Oskar Collin on Twitter

Stefania Marinelli: The self-organization roadmap for Scrum teams

Growing teams over time mean that we help them find their path to ownership and self-organization. In this episode, we talk about creating a roadmap to self-organization, and helping teams take steps towards owning their work, and putting self-organization in practice.

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Anubhuti Agarwal: How to build a new Scrum team when a project starts

When we enter a new organization as consultants or employees, how do we get a new team started? In this episode, we explore the difficult task of the Scrum Master as a team builder and catalyst. 

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Thomas Kofoed: Solution focussed coaching, a solution for problem-centric Scrum teams

Thomas, a game 3d artist turned Scrum Master, got started in his journey thanks to a mentor who was a Scrum Master in his team. As he started his own journey he fell into the trap of focusing only on questions, which was important, but led teams to dwell on the problem for too long. Invariably the retrospectives turned into a complain fest, and there was little time to focus on solutions. It was then that he learned about “problem-focused” cultures and what to do about it. Listen in to learn how Thomas got his teams from problem-centric to solution-centric. 

In this episode, we talk about the book Solution-Focussed Coaching: A Manager’s Guide to Getting the Best from People by Grant and Greene.

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn.

Denniz Dönmez: Good intentions can also turn sour for Scrum Masters: what not to do as a Scrum Master

When Denniz joined this team, he observed, that even if the Product Owner was close to the customer, the team had little to no contact with the users of the product. He worked on preparing a workshop that had a hidden agenda: get the developers to understand the users. However, that didn’t turn out so well, and it taught Denniz an important lesson. Listen in to learn how to not organize a workshop with users, and what Denniz learned from that failure that helped him be a better Scrum Master. 

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart: When setting a high-bar for the Definition of Done is a bad idea

Brian’s story is enlightening regarding the value of the Definition of Done. A team that had set the DoD bar too high, and chose to not change the DoD. That led to an anti-pattern that had to be untangled by the Scrum Master. 

Samantha shares the story of a Scrum Master that had the tendency to lead all the conversations and how she was able to recover from that pattern with a technique she calls “the pregnant pause”. 

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta’s transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer, but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta’s Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

Jeffrey Koors: Collaboration at scale, the challenge that scaled Agile poses 

Agile at the team level is not easy, and it has serious challenges that need to be overcome for a team to reach their potential. However, agility in the large is even harder. We have to help teams collaborate across departments, functions, and sometimes even across different companies. In this episode, we dive into collaboration at scale, the challenge for Scrum Masters working with multiple teams in a scaled agile context.

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Charles Rodriguez: When a successful team gets canceled, it is also the Scrum Master’s responsibility

As Charles joined this team, all seemed to be working perfectly. The team really got Agile, and they were following the ceremonies and producing high-quality software. But something was off. With time it became clear that there was a gap between the team and the stakeholders. Finally, the team realized that their project was about to be canceled. What happened? How could this team’s amazing work be canceled? The lessons Charles learned from that story are a critical warning for all of us. Listen in to learn what happened, and why you should start looking at your own team (even if successful) to look for possible early signals of the same pattern.

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter

Christian Hofstetter: Learning to confront micro-managing managers to help the Scrum team

Christian was working on an Agile transition, helping teams move from traditional project management to Scrum. As it usually happens, someone was trying to micro-manage and control the development team, after all, that’s the default situation in a project management culture. The team tried to push back, but that didn’t work. Christian took it up with the manager himself, confronting him with what was going on. At that time, Christian learned an important lesson: we have to stand for what we think is right. 

In this episode, we talk about the book: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Raphael Branger: Agile for Business Intelligence Projects

Raphael quickly realized that Agile could bring his organization a competitive advantage and help solve the problems he was facing in some of the projects he worked at. As he started to understand what being agile meant, however, he found that his initial focus (on the process) was detracting from his ability to learn quickly. In this episode, we cover Raphaeo’s personal transformation, from process to a completely new approach that has helped him continuously learn and improve the agility of his organization over the years. 

In this segment, we refer to Raphael’s concept of Agile Business Intelligence Building Blocks, which helped him understand how to apply Agile to Business Intelligence projects.

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter