Jem D’jelal and the temptation of taking on the Product Owner role as well as the Scrum Master Role

As an unlikely Scrum Master Jem went through a journey of adapting to a new industry, and a new role. In his eagerness to bring value to the organization and teams he worked with he focused on taking on more responsibility. But is that a good idea? What happens when the Scrum Master also takes the Product Owner role? Listen in as we discuss the anti-pattern of the Scrum Master that is also the Product Owner.

About Jem D’jelal

Jem trained to be a social worker, but ended up dropping out & joining the dark side instead : investment banking 🙂 In a funny way, Jem was led back to his passion – helping people. This happened when he was introduced to Scrum in 2006, and has been a career Scrum Master since. He calls himself “nomadic”, having had almost 30 roles in 10 + years. He does say that he will be searching for a home at some point. Some of Jem’s other passions involve running, a part time mentoring charity for repeating youth offenders in North London & callisthenics.

You can link with Jem D’Jelal on LinkedIn and connect with Jem D’Jelal on Twitter.

Andreas Plattner on the line-manager transition when adopting Agile

The line manager role is a critical role in any organization. When line management is confused, and scared Agile cannot be easily adopted. The reasons for the fear may well be imaginary, but the fear is real and drives their behavior.

In this episode we talk about the very critical role of the line manager in organizations adopting Agile.

About Andreas Plattner

Andreas is an Agile Coach @ Daimler. He is has been a passionate Agilist and Scrum Master for over 10 years. He works on and cares for organizational health.

You can link with Andreas Plattner on LinkedIn and connect with Andreas Plattner on XING.

Mark Cruth: To be a great Scrum Master, focus on collaboration and get a mentor

When we start our journey as a Scrum Master we are taking a leap into a new world. It’s not just that Scrum Master is a new profession. It is also that the lessons that served us so well in the past, are no longer the best approaches. In this episode we talk about how different the role of Scrum Master is, and what we should focus on.

About Mark Cruth

Mark has been playing in the Agile space since 2009, helping multiple organizations move towards a more Agile perspective on work across several industries, including manufacturing, eCommerce, and FinTech. Today Mark works as an Agile Coach for Quicken Loans, as well as operates his own Consulting company called Teal Mavericks.

You can link with Mark Cruth on LinkedIn and connect with Mark Cruth on Twitter.

Denis Salnikov on the anti-pattern of the Scrum Master who is also the Product Owner

When we get started with Agile there will be a strong temptation to take shortcuts. One very common shortcut is to remove a few roles and think that all will work fine anyway. But is that really true?

In this episode we discuss what happens when we put the roles of Scrum Master and Product Owner in the same person and how we can avoid making the most common mistakes when that happens.

In this episode we refer to the TV series: Silicon Valley.

About Denis Salnikov

Agile Coach and Scrum Master passionate about creating and fostering happy workplaces and safe environments. Denis calls himself an Agile Mythbuster.

You can link with Denis Salnikov on LinkedIn and connect with Denis Salnikov on Twitter or follow his blog on Medium.

Shubhang Vishwamitra on transitioning from Scrum Police to Collaboration Booster

When we work our way through the Scrum Master learning curve, we go through many phases. One of those phases (one that is common for many Scrum Masters) is the Scrum Police phase. Where we focus on form over function, and act as an enforcer, instead of an enabler.

In this episode we discuss how we can grow out of that phase, and what that means for us, in our journey as Scrum Masters.

About Shubhang Vishwamitra

Shubhang is a passionate agile practitioner originally from Bangalore, India. Who’s worked in Japan and Finland and is currently based in London and working as scrum master.

Shubhang has an extensive background in software development and agile delivery model in smartphone, travel and finance industries. He believes that having a technical background helps to connect with teams and ease the flow of discussion in solving complex problems.

You can link with Shubhang Vishwamitra on LinkedIn.


Sarah O’Brien on being a woman and a Scrum Master

An issue that we often ignore (or want to ignore?) is the impact of prejudice on our work as Scrum Masters. Maybe it is about being different, or not fitting in the prevalent engineering culture. There can be many differences that make our job as Scrum Masters harder to master.

In this episode with Sarah we explore how sometimes being a woman Scrum Master makes the job even harder than it usually is.

About Sarah O’Brien

Sarah is passionate about helping teams work together to bring value to their work lives. She has worked in the Scrum Master role for the past 6 years after transitioning out of waterfall as a senior software engineer. Her (not so) secret goal is to help people bring agile practices home.

You can link with Sarah O’Brien on LinkedIn.

Jella Eifler: Agile is not about “Faster and Cheaper”, it’s much more

Agile is getting adopted by more and more companies. It is inevitable that some managers will think that Agile is about “faster and cheaper”, but essentially the same as before. But is it? And is the focus on faster and cheaper going to help the teams deliver? In this episode, Jella shares with us a story that was pushed and pressured to deliver faster and cheaper, and what happened. We discuss how to engage management to avoid the “agile is faster and cheaper” anti-pattern, and what we should talk about instead.

About Jella Eifler

Jella has a background in linguistics (totally non-tech) and calls herself “agile native” (having never worked any other way, at least in software development). She works as a Scrum Master since 2014 at Qudosoft in Berlin. She has worked with both colocated as well as distributed teams.

You can link with Jella Eifler on LinkedIn and connect with Jella Eifler on Twitter.

Lynoure Braakman on the Scrum vs Kanban debate, and the problems with both

Scrum vs Kanban is a very common debate. Some teams will be adamant that only one of those applies to their context. Whichever you choose, you should be aware of the consequences. In this episode we explore one such process change, and the problems associated.

About Lynoure Braakman

Lynoure has worked in many roles in the IT, from operations, scrum mastering and requirements analysis to programming, even a little as a tester. She’s worked in agile teams since 2000 and loves being an adapter type, bringing in a wider perspective into her projects and to help different types of personalities to work together.

You can link with Lynoure Braakman on LinkedIn and connect with Lynoure Braakman on Twitter. You can also follow Lynoure Braakman’s blog at:

Kathy Andersen on mapping how a Story gets developed and what we can learn from that

In retrospectives with the team we are looking for improvement opportunities. And often the team members will already have ideas about how to improve the ways of working. But sometimes we need to look for improvement opportunities, and the “The Story of a User Story” retrospective we talk about in this episode may help you find the things that need to change.

Listen in to learn what gaps the team uncovered, and how Kathy and the team recovered from a painful story delivery.

About Kathy Andersen

Kathy works as a Scrum Master with a team implementing a billing management system for a company called Hudl. Hudl is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska and provides video review and performance analysis tools for coaches and athletes to review game footage and improve team play. Kathy took an uncommon route to the software world, and since then she has had the luck of working on a diverse set of projects and teams. You’ll find her speaking at conferences and participating in the agile community.

You can link with Kathy Andersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kathy Andersen on Twitter.


Umer Saeed on how we should start by fixing the basics, but…

Umer was working in a project where chaos was the approach the teams were taking. Not a good way to start, especially not for a new Scrum Master. This led Umer to learn a few tough,  but critical lessons about how important it is to set expectations and priorities correctly.

About Umer Saeed

Umer is a Scrum Master, joining us from London, UK, currently working for one of the largest TV broadcasters in the UK, ITV. He has 5 years experience working in Agile environments spanning across Sports, Broadcasting, Travel and Publishing.  

You can link with Umer Saeed on LinkedIn and connect with Umer Saeed on Twitter.