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.


Jeff Maleski Digital Transformation in traditional organizations

What can 5 monkeys tell us about agile/digital transformation? That’s what Jeff was asking when he found himself in the middle of an agile transformation in an organization where some people had been working for decades.

That led to an important insight. If you don’t care, it’s impossible to change. Listen in to learn how Jeff reached that insight and what were the lessons he carried into his work as a Scrum Master.

About Jeff Maleski

Jeff is passionate about working with and building up both individuals and teams using ideas from Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0 and Dan Pink’s Drive. When leading project teams, Jeff strives for empirical based planning and forecasting, continuous learning, and delivering high quality software products that exceed expectations. Jeff believes in leading by actions and focusing on building relationships with others.

You can link with Jeff Maleski on LinkedIn.

Lucas Smith on how being yelled at by users changes your perspective on customer value

It is common to claim that we must user-centric, or listen more to users, or even involve users more in the product development. But Lucas has an extreme case of that message for us. Listen in to learn how being yelled at by users can totally change your perspective on what is value, and make you want to change the product development process.

Click to learn more about how you can help your PO

About Lucas Smith

Lucas has been a developer, manager, and agile coach and trainer with Boeing. Currently works a Professional Scrum Trainer with and is the owner of LitheWorks. Lucas enjoys helping people and organizations improve the way they work to be more creative, effective, and efficient.

You can find Lucas Smith’s company at

You can link with Lucas Smith on LinkedIn.


Michael Küsters on the eternal IT – Business conflict, and how it affects collaboration

In this episode we explore a possible anti-pattern: the IT – Business conflict. It may start softly with some minor disagreements over priority, but if unchecked it can grow much bigger. In this episode we discover Michael’s own story of trying to bridge the gap between IT and Business, and also what he learned does not work. From Michael’s story we can learn how to tackle that possible conflict.

About Michael Küsters

Michael helps companies and people become more agile by providing coaching, training and consulting in agile frameworks, principles and mindset.

Michael has consulted for a wide range of companies from small start-up to international corporation, transforming teams, divisions and entire organizations. He is a seasoned veteran with Scrum, Kanban, XP, LeSS and SAFe, Lean and Six Sigma and harnesses this vast experience for his clients’ success.

Michael is a Thought Provoker helping organizations become more agile.

You can link with Michael Küsters on LinkedIn and connect with Michael Küsters on Twitter.