Massimiliano Fattorusso on when Cognitive Diversity fails, and how Scrum Masters can avoid it

We’ve heard that cognitive diversity in a team can have a good impact on team performance. Whether that diversity is added by looking at gender, race or any other dimension, the expectation is that when you add more points of view to a team you avoid things like Groupthink, and other related pitfalls. But is that so?

In this episode, we explore a situation when adding cognitive diversity to the team was a big problem. And then we discuss how we can avoid that in our own work.

About Massimiliano Fattorusso

Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.

You can link with Massimiliano Fattorusso on LinkedIn and connect with Massimiliano Fattorusso on Twitter.

Donna Marie Lee on Scrum Masters taking things personally

Scrum Masters face difficult moments regularly. Helping organizations and teams improve is not a linear process, and sometimes people react emotionally to the changes they are facing. Donna Marie shares a story of when she took that push-back personally. We then discuss how to overcome the temptation to take things personally, and what to do instead.

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

You can link with Donna Marie Lee on LinkedIn and connect with Donna Marie Lee on Twitter.

Daniel Heinen on how Scrum Masters can protect the team from political games in the organization

In this episode, Daniel tells us the story of when the Product Owner took a “leader” role, and hid information from the stakeholders. The Product Owner promised many things to management to ensure funding for the project. This is a common anti-pattern in project organizations, but it can have serious consequences in an Agile environment because of the additional transparency that Agile and Scrum bring to the process.

In this episode, we talk about how Daniel and the team handled the difficult and delicate situation they were facing.

In this episode, we refer to the #NoEstimates movement, and the concept of Muda (Type 1) from Lean Manufacturing.

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

David Denham on what happens when Scrum Masters have their own Agenda

When Scrum Masters come to work with a team they must make a critical decision. Are they there to help the team, in their own terms, or to “bring in” Scrum or improvements? There’s a critical difference between these alternative approaches.

In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can fail when they come to the team to “bring in” Scrum. Listen in to learn how that looks like, and how to detect that anti-pattern before it is too late.

In this episode, we refer to the Kanban Method.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

David Sabine on when the Scrum Masters focuses on the organization instead of the team

The Scrum Master’s role is primarily a role that serves the team. Without that presence, the teams suffer, and in this episode, we explore what might happen when the Scrum Master – eager to help the organization – focuses on the context, rather than the team.

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

You can link with David Sabine on LinkedIn and connect with David Sabine on Twitter.

Silvana Wasitova on The First Steps from Waterfall to Scrum

As Scrum Masters, we face many of the patterns of the old methodologies. In this episode with Silvana Wasitova, we explore the up-front planning, all-in commitment approach and how that affects agile teams. We also discuss how a Scrum Master can help such teams.

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Paulo Rebelo on How Scrum Masters can Cope With Intrusive Team Managers

When we come into work with a team, the first thing we must be aware of is the type and number of stakeholders that we will be dealing with.

In this episode, Paulo presents a story of a team that he was supposed to help, but the stakeholders started messing up with the team, making his work, as Scrum Master, much harder.

Listen in to learn about how to deal with particularly intrusive team managers. Something that we will all need to face, sooner or later.

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Elizabeth Christensen on How Scrum Masters can detect Team Burnout

As projects progress, it is common that the pressure rises. Every day we work with teams that suffer many pressures, from stakeholders, from other teams, and from themselves because of the commitments they want to honor.

In this episode, we talk about a hidden tragedy: the team burnout. Listen in to learn how Liz detected and faced that tragedy.

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership, this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Kyle Aretae on what Scrum Masters must focus on, beyond the teams

Kyle’s background as a developer has informed his view of how teams can achieve the level of collaboration needed to be successful in an Agile environment. Having read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained book, he started to work with developers, helping them improve their ways of working. But that wasn’t enough. In this episode, we explore what is beyond the team that can make or break an Agile transition.

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since ’81. Teaching since ’91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming – XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Faye Thompson on how to be a humane Scrum Master

“We don’t leave our human-selves at the door once we come into work!” – this is how Faye starts this episode. The question is: as a Scrum Master, what does it mean for me? Faye’s journey to the Scrum Master role gives us some insights into the wide-spread consequences of that phrase. It also links directly to the story of failure that Faye has to share with us. It is a story of how a team member started bullying other team members. Listen in to learn to detect bullying signs early on.

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.