Nikoletta Tatár: What drives an Agile transformation? 

An Agile transformation is not an easy target state to achieve. In this episode with Nikoletta, we discuss what are some of the “must-have” conditions for the Agile transformation to have a chance to succeed. We also talk about how Scrum Masters can help organizations find the right reason for change while working with both leadership and the “doers”.

About Nikoletta Tatár

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tatár on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tatár on Twitter.

Lakshmi Ramaseshan: When contracts trump collaboration, even in Agile software development

Lakshmi tells us a story that is very unusual. In this story, the team and the client were communicating well, and effectively. They had agreed to change the content of the deliverable through collaboration. However, the leadership of the company where the team worked, was not happy with that. They still had the Waterfall, fixed price / fixed schedule mindset. In this story, Lakshmi shares how important it is to work with all stakeholders, and never ignore the fact that when a contract exists, we must make sure that contract is respected.

About Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

You can link with Lakshmi Ramaseshan on LinkedIn and connect with Lakshmi Ramaseshan on Twitter.

Daniel Lenhart: Learning to deal with crucial conversations in a Scrum Team

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

When emotions run high, it’s difficult to be the one that helps everybody calm down. As Scrum Masters, we need to be ready and know what to do when our colleagues get into a heated discussion. In this episode, we talk about what not to do, and then Daniel shares an important lesson about how to handle those situations. 

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Steve Silbert: Moving a Scrum team from 2 to 1-week Sprints, challenges and lessons learned

As Steve worked with this particular team, they got to the point that they wanted to move to 1-week Sprints. However, the move to 1-week Sprints presented a significantly different problem than they were used to in their previous 2-week Sprints. We explore the key differences between 1-week and 2-week sprints, and what teams must be aware of when moving to the shorter timeboxes.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter.

Jesse Houwing: Customer collaboration AND contract negotiation for Scrum Masters

While working on a project for a client, Jesse was able to help develop a good collaboration with the client, and the client was happy with the team’s deliverables… except that Finance and Legal got involved and refused to pay. The reason was that even if the collaboration was working well with the people who would use the software, the Finance, and Legal department wanted to withhold payment due to missing functionality. 

The final user and client did not want or need that functionality, but it was written in the contract. 

There’s a key lesson here for us Scrum Masters: even when we focus on customer collaboration, we must not forget that contracts may be strictly enforced, and we must be ready for it. Jesse shares some tips on how to be ready for such situations.

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Ludmila Reyter: Agile transition failures and how to prepare

Ludmila started in a company as an internal tool project manager. Soon after that, the company adopted Agile, and project managers were “remodeled” to be Scrum Masters. Ludmila’s journey as a Scrum Master started, and soon she was working in another organization where she was the only Scrum Master, leading to an unhappy outcome that taught Ludmila an important lesson for Scrum Masters stuck in difficult agile transitions.

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now – but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Mahesh Jade: Learning to apply the spirit of Servant Leadership as a Scrum Master

The lessons that Mahesh learned in one organization, were not applicable when he changed organizations. That story brought Mahesh an important lesson that all Scrum Masters should pay attention to. We must learn to apply the “spirit” of servant leadership and not only the tools we might have learned in the past.

About Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Leigh Griffin: Managing stakeholder expectations, a critical task for Scrum Masters

When Leigh was working on this project, he tried his best to keep all the stakeholders up to date, including traveling to headquarters to meet up and talk to his managers.

Then, when the news came that the project was delayed, the managers denied ever having heard about any delays. This was a critical lesson for Leigh on how to work with stakeholders and manage their expectations. 

In this episode, we talk about the book The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson.

About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter. 

Ben Maynard: Struggling as a Scrum Product Owner, lessons learned in collaboration

Ben reminds us that Product Owners can sometimes focus on their work so much that they forget about the importance of interacting directly with the team. In this story, Ben shares his own experience as a struggling PO and what happened when he tried to create the backlog in isolation, without the team being involved. His intentions were good, but the way we create the backlog can make or break the product development process. 

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: 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

You can link with Ben Maynard on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Maynard on Twitter.

Jacy Ong: As a Scrum Master, be helpful, not compliant

When we get started in our Scrum Master journey it is easy to try and comply with other people’s expectations, and end up betraying the original ideas for the Scrum Master role. In this story, Jacy describes one such moment. We walk through the problems that come from trying to please, instead of trying to help and share some tips for Scrum Masters facing pressure to comply and ignore some of the basic Scrum rules.

About Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: “nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)”

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn.