Working with a team that had very little going for them, Arif tried his best. He tried to raise awareness of the problem, he tried to help the team improve, he raised obstacles to management. Was that enough? Listen in as Arif describes his journey in an impossible situation, and explains why – sometimes – you need to get fired as a Scrum Master otherwise you are not doing your job!
Arif is an experienced Scrum Master with a passion for enabling teams to achieve their potential, Arif loves challenging situations. In the last 5 years, he has been made redundant twice and fired twice. He is not afraid of speaking up when he sees anti-patterns and/or a lack of willingness to change behaviors.
We sometimes face situations where the teams are not ready to be Agile. In this episode we discuss such a story and talk about what we need to have in place to even get started with Agile. This is a great reminder that we should not try to make all teams Agile or all projects Agile. First we need to discuss and agree on the conditions we need to get started on our Agile journey.
For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.
With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.
A project is late and we think: let’s add more people. Project Managers all over the world use this technique to try to get their projects on schedule. However it’s not that easy…
In fact, integrating new project team members in an existing team actually changes the dynamic for the whole team! In this episode Venetia Foo walks us through a failure moment, where as Scrum Masters we are part of the integration process for a new team member, but that’s not an easy process at all! Listen to what Venetia learned from that story and what she does now when a new team member joins the team.
About Venetia Foo
Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.
Being a Scrum Master to a few local teams can be challenging enough, but how do you support multiple distributed teams? Balazs shares his steep learning curve on working with remote teams and shares also some important etiquette tips on working with remote teams.
About Balazs Tátár
Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.
Samantha shares with us a story of how agile transformations sometimes go, the pitfalls, that anti-patterns, and also what we need as Scrum Masters. Once we reach that level where we have our own skills in place, there’s still a lot of anti-patterns we must face and overcome in organizations in the middle of an agile transformation. We discuss agile transformation for organizations as well as for us: Project Managers on the journey to be Scrum Masters.
Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time, she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.
As Scrum Masters we want to help our teams succeed. And we do everything we can to help them. Sometimes a bit too much. Sometimes we might become the bottleneck. Running from meeting to meeting, trying to answer all the questions, help everybody. But that does not scale. How can we break free from that anti-pattern? Karthik shares with us his journey and what he learned back then that helps him stay in his zone, help without taking over.
About Karthik Nagarajan
Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.
In this story that Adrian shares with us we explore our tendency to hide the failures, to cover for each other rather than addressing the problems we are facing. We discuss the consequences of that Anti-Pattern and how we should, as Scrum Masters, help the teams we work with address the problems head-on.
A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)
When working in certain organizations we are challenged with contexts that we just can’t cope with. Whether it is a personality problem, or just a complex social conflict, it is crucial to understand where our limits are, and accept those. Being humble is key to keep our sanity and move on. As a Scrum Master we should be very clear on what kind of situations we are not ready, or even wanting to face. Jacopo shares just that kind of story in this episode.
About Jacopo Romei
Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.
Sometimes we forget that failure is always around the corner. We get too confident and stop looking at the failure signs. Oana shares just such a story, and what she did to get out of it.
About Oana Juncu
Oana likes to present herself as a Business DJ, mixing whatever practices, from Agile and Lean(Startup) to storytelling , User Experience and neuroscience. In her day to day Oana helps teams and organisations unfold creativity, become proud of their achievements, and delight their customers.
You can connect with Oana Juncu on LinkedIn, or follow Oana Juncu on Twitter.
Oana’s website can be seen at coemerge.com.
There are many similarities between the way teams interact in many industries, but in this episode we explore the similarity between a team leader in the army and the role of Scrum Master. Listen in while Sean explains his story, and what he learned from it that he still applies today in his work as Scrum Master and Agile Coach.
He also shares with us his recipe for dealing with failure:
Acknowledge that you are giving it your best. The prime directive also applies to ourselves, not just the teams we work with.
Ultimately, our goal is to learn, so step back and reflect. Develop a set of questions you ask yourself when things don’t go as you expected. Frame mistakes in the context of learning.
About About Sean Dunn
Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach. Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army. In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.
That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.
You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at email@example.com.
Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.