Yousef T. Fahoum: The missing ingredient for a Scrum team to succeed

Yousef was working with a team that others call “trouble team”. But, as he observed the team, it looked like they were trying hard to do a good job. So he started working through 1-on-1’s to try to get a better, more detailed picture of what was going on. In that process, he realized that something critical was missing for that team to work well.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Lencioni

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Lencioni, Yousef learned how to diagnose a team by looking at their dynamics. He also learned a model that helps him work with teams and grow the people in it.

In this segment, we also refer to Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General McChrystal, and MobProgramming, a topic we’ve covered before here on the podcast.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Yousef T. Fahoum

When starting out as a ScrumMaster and BA years ago Yousef passionately followed the ScrumMaster Podcast. Yousef is a SAFe Enterprise Coach at Elabor8 with experience implementing Agile and SAFe at some of the largest and most recognized brand leaders across industry domains in the U.S. and Australia.

You can link with Yousef T. Fahoum on LinkedIn and connect with Yousef T. Fahoum on Twitter.

Julie Wyman: Getting a Scrum team back on the retrospectives train

Julie was part of a team supporting a large program of 10 scrum teams. The team that Julie was working with, started to skip the retrospectives because they were trying to catch-up. However, after they had been able to catch-up, the team did not come back to start holding their retrospectives again. When should the Scrum Master stand-up and push the team to hold their retrospectives again? In this episode, we talk about the critical role Scrum Masters play in keeping the teams accountable to themselves when it comes to process, and how sometimes, it is important to stop, even if that affects delivery, because retrospectives are the “power station” for the rest of the work the team does. 

Featured Book of the Week: Impact Mapping, by Gojko Adzic

In Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects by Gojko Adzic, Julie found a way to crystalize the concept of business impact. Impact Mapping, is a short book with lot of visuals. You can also learn about Impact Mapping in Gojko Adzic’s presentation on Impact Mapping

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Julie Wyman

Julie Wyman has been working with Agile teams for over a decade and is continuously learning with and from them. She’s based just outside Washington, D.C., but has had the pleasure of supporting teams distributed across the globe and even experienced her own Agile takeaways all the way in Antarctica.

You can link with Julie Wyman on LinkedIn.

Jeroen de Jong: The Project Manager disguised as a Product Owner, and the impact on the Scrum team

This story starts with a team that is doing detailed tasking and planning during a refinement session. The Product Owner for that team behaved like a project manager, dictating what each of the team members should do, and in what order. This was not helped by the fact that the team was heavily silo-ed around skills. 

In this segment, we discuss the importance of understanding the “flow” in the team, and Jeroen refers to the talk by Henrik Kniberg on the impact of not limiting the work in progress.

Featured Book of the Week: Getting Things Done by David Allen

In Getting Things Done by David Allen, Jeroen found a method that helps him manage the stress that comes from being deliberate and structured about managing our own work. In this segment, we talk about some of the main aspects of the GTD (Getting Things Done) method, and the lessons we can take from that method and apply with the teams we work with.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Jeroen de Jong

Jeroen started his career as a self-employed jack-of-all-trades in IT and is passionate about Agile. He is determined to keep learning and to share his knowledge with others.

You can link with Jeroen de Jong on LinkedIn and connect with Jeroen de Jong on Twitter.

Steen Villumsen: Coaching the Product Owner, a key strategy to help teams succeed

The team Steen was working with, wanted to do Scrum by the book, which, in their mind, meant attending to every request the Product Owner would bring to them. However, Steen started to see a loss of focus, and messy Sprint planning sessions. The team was not able to help the PO focus, and create a coherent Vision. This story illustrates why it is so important to be ready to help our Product Owners. In this episode, we refer to the Coaching Your PO e-course that we put together to help Scrum Masters that want to help their Product Owners

Featured Book of the Week: Getting Things Done, by David Allen

The book Getting Things Done by David Allen resonated with Steen, and helped him understand that, as professionals, we must have a system that we can trust. As Scrum Masters, we are very often attending to many burning platforms, and being able to manage with that diverse focus of attention is a key skill that GTD (Getting Things Done) helps with.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Steen Villumsen

Steen is an Agile Coach, who calls himself a conceptualiser and a communicator. His focus is on moving people and supporting change through coaching.

You can link with Steen Villumsen on LinkedIn

Luís Santos Silva: Focusing on flow, a must for Scrum Masters and teams

Sometimes teams want to have too many stories in progress. This detracts from their ability to deliver. Luís suggests that, instead, teams should be focusing on “flow”, and instead highlight and solve the possible priority conflicts that sometimes lead to this anti-pattern of having too much in progress. 

Featured Book of the Week: Inspired by Marty Cagan 

The book Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, by Marty Cagan, helped Luís understand that he needed to get out of the Scrum Master comfort zone, and work on the “upstream” activities as well. The book broadened Luís’ sision on what product development is. Luís leaves us a call-to-action as Scrum Masters, to stop focusing only on the “downstream” activities and learn how to help the organizations we work with focus on “the right things”.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Luís Santos Silva

Luís is not your typical Agile Coach as he doesn’t have an IT background. He worked his way from a contact center up to Lean and Agile Coach and is now a Agile Coach team lead at OutSystems.

You can link with Luís Santos Silva on LinkedIn

Bevan Williams: Helping a team grow and step out of their comfort zone

Bevan was working with a product tenma that ghad started their move towards Agile. But he started to notice an anti-pattern in their behavior. They acted as if Agile meant freedom to do “anything we want”. The team was focusing on their own comfort, and happiness, but did not seem to be worried about the product they were trying to develop. Listen in to learn how Bevan helped this team step out of their comfort-only anti-pattern and grow. 

Featured Book of the Week: How Emotions Are Made, by Lisa Barrett

In How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Barrett, Bevan learned how important it is to understand the people we work with, and starting with ourselves. This book helped Bevan understand deeply the role of feedback and empathy on the Scrum Master role. 

In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, which provides “a good overview of what is expected from the Scrum Master role”, as Bevan puts it. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Pratik Dahule: Helping an Agile team that is stuck in the skill silo, which created chaos at the end of the sprint

Often, developers want to work on their stories until the last day of the sprint. However, that leads to many problems which we explore in this episode. We learn the story of a team that was clearly divided in skill silos, which led to a lot of chaos at the end of the sprint. When faced with this tricky situation, Pratik started to help the team understand the anti-pattern they were in, and using tools like cause-and-effect diagrams (aka Ishikawa Diagrams), he helped the team understand and get out of this anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

In Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, Pratik learned an approach that helps him make daily choices and be consistent in applying what he’s learned in his career. This approach has helped him accept that we must do things over and over again, if we aim to succeed in being a great Scrum Master and other areas of life.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn.

Daniel Lutz: Difficult conversations, how to confront a Scrum team that became too passive

This team started on the right foot. Everything seemed to be working. However, a pattern started to develop. The team was becoming quieter and quieter in their Agile Retrospectives as time went by. The body language was passive, and every team member had the camera off as much as they could. You could feel they were distracted, not present during the retrospectives. In this episode, we discuss how to turn around this anti-pattern of passiveness and lack of commitment to agile retrospectives by the team. 

In this segment, we also talk about the book Moose heads on the table by Karin Tenelius. Karin Tenelius has been a guest on the podcast to talk about her book

Featured Book of the Week: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

In The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni (a book we’ve mentioned a few times here on the podcast), Daniel found a great guide to the dynamics that can emerge on a team, and helped him understand how to slowly walk up the pyramid of needs for the team. The book also gives us tools and models that are useful to apply when working with teams. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Daniel Lutz

Daniel is an organizational agile coach, working full time at a leading European Energy company, scaling agile with around 30 agile teams. After years in Marketing departments, he realized how much more impact he can have as a Scrum Master by empowering people and building cross-functional teams. He also works part-time as a freelance coach and business consultant helping clients on building high performing teams.

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

Luis Carvalho: From hero to zero, how to not setup a new Scrum team

Luis was working with a consultant team that had been “sold” to the organization as a “superhero team”. However, the setup of that team had some major flaws. To start with the team was not clearly given a mission to deliver, but rather to “evaluate and help” the other teams working on the same product. This triggered an anti-pattern that would later create big problems for this and other teams. Listen in to learn about how “great teams” can sometimes become the source of “great problems”. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

In The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek, Luis learned many lessons that are critical also for Scrum Masters. The book discusses the difference between the finite and infinite mindsets. Luis also learned about how important it is important to prepare our teams to outlast our own contribution, and in that way “survive their Scrum Master”. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Luis Carvalho

Luis is an enthusiast for all things related with organizations, teams, structures and ways of working. He has been working in large scale consumer products for most of his professional life, worked with people of many backgrounds, cultures and locations and made many friends in the process. He loves traveling, food and getting to know people.

You can link with Luis Carvalho on LinkedIn.

Nick Nielsen: Helping Agile teams survive the conflict of values between Agile and Waterfall

In this story, we hear about one person that joined an Agile team, but was not ready to adopt the Agile mindset and values. What happened next was a warning for all of us that face similar situations. We discuss what happens when people join a team with very different mindsets and values than their own, and how Scrum Masters can prepare for that situation.

Featured Book of the Week: Accelerate by Gene Kim et al. 

In Accelerate by Gene Kim et al., Nick found out about the DORA metrics, and how metrics can be a key source of insights for Agile adoption, and continuous improvement. Nick describes how the book helped him create his own dashboard for Agile adoption the organizations where he works.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Nick Nielsen

Nick completed his education at Aarhus University in Denmark and currently works in the Digital Organisation at Grundfos, the worlds biggest pump manufacturer. He views him self as a pragmatic Agile Handyman.

You can link with Nick Nielsen on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Nielsen on Twitter