Moana Pledger: What happens when the Scrum Master leaves and the tech lead takes over

When all works well with a team, there’s the temptation for us as Scrum Masters to think that the “team gets it”, but even if that is the case, your role, and who you are is part of that system. When you leave things will be different. In this episode, we explore what happens when the Scrum Master leaves, and the previous technical lead takes over. In this story, we will hear the anti-patterns that can easily develop when the critical role of the Scrum Master is taken by someone else.

In this episode, we refer to Behavior Driven Development and “The New World Order” retrospective exercise, you can host a similar Agile Retrospective by using The Perfection Game exercise by Jim and Michele McCarthy, authors of the Core Protocols.

Featured Book for the Week: Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline

In Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline, Moana learned that it is critical to focus on improving our own performance so that we can help the teams we work with. In the book, she learned about the importance to focus on the quality of attention she gives to others when working with them.

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She’s pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Chelsie Raiola: Helping Scrum teams learn how to re-team, accept new team members

Teams can’t always remain the same over time. What happens when the team needs to change its composition, or even work with new colleagues but refuses to do so? In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can help teams accept new team members and adapt to the inevitable organizational changes that will happen over time.

Featured Book for the Week: The Pocket Guide to Scrum by Gunther Verheyen

In The Pocket Guide to Scrum by Gunther Verheyen (who was a guest previously on the podcast), Chelsie found a quick to read and easily understandable collection of tips for Scrum Masters. 

In this segment, we also refer to User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton (also a guest on the podcast) and The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim et al

About Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn.

Ellen Santamaria: Dealing with value conflicts between Scrum Master and team or organization

How often do you reflect on the prevailing culture of the team and organization where you work? Are that team or organization’s values aligned with you own personal values? 

As Scrum Masters, the organizations and teams we work with have a big impact on the work we can do. In this episode, we discuss how sometimes the organization and team’s cultures are not aligned with the Scrum Master’s values, and what we should do about it.

Featured Book for the Week: The Hitchhiker’s guide to Agile Coaching

In The Hitchhiker’s guide to Agile Coaching, by the Agile42 coaches (free sign-up required), Ellen found a good description of the different stances Scrum Masters need to take in their role. The book invites us to consider the stance we take at each moment. 

In this segment, we also refer to the 5 coaching stances for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches (free sign-up required).

About Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Valeria Greco: The “Senior Team Member” anti-pattern in Scrum teams

Teams benefit from team members with a lot of experience. However, when those team members become the “only voice” in the team, that may lead to serious problems. In this episode, we explore the Senior Team Member anti-pattern, whereby one team member “overpowers” everyone else in the team, and the other team members are hesitant to share their perspectives. What should a Scrum Master do in this situation? Listen in to learn more, and get Valeria’s tips.

Featured Book for the Week: Coaching agile teams by Lyssa Adkins

In Coaching agile teams by Lyssa Adkins, Valeria found an inspiring book that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. In the book she finds a valuable reminder of the things she still has to practice and learn to be better at. 

About Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: “I build teams!” And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)”

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Reinald Kirchner: How a “team of specialists” can kill productivity

In this episode, we explore the anti-pattern of the “team of specialists”. This team was formed by many freelancers and sub-contractors that were hired to do a specialist job and were not about to give that up. Listen in to learn what that caused and how Reinald handled the problem.

Featured Book of the Week: The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery

In The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery, Reinald found a good reason to change his personal attitude towards the things he didn’t like to do.

Reinald also mentions the Rene Brown’s talk about Vulnerability, a talk that helped him change his attitude as a freelance software developer, and stopping to try to be a superhero, a problem that many freelancers face in their desire to help their clients.

About Reinald Kirchner

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchner on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchner on Twitter.

Dmytro Balaba: How to handle a low performer in your Scrum team

What happens when a team member who joined as a “gift” from management fails to keep the standard expected from each of the team members? If you add to this, the fact that some team members become vocal about the problem, but others don’t even want to touch the subject, you have all the ingredients you need for massive conflict. What can a Scrum Master do? Listen in to learn how Dmytro, the Scrum Master helped the team get out of this negative spiral.

Featured Book for the Week: Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgren et al.

Dmytro’s recommendation is the book by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, and Nicole Forsgren, Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations.

In Accelerate, Dmytro found many inspirational stories and anecdotes that helps him improve the organization and the teams he works with.

Dmytro also recommends Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland. In this book, he highlights the many real-life examples.

Additionally, Dmytro refers to The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, a book he describes as filled with technical practices that teams can apply.

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right hand, he has a tattoo with the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management, Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: Having tough conversations with Scrum team stakeholders

When things go wrong, it is critical to help the team prepare how the discuss and recover from bad news. The worst that can happen is when teams (and Scrum Masters) just drop “the bomb” of bad news and put the responsibility on others. In this episode, we talk about how to prepare those tough conversations.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Andy found a new perspective on self-development and team development.

In this segment, we also mention Perfect Time-Based Productivity: How to rescue your peace of mind as time demands increase by Francis Wade, a book that allowed Andy to design his own time-management system, a must-have tool for all Scrum Masters.

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: From “group” to Agile Team, a Scrum Master coaching roadmap 

This team had all the ceremonies in place. They were “doing” Scrum by all accounts. But they weren’t even a team. We explore the “group, not team” anti-pattern with Eddy, and discuss what might be some of the techniques and approaches Scrum Masters can use to help these teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Eddy found a new approach to the eternal question of motivation. He found a new paradigm to help him understand the role of managers and management in organizations.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Jim Sammons: How to recognize the anti-pattern the buries the Scrum teams in a mountain of technical debt

As this story starts, the team is buried under technical debt. Why they got there is the topic of this episode’s story. We talk about finding the signs that the team is starting to drown in tech debt, as the recognition of that pattern is the first step to avoid major damage to the team and the product.

In this segment, we refer to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Featured Book of the Week: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Jim found a reminder of some practices that are useful for Scrum Masters. The highlight is the process of “decluttering”, removing the mess we often have to deal with in our teams, our backlogs or in relationships between team members. Jim challenges us to find those “cluttered” areas in our work and ask the team: “do you feel overwhelmed?”

In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Martin Lambert: Swarming a whole-team approach to getting work done

What happens when team members see themselves as specialists? We discuss some of the common anti-patterns of the specialized team member perspective and talk about the benefits of swarming, an approach where the whole team feels responsible for the deliverables they have to complete, instead of standing by and letting the specialists work alone.

Featured Book of the Week: <Redacted>

Martin wants to share some of the insights that he got from a book he read. The book allowed him to feel free from previous fears, and find space to express his curiosity. This lead to Martin finding a newly rekindled thirst for knowledge. The book? You may want to ask Martin directly on LinkedIn, his LinkedIn page is linked below, in his bio! 🙂

About Martin Lambert

Martin’s an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: “sorry for you know what”.

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.