Mariana Trigo: Helping an Agile team recover from COVID19 isolation side effects

In the COVID19 year, there are many challenges that teams need to overcome, not the least of which is the isolation from other teams, and the rest of the company. When we can only meet through a previously scheduled online meeting, the number of connections and conversations is limited to the team we work daily with. In this story, we hear about a team that started to develop the “us against them” mentality because they were not in contact with other teams. 

Listen in to learn how Mariana helped this team get out of their inward focus, and accept that to succeed they needed to work with stakeholders outside the team.

Featured Book of the Week: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

As Mariana struggled to convince teams on how to move forward she searched for inspiration in this classic book. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carenegie helped her to learn how to communicate ideas, in a way that engages and brings out the best in the collaboration with the team members. The book helped her to shape her communication to the situation and the team member she was speaking 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 Mariana Trigo

Mariana’s path from Biology to Retail to IT, is a unique path in the search for purpose and the feeling of belonging. Helping development teams to reach their full potential by improving processes and people. Her favorite time is retrospective time, probably connected with her need to constantly get out of her comfort zone. 

You can link with Mariana Trigo on LinkedIn.

​​Tanzil Choudhury: A great Scrum team that went bad because they were so good at following Agile

Tanzil had just kickstarted a new team that he helped hire. The start of the assignment went as well as could be expected. The team picked up the practices, and learned how to apply them as described by Tanzil. However, later on that became part of the problem. The team, sure of their practices, was unwilling to move beyond the original practices they had learned. 

In this segment, we talk about The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni.

Featured Book of the Week: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell et al.

This week’s book, is also an audiobook: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell et al. In this book Tanzil learned several practices he could directly apply to his work, and go beyond the “process” aspects that a Scrum Master often works with. The book helped Tanzil move from thinking about product, to thinking and act with people. 

In this segment, we also refer to Shift From Product To People, a book that helps Scrum Masters understand and apply that shift to focus on people and their behaviors, instead of sticking only to process and product. 

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 Tanzil Choudhury

Tanzil is a passionate Agilist focused on coaching individuals, teams and organizations towards the Agile transformation journey. Specialized in working with teams and organizations to help them overcome cultural hangovers. 

You can link with Tanzil Choudhury on LinkedIn.

Alex Gbaguidi: Overcoming the skill silos in backend Scrum teams

When you are the Scrum Master in the backend team, and you understand that your team cannot deliver anything without other teams, what do you do? In this episode, we explore Alex’s story, and learn what he applied to align different teams that were organized around skill silos. 

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

Alex shares with us a new edition of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, this is the Manga version of the book. As Alex puts it: the perfect edition for the visual learners among us. 

In this segment, we also refer to the Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley et al.

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 Alex Gbaguidi

Alex is an experienced agile practitioner, coach and trainer with twenty years of experience in IT consulting. He is passionate about helping teams discover the best ways of working adapted to their context. He’s worked in many different types of industries (Telecoms, Energy, Finance or Aeronautics) and provides training on many agile frameworks and practices all around the world in French & English.

You can link with Alex Gbaguidi on LinkedIn and connect with Alex Gbaguidi on Twitter

You can join Alex Gbaguidi’s Agile Africa community.

Gonçalo Valverde: How to deal with a disruptive team member (before it is too late)

Gonçalo was working with two teams that were busy migrating to a new system. However, in one of these teams there was a disruptive team member. The management tried to put this team member aside by pushing him into test management. But this only made the situation worse. Listen in to learn what Gonçalo tried to help this team member, and what he learned from this story that he carries with him ever since.

Featured Book of the Week: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al.

While reading Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al., Gonçalo realized that it’s possible and there’s a method to having conversations on very difficult topics, yet be constructive. This book shares some critical tools that all Scrum Masters should be aware of. 

In this segment, we also refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton, and to the Oikosofy’s User Story Mapping facilitator’s guide, available for free. 

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 Gonçalo Valverde

Gonçalo is an Agile Coach from Portugal working with teams and organizations in their continuous improvement journey. As a keen amateur photographer, he learned that less is more and how constraints help one focus on the outcomes. He’s also a co-organizer of Agile Coach Camp Portugal. 

You can link with Gonçalo Valverde on LinkedIn and connect with Gonçalo Valverde on Twitter

Kim Hinsch: Going beyond “best practice” a must for Scrum teams that want to learn and improve

Kim was working with a new team, with a new PO. However, this team had a history in that organization, and their culture was already established. A lot of people came in with their own beliefs, and the inevitable culture clash happened between the “new” PO and Scrum Master, and the “old” team members. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to bring these issues up with the team and have them process/learn from the conflicts that are happening. This led Kim to understand that when teams (think they) “know the best practices”, they are not motivated to learn and improve. 

Featured Book of the Week: Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun by Joost Minaar et al.

In Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun, by Joost Minaar et al., Kim found examples of how different companies have taken decisions to the teams, and empowered them to take responsibility for their own work and success. She found those stories inspiring. 

In this segment, we also talk about Turn The Ship Around! By David L. Marquet, a book we’ve reviewed with the author 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 Kim Hinsch

Kim is an agile enthusiast, that has been stung by the power of games, communication, and psychology. Kim practices every day the fine art of making magic happen the agile way. And what makes her heart beat faster is supporting teams and organizations on their magical journey across the hills of excellence and effectiveness.

You can link with Kim Hinsch on LinkedIn

Priyanka Keswani: Individual performance appraisals as an obstacle to teamwork in Scrum teams

We start this episode with a quote by Goldratt: “Tell me how you will measure me, and then I will tell you how I will behave. If you measure me in an illogical way, don’t complain about illogical behavior.” We dive into how metrics can totally affect the team’s performance, and why individual performance appraisal destroys teamwork. 

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland

In Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland, Priyanka found inspiring stories that helped her understand how Scrum applies in real life. Priyanka also refers to the book “Start with Why” by Sinek, a great reminder that we must help the organizations define their purpose as an enabler for improvement.

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 Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter.

Lena Löfdahl: The “we’re too busy to share knowledge” Scrum team anti-pattern

The team Lena was working with had the assignment to move all customer information from multiple systems into one. The pressure was high, so the team wanted to focus on continuous progress. However, and because of that, the team had neglected the need to share knowledge among team members. This, in turn, led to having a siloed team, where they could not help each other when a task was stuck. Listen in to learn how to deal with the common “we’re too busy to share knowledge” anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum and XP from the trenches, by Kniberg 

In Scrum and XP from the trenches, by Kniberg, Lena found a book that spoke to her in a language she could understand and helped her by explaining situations that she was familiar with. The book is freely available to download by signing up here.

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 Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn

Inderdip Vraich: How to deal with conflict in the Scrum team caused by external pressure

Inderdip was working with multiple Scrum teams, and there were pressure and high expectations on the team. The high stakes led to micro-management, and suddenly the team – which was composed of competent and committed people – fell into hard conflict. The team was unhappy. This story taught Inderdip an important lesson of where to start when dealing with conflict caused by external pressure. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time, by Sutherland

In The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time, by Sutherland, Inderdip found insightful lessons in every chapter, and stories of success from many different industries. Those lessons helped her to focus on actions, and learn to deal with unpredictability.

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 Inderdip Vraich

Inderdip is an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master based in New Zealand. She has been working in the agile space with IT teams since 2007. She believes in lifelong learning and derives deep satisfaction from working with teams & individuals and see them grow in their journey.

You can link with Inderdip Vraich on LinkedIn and connect with Inderdip Vraich on Twitter

David Wallace: When Agile teams care more about the product than its users

In this team, we could see the team members cared for the product they were working on. However, they cared so much, they started to allow themselves to “dive into the code and refactor” at will. Eventually, that care for the product was translated into an anti-pattern: caring more about the code, than the people using the product. Does your team care more about the product than the users? In this episode, we share some tips on how to handle that Agile anti-pattern of caring more for the product than the users.

Featured Book of the Week: The human side of Agile by Gil Broza

In The human side of Agile by Gil Broza, David found insights on how to focus on the people in the team, and the organization that is adopting Agile. The book helped David understand that, even if it is tempting to focus on the tools and processes, the core of Agile adoption is focusing on people. 

In the same vein, the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast published a book that is exactly about how to focus on people in your Agile adoption. If you want to know more, download your free chapters to Shift from Product to People, a book by Michael Dougherty and Pete Oliver-Krueger.

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 David Wallace

David Wallace is an agile coach with 25 years of experience in the IT industry. He’s a passionate Agilist and the cohost of the Heart of Agile – Boulder meetup group. He’s currently based in Denver as a Product Delivery Coach at Xero, a New Zealand-based cloud accounting software company. 

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

Richard Lizama: The order-taker Scrum team anti-pattern, and what to do about it

From the many Scrum team anti-patterns, Richard highlights the “order taker” anti-pattern. When the Scrum team accepts that the Product Owner knows everything, and gives them already pre-digested features they just need to deliver. In this episode, we discuss why some teams adopt this anti-pattern, and what we can do as Scrum Masters to help them understand what they are missing.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

The book Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, gave Richard that “aha!” moment he was looking for. In the book, Geoff Watts goes over the differences between doing a good job, and being a great Scrum Master and that helped Richard grow in the role of the 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 Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn