There are many teams that struggle with the “last mile” in developing and shipping software. This story is about a team that had trouble getting everything tested by the end of the Sprint, and how, through visualization of work, they were able to change how they organized themselves, and started shipping software reliably.
Featured Book of the Week: Agile Retrospectives – Making Good Teams Great, by Larsen and Derby
Joe is into game/experience design and enjoys working with teams to solve unique problems. In the past this has been in areas of ship repair, crew coordination, television production and software delivery. Joe enjoys learning and sharing what he has learned and he particularly loves seeing people succeed.
This team had a conflict that no one wanted to address. The team behaved as if they just hoped things would go back to normal. It was wishful thinking, though. Things got so bad, that the team members started to fake agreement, just to avoid facing the conflict. Jakub wasn’t happy with the situation, and started working on how to resolve that conflict, and learned key lessons on how to prepare to handle the conflict.
Featured Book of the Week: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Jakub discovered a guide on how he could live his life to the full potential. In the book, which he still re-reads, he finds something new every time he picks it up. It’s a book that reminds him of what an Agile life could look like.
About Jakub Jurkiewicz
Jakub is a kaizen practice lead who participated in his first standup in 2005 and facilitated his first retrospective in 2007. Previously a software developer, team leader, Scrum Master and Agile consultant, Jakub is also, a podcaster and trainer at Agile Coaching Lab. Loves wine, bicycles and his wife (in the reverse order).
Conflict is a natural process in teams. How teams handle, and survive conflict becomes therefore a critical aspect of their work. In this episode, we explore some of the skills/tools that help teams survive and benefit from (constructive) conflict, instead of suffering and being destroyed by (destructive) conflict.
Featured book of the Week: One From Many, The Rise Of The Chaordic Organization by Dee Hock
Agile Person, for the team by the team, used to be a developer. Got into Agile via Extreme Programming (XP), then Kanban, then Scrum. Some of his key ideas are Principles over Practices, #noestimates, love working with teams and organizations, the softer side, finding what they and customers need and what works for them.
In this team, the right mindset was there. They wanted to transform the way of working to follow their self-defined moto: “quality without compromise”. However, the mindset wasn’t enough. Even as the team discussed and discussed how to get better, it was missing one key aspect: the actual doing of the work. Listen in to learn how to help teams that are stuck in “discussion” mode.
Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck
Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck is a foundational book in the Agile movement, and inspiration for Laurens to define his own approach to Agile. As Laurens puts it: “Extreme Programming transformed my way of working”.
About Laurens Bonnema
Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in.”
This particular team acted more like a set of independent individuals. While trying to figure out why Nikoletta found out that they were missing a common goal and purpose. On top of that, their individual goals were set up in a way that led to conflict. Nikoletta set about working with the team to understand why that was the case and to help them overcome the lack of shared goals with the aim of helping them collaborate better.
In this episode, we refer to the concept of “holding the space” and the “Personal Maps” tool that helped Nikoletta understand better the team members and their motivation.
Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams, by Lyssa Adkins
Nikoletta was recommended Coaching Agile Teams by her mentor, and the book helped her understand the role of the coach and how Scrum Masters must evolve towards a coaching role as they help the teams.
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.
When Lakshmi started to work with this team, she noticed that the team did not see the value of the Scrum ceremonies, and started to silently sabotage those by being late or not participating actively. As Lakshmi investigated the situation further, she understood that at the root, the team did not see themselves as a team, but rather as individual contributors. In this episode, we discuss how we can help teams get out of the individual contributor mindset and into a team-effort and collaboration mindset.
Featured Book of the Week: Turn The Ship Around! By David Marquet
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!
A team that Daniel was working with was at the start of their Agile adoption journey, but everything around them was not Agile. In a retrospective, Daniel helped verbalize the problems and impediments they were facing. In this situation it is very easy for a team to resign and feel demoralized, but then Daniel took a different approach, and helped the team recover from that frustrating situation. Listen in to learn how.
Featured Book of the Week: School of Greatness by Lewis Howes
In School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, Daniel found a book that impacted him personally and influenced his personal development. The lessons from that book helped Daniel change aspects of his personal life and focus on making an impact.
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.
Sometimes, teams decide that they are so busy, they don’t even have time for Retrospectives. This is the story Steve shares with us. However, as Scrum Masters, it is our duty to ensure that the team does not stop reflecting and improving. How can we combine the team’s perceived lack of time, with the need for reflection and improvement? In this episode, we talk about the “stealth retrospective” and other techniques we can use that help the team while respecting their own management of time.
Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins
In this segment, we also refer to The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, where Steve found inspiration on how to look at team setups, and how different types of work are handled.
Finally, Steve refers to Winnie the Pooh, a book that taught him some important lessons he also applies as a Scrum Master. Listen in, to learn more about why these books are important for Steve.
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.
Jesse was working on a large Scrum project. As he started observing the structure, he noticed something was off. This project had 17 teams, 17 backlogs, and 17 Product Owners. It was as if every team was in a little island. As he looked further, Jesse found that teams were optimizing the work for their own context and needs, at the same time destroying the ability of other teams to succeed. An example of how NOT to scale Scrum.
We discuss what we can do when facing similar situations.
Featured Book of the Week: Code Complete by Steve McConnel
From Code Complete by Steve McConnel, Jesse learned some important lessons that helped him later on as a developer and as a Scrum Master. The aspects that Jesse highlights are the collaboration between developers, and how to work as a team when developing larger systems.
Ludmila has experienced how unhappiness and frustration with the environment can do to a team. We talk about the team member that was trapped in a cynical state of mind and discuss the consequences that can have for the individual and the team. We discuss how to prepare for those situations in which the team is in a less than perfect environment, and starts to react negatively.
Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts
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!