Ilya Bibik: How Scrum Masters can detect when the team is ready to be self-sufficient

As we evolve our practice, we help the team be self-sufficient. Over time, the team will be able to handle most of the Scrum process itself. But how do we detect when the team is ready for that final step in their maturity? In this episode we talk about the signs Scrum Masters can look for to detect when the team is mature enough to be self-sufficient.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Flexible Retro

When we focus on having the Retrospective as a “ceremony”, there’s a risk that it becomes just that: a ritual that has little impact. Ilya’s approach is different. In this episode we describes a very simple format, and how you can make retrospectives fun again. The Flexible Retrospective format.

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book “How to Kill the scrum Monster” that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Peter Zylka on the important Scrum Master job of helping the team reflect

It’s clear that one of our jobs, as Scrum Masters is to help the team reflect. And, in this episode, Peter describes how he turns that expectation into a measure of his own success as a Scrum Master. Listen it to learn what are the signs, and symptoms that help Peter assess his own success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Oscar Academy Awards Retrospective

The Oscar Academy Awards Awards retrospective format helps the team find a new dynamic for the retrospective. It’s a fun, but insightful format that can then be followed up with an action-oriented finale that helps the team pick up the most important improvement items to, for example, avoid having an annoying story like the one that won the “Most Annoying Story of this Sprint” award.

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Paulo Rodriguez: Value Delivery and self-organisation as the measures of Scrum Master success

As the team takes more initiative and responsibility, the Scrum Master role changes. That, in itself is a measure of success for us as Scrum Masters. However, the real measure of success comes from the team delivering consistently value to the market, and following the Scrum values.

In this episode we also talk about the Comparative Agile Survey as a way to help the teams reflect on their progress.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start / Stop / Continue

Paulo prefers an action oriented format for his retrospectives, and the Start / Stop / Continue retrospective format provides a simple, yet effective way for the team to generate improvement actions.

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Claudia Toscano on how to help teams reach independence from the Scrum Master

As Scrum Masters the ultimate sign of a successful impact on the team we serve is that they are able to tackle the obstacles they face on their own. They may request help from the Scrum Master, but are confident they can solve their own problems without external help if that is needed. When trying to help the team be independent however, we must help them through the multiple challenges, and pitfalls that they will face. In this episode we talk about how Claudia focuses on helping teams get to a point where they can act on their own, independently, even without a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Powerful Questions

In this episode we explore a format around the Powerful Questions coaching approach, and how that can help teams go deeper into their own thoughts and beliefs. It is by questioning our beliefs that we can truly evolve in our practice. The Powerful Questions format that Claudia suggests is one possible trigger to start questioning beliefs that are no longer serving us as we expected.

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Darryl Sherborne on the role of the Scrum Master outside the team work

We hear it often: success is when the Scrum Master is no longer needed. Is it though? In this episode we explore what the Scrum Master responsibility is when the team starts “flowing”. The role of the Scrum Master is not restricted to dynamics of the team, it also includes the collaboration aspects with the rest of the organization, and many other “enabling” factors.

Listen in to learn about Darryl’s experience.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee Format

In this episode we talk about a Retrospective format called Lean Coffee, a format that focuses on surfacing and tackling the issues that teams want to focus on. It’s a great format to host without much preparation, as the team comes up with their own ideas and prioritizes the topics to discuss, having the timeboxed conversations drive them to the actions they want to take during the next sprint to improve their work. In this episode we also mention the Starfish retrospective format.

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

You can also find out more about Darryl’s work at his company website:

Joanna Koprowicz on self-organization as the barometer of Scrum Master success

Scrum Masters look at different aspects of team’s development. In this episode we talk about the team’s willingness and ability to self-organize and take over some of the ceremonies.

We also discuss the different phases that teams go through, and look at the Tuckman Model of team development as an inspiration to understand the development of a team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Ice Breaker challenge

Instead of focusing on one single format, Joanna inspires us to look at the “ice breaker” exercises we use and seek new ones. After listening to this episode, I’m sure you will want to try several different ice breakers for your next retrospectives!

About Joanna Koprowicz

Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.

You can link with Joanna Koprowicz on LinkedIn and connect with Joanna Koprowicz on Twitter.

Maximilian Fritzsche defines how we can measure our progress towards success

“Don’t get frustrated, progress takes time”, that’s a line Max wants you to remember when you start looking into more detail to what it means to be successful as a Scrum Master.

Set aside a time, and follow Max’s approach to evaluating your progress, as well as the team’s progress. In this episode we discuss some of the aspects you may want to consider when evaluating your work, and success as Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Identify Boring Stories

This Retrospective format helps the team find the not-so-obvious problems that they often face when implementing stories. By identifying boring stories they are finding problems in collaboration as well as the enabling practices that are missing, and would make work more fun if they were there.

About Maximilian Fritzsche

Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: “Keep moving forward” – his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”

You can link with Maximilian Fritzsche on LinkedIn.

Abbas Ghahremani and the 3 key perspectives for Scrum Masters

Scrum Master is a relatively new role, Scrum itself started the rise to popularity in the early 2000’s. That means that, as Scrum Masters, we are performing a relatively undefined role.

Abbas suggests that, as part of our understanding and definition for success we should ask a few questions that help define the role for us and the organization we work with.

Abbas suggests we consider the role from 3 different perspectives: The tactical side; the strategic side; and the culture side.

Listen in to learn more about what each of these perspectives entails.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: MAD/SAD/GLAD retrospective and other techniques

The MAD/SAD/GLAD exercise is a simple approach to cover the different aspects of the previous sprint in a way that elicits emotional thinking. The emotions we have towards the sprint events will help elicit problems, as well as achievements the team experienced during the Sprint.

During the retrospective discussion we also mention other simple, yet powerful techniques that you can use when planning your next retrospective.

About Abbas Ghahremani

Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!

He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.

You can link with Abbas Ghahremani on LinkedIn or follow Abbas Ghahremanni on Instagram.

Andrew Hudson invites you to investigate success

Andrew shares his simple recipe for defining and working towards a successful outcome for our work as Scrum Masters.

We discuss how context is important for our definition of success and how goals help us strive for our own improvement. In the end the invitation is simple: investigate success!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Coaching during Retrospectives

Andrew shares two possible retrospective formats for different purposes. The first is the constellation retrospective format which we reviewed in previous episodes.

The second is the use of retrospectives as a coaching opportunity for Scrum Masters. In this episode Andrew describes his approach and experience with the coaching retrospectives.

About Andrew Hudson

Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He’s passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.

You can link with Andrew Hudson on LinkedIn and connect with Andrew Hudson on Twitter.

Gilberto Urueta on helping team members grow and improve their performance

Scrum Master success is the visible outcome when team members are performing. The role of the Scrum Master is therefore, at least in part, to help team members grow and improve their approach to work, and collaboration. In this episode we discuss the signs that team members may be ready for a jump in performance, and how to support their growth.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: #NoFormat

Scrum Masters that have tried many formats in their Retrospectives may grow tired of the structure that the default Agile Retrospectives book recommended back when Retrospectives were “new”. Gilberto eventually got tired of that approach and created a new approach to retrospectives. Listen in to learn about how an experienced Scrum Master now oragnizes his Retrospectives alone or with the help of team members.

About Gilberto Urueta

Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.

You can link with Gilberto Urueta on LinkedIn and connect with Gilberto Urueta on Twitter.