Armin Mandara: Thriving Teams and Joyful Work, Armin’s Vision of Scrum Master Success

Armin reflects on the essence of success for Scrum Masters, emphasizing the delivery of high-performing teams and consistent, valuable software. He emphasizes the importance of joy and camaraderie within the team, highlighting laughter and open communication as key indicators. Armin stresses the value of fun in facilitating difficult conversations. Success, in his view, also hinges on the team’s ability to openly discuss problems.

In this episode, wer refer to the episode about a team that got into trouble: “When Harmony Hinders Progress, Learning to Trigger Difficult Conversations”. [LINK]

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Fostering Open Conversations with Simple Retrospective Techniques and Exercises

Armin likes to use the framework by Derby and Larsen (introduced in the Agile Retrospectives book). He begins with a warm-up exercise to set the stage and assess the mood of the team. For data gathering on what’s going well and what needs improvement he might run the “glad/sad/mad” exercise. Armin values open conversation for generating insights and emphasizes clear instructions for each phase. To conclude, he incorporates a lively check-out exercise, ensuring a fun and engaging close to the retrospective session. This approach enhances team reflection and facilitates meaningful discussions for continuous improvement.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Armin Mandara

Armin is the Head of Scrum Masters at IBM iX, a leading digital agency. With a career spanning seven years as a Scrum Master, Armin has partnered with numerous teams to successfully deliver top-notch digital products. His passion lies in enabling agile teams to achieve their goals and unleash their true potential.

You can link with Armin Mandara on LinkedIn.

Tinatin Tabidze: Maximizing Agile Team Success, A Scrum Master’s Guide to Self-Organizing Teams

In this podcast episode, Tinatin focuses on the idea that the less a scrum master is needed, the more successful they are. She emphasizes the importance of helping teams become more self-organizing and notes that the path to achieving this will vary for each team. Tinatin stresses the role of the product owner in promoting self-organization, and she suggests checking the team’s level of participation in ceremonies as a starting point for evaluating the team’s self-organization. She also encourages scrum masters to be honest about any areas where the team may be lacking in self-organization, and to discuss these areas with the team in retrospectives. Tinatin reminds scrum masters to keep themselves accountable for the level of self-organization in their team, and asks the question of how to take teams to the next level.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Squad Health Check

Tinatin discusses the Spotify squad health check, a process of self-reflection for a team to evaluate their performance. She emphasizes the importance of regularly conducting health checks and tailoring retrospectives to the current sprint. Tinatin suggests using ice breakers to start the health check, then moving into an inspection of the completed sprint by checking metrics and the improvement backlog. She emphasizes the importance of evaluating what happened in the last sprint to identify areas for improvement.

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Tinatin Tabidze

Tinatin Tabidze is a Scrum Master currently working in Stuttgart, Germany. Originally she started out as a project manager. She has experience with multiple scrum and kanban teams, working with scaled agile frameworks.

You can link with Tinatin Tabidze on LinkedIn.

Gert Brits: A simple question that helps Scrum Masters evaluate their impact on Agile teams

When it comes to evaluating our success as Scrum Masters, Gert suggests we start with a simple question to frame our work: how is the scrum master helping the team deliver faster or better results? In this segment, we also talk about the importance of setting up a coaching agreement with the team and stakeholders, and we refer to Vasco’s Christmas 2022 bonus episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Tips on how to improve a simple Agile Retrospective format

Gert likes the simple format that focuses on 3 questions (what went well, not well, what can we do about it?). However, he brings in different tools and practices around that format to adapt it to the reality of the team at the time of the retrospective. He suggests starting with an ice-breaker, and shifting the order of the main questions around depending on what you feel the team needs to talk about at the time.

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Gert Brits

Gert came from a programming background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying Agile Coaching across diverse and non tech areas. He has a focus on group dynamics blended with systems thinking, and the art of balancing application vs theory.

You can link with Gert Brits on LinkedIn.

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