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Johannes Andersen: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

The Great Scrum Master: Beyond the Backlog, How a Great Scrum Master Helps Product Owners

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes shares what an ideal Scrum Master looks like. This Scrum Master not only introduced him to Scrum but also focused on the underlying purpose beyond mere processes. His patience, clarity, and pragmatic approach in defining priorities and solving conflicts greatly facilitated the PO’s understanding of product development challenges. This Scrum Master’s ability to foster meaningful conversations significantly helped Johannes in the PO role, highlighting the importance of a Scrum Master’s soft skills in guiding and supporting the product vision.

The Bad Scrum Master: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes highlights an anti-pattern where the Scrum Master becomes overly focused on ceremonies and strict adherence to Scrum guidelines, losing sight of the actual outcomes. This approach mistakenly centralizes process ownership with the Scrum Master, rather than distributing it among the entire team. Johannes advises addressing this issue by realigning the Scrum Master’s role towards shared goals and understanding, using tools like Team Topologies for discussion. The key is moving beyond the “servant” aspect of “servant leader” to foster a team environment where understanding and self-direction are prioritized.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

Are you having trouble helping the team work well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Johannes Andersen: Autonomy as an Achievement, Empowering Self-Sufficient Scrum Teams

When it comes to being a successful Agile Coach and Scrum Master, Johannes emphasises the goal of becoming unnecessary as the team matures. For Johannes, success is evident when the team autonomously conducts check-ins, engages in constructive debates, and effectively self-organizes while maintaining good relationships. The ability to request help and independently run retrospectives are signs of a well-functioning team that continuously challenges its own processes.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Timeline Retrospective With a Twist

Johannes shares a favorite retrospective format, focusing on flexibility and open dialogue. Starting with a timeline to objectively list events, the process encourages a shared understanding of recent activities. The team then categorizes experiences into “Well,” “Not Well,” and “Makes Me Wonder,” before voting on action points. As familiarity grows, discussions evolve to directly address improvement areas. Johannes emphasizes the value of natural conversation over strict adherence to structured methods, suggesting that effective retrospectives can thrive on organic interaction.

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 Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Johannes Andersen: The Critical Role of the Leap of Faith in Organizational Change Programs

In this episode, Johannes discusses leading a small business unit through a change process to improve project flow and efficiency. Initially working in silos, the team aimed to reorganize around customer-focused products. Despite considering an outside-in model, they chose an inside-out approach for practicality. An off-site session helped visualize the workflow under the new structure, but progress in the change was slow due to overplanning. Johannes learned that successful change requires adaptability and a leap of faith, emphasizing the importance of navigating between complicated and complex models as reality shifts.

In this episode, we talk about the importance of being able to differentiate between complex and complicated types of work and change.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Johannes Andersen: Disjoint Silos, The Illusion of Teamwork and How it Affects Agile Coaches’ Work

In this segment, Johannes reflects on his transition from a business unit to an HR position, which initially seemed promising due to the team-based approach they embraced in HR. However, he soon discovered that the HR team lacked unity, with various small roles not functioning cohesively as a team. Tasked by his manager to enhance the HR team’s effectiveness, Johannes found himself dedicating much of his time to internal issues rather than organizational improvement. The core issue was the absence of a shared goal, leading to misalignment and lack of collaboration within the team, effectively making them “disjoint silos” rather than a unified force. We discuss Vasco’s mnemonic of “One Team, One Goal” andthe importance of aligning around a single, shared goal to foster true teamwork.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

In this segment, Johannes discusses how “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt profoundly influenced him. Appreciating its novel-based approach, he found it uniquely effective for teaching new concepts, allowing readers to empathize with the learning process. Johannes admires the book’s focus on outcomes and its clarity on defining a company’s “goal,” highlighting its system thinking approach as a critical aspect of understanding and solving organizational problems.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Johannes Andersen: Collaboration Over Isolated Performance, Lessons Learned as a Scrum Product Owner

In this episode, Johannes shares a personal story of his struggles as a Product Owner (PO). In his early career, Johannes believed he needed to have all the answers and provide detailed requirements alone; but he quickly found that it was not so easy to define all the features by himself. This experience taught him the importance of involving the entire team in writing user stories, highlighting that collaboration, not individual effort, leads to success. Johannes emphasizes focusing on outcomes, encouraging POs to ask goal-oriented questions and to view technical solutions through the lens of their importance. He recommends resources like Mike Burrows’ list of questions to foster effective communication and collaboration.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
FREE QUIZ - Rate Your Coaching Skills with This Fast Quiz
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FREE QUIZ - Rate Your Coaching Skills with This Fast Quiz
(Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).