Mher Nalbandyan: When team members skip the retrospective, a communication problem in the Scrum team

Mher prepared a retrospective for his team, but 5 minutes past the starting time, there were only a few team members in the room. He looked around and saw that the team members that were present, were not fully engaged. “Something is wrong here, he thought… In this episode, we explore why sometimes team members don’t communicate and discuss what might be the reasons, and how to avoid it.

In this episode, we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby.

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Catherine Kraus: Helping the Product Owner understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

The Great Product Owner: The PO as a key role in customer involvement, and understanding

A good PO has a good understanding of the product, and is also able to communicate the Vision they have for the product. This particular PO was also able to delegate to the team many of the decisions that were needed, and invested their time into building and maintaining relationships with the customers of that product. Because of that, he was able to set up user testing sessions, where the team was invited, to collect direct feedback and help the team understand the product, and the customer better!

The Bad Product Owner: Helping the PO understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

This PO was amazingly organized, and great at following up with the team. This was the PO’s superpower. However, in some cases, this superpower also had a negative effect. This team, which was working remotely, was being constantly interrupted by the PO, in their attempt to follow-up on the progress by the team. The team went to Catherine, and shared what was going on. This started a process of changing how the PO worked, so that the team could be given the time and focus to finish their work.

In this segment, we talk about the concept of “maker time”, popularized in this article by Paul Graham.

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 Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Catherine Kraus: What leads Scrum teams to be unpredictable, and unreliable!

The team had a lot of unfinished work, and sprint-to-sprint spillovers. It started to feel that the management of the work was out of control. As Catherine investigated, she found that a lot of work was being added to the Sprint after planning. All of these new items diverted the team’s focus, and they were no longer predictable, or able to finish some of the critical user stories planned. In this episode, we explore what were the reasons the team got to that point, as well as what Catherine learned that helps, still today, avoid falling into the same trap.

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Miguel Moro: Helping a “bossy” Product Owner, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: The PO that is also a team member

Great Product Owners have the ability to make themselves part of the team. They put the team’s success on their first priority by focusing on what the team needs to succeed. They also help the team collaborate with different sides of the organization.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping a “bossy” PO, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

When the PO thinks they are “the boss”, they usually develop certain behaviors that push the team to just follow orders. Although this may seem logical for some PO’s, the problems that arise will make the team uncomfortable, and ultimately conflict may arise between team and PO.

In this segment, we also talk about how to prepare a conversation with this kind of PO, helping the team come forward and share how they feel, and resolve the problem together with PO, and team.

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 Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

Miguel Moro: Team success, or Scrum Master motivation? Which one is a better success indicator?

Started in a very enthusiastic way one of his first assignments as a Scrum Master. The enthusiasm was a positive, but, as it turned out, it was also a negative. In this episode, we explore what can happen when we focus on our enthusiasm and motivation, instead of the team’s success as the core of our work!

About Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

Salvatore Rinaldo: Helping an absent Product Owner, learn and improve on their role

The Great Product Owner: The Chief Clarity Officer, providing clarity and decisions when needed

Great PO’s are able to influence, without being seen as “the boss”, and they take their work very seriously, even if they don’t take themselves too seriously. As Salvatore says: great PO’s become the Chief Clarity Officers, being present, answering questions, and clarifying what is necessary for the team to function. In this segment, we talk about the “kill criteria”, a concept you can use to help PO’s decide what to remove from the product, a skill that great Product Owners also exhibit.

The Bad Product Owner: How to facilitate a conversation with an absent PO, so they understand the impact they have on the team

This PO was unavailable to the team, and that caused a number of problems for the team. In this segment, we talk about the anti-patterns that show up in the team, when the PO is too busy to be present with the team. Salvatore suggests a few things to try, to help the PO understand their impact on the team, and we refer to the Sprint Checklist, a hands-on guide that we produced to help you facilitate that conversation with the PO.

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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn.

Salvatore Rinaldo: The 3 critical concerns Scrum Masters must focus on

Salvatore was working in a large-scale transformation, when he and his colleagues started noticing that it was hard to get clarity across many team backlogs, and the planning sessions at scale were not delivering the value they expected. As the team of Scrum Masters started investigating the situation, they discovered that decision making was only happening outside the teams, in management groups or higher. As the Scrum Masters started to talk to managers, Salvatore realized that Scrum Masters were not allowed to influence the system around the teams. This taught Salvatore an important lesson about being able to, and focusing on influencing the system around the teams, not only the teams themselves or the PO. These are the 3 concerns Scrum Masters must pay attention to: the Scrum team, the PO and the system around them!

About Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn.

Ziryan Salayi: Helping Product Owners work productively with stakeholders to maximize feedback!

The Great Product Owner: Connecting Stakeholders with the development team as a way to amplify and speed up feedback!

This PO was not only able to “own” the relationship with the stakeholders, but they were also able to involve the stakeholders with the development team. This PO strived to create a direct and productive connection between team and stakeholders.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s learn to work with and manage stakeholders and their input

This PO came to Ziryan and asked him to facilitate a User Story Mapping session with stakeholders. This was when Ziryan noticed that the team PO was not yet ready to take responsibility for one of their most important tasks: working with, and helping stakeholders make decisions. This helped Ziryan realize that the work with PO’s is a critical aspect of the Scrum Master’s work, and he decided to help this PO learn about User Story Mapping, by helping her with the facilitation, but clearly separating that facilitation from the management of stakeholders.

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.

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

Ziryan Salayi: Detecting and eliminating micro-management patterns in Scrum teams

This team did not feel that they could make their own decisions. When observing the team, Ziryan noticed that management was heavily involved with the team, and the team did not feel comfortable making decisions without management involvement. As he started working with the team members 1-on-1, Ziryan started to notice the patterns that had trapped this team. Listen in to learn about those anti-patterns, as well as what Ziryan did to help the team get out of that self-defeating pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Yes-but what if it all works out? By Berthold Gunster

In Yes-but what if it all works out? By Berthold Gunster, Ziryan found an inspiring story of how to handle change with a “yes, and” rather than a “yes, but” attitude. The book helped Ziryan prepare for responding to, and harnessing change resistance. In this segment, we also talk about Scrum – A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, and the episode with Yves Hanoulle and Woody Zuill, where we discuss the heuristic: “Turn up the good”.

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? Ziryan Salayi: Detecting and eliminating micro-management patterns in Scrum teams Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

Ziryan Salayi: Lessons learned about preparing teams for the Scrum Master to leave

Zyrian shares 2 stories with us today. One story reminds us of our limits as Scrum Masters. It’s tempting to take on several teams, but is that really the right thing to do? We discuss what Ziryan learned when attempting to serve 3 teams! We also talk about a surprising event that happened to Ziryan, which reminded him of how important it is to prepare the team to take ownership of their work, and not be overly dependant on the Scrum Master.

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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