Steve Silbert: Reducing pain in the workplace, a Scrum Master mission

Steve’s self-declared mission is to “reduce pain in the workplace”. When it comes to that mission, Steve pays special attention to certain aspects of the work. When we recognize that a great chunk of our awake-time is spent at work, we start to understand that work should be aligned with who we are, and that’s where Steve focuses his work and how he defines success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: “Keep talking and no one explodes” a retrospective game

Steve loves Agile games, and in this episode, he shares one game that, according to his description, helps us practice “solving big problems in a timebox”. As Steve points out, the right game can get the team members “hooked” on the retrospective, and get them learning without even thinking about it. 

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 experiences: 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 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.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter

Jesse Houwing: Working with multiple Product Owners and other Scrum Master challenges

The collaboration with the Product Owner is a key aspect of the Scrum Master work, but there’s also the collaboration between Product Owners that work on the same product. We discuss these different aspects of collaboration and how they affect the PO role.

The Great Product Owner: Open to coaching, and much more

A great PO is open to and seeks support and coaching from the Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about one such PO, that was open to learning and being coached. But there was a lot more to this PO. Listen in to learn what were the key characteristics of this great Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: What destroys collaboration between PO’s

When a PO is not able to make decisions, we know we are in trouble. In this episode, we talk about a specific problem: when multiple PO’s need to work together, but don’t have the tools and experience to work well together. Listen in to learn about what can destroy the collaboration between Product Owners.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Jesse Houwing: Enabling others to do what they already want to do, the Scrum Master success definition

In this segment, we talk about how “the Scrum Master’s success is the success of others”, and that our role is to enable others to go on with the changes they already want to implement.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Very Good Conversation

Jesse’s preferred Retrospective format is simply a very good conversation. In this segment, we discuss what that means for Jesse, and we learn his tips on how to implement those so that you help the team go into deeper and productive retrospective conversations.

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 experiences: 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 Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter

BONUS: Justin Chapman on becoming one of today’s top Agile leaders, lessons for Scrum Masters just getting started

Justin published a book named “Become on of today’s top agile leaders”, where he shares his lessons learned on becoming a top Agile practitioner and leader. 

In this episode, we explore his lessons learned and learn about the key topics in the book. 

You can get Justin’s book here.

Even when Agile is bought into, it’s hard to make significant progress

Continue reading BONUS: Justin Chapman on becoming one of today’s top Agile leaders, lessons for Scrum Masters just getting started

Ludmila Reyter: The key difference between communicating, and telling others what to do

Two contrasting examples of a PO that was in a split role of PO and Team Manager. Their different approaches had a completely different impact on the team, and the collaboration between team and PO.

The Great Product Owner: Communicating with stakeholders and team

This PO was the direct manager for the team, but that was not a problem. Additionally, this PO was able to keep everyone informed of the progress, as well as feeling involved in the decision making. This was a PO that understood that the PO role is all about communicating with stakeholders and team.

The Bad Product Owner: The all knowing, all telling PO

This PO was the direct manager for the team, and that was a challenge. The PO had a split role, which took up time, and made it hard to focus on the PO responsibilities. As the PO was pressured for time, the natural solution was to tell the team exactly what to do. This lead to a lack of collaboration and engagement between managers and team. In this segment, we also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to create a working partnership with the Product Owner.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Ludmila Reyter

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!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Ludmila Reyter: Defining success for Scrum Masters collaboratively

Success is defined collaboratively with the teams and people you work with. As you improve, you need to adapt the success definition with the team. And one of the sure signs you’ve made an impact is when ex-team members meet you and tell you that they’ve taken what they learned with you to their new teams!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Dialogue Sheets

Ludmila describes the Dialogue Sheets game and how it can help teams by providing a simple, relaxed conversation format.

In this segment, we also refer to the “Open Day” or Internal Unconference format that Jeff Campbell and Gene Conolly described in a blog post on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

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 experiences: 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 Ludmila Reyter

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!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Mahesh Jade: Going beyond Scrum ceremonies to solve a team-PO conflict

Allowing and even promoting the team’s questions are signs of a PO that is ready to collaborate with the team. However, when the collaboration does not work, we as Scrum Masters must try to go beyond Scrum, and address the collaboration issues. 

The Great Product Owner: Promoting and answering Scrum team’s questions as a PO

A great PO is ready to discuss ideas with the team, collect their input and foster an environment where the team feels they can ask questions without being put down, or ignored. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of creating a productive partnership between the Scrum Master and the PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Going beyond Scrum ceremonies to solve a team-PO conflict

When the PO comes in only to complain about the team not delivering a story at the end of the Sprint, instead of working with the team to prevent that from happening in the future, a gap emerges between PO and team. Mahesh helped the PO and team come together by looking beyond Scrum and the ceremonies that it defines. 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Mahesh Jade: Using metrics to trigger conversation in Agile retrospectives

Mahesh shares what he learned about helping teams succeed. We talk about the importance of celebrating small victories and fostering an environment where team members feel safe enough to bring up ideas and questions to the Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Using metrics to trigger conversation

Mahesh refers to the retrospectives as an opportunity for teams to “restart”, to improve and move on. He suggests we consider different formats when preparing our retrospectives, but focus on collecting metrics with the team, and presenting and discussing those in the retrospectives. He also shares some tips on how to prepare the retrospective to maximize team member participation.

 

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 experiences: 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 Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Leigh Griffin: The part-time PO that starved the Scrum team, and other anti-patterns

From the “starving the team” anti-pattern to the PO that was able to talk to, and be understood by both the technology and the business teams. 

The Great Product Owner: The PO that spoke the business and technology language

This PO was a very experienced PO, who had worked as an analyst before and had a technology background. This gave the PO the ability to speak both business and technology language as serve as a bridge between the two sides. On top of that, this PO was able to keep the team informed, and help them think from a customer perspective.

The Bad Product Owner: The part-time PO that starved the team

This was a part-time PO that ended up letting the team starve by not feeding them enough content for their work. This kind of PO can stop the Agile transformation and affect the overall adoption in the organization. 

We also talk about other anti-patterns in the PO role that Scrum Masters should keep an eye out for. 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter

Leigh Griffin: From releasing regularly to growing our Agile mindset, the success journey

Releasing software regularly is one of the aspects of success for the team, and for the Scrum Master, but – as Leigh shares – many teams struggle with the mechanics. Leigh suggests we set up the structure with Scrum, to help teams deliver reliably at first, and predictably later. 

Finally, Leigh likes to focus on the mindset growth in the team as a measure of progress for his work as a Scrum Master. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish Retrospective

Leigh shares a retrospective format that works well for remote/distributed teams, the Starfish retrospective. He mentions how this format helps teams find what is worth continuing to do, instead of only what needs changing. A great format to help reinforce positive behaviors. 

Check out what other guests have said about The Starfish Retrospective

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 experiences: 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 Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter