Natalie Warnert explains why Scrum Masters must have partners in the organization

When we start working in a new organization we must face a new environment, new people, and must therefore start building our support network. Natalie suggests you seek out a partner in the new organization that can support your work. We also discuss why the role of leadership is so critical for the success of the team.

About Natalie Warnert

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.
You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Anton Zotin on why it is critical to understand everyone has their own journey to Agile

As Scrum Masters we are often very passionate about what is the “right way”, we see a lot of problems immediately, and we know how to fix them. Anton shares the story of such a moment in his career and how he started to accept that “everyone has their own journey”. His recipe is:

  1. Gradually lead the time in the right direction. Don’t try to change everything at the same time.
  2. Whatever you think is going wrong, reflect that back to the team and help them find their own solution. Be an Agile Mirror!

In this Episode we mention 2 important books:
The Human Side of the Enterprise by McGregor, the classic that introduced the Theory X and Theory Y model, which we discuss in this episode.
Turn the Ship Around by Marquee, a book on leadership that presents a model that is very useful for Scrum Masters.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.
You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Ebenezer Ikonne on the dangers of hiring those that know all the answers

This a tale of caution when recruiting. Ebenezer tells us the story of a person that was hired after a flawless interview process. He knew everything, all the answers. But in practice things did not work as well as in the interview. We discuss questions to ask that might help detect when people’s knowledge is not in line with their practice, and other recruiting techniques.

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist. Culture hacker. People focused. Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.
You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

Ebenezer Ikonne on the 5 conditions for great teams

What are the conditions for great teams to emerge? And what are the obstacles? These are some of the questions we cover in this episode. We mention also two very important books about teams, and how to build great teams: Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances by Richard Hackman and The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Katzenbach and Smith.

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist. Culture hacker. People focused. Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.
You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

Juha Heimonen explains how to fail at self-organization

Self-organization is not a simple “tool” you can just spring on teams by saying: “Self-organize! Now you don’t have any managers.” Juha explains such a process, why it failed and what he learned from it that can help you on the path to team self-organization.

About Juha Heimonen

Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.
He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.
You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.
You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.

Karol Sójko on the life of a startup and what Scrum Masters should know about it

The life of a startup is very different from working on a large corporate environment. This influences your work as a Scrum Master. In this episode Karol shares what he learned from that experience, and a technique he learned then that he now applies everywhere.

About Karol Sójko


Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.
Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters
You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Jon Eversett tells scrum masters to step back and ask more questions

“Step back and ask more questions” is a recommendation we hear often. I this episode Jon shares with us how he came to that realization, and how that aspect defines success for his work as a Scrum Master.

About Jon Eversett

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton Former Business Analyst, Product Owner wannabe, currently a Scrum Master. Jon works with teams with different maturity levels and some relatively new Product Owners. You can find Jon Eversett on LinkedIn, or interact with Jon Eversett on Twitter. You can read Jon Eversett’s blog to find out more about his ideas on the role of the scrum master and all things agile.

Nicolas Umiastowski on leading with transparency

Leading with transparency is a key skill for Scrum Masters, because you can’t help an organization improve unless the organization recognizes where and why they should improve. Nicolas shares with us how he helps organizations see beyond the surface and learn to see the problems they face.

About Nicolas Umiastowski

Nicolas is 40 year old. He is a a French agile coach, specialized in Scrum and Kanban with a strong experiences in Digital and web projects.
He likes Design thinking, storyboarding (especially paper prototypes), getting real feedback from real users, and helping the team to reach symbiosis, and to find meaning in what they do. He is absolutely passionate about agility, but aware that depending on the context (as a consultant), agility can be different from one company to another.
You can find Nicolas Umiatowski on twitter, and follow his blog in french: Nicolas Umiatowski in french.

Nicolas Umiastowski on how the blame culture can destroy a team

The fear of losing your job can drive a blame culture and a lot of other dysfunctional behaviors in teams. When that fear sets in, defensiveness, silos, lack of cooperation are just some of the symptoms you should expect to see.
Nicolas also mentions how important it is for teams to learn how to deal with failure without falling prey to the blame culture.

About Nicolas Umiastowski

Nicolas is 40 year old. He is a a French agile coach, specialized in Scrum and Kanban with a strong experiences in Digital and web projects.
He likes Design thinking, storyboarding (especially paper prototypes), getting real feedback from real users, and helping the team to reach symbiosis, and to find meaning in what they do. He is absolutely passionate about agility, but aware that depending on the context (as a consultant), agility can be different from one company to another.
You can find Nicolas Umiatowski on twitter, and follow his blog in french: Nicolas Umiatowski in french.

Peter Hilton describes one of the self-destructive habits of Scrum teams

The team’s self-destructive habit

Being a slave to the backlog, and just going through the motions without interacting with the other team members or stakeholders. This is further amplified in Death-march like projects.

About Peter Hilton

Peter_Hilton_Scrum_Master_Toolbox_podcastPeter is a software developer and technical project manager who has experienced every point on the agility spectrum, in the course of 18 years of development projects. Peter has performed several variations of the Scrum Master role, and learned what the books dont tell you: whats easy and whats hard.
You can reach Peter Hilton on twitter and read his blog at Hilton.org.uk.