In this episode, Eliza explores success for Scrum Masters and discusses a situation where success was achieved when her team no longer relied on her. She describes an anti-pattern where teams still ask for permission as if she were their boss, indicating a lack of autonomy. Eliza shares an experience with a team that was initially closed off to change. A manager’s demoralizing comment caused the entire team to shut down. However, during a retrospective, Eliza was able to facilitate a discussion by getting one team member to open up, leading to the team collectively sharing their feelings about the manager’s comment. This retrospective proved to be a success as it allowed for an open conversation about a difficult topic with a little prompting from Eliza. The team then took the initiative to address the issue themselves. Eliza provides tips, noting that when the entire team realizes they are on the same page, they gain the courage to bring up important topics. She also highlights the significance of shared experiences within the team, as it contributes to their overall growth and effectiveness.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Letter From the Future, predicting the future in your Agile Retrospective
In this segment, Eliza introduces the concept of the “Letter From the Future” and shares her experience of implementing it for the first time. She advises that it may require explaining the concept multiple times before being able to successfully conduct it. The retrospective follows a specific format, beginning with setting up a digital whiteboard. Eliza then assigns a postcard to each developer. To engage the team, she appeals to their culture. The main activity involves writing a letter to oneself from the future. Eliza highlights that the different format of this retrospective helps the team think differently and encourages fresh perspectives.
How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?
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About Eliza Gregory
Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.