Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: From Process to Habit, How to unlock Scrum Master success

Frederik focuses on the team’s ability to adopt Scrum as a habitual way of working. For Frederik, success is defined by the team’s ownership of Scrum events and their ability to handle obstacles independently. The team displays a strong drive to achieve collective goals, working autonomously and taking initiative in solving problems and driving improvements. The importance of creating alignment with a shared objective is emphasized, while highlighting the team’s self-sufficiency and proactive nature. Ultimately, the episode underscores that a successful Scrum Master empowers the team to work effectively and continuously strive for improvement.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What?/So What?/Now What?

In this segment, Frederik discussed his favorite retrospective format, “What/So What/Now What?” He highlighted that this format not only aids in retrospective conversations but also serves as a reflective model for teams to evaluate past events and identify areas for improvement. It encourages critical thinking by focusing on facts during the “What?” phase, inviting participants to make sense of the information in the “So What?” phase, and ultimately identifying actionable steps in the “Now What?” phase. Frederik mentioned that this retrospective format is also part of Liberating Structures, a collection of facilitation techniques, and is based on the ladder of inference. Overall, the “What/So What/Now What?” retrospective format offers a structured and effective approach to foster team learning and continuous improvement.

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 Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference – this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

Kaisa Martiskainen: What are “15% solutions”? And how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa discusses her approach to measuring success in agile/scrum teams. While some people focus on metrics like sprint velocity, Kaisa prefers to survey the team to get a pulse on how they are doing. She also emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the bigger picture of the organization and using surveys to make decisions on how to improve as a scrum master. Kaisa recommends using different survey tools, such as the Scrum Culture Index (or the Squad Health Check), to assess the team’s agility and identify areas for improvement. She also highlights the importance of understanding the system in which the team operates and identifying and removing any problematic structures that may be hindering progress. Finally, Kaisa mentions the concept of “system’s intelligence,” which emphasizes the idea that structures produce behavior, and coaches the audience to identify systems and work towards removing any obstacles to team success.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What are “15% solutions”, and how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa shared some tips on how to switch up the retrospective format to make it more interesting. She suggested using “strings” from Liberating Structures and also talked about the “15% solutions” structure where the team comes up with small solutions that don’t require extra resources. This encourages creativity and helps counteract the need to come up with a perfect solution. Kaisa emphasized the importance of being ready to progress in small steps.

In this episode Kaisa refers to a Liberating Structure String that includes the following elements:

      1. Impromptu Networking
      2. What, So What, Now What?
      3. TRIZ with nested 15% Solutions

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Checklists, and an accountability partner, the Scrum Masters’ best friends

In this episode, Oz emphasizes the importance of having a list of topics to review regularly in a self-assessment moment. He includes assessing whether the team is delivering what they committed to, taking advantage of Agile practices, and working on continuous improvement items. He notes that his list of topics consists of four dimensions, including the Value dimension which focuses on the value of the Scrum Master, and the Happiness dimension which assesses whether people around him are happy. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of having an accountability partner as a helpful tool for achieving success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Conversation Café, helping everyone to be heard

In this segment, Oz shares his favorite Agile retrospective toolbox: liberating structures. He explains that he likes to focus on the process and facilitation, leaving the content for the team to decide. Oz mentions a specific format called Conversation Cafe, which he likes to use. The Conversation Cafe format helps to promote active listening and allows everyone to be heard.

Oz emphasizes the importance of focusing on the process of the retrospective, rather than the content. By creating a safe and structured environment, everyone can share their thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment or retribution. Using the Conversation Cafe format, the team can have a productive and meaningful conversation about the sprint, identifying areas for improvement and celebrating successes. Oz believes that by focusing on the process and creating a safe space, the team can achieve better outcomes and improve continuously.

How can I, as a Scrum Masters, 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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Liberating Structures and Wise Crowds, Strategies for Facilitating Effective PI Planning in Agile Teams

In this episode, Oz discusses the challenges of leading change and shares some tips for Scrum Masters to enable effective planning and team participation. Oz describes a scenario where the team was struggling to commit to the goals of the next PI and how it was discovered that the teams were not self-organizing and did not understand the “why” behind their work. The planning process was already defined before the teams came into the PI planning session, which was an anti-pattern of using agile terms but applying waterfall practices.

Oz suggests that effective facilitation is critical for Scrum Masters and advises creating a planning process that involves the team in defining the plan. Oz also recommends observing the meeting first to understand what the team is trying to accomplish and encourages enabling the team to speak up. Oz shares some links to resources that can be useful in planning and facilitating team participation, such as the wise crowds liberating structure. Additionally, Oz suggests using break out rooms to help the team talk about goals/user stories in private and to find problems in the plan using the 1-2-4-all Liberating Structure.

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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: Maximizing Impact of Agile Coaching at Moo, Feedback and Measurement Strategies

In this episode, Gemma discusses her work as an agile coach at Moo and how they measure the impact they have on the organization. She emphasizes that feedback is important but measurement helps us reflect and grow. When it comes to defining success, she shares that to measure the impact of their coaching, the coaches at Moo use engagement surveys that touch on Scrum values and use one or two of the survey questions to build their agile coach OKR’s. These metrics provide a lagging indicator but at the same time, they help the coaches define shorter term actions, and metrics, and eventually the OKR’s help measure their impact on a longer time scale.

In addition to using engagement surveys, they also use collaboration questions for which they ask an evaluation on a 1-5 scale to measure the level of collaboration among teams towards a shared goal. The collaboration questions align with their OKR’s as Agile Coaches and help them to see the impact they are having on the organization.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simplifying Agile Retrospectives to amplify their impact on Scrum teams

In this segment, Gemma shares her favorite approach to conducting agile retrospectives. She emphasizes the importance of keeping the format simple, especially for new teams or teams that are adapting to retrospectives. Gemma shares one example, where she uses a smiley face column, a sad face column, and a question mark column to initiate a wide-ranging conversation and to capture various types of feedback and perspectives. To complement the conversation, she captures the action items that the team wants to put into practice, using frameworks such as CAT (Concrete, Attainable, Timely) and SMART. Gemma views retrospectives as a conversational format and emphasizes the importance of asking “what’s the next immediate step?” and making small changes that have a big impact. Additionally, she mentions the 15% solutions from liberating structures and Toyota Kata as helpful tools in facilitating agile retrospectives.

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 Gemma Murray

Gemma works as an Agile Coach for MOO, a branding company whose vision is to provide ‘Great design for everyone’. Having worked in various change roles using both waterfall and agile approaches throughout her career, Gemma believes in the diversity of teams to unlock innovation, creativity and delivering value.

You can link with Gemma Murray on LinkedIn.

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