Erik de Bos: The difficulty of defining a metric for Scrum Master success

“We adopt Agile because the world is complex” is Erik’s statement, as he starts to define success for Scrum Masters. He describes for us the challenges of “assessing” or measuring success and suggests that we start with defining our own goals, and make small experiments that we evaluate for impact. In the end, measurement is just a tool, and we need to pay attention to the teams and to ourselves possibly “gaming” the metric we choose.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures and the movie retrospective

Although Erik does not have a single format he prefers, he often looks into Liberating Structures for inspiration, and uses some “fun” formats (like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly movie retrospective) to help the team relax and start the conversation. He also favors the use of a simple ice breaker (e.g. what’s your favorite movie?) to get the retrospective started.

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 experience: 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 Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: Introducing Agile to a management team without causing overwhelm or eye-rolling

Sometimes, when we work with a team, we discover that the changes needed to help the team are needed outside the team. In this episode, we talk about such a situation where Erik was asked to explain Agile to a management team. He took the approach that he would use only what was needed or asked for by management. Listen in to learn about this example of how to introduce a complex topic (Agile) to management without overwhelming them.

In this episode we discuss the Ball Point Game, Lean, Kanban, Liberating Structures, the Stacey matrix, and the book Humanocracy.

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Jeroen de Jong: Keeping a list of the small successes to gain energy and keep focus

When looking to have an impact in the teams we work with, Jeroen suggests that it’s very easy to get lost in the many lofty goals we have, and sometimes feel discouraged by not achieving them for a long time. He suggests we focus on celebrating the small successes  as a way to keep our focus, but also our energy high at all times!

In this segment, we refer to the Getting Things Done method, which we also talked about in the Tuesday episode with Jeroen. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The M&M’s retrospective 

Jeroen shares a fun retrospective that combines our love for sweets with some more serious aspects like asking important questions in certain categories (the colors of the M&M’s) from the team: The M&M’s retrospective!

Jeroen also shares other, less sugar-intensive, options for the same effect. And we also discuss the Agile Monopoly game

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 experience: 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 Jeroen de Jong

Jeroen started his career as a self-employed jack-of-all-trades in IT and is passionate about Agile. He is determined to keep learning and to share his knowledge with others.

You can link with Jeroen de Jong on LinkedIn and connect with Jeroen de Jong on Twitter.

Daniel Lutz: Psychological safety for Agile teams, a sign of Scrum Master success

Psychological Safety (see these episodes for details) is one of the key aspects that Daniel looks for in a team, and also a focus of his work as a Scrum Master. He shares with us some of the signs that indicate the presence, or absence of psychological safety, and recommends we have a retrospective question focused on psychological safety. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A format for quick decision making, and one for new teams

Daniel shares with us why the Agile Retrospectives are the most power tool we have in any transformation or change process we might be involved in. He shares with us 2 different types of retrospective formats. One that is more adequate for teams that are under time pressure and need to get quickly to actions, and improvements, and one for teams that are maybe at a crossroads in their forming process, or are just about to get started. For teams that need to get to quick actions, Daniel recommends the Start, Stop, Continue format or the 1-2-4-all Liberating Structure (see these episodes for more) as these help silent people speak up and get to actions quickly. And for teams that are at a crossroads, or starting their team journey, he recommends the Sailboat 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 experience: 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 Daniel Lutz

Daniel is an organizational agile coach, working full time at a leading European Energy company, scaling agile with around 30 agile teams. After years in Marketing departments, he realized how much more impact he can have as a Scrum Master by empowering people and building cross-functional teams. He also works part-time as a freelance coach and business consultant helping clients on building high performing teams.

You can link with Daniel Lutz on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lutz on Twitter.

Nick Nielsen: How to NOT adopt Agile/SAFe and what to do instead, a real-life story

In this episode, we hear about a company that was going through a long, 3.5 year journey of Agile transformation. When Nick joined, they had just decided to adopt SAFe, as a way to scale their use of Agile methods. Unfortunately, this is not a story of complete success, as we hear about how a traditional consultancy tried to impose SAFe on the organization, with a top-down, linear (aka Waterfall) plan of adoption. Fortunately, however, the Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters in that organization were able to turn the adoption around, and make it succeed! Listen in to learn about how NOT TO adopt Agile/SAFe.

In this episode, we refer to the 1-2-4-all technique from Liberating Structures, and the Lean Change Management approach to change and transformation.

About Nick Nielsen

Nick completed his education at Aarhus University in Denmark and currently works in the Digital Organisation at Grundfos, the worlds biggest pump manufacturer. He views him self as a pragmatic Agile Handyman.

You can link with Nick Nielsen on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Nielsen on Twitter.

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