Annu Paganus: Transparency and Collaboration, Critical Aspects Of Scrum Master Success

Annu reflects on the various facets contributing to a Scrum Master’s sense of accomplishment. She emphasizes the importance of increased transparency in team operations, noting that it requires conscious effort. Annu also stresses the need for fostering collaboration in agile teams, as some may naturally gravitate towards independent work. Monitoring and addressing collaboration pain points is key. Additionally, she considers the ability to step back as an indicator of success in enabling the team’s self-organization and autonomy.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Efficient Reflections, The Mad/Sad/Glad With A Twist

Annu discusses her preferred retrospective format, conducted through an online shared whiteboard tool. The tool enables efficient tracking of action points and ensures visibility. Annu appreciates the flexibility to vary retrospective content. She often incorporates emotion-related questions, exemplified by the Mad/Sad/Glad format. Annu recommends enhancing this format by adding an additional topic, such as the release process, to deepen discussions.

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 Annu Paganus

Annu is a passionate software team Scrum Master who wants to help her team to create an environment where different kind of people can find a smooth way to work together and enjoy their work and private life. Also worked as teacher, software developer, chapter lead and Product Owner.

You can link with Annu Paganus on LinkedIn.

Armin Mandara: Thriving Teams and Joyful Work, Armin’s Vision of Scrum Master Success

Armin reflects on the essence of success for Scrum Masters, emphasizing the delivery of high-performing teams and consistent, valuable software. He emphasizes the importance of joy and camaraderie within the team, highlighting laughter and open communication as key indicators. Armin stresses the value of fun in facilitating difficult conversations. Success, in his view, also hinges on the team’s ability to openly discuss problems.

In this episode, wer refer to the episode about a team that got into trouble: “When Harmony Hinders Progress, Learning to Trigger Difficult Conversations”. [LINK]

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Fostering Open Conversations with Simple Retrospective Techniques and Exercises

Armin likes to use the framework by Derby and Larsen (introduced in the Agile Retrospectives book). He begins with a warm-up exercise to set the stage and assess the mood of the team. For data gathering on what’s going well and what needs improvement he might run the “glad/sad/mad” exercise. Armin values open conversation for generating insights and emphasizes clear instructions for each phase. To conclude, he incorporates a lively check-out exercise, ensuring a fun and engaging close to the retrospective session. This approach enhances team reflection and facilitates meaningful discussions for 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 Armin Mandara

Armin is the Head of Scrum Masters at IBM iX, a leading digital agency. With a career spanning seven years as a Scrum Master, Armin has partnered with numerous teams to successfully deliver top-notch digital products. His passion lies in enabling agile teams to achieve their goals and unleash their true potential.

You can link with Armin Mandara on LinkedIn.

Caterina Palmiotto: Autonomy and Accountability, Key Team Skills That Make You A Successful Scrum Master

In this segment, Caterina discusses how success for Scrum Masters depends on the team’s ability to be autonomous in defining and changing their working agreements. She suggests asking questions such as whether the team members are active when the Scrum Master isn’t there and if they are following the agreements they made together. She emphasizes the importance of the team being mature enough to trust themselves to make decisions and call out each other when they break the rules. Finally, she shares a tip on how keeping each other accountable to the work agreements is crucial to maintaining the desired team culture.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Metaphor, or simple format? Which one to use and when?

In this segment, Caterina discusses an agile retrospective format based on team maturity. For new or less mature teams, she suggests using a metaphor, such as a favorite movie or sport, to change perspective. However, for more mature teams, a simple format like MAD/SAD/GLAD works well as they want to jump into and quickly solve problems they already know about. In the end, we must always adapt the retrospective format to the level of the team, as well as the current situation they are facing.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Ali Asl: Simple Agile Retrospective formats to help drive conversations

Ali’s focus, as a Scrum Master, is to get the team to be autonomous, and run their own Sprints. In Ali’s opinion, a good team can self organize and self manage, and he uses that as his own success measure. In this segment, we refer to #NoEstimates.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simple formats to help drive conversations

Although Ali uses many different retrospective formats, he likes the simpler formats like Mad/Sad/Glad or the Good/Bad/Ugly movie retrospective. He likes the simplicity of the 3 categories, which helps him focus on asking probing questions. In this segment, we refer to the Prime Directive of Agile Retrospectives. 

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 Ali Asl

Ali is an experienced and accomplished Independent Agile Coach, Trainer and Scrum Master focused on supporting organizations and teams in the application of Agile values and principles to deliver quality and value.

You can link with Ali Asl on LinkedIn.

Pedro Silva: Four questions to assess your impact as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach

When it comes to defining success, Pedro has some key questions he asks of himself to assess his impact as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the four questions Pedro asks when assessing his own work, and the impact on the Scrum team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Team Canvas, a tool to help build great teams

Pedro likes to use the Team Canvas as a way to help teams come together, and define their joint, group identity. He also uses some ice-breaker exercises like the MAD/SAD/GLAD or Lean Coffee formats, which we’ve discussed in previous episodes here on the podcast.

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 Pedro Silva

Pedro considers himself a Scrum Master supporting software development teams while keeping his focus on their growth towards the efficient delivery of value, while having a blast.

You can link with Pedro Silva on LinkedIn.

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