Emilia Breton-Lake on the importance of retrospectives when trying to understand the system

Emilia uses retrospectives and specific questions to help the team discover the system conditions that affect their performance. She also shares how she knows, and has learned to ask the right questions at the right time.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.
She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.
Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.
You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Marc Löffler suggest: involve the team in the hiring process

Hiring people that need to work with or within a team without involving the team in the hiring process can lead to missing critical “chemistry” issues between the team and the candidate. Marc asks us to think about involving the team in the process, and suggests how that can be done.
In this episode we also discuss the anti-pattern of focusing on planning and execution and missing other aspects of team and project development such as the technical environment, the collaboration aspects, etc.

About Marc Löffler

Marc’s passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.
You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.
He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Marc Löffler on the anti-pattern of laughing your way into self-destruction

Laughing is a good sign. The team is probably engaged, relaxed, happy… Or is it? In this episode Marc explains how one team was laughing their way into self-destruction, and what caused it.
We also discuss a method for investigating teams and their development called the Dreyfus model of skill acquistion

About Marc Löffler

Marc’s passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.
You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.
He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Marc Löffler on the anti-pattern of micro-management

Marc explains the story of a team that was starting their Scrum adoption and allowed a project manager to use their tool, the Scrum board, as a tool for micro-management. From that a lot of anti-patterns emerge that Marc struggled with. We also discuss the use of tools for planning vs. using the same tools to generate collaboration and how to switch the focus from planning to collaboration.

About Marc Löffler

Marc’s passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.
You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.
He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Karol Sójko on how a project went from perfect to disaster

Karol shares his story of how a project went from perfect to disaster. From engaging and motivating to unfocused, “pet project” and un-interesting for the team. His experience made a big difference for his career, and has influenced his work as a team lead and Scrum Master.
SPECIAL GIVEAWAY INCLUDED: listen to the end of the episode for a giveaway that will help you get a free copy of Karol’s book: To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters.

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.

Stefano Porro reveals a great tool for Scrum Masters, the index of participation

We need tools for Scrum Masters to evaluate their success in their role. Stefano shares with us one of the tools he has used to measure his impact on the team’s success, and how he defines his own success.

About Stefano Porro

Stefano Porro Scrum Master toolbox podcastStefano is from Turin, Italy. He has worked since 2001 in IT projects and he feels lucky because he does what he loves. He learned about Scrum in 2007 when the company where he was working decided to adopt Scrum. For the first two years he was part of a Scrum team, and he was fascinated from the role of the Scrum Master because he always loved to help team’s members. For him, becoming a Scrum Master, was a natural evolution.

You can find Stefano Porro on Twitter, and connect with Stefano Porro on Linkedin.

Stefano would also like you to be in touch with him through gmail (stefano.porro81@gmail.com) or skype (stefano.bowen). mail: stefano.porro81@gmail.com

You can follow Stefano’s blog to know more about his work and his ideas.

Jon Eversett explains how to look at the system in a way that helps teams improve

Look at the system, understand what can be changed by simplifying the workflow. Jon explains how he is helping management act on the system by finding, and then resolving impediments that the teams face regularly.

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.

Peter Hilton on tips and tools to understand and change the system around Scrum teams

How do you change the system so that it enables the teams to perform?
Peter discusses how “variation” can affect negatively the team, and what benefits can come from acting on, and reducing variation.

Peter refers to the book where he first read about the effect of variation on work. This book was Freedom from Command and Control by John Seddon

Peter also shares a tip on how to get management to be aware of what is discussed by teams during the retrospective, in order to create trust between management and teams.

The books Peter referred to this week:

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.