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Omar Perez: Learning to be a coach for Scrum teams, and Agile organizations

As Scrum Masters, we operate at different levels. From the individual, to the team, to the organizational level and others! That means, Scrum Masters must be able to switch between the different levels, and keep different goals and methods in mind. In this episode, we discuss how we can acknowledge, and prepare for the different demands put on us. We discuss coaching, non-directive coaching, journaling as a technique to sharpen our senses, and the need to have a sparring partner, or even a coach to help us be more aware and deliberate in our work.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 6 Thinking Hats retrospective

The 6 thinking hats by De Bono, is a book that explains that we have different ways to look at work, and problems we face. The 6 thinking hats retrospective helps us take advantage of the different types of thinking that we have in the team, and focus the team on what they can influence, rather than trying to solve all kinds of problems, many of which are outside the influence of the team.

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn.

Fred Deichler: The opposite of “too dogmatic” isn’t “less dogmatic” for Scrum Masters! Lessons learned in helping teams

Fred had just started his first assignment as a Scrum Master. As he joined the team, he was told that the previous Scrum Master had been too dogmatic. Fred took that as a hint, and focused on being less strict in his Scrum training/mentoring, however as he started to work with the team, things started to unravel. The team was not really working well together, and there was tension between the team and their management/leadership. This brings us to a discussion on how to set up teams, and how to help the team members take responsibility for their participation in the distribution of work by taking on “T-Shape” skill development.

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Natalie Warnert explains why Scrum Masters must have partners in the organization

When we start working in a new organization we must face a new environment, new people, and must therefore start building our support network. Natalie suggests you seek out a partner in the new organization that can support your work. We also discuss why the role of leadership is so critical for the success of the team.

About Natalie Warnert

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.
You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Anton Zotin on why it is critical to understand everyone has their own journey to Agile

As Scrum Masters we are often very passionate about what is the “right way”, we see a lot of problems immediately, and we know how to fix them. Anton shares the story of such a moment in his career and how he started to accept that “everyone has their own journey”. His recipe is:

  1. Gradually lead the time in the right direction. Don’t try to change everything at the same time.
  2. Whatever you think is going wrong, reflect that back to the team and help them find their own solution. Be an Agile Mirror!

In this Episode we mention 2 important books:
The Human Side of the Enterprise by McGregor, the classic that introduced the Theory X and Theory Y model, which we discuss in this episode.
Turn the Ship Around by Marquee, a book on leadership that presents a model that is very useful for Scrum Masters.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.
You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Ebenezer Ikonne suggests: Don’t offer if people aren’t willing to receive

Scrum Masters are very often people motivated to improve the way we work. That’s an asset, but it can sometimes turn into a handicap. Ebenezer explains what he learned from his earlier experiences as a Scrum Master, when he tried to help people that were not ready to be helped.
We refer to the Bonus Podcast episode with Bob Marshall, as well as to the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

About Ebenezer Ikonne

Technology enthusiast. Change artist. Culture hacker. People focused. Helping organizations provide their employees with the most meaningful and fulfilling experience they could have while delivering solutions that change the world. Ebenezer is also a Tech Director at Mannheim.
You can link with Ebenezer Ikonne on LinkedIn, and contact Ebenezer Ikonne on Twitter. You can also read his thoughts on Agile on his blog.

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This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
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This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works