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BONUS: From journalism to Scrum Mastery, collected lessons on working with teams by Ian McGrady

Ian’s journey from journalism to becoming a Scrum Master is a testament to his adaptable mindset and persistence. His transition stemmed from a unique start; he secured his first job due to his fast typing skills and a desire to meet Peter Jennings. Ian’s persistence in seeking a meeting with Jennings honed his tenacity. The introduction to the Scrum Master role came through recognizing the news industry’s agile, continuous delivery setup. Despite challenges, like sending out 400 resumes for just 3 interviews and a job offer, Ian’s honesty on his resume and his ability to relate his existing skills to the software field were pivotal. In interviews, he remained coachable, acknowledged his learning curve, and emphasized genuine interest in others. He underlines the importance of not striving to be the smartest person in the room, instead focusing on collaboration and curiosity.

From TV News Deadlines to Agile Leadership, learning how to work under pressure

Continue reading BONUS: From journalism to Scrum Mastery, collected lessons on working with teams by Ian McGrady

Andrew Mitchell: Lessons in Change Management from Story Points to Flow Metrics in a Scrum Team

In this episode, Andrew discusses his change process of transitioning from traditional story point refinement to flow-based metrics and #NoEstimates. He faced resistance at the team and organizational levels. Andrew conducted an experiment using two years’ worth of data, showing that story points were not superior to throughput. He presented the results to leadership and the teams, emphasizing the importance of holistic metrics and their impact on predictability and team dynamics. Andrew introduced t-shirt sizing for simpler estimation conversations and highlighted that counting stories was more predictive than relying solely on story points. The episode emphasizes lessons in change management, including metric selection and fostering collaboration and predictability.

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 Andrew Mitchell

Andrew prioritizes people when building products, aiming for happy and engaged employees who create great products and serve customers well. He emphasizes trust, psychological safety, servant leadership, and believes Scrum is the best framework to achieve these goals.

He was also a host of the Product Owner Summit 2023, where we collaborated.

You can link with Andrew Mitchell on LinkedIn

Chuck Durfee: The Metrics that Matter, Key Factors for Success as a Development Manager, And How Scrum Masters Can Support Them

In this episode, Chuck discusses the qualities that make a successful development manager. While scrum masters are measured on different metrics, dev managers are primarily evaluated based on results and retention. They are responsible for delivering projects on time and within budget, and it is their role to establish effective mechanisms and processes. They also need to consider the people aspect, striking a balance between team demands and the challenges of finding and retaining talented individuals. Chuck advises scrum masters to understand the factors of time and talent and find the right timing to discuss matters with dev managers. The episode highlights the importance of achieving results while managing people effectively in the role of a dev manager.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Release Movie Poster

In this episode, Chuck shares his favorite Agile retrospective format that he used with a team after completing a project using Kanban. He introduced the activity of designing a movie poster (explained here) that would encapsulate the story of bringing the feature to life. The team had a lot of fun with this exercise, and it fostered creativity and honesty.

Chuck explains that the activity of storytelling enabled the team to express themselves in a more imaginative and authentic way. The ultimate goal of this retrospective format was to encourage creativity and facilitate open and honest discussions within the team.

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 Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on Twitter.

Amruta Beri: Metrics and Goals, Driving Success with SMART Goals and Data-Driven Decisions

When it comes to Scrum Master success, Amruta highlights the importance of identifying the right problems to address, which allows for setting appropriate goals and using metrics to validate the effectiveness of the solutions. She suggests defining SMART goals that align with the product or company’s strategy, emphasizing the significance of goal alignment between problem goals and team goals. Amruta recommends taking action on goals by identifying critical metrics for the team and focusing on 1 or 2 goals at a time. She references resources such as the Product Institute and the HEART metrics framework. Using a real example of decreasing support call volume, Amruta illustrates the process of measuring the current level, categorizing calls, and defining possible solutions. Success, according to Amruta, lies in identifying the right problem and establishing achievable targets.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Rotating Formats to Avoid Monotony, A Super Tip For Retrospective Facilitation

To keep retrospectives engaging, Amruta recommends incorporating different types of retrospectives to avoid monotony. She mentions the “Sailboat” and “Vegas” retrospectives as useful resources. Amruta provides several tips, such as starting the retrospective with an ice-breaker to lighten the mood, using appreciations to acknowledge team members’ contributions, reviewing action items from previous retrospectives, selecting a theme to facilitate discussion, defining action items for the current sprint, and concluding the retrospective by leaving the team with a thought on how Agile can benefit them. These strategies contribute to creating a productive and enjoyable retrospective experience for the team.

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 Amruta Beri

Amruta is an Agile enthusiast, artist, and environmentalist. She loves quiz shows, travel and sports, and is an engineer at heart.

You can link with Amruta Beri on LinkedIn and connect with Amruta Beri on Twitter.

Johannes Lindman: Introducing Mob Programming, and how to overcome resistance to new ways of working in Agile teams

In this episode, Johannes talks about how he introduced mob programming to his teams as a new way of working and sharing competencies. One of the teams team tried it for a few minutes and gave up. Surprisingly, another team started at 9am and continued throughout the day, and eventually noted it was too draining. Johannes suggests limiting the time for mob programming and being adaptable in trying different tools. He also warns against falling in love with one tool and introduces the concepts of Shu-Ha-Ri and NoEstimates. Johannes emphasizes the importance of measuring progress and visualizing metrics to ensure that teams are driving towards their goals. Ultimately, Johannes achieved his goals with this new way of working, even with some resistant individuals who initially said “no” to the idea.

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 Johannes Lindman

Despite many years of experience Johannes still learns new things every day in order to stay relevant. This aligns with his curiosity on life and people.

You can link with Johannes Lindman on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
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 clickable PO Cheat Sheet
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
FREE QUIZ - What's Your #1 Agile Roadblock:
(Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).
Identify What's Holding You Back & Transform Your Challenges Into Strengths
FREE QUIZ - What's Your #1 Agile Roadblock:
Identify What's Holding You Back & Transform Your Challenges Into Strengths (Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).