BONUS: Learning what makes a great place to work with Woody Zuill and Yves Hanoulle

The idea for this episode started with a conversation with Yves and Woody when recording one chapter for the Tips from the Trenches Audiobook (check out the audiobook). In this episode, we talk about, and try to define what makes a great place to work, or as Woody calls them: wonderful places to work!

Woody starts by describing two different workplaces, one that was “wonderful”, and one that was not. We explore what the differences were between those two places, and what we can learn from those stories as Scrum Masters. 

As Scrum Masters, our role is to help our teams, and our organizations move towards a better place to work, therefore these lessons are critical for us to act on. 

In this segment, we refer to MobProgramming, an approach to teamwork that Woody has been talking and writing about for some years; and Cynefin, a model that tries to describe the differences between different levels of complexity, and defines certain strategies for managing different types of work.

“Turn up the good” a heuristic to build great places to work

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BONUS: Influencing management in an Agile change process with Scott Rosenblatt and Jeff Campbell

In this mega-episode on change, we have Jeff Campbell (long time contributor to the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast) and Scott Rosenblatt (engineering lead at Meltwater) share their experience with agile adoption in a large organization.

Jeff is also the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).

Why does Management resist Agile change? 

This is the first question of the episode and one that Scott and Jeff have worked together on for years. Scott shares how his past as a developer has helped him understand the role of management in an Agile organization.

We also talk about how to understand the reaction of managers when employees come to them with gripes, or ideas for changes to implement. We tend to think that when managers don’t do what we ask, they haven’t listened to us. Is that really so? 

Anger management, not change management

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Catrine Björkegren: How to avoid the “hero” anti-pattern in Scrum teams

In some teams, the division of work leads to having people who are the “heroes” for some part of the product. This siloing of expertise leads to many anti-patterns, and as Scrum Masters, we must be aware of those, and be ready to act and help teams overcome the problems that come with this “hero” anti-pattern.

In this episode, we talk about #MobProgramming and the Promiscuous Pairing paper by Arlo Belshee (PDF download).

Featured Book of the Week: Training from the Back of the Room by Sharon Bowman

The Scrum Master’s work includes training and workshop facilitation. It’s important that we learn how to help people learn in a classroom setting. In Training from the Back of the Room by Sharon Bowman, Catrine found a new way to look at how to organize and facilitate training. Thanks to that book Caterine changed how she hosts/facilitates training and workshops for teams and stakeholders.

 

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

Breaking the skill silos: how to help teams become cross-functional – Q&A with Jeff Campbell

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.


In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How to help teams share knowledge and become cross-functional teams

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BONUS: Jeff Campbell shares his favorite Actionable Agile Tools for Scrum Masters

Scrum Masters understand the importance of having many tools for different situations. The quality of our work is often related to the quality of the tools we have in our toolbox and the context in which they work.

In this episode, we review some of Jeff’s favorite Actionable Agile Tools, a book that collects 19 tools and is now available on Amazon in black and white as well as full color. Not to mention Kindle!

A short, practical and inspiring book

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Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole: from Scrum nanny to Scrum Jedi, a Scrum Master success journey

The definition of success for Jen and Jamie is the “Scrum Jedi” pattern described by Angel Medinilla. But there are other patterns Jen and Jamie ask us to consider. In this episode we talk about MobProgramming and the Nanny McPhee Scrum Master pattern. In each of these patterns we find things to learn from and add to our Scrum Master toolbox!

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Open Discussion

When the right format is a very simple format, Open Discussion, can be a great start for a team conversation. Jen and Jamie suggest that asking the team members to describe, in their own words, the events of the Sprint, leading to potentially different perspectives. These differences (when facilitated properly) can help the team understand each other better and find insights on how to improve as a team.

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people’s strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Peter Gfader on how to go from boring up-front to #NoEstimates and #MobProgramming

#NoEstimates and #MobProgramming are big trends in the Agile community, but how do we get the benefits and quality of those practices? How do we help teams go from heavy up-front planning to quick, and often planning while still helping each other, raising the quality and feeling like they are working in a real team? Listen to this episode to learn how Peter helped a team reach just that kind of flow! 🙂

About Peter Gfader

Peter hates shitty software and tries his best to improve the profession of software development. For this reason, he joined scrum.org. The seek for improvement keeps him getting out of bed every day… and the smell of coffee that reminds him of warm sunny Sundays in a beach cafe with sand between his toes. One day, Peter woke up and realized that software development is not only about code, but also about people: From his teammates till the end user. Some people you just give donuts and some you need to give a little bit more. Peter is on a journey to make everyone happy.

If he is not sitting on a mountain bike or playing the trumpet, you might find him at a local user group to hang out with other geeks.

You can link with Peter Gfader on LinkedIn and connect with Peter Gfader on Twitter.

Woody Zuill: “The system is where it’s at”

Woody Zuill discusses systems, and tools to help us understand the system. We also discuss how important retrospectives are, and how to go about increasing the amount, and value of your retrospectives: Just-In-Time retrospectives.

About Woody Zuill

Woody Zuill, an independent Agile Consultant, Trainer, Coach, and Guide and has been programming computers for 30+ years. As a pioneer of the Mob Programming approach of teamwork for software development he has been sharing presentations and workshops on Mob Programming for conferences, user groups, and companies all over the world. He is considered one of the founders of the “#NoEstimates” discussion on Twitter.
You can connect with Woody Zuill on LinkedIn or contact Woody Zuill on Twitter.
If you are interested, check the MobProgramming conference.

Steve Hoyler on how the Product Owner is a key part of the Scrum team

Many teams will consider their Product Owner a “chicken”, but the Product Owner is a key part of the Scrum team, and Steve explains why – a very important insight for all Scrum teams. Steve also refers to a method of collaboration that is known as #MobProgramming, and how to learn to trust each other in a Scrum team.

About Steve Hoyler

Steve Holyer serves as advocate, trainer and mentor for companies looking for a better ways of working, using Agile practices in a productive, fulfilling, and fun way.
He learned his craft serving as a Scrum Master with multiple teams and organisations, so he knows how to change an organisation from the inside. Steve now serves as an indie-label Agile Coach-for-Hire. He’s passion lies with coaching managers and teams to find ways to do software better.
You can contact Steve Hoyler on twitter, and find Steve Hoyler on LinkedIn. For more, check his Lift Off workshop.

Jeff Kosciejew – MobProgramming makes an appearance

The worst enemy of this particular team, according to Jeff Kosciejew, was the pattern of avoidance. Avoiding problems is one of the pitfalls that our teams deal with.
Jeff also refers to #MobProgramming, an innovative practice originally promoted by Woody Zuill.

About Jeff Kosciejew

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_jeff_kosciejewJeff is a consummate generalist, with experience in a wide variety of industries in a wide variety of roles. Throughout all of his experience, Jeff has had enjoyed success through a single focus on enabling and empowering those he works with, even before being introduced to Agile and Scrum.
You can find Jeff Kosciejew on twitter, and reach Jeff on LinkedIn.