Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart: When setting a high-bar for the Definition of Done is a bad idea

Brian’s story is enlightening regarding the value of the Definition of Done. A team that had set the DoD bar too high, and chose to not change the DoD. That led to an anti-pattern that had to be untangled by the Scrum Master. 

Samantha shares the story of a Scrum Master that had the tendency to lead all the conversations and how she was able to recover from that pattern with a technique she calls “the pregnant pause”. 

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta’s transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer, but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta’s Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this blog post.

Jeffrey Koors: Collaboration at scale, the challenge that scaled Agile poses 

Agile at the team level is not easy, and it has serious challenges that need to be overcome for a team to reach their potential. However, agility in the large is even harder. We have to help teams collaborate across departments, functions, and sometimes even across different companies. In this episode, we dive into collaboration at scale, the challenge for Scrum Masters working with multiple teams in a scaled agile context.

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Charles Rodriguez: When a successful team gets canceled, it is also the Scrum Master’s responsibility

As Charles joined this team, all seemed to be working perfectly. The team really got Agile, and they were following the ceremonies and producing high-quality software. But something was off. With time it became clear that there was a gap between the team and the stakeholders. Finally, the team realized that their project was about to be canceled. What happened? How could this team’s amazing work be canceled? The lessons Charles learned from that story are a critical warning for all of us. Listen in to learn what happened, and why you should start looking at your own team (even if successful) to look for possible early signals of the same pattern.

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter

Christian Hofstetter: Learning to confront micro-managing managers to help the Scrum team

Christian was working on an Agile transition, helping teams move from traditional project management to Scrum. As it usually happens, someone was trying to micro-manage and control the development team, after all, that’s the default situation in a project management culture. The team tried to push back, but that didn’t work. Christian took it up with the manager himself, confronting him with what was going on. At that time, Christian learned an important lesson: we have to stand for what we think is right. 

In this episode, we talk about the book: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Raphael Branger: Agile for Business Intelligence Projects

Raphael quickly realized that Agile could bring his organization a competitive advantage and help solve the problems he was facing in some of the projects he worked at. As he started to understand what being agile meant, however, he found that his initial focus (on the process) was detracting from his ability to learn quickly. In this episode, we cover Raphaeo’s personal transformation, from process to a completely new approach that has helped him continuously learn and improve the agility of his organization over the years. 

In this segment, we refer to Raphael’s concept of Agile Business Intelligence Building Blocks, which helped him understand how to apply Agile to Business Intelligence projects.

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter

Marianne Erickson: What to do when the PO wants the Scrum Master to be a Project Manager

As Marianne joined this team, she was surprised by the separation between different skills. Working with Product Owner for that team, she then found out that the expectation was that the Scrum Master “become” a project manager and manage siloed functional teams. She learned an important lesson for Scrum Masters: what to do when the work of the Scrum Master is understood as Project Manager

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.

Steve Jaccaud: How a Coach helped me become a better Scrum Master

Steve shares a critical part of his Scrum Master journey in this episode. We discuss how he went from a Scrum Master focused on the ceremonies, and process details, to a Scrum Master that focused on the needs of the team and constantly helped them adapt the process to the challenges they were facing. A great story, that shows how a simple perspective change for the Scrum Master can have a very large impact on their success with the team.

About Steve Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he’s not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he’s probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter.

Willem-Jan Ageling: Responding to change as if you really meant to be Agile

In the middle of a big change, Willem-Jan was faced with the fact that the project plan wasn’t going to hold anymore. What should a Scrum Master do? In this episode, we discuss how we can tackle surprises to the plan the Agile way. We discuss how to get stakeholders involved and on board with the Agile value of “responding to change”. 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter

Justin Chapman: How to work with executives in an Agile transformation

When we start working as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach in an organization, we very often face “resistance” to the adoption of the ideas we are already on board with. Without noticing, we start talking the “lingo” of Scrum Master and Agile Coach, and in the process, we lose our most important allies: the people who will ultimately benefit from Agile adoption. In this episode, we talk about how to talk to executives to get their understanding and cooperation. We need to learn to address their fears.

About Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog:

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

Dimitri Favre: From Projects to #NoProjects, by focusing on impact, and not requirements

Dimitri is a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, but Dimitri Favre is also the author of a book about #NoProjects, an approach that removes many of the problems that projects bring to software projects. In this first episode with Dimitri, we talk about one of the possible consequences of having a project mindset: wanting to follow the plan no matter the consequences.

We discuss why it is problematic for teams and Product Owners to focus on the Features in the Backlog, and how to get out of the “solution space” to better understand the impact the product should have in the market and our customer’s lives.

We also have an interview with Allan Kelly on #NoProjects, check that for more details on the #NoProjects approach.

About Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.