Mandy Sunner: How to handle the loss of a great Product Owner in a Scrum team

Teams need a great Product Owner to be able to exploit their potential. When Scrum Masters work with teams that have a great PO, they learn the impact that the PO role can have. However, when a great PO leaves the team, what should the Scrum Master do? In this episode, we learn about Mandy’s attempt to help the team by replacing the PO, and why it is so critical to avoid that anti-pattern. Listen in to learn what to do when a great PO leaves.

About Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Tony Richards: When Scrum Masters get carried away with something they find useful

When Tony heard he would be facilitating a large event (250 people) he thought immediately about using an approach that he had good results with. But as we learn in this episode, that’s not always a good idea. Learn about what Tony failed to consider, and get some critical tips on how to prepare for such events. 

In this episode, we refer to the Clean Language technique and to Judy Rees, Caitlin Walker, and David Groves as active developers of the Clean Language technique.


About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Olsen Turan: Letting teams fail (in the small) is part of the Scrum Master job!

As Scrum Masters, we cringe when we see an incoming problem which we know will hit the team and we have to stand back and let the team learn from that experience. In this episode, we talk about one such story, and why it is critical for Scrum Masters to let the teams experience failure, first hand. Be ready to help when that happens, listen in to learn how.

About Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan onLinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Sami Prentice: Scrum Masters are also responsible for process development in their organizations

When leadership in an organization changes, they bring their own practices and habits with them. In this episode, we explore what happened in an organization when new leadership stopped some of the practices that were working for that organization. A good reminder that the role of the Scrum Master also includes developing the process for the organization. Listen in to learn how Sami took responsibility and helped the organization improve.

In this episode, we also talk about how we can improve as Scrum Masters by participating in our local communities. We refer to as a place to find your local community and start taking part in their events.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Tom Suter: Agile adoption beyond Scrum, and what that means in practice

Many of us start our Agile journeys with Scrum. It is only later that we start putting Scrum in the Agile context, and there’s much to learn and change when we do. In this episode, we talk about what changes when we focus on enabling our teams to be Agile, and not only follow Scrum.

In this episode, we refer to the book Scrum and XP from the trenches by Kniberg.

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Thomas von Busse: Keeping the Daily Stand-up in time, or not? 

We’re often faced with daily meetings that constantly try to run over. Team members have topics they want to discuss, and it is enough for one of those topics to surface in the daily meeting for the meeting to risk running too long. Now imagine that several team members also have topics they want to discuss? How do you keep a daily meeting in time? And when is it necessary to break the 15-minute rule? We discuss the many tricky aspects of facilitating one of the most important sessions in Scrum: the Daily Meeting.

About Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

Bola Adesope: When being a super motivated Scrum Master is a problem

Many Scrum Masters will be incredibly motivated to adopt and apply Scrum when they start. We often start because we want to help teams, and want to improve how they work. This motivation can be a huge resource, but can also be a problem. In this episode, we explore what happens when our motivation takes the better of us, and makes us forget simple rules like “always get buy-in before any change”. Listen in to hear about what Bola tried, and what he changed in his approach to the Scrum Master role as a result of that experience.

About Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter

Leslie McCormack: How to host impactful Agile Retrospectives

Retrospectives are an important ceremony for Agile teams. The goal of the retrospectives is to help the teams assess their practices, learn and improve. Without that ceremony, Scrum would not be an Agile practice. After all the manifesto clearly states: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”

So, it’s no surprise that when Leslie struggled with her first retrospective, she went about learning how to host better, more engaging, and more impactful retrospectives. 

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Darren Smith: Scrum Masters are wrong all the time. Here’s why!

I’ve often said that we don’t coach the same team two days in a row. Each team is unique, but each team changes also daily. We must, as Scrum Masters, be on our toes and ready to adapt. In this episode, we explore a story that shares why that is important. We talk about a solution that worked for a team but backfired in another team. Same problem, same solution, completely opposite results! What do you believe in, which worked before, but might be wrong today? 

About Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter.

Addo de Visser: Why Scrum Masters must keep their values even when the situation is against them

When we face difficult situations at work, sometimes we let go of what we believe in. Has that happened to you? In this episode, we talk about what happens when Scrum Masters “forget” their values and personal identity and try to adapt to a reality that is not theirs. Addo invites us to think: are we the right person for the job we are struggling with? 

About Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.