Steen Villumsen: A critical Agile adoption lesson for Scrum Masters 

Steen took on the challenge of being both a Scrum Master and a Product Owner. In his eagerness to help the team adoption Agile, he ended up putting too many things in motion, and got frustrated when the team did not follow at the speed he wanted. This brought him an important lesson about how teams adopt Agile over time. 

About Steen Villumsen

Steen is an Agile Coach, who calls himself a conceptualiser and a communicator. His focus is on moving people and supporting change through coaching.

You can link with Steen Villumsen on LinkedIn.

Luís Santos Silva: Measuring and learning from the level of morale in your Scrum team

Failure stories are an important part of our community, and as Luís puts it: “battle scars are the things that help us grow”, so we explore one of those stories in this episode. Luís was working with a team that was very low on morale. The team had been forced to adopt Scrum without being ready for it. Luís needed to find a way to make this visible. 

We discuss how we can make morale transparent to the team itself, as well as to the stakeholders. 

In this episode, we refer to the Niko Niko Board, as well as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

About Luís Santos Silva

Luís is not your typical Agile Coach as he doesn’t have an IT background. He worked his way from a contact center up to Lean and Agile Coach and is now a Agile Coach team lead at OutSystems.

You can link with Luís Santos Silva on LinkedIn.

Bevan Williams: How to cope with the dual manager and Scrum Master role!

Bevan was in a dual role: a manager and a Scrum Master. He had been always striving to improve the organizations he world at, and now was his chance to do just that. He had the power, and he was in an influential position. But how did it go? Listen in to learn how to cope with the dual manager and Scrum Master role!

About Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Pratik Dahule: Learning to think in questions, a critical skill for Scrum Masters

When Pratik started, he tried to help the teams by giving direct feedback during the standups. When questions would come up, he’d offer an answer. But this eagerness to help, actually created a problem for the team, and for Pratik himself. Pratik asked for help from a coach who helped him understand that the team needs to have the space to struggle, and find their own answers. Only then can the team “own” their process, and way of working. We discuss how important it is for Scrum Masters to learn to think in questions, not answers! 

In this segment, we discuss active listening, a skill all Scrum Masters must learn. We also discuss “powerful questions”, a recurring topic on the podcast. 

About Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn.

Daniel Lutz: How to set up teams for success during an Agile transformation!

Daniel has a background in Marketing, which gave him a keen understanding of how important it is to reach across departmental boundaries, and work in a cross-functional way. Through that experience, he came to be a fan of Scrum, and learned that there’s no better way to do projects.

In his Fail–Monday story, he shares the tale of a company that was adopting Agile, but put together teams with team members that used to be in multiple different departments. It was not a smooth journey. In this episode, we talk about: how important it is to have a Sprint goal, and what it means when teams can’t agree on one; how backlogs can sometimes be more of “todo lists”, which detracts from the value of a cross-functional team; and how sometimes you have to get somebody out of the team for the team to work!

Lots of insights on how to set up teams for success during an Agile transformation!

About Daniel Lutz

Daniel is an organizational agile coach, working full time at a leading European Energy company, scaling agile with around 30 agile teams. After years in Marketing departments, he realized how much more impact he can have as a Scrum Master by empowering people and building cross-functional teams. He also works part-time as a freelance coach and business consultant helping clients on building high performing teams.

You can link with Daniel Lutz on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lutz on Twitter

Luis Carvalho: The spiraling Scrum team in a deadline-crunch

Luis was working with a new team, in a version 2.0 for an existing product. He started noticing that the sprint goals were not met, and the time pressure was mounting. The inevitable quality issues started to accumulate. Why do so many teams fall prey to these problems? We discuss the root causes that lead teams to start failing their sprints, and discuss how to prepare for these situations.

About Luis Carvalho

Luis is an enthusiast for all things related with organizations, teams, structures and ways of working. He has been working in large scale consumer products for most of his professional life, worked with people of many backgrounds, cultures and locations and made many friends in the process. He loves traveling, food and getting to know people.

You can link with Luis Carvalho on LinkedIn.

Nick Nielsen: Failing to help a team become a real team, a Scrum Master anti-pattern

Agile is about learning and becoming resilient. This is true both for teams as well as for Scrum Masters. In this episode we talk about how someimtes we fail to help teams become “teams”. This tsory starts with a team that had changed its composition, abnd some external consultants were brought in. 

In this episode, we talk about Heidi Helfand’s work on Dynamic Re-teaming, and the Tuckman’s stages of group formation.

About Nick Nielsen

Nick completed his education at Aarhus University in Denmark and currently works in the Digital Organisation at Grundfos, the worlds biggest pump manufacturer. He views him self as a pragmatic Agile Handyman.

You can link with Nick Nielsen on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Nielsen on Twitter.

Lorna Mason & Jon Lawrence: Learning to adapt to a new Scrum team without pushing them 

We explore 2 stories that have a key similarity: the Scrum Master directing the team. In one story we learn about how the team was able to step up and own the process, while the other story had a different ending. But both stories are about our stance as a Scrum Master when working with a new team. Listen in to learn about the tips Jon and Lorna have for Scrum Masters starting with a new team.

About Lorna Mason & Jon Lawrence

Lorna Mason and Jon Lawrence are both agilists working in an insurance scale-up based in Brighton. Their journey to agile has walked a less ‘traditional’ path of Change Management and Continuous Improvement, to Scrum Master, Delivery Manager and Agile Coach; (proving not EVERY Scrum Master needs to code!). They hold the firm belief that you can be a successful Scrum Master as long as you genuinely care about people and value first; and hold a profound desire to always make things better!

You can link with Lorna Mason on LinkedIn

You can link with Jon Lawrence on LinkedIn.

Usman Kotwal: Helping a Scrum team survive an experienced, but non-collaborative team member

Usman was “mesmerized” by Agile. The idea of inspecting and adapting was for him like a scientific approach to work. When he started to work with this one team, he observed that most of the team was collaborative, but there was one senior developer that did not share the same approach. The team felt the same, but they did not want that team member to leave, as they felt he contributed to the team despite the lack of collaboration. However, the situation was about to turn for the worse… Listen in to learn what Usman learned, and eventually did to help this team.

About Usman Kotwal

Usman is a Scrum Master and Agile Coach in the field of data analytics in life sciences. He considers his learning journey to continue forever when it comes to bringing forward change in the ways we work collaboratively. His mission is to help guide the way to empowered product teams.

You can link with Usman Kotwal on LinkedIn.

Jan Neudecker: The right level of pushing and stepping back for Scrum Masters

Jan was hired as a Scrum Master to a new organization. He realized later that as he joined, his emphasis on process, and following the process was actually hindering his work as a Scrum Master. How much pressure should we put on the team to follow the process? What is the right level of listening vs. advising or teaching? We discuss these ideas with Jan to find the right level of pushing, and stepping back for Scrum Masters.

About Jan Neudecker

Jan is an Agile Coach and Trainer. His vision is to make workplaces more humane, enjoyable and purposeful. An unpleasant diagnosis three years ago had a big impact on how he looks at these topics today. It became his mission to get these topics more into the spotlight of teams and organizations so they are less of a taboo subject in future.

You can link with Jan Neudecker on LinkedIn and connect with Jan Neudecker on Twitter.

If you want to know more about Jan’s fight with cancer, you can follow his blog

Jan also organizes a Scrum User Group in Germany.

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