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Peter Janssens: Scrum Master success is similar to CEO success. Here’s why…

When it comes to Scrum Master success, Peter explains why the success metrics for a Scrum Master are similar to those of a CEO. He focuses on the need for learning about the team’s surroundings, and to think about the outcomes (what we want to achieve, not what want to do) in a way that he describes as “outside – in”. In this segment, we also explore the idea of “convergence”, a critical thinking approach that Peter describes as serving CEO’s and Scrum Masters alike!

In this segment, we refer to the NoEstimates approach for software development.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Happiness Door Agile Retrospective

Peter’s advice is to build retrospectives into the day-to-day work with the teams, and try not to need a specific time for a retrospective. For example, he suggests: “have mini retrospectives every hour.” However, when that’s not (yet) the case, he prefers to use The Happiness Door retrospective, and explains his approach to that format.

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Matthias Kostwein: How a Product Owner can help the Scrum team negotiate better with the client

Matthias shares the story of a team that was in trouble with their estimations. Matthias had just joined this team, and noticed that the team was not able to communicate the uncertainty of their estimates. On top of that, this team was working with a very demanding customer, who had pushed the team to “minimize” their estimates! As a Product Owner, Matthias had to help the team get back their confidence, and build trust between team and customer. Listen in to learn how Matthias (as a Product Owner) helped this team work better with this challenging client.

Featured Book of the Week: Lean from the Trenches (Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban) by Kniberg

Matthias recommends Lean from the Trenches (Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban) by Kniberg, and Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland. However, as he puts it, he’s learned the most about the Product Owner role from interacting with his peers, and trying to foster a more collaborative environment. He describes empathy as an essential skill for Product Owners.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Matthias Kostwein

Matthias is a Project Manager, turned Programmer, turned PO, turned Client Service Director with a varied background in different industries from Mechanical Engineering to IT Agencies. Throughout all of his journey, Agile has been part of his work life, even before he knew what Scrum was.

You can link with Matthias Kostwein on LinkedIn.

Mher Nalbandyan: Reducing estimation arguments, and focusing on better refinement for Scrum teams

When Mher joined the team, he noticed that the team was going through the refinement meetings in a way that made the estimation the core aspect of the meeting. It took too long, and led to some team members to just sit there without participating. In this episode, we explore how to get over this estimation-centric refinement meeting anti-pattern!

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

BONUS: The psychology of communicating data with Dan Vacanti

Dan joins Vasco to talk about how we can communicate data when working with stakeholders and the team. He’s joined the podcast previously to talk about #NoEstimates with Vasco and Marcus Hammarberg. You can listen to that episode here

We start the conversation by discussing some of the most common anti-patterns we fall into when communicating data to stakeholders and the team. The first anti-pattern Dan mentions is “assuming that people understand the data you present to them”. 

We discuss why that is often a problem, and the role of rationality when discussing and deciding on what interventions are warranted based on the data that is presented. 

In this segment, we also discuss that the role of data, and presenting data, is to assess what actions might be necessary to correct something, or improve the process we work with. 

The emotions behind our reactions to the data being presented

Continue reading BONUS: The psychology of communicating data with Dan Vacanti

BONUS: The art, and science of making prediction with #NoEstimates. With Dan Vacanti and Marcus Hammarberg

We explore a real-life project that Marcus was part of, and how the #NoEstimates methods he used helped him make predictions, even if did not estimate the work to be done.

This conversation started from an article that Marcus had posted earlier on social media. In that article Marcus explained how he had used data, as opposed to estimates to make a prediction of when the project would be finished. This approach still creates a lot of controversy on twitter, even if it has been (at the time of recording) 10+ years since the original discussion around estimates started by Woody Zuill and Vasco Duarte on twitter under the tags of #NoEstimates and #Estwaste respectively. 

As Marcus quickly found out in this project, the rate of progress could not have been predicted easily at the start (if at all). When he first started the project, the progress was swift, but at one point he faced a problem he could not solve for several days. This phenomenon is not new for any programmers in the audience, and is quite common. Also, one of the reasons why using methods like #NoEstimates (as explained in the #NoEstimates book, and in Marcus’ blog post), can help uncover information that estimation would not. 

Dealing with surprises: the information you need to share with stakeholders

Continue reading BONUS: The art, and science of making prediction with #NoEstimates. With Dan Vacanti and Marcus Hammarberg

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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