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Sofia Katsaouni: The Importance of Mentorship in a Scrum Master or Agile Coach’s Journey

In this episode, Sofia recounts her struggles as a junior coach facing challenges in a new team. Despite wanting to lead a kickoff, she was overruled by the engineering lead, leading to self-doubt and frustration. She emphasizes the importance of open communication, sanity checks with external perspectives, and listening to one self. The lack of support left her feeling overwhelmed, highlighting the need for mentorship in agile coaching.

In this episode, we refer to nonviolent communication, an approach that can help us when we find ourselves in the middle of a conflict situation.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

Are you having trouble helping the team work well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn.

Robert Briese: Fixed Time/Scope Projects and The Pitfalls of Individual PO Goals

In this episode, Robert discusses the challenges of supporting teams tasked with building an ecommerce platform. The teams were given a limited time, and a fixed scope to deliver! Each team had its own Product Owner (PO), leading to conflicting goals and self-destructive patterns. The looming deadline for a major customer event added pressure. Robert suggests practical tips, including creating a shared understanding above team and product management levels, aligning POs on a shared backlog, establishing shared priorities, utilizing user story mapping, and implementing the Chief Product Owner pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: “Large-Scale Scrum” by Vodde and Larman

In this episode, Robert recommends “Large-Scale Scrum” by Vodde and Larman for insights into large-scale product development, influencing his journey to become a trainer in this domain. He also suggests “The Skilled Facilitator” by Schwarz, emphasizing its focus on fostering a mindset conducive to real team collaboration. The book promotes a mutual learning mindset, acknowledging individual experiences and promoting cooperative game dynamics for collective success. The episode also touches on another recommended book on Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who’s seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW’s level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He’s on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter.

Annu Paganus: Navigating Complex Collaborations, And Strategies for Handling Difficult PO Dynamics

Annu recounts a challenging situation where a new Product Owner, previously a manager, struggled to adapt to the role. The team sought more support, leading to organizational discussions on prioritization. Annu, responsible for addressing the issue, found that the conversation turned personal. She advises involving a third party for mediation and emphasizes improving conversational skills. The experience impacted her relationship with the PO, who eventually transitioned to a different role. Annu underscores the importance of self-awareness and offers tips for handling conflicts, including managing cortisol levels and referencing resources like Nonviolent Communication and the book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Annu Paganus

Annu is a passionate software team Scrum Master who wants to help her team to create an environment where different kind of people can find a smooth way to work together and enjoy their work and private life. Also worked as teacher, software developer, chapter lead and Product Owner.

You can link with Annu Paganus on LinkedIn.

Danielle Braun: Vision, Strategy, Collaboration, The Art of a Remarkable Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Vision, Strategy, Collaboration, The Art of a Remarkable Product Owner

In this episode, the spotlight is on an exceptional Product Owner known for inspiration and skill. With a crystal-clear product vision and a strategic approach, she collaborated closely with the team to refine requirements. Their prowess extended beyond internal teamwork, as they maintained strong connections with customers and stakeholders. Employing the MoSCoW method for prioritization, she empowered the team to discern not only what to work on but also what to omit. A key takeaway is the emphasis on “maximizing the work not done,” demonstrating how a focused approach to prioritization can drive efficiency and success in Agile product development.

The Bad Product Owner: From Micro-Management to Empowerment, A Tale of PO Transformation

In this episode, Danielle tells the story of a new Product Owner (PO) who struggled to transition from project management to the PO role. Initially they took a micro-managing and instructive approach, and the team’s efficiency suffered, leading to frustration. Danielle intervened by providing constructive feedback using Nonviolent Communication (NVC) techniques. A candid question about the team’s feelings prompted the PO to realize his negative impact. Acknowledging their mistake, the PO adjusted their behavior, reestablishing team motivation. A key lesson emerged: allowing patterns to develop before intervention and fostering open dialogue can lead to positive change. Ultimately, collaboration between the PO and team led to improved dynamics and shared responsibility.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

Are you having trouble helping the team work well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Danielle Braun

Danielle is a Scrum Master and systemic coach. She strongly believes in the power of teams and that we carry the solution to all challenges within us.

You can link with Danielle Braun on LinkedIn

BONUS: Remote work tips for successful distributed teams by Lisette Sutherland

Lisette’s journey into remote work began approximately 20 years ago when she started working for an online project management tool. What made this tool unique was its objective of bringing scientists together to find solutions to the aging problem. This experience got Lisette thinking about the possibilities of removing distance as a barrier.

Due to the nature of her work for the tool vendor, Lisette had the opportunity to work remotely while being a tour manager for a music band. At some point, someone suggested that she start a podcast on remote work, which sparked her interest in exploring and sharing her knowledge in this area.

To get her main remote work tips in one neat, freely available kit, download Lisette’s remote work super kit here.

Unveiling the Challenges of Remote Work: Communication Overload, Bonding Struggles, and More

Continue reading BONUS: Remote work tips for successful distributed teams by Lisette Sutherland

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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
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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