Nimi Bello: Prioritizing People, Strategies for Helping Agile Teams In Trouble

In this episode, Nimi shares her experience leading a struggling team during a complex agile software development project. Amidst challenges like project delays, low team morale, and layoffs, Nimi emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive mindset and building strong relationships with team members. She reflects on the realization that the team had very limited control over their environment, and entered a fight-or-flight mode. Some of the tips Nimi shares include fostering open communication, understanding individual communication styles, and prioritizing the team’s well-being. The episode highlights the Scrum Master’s unique responsibilities in building trust, managing stakeholders, and creating a supportive team environment.

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 Nimi Bello

Nimi Bello is a seasoned Agile professional with a diverse skill set. She currently serves as a Release Train Engineer at Deloitte. With over 8 years of experience, Nimi is an award-winning Creative Director, Principal Agile Consultant, and Strategic Partner. Her expertise lies in sales, technology, and guiding teams through the complex journey of transitioning to Agile methodology. Nimi is a global change agent with a fervor for building and scaling businesses and communities.

You can link with Nimi Bello on LinkedIn.

Armin Mandara: When Product Owners Multiply, Making Decisions in a Maze of Stakeholders

The Great Product Owner: Empowering Teams, A Key PO Skill

Armin discusses the role of a great Product Owner (PO) in fostering team success. Drawing from an experience with a mixed team of internal and client-side members, he highlights the importance of clear communication and decision-making abilities in a client-driven setup. A standout PO, in his view, comprehends their role and limitations, excelling in making timely decisions and maintaining a pragmatic approach, even in challenging situations. They actively engage in discussions, emphasizing necessary trade-offs while demonstrating a keen awareness of the team’s needs.

The Bad Product Owner: When POs Multiply, Making Decisions in a Maze of Stakeholders

Armin shares his experience in a B2B ecommerce setting, where a multitude of stakeholders complicated the Product Owner (PO) role. The presence of proxy POs, business analysts, and various other figures led to a lack of clear decision-making. Armin underscores the importance of collaboration between the PO and Scrum Master and emphasizes the need for transparency and timely decisions. He advises making issues transparent to stakeholders and offering suggestions for improvement to address this common anti-pattern. Clear ownership and decisive action are essential for effective product ownership.

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 Armin Mandara

Armin is the Head of Scrum Masters at IBM iX, a leading digital agency. With a career spanning seven years as a Scrum Master, Armin has partnered with numerous teams to successfully deliver top-notch digital products. His passion lies in enabling agile teams to achieve their goals and unleash their true potential.

You can link with Armin Mandara on LinkedIn.

Armin Mandara: From Checkboxes to Skills, Crafting a Dynamic Career Path and Fostering Self-Development

Armin shares a pivotal career path transformation experience, emphasizing a shift from achievement-based lists to skill-focused development. Recognizing flaws in how managers approached the existing career paths, Armin collaborated with HR to redefine them. The focus shifted from rigid checkboxes to individualized skill levels, providing freedom for personal growth. Armin underscores the importance of nurturing ownership of one’s development and highlights the value of skill improvement over specific achievements. This initiative aimed to motivate and empower individuals to take charge of their professional growth.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Armin Mandara

Armin is the Head of Scrum Masters at IBM iX, a leading digital agency. With a career spanning seven years as a Scrum Master, Armin has partnered with numerous teams to successfully deliver top-notch digital products. His passion lies in enabling agile teams to achieve their goals and unleash their true potential.

You can link with Armin Mandara on LinkedIn.

Anna Mbengam: Prioritizing People And Empowering Teams in the Scrum Master’s Absence

In this episode, Anna emphasizes the critical role of a Scrum Master in ensuring team happiness. She prioritizes facilitating self-organization and meaningful interactions among team members. Anna’s success criteria extend beyond metrics to encompass factors like continuous improvement, agile mindset adoption, and positive team culture. She advocates for open dialogue and hosts regular one-on-one meetings to gauge individual team members’ progress and well-being. Anna also empowers the team to take ownership of the Scrum Master role in her absence, assessing the impact upon her return.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: Start/Stop/Continue, To Help Scrum Masters Listen Better

Anna likes the ‘Start/Stop/Continue’ retrospective format, as it fosters understanding and alignment within the team. Initially driven to implement sweeping changes, Anna learned the value of stepping back to enable teams to drive their own transformations. This format allows her to actively listen and discern the team’s focal points, resulting in more effective and meaningful retrospectives.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

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 Anna Mbengam

Anna, an accomplished Scrum Master and SAFe Coach since 2018, thrives in diverse industries like Personal Investments, Healthcare, Food & beverage, and Banking. She’s authored 5 self-published guides aiding aspiring Scrum Masters, and her mentoring has transformed 200+ professionals into highly effective individuals for any organization.

You can link with Anna Mbengam on LinkedIn and read Anna’s books.

Scrum Masters are the future CEO’s, and a podcast by the Lean Enterprise Institute

I’ve been working on a collection of great blog posts about the Scrum Master role. If you have a favorite article on the Scrum Master role, or it’s goals and responsibilities, let me know by submitting it here: https://bit.ly/TheBestScrumMasterBlogPosts2020

I believe that one of the most well-kept secrets of the Agile community is that the Scrum Master role is the role where the future CEO’s are born.

I know, I know. This sounds like an exaggeration. True. But I do have some good arguments for this below, so read on!

Scrum Masters are about building organizations that work together

I was listening to this podcast by the Lean Enterprise Insititute (a non-profit that tries to advance Lean practice) with heard Alan Mulally, the ex-CEO of Boeing and Ford.

In that podcast, Alan explains how he implemented the “people first” model he learned about at Boeing (being involved in all of the plane projects at Boeing) and later implemented also at Ford.

His perspective is refreshing. But especially it is very much in line with what we think the Scrum Master role is. Take this quote for example: “Pull everyone together around the Vision for the Product, and around the Strategy for achieving that Vision”

“Pull everyone together around the Vision for the Product, and around the Strategy for achieving that Vision”
– Alan Mulally, ex-CEO of Boeing and Ford

For me, that’s a great description of what the role of the Scrum Master is about: pulling people together around the Vision for the product that the Product team has put together with their stakeholders, and pulling people together around the strategy to achieve that Vision!

Scrum Masters are about building organizations that put “people first”

The podcast goes on and talks about something that is incredibly important: how do we build high-performance teams. The lessons Alan shares are also crucial, and we’ve talked about this here on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast: when a team member does not want to play by the rules the team has setup (low “working together skills, as Alan puts it), that’s poison for the team.

(On Working together and peer accountability) “Everyone who does not operate this way is poison”
– Alan Mulally, ex-CEO of Boeing and Ford

As Scrum Masters, one of our greatest responsibilities is to make sure that the team comes together and agrees on how to work together, and keep themselves accountable! Just like a CEO as Alan explains!

Alan shares his approach to bringing people together on the execution aspect of the work: be clear about the rules (work with the team to define those), and define a method for self and peer accountability!

“Most of the time, when you are clear about the process, and the rules of working together, people will come together and become great team contributors”
– Alan Mulally, ex-CEO of Boeing and Ford

As Scrum Masters, we are responsible for making sure everyone on the team understands (and contributes) to the rules of the work! Just like a CEO as Alan explains!

This was a great podcast with Jim Morgan (Lean Enterprise Institute) and Alan Mulally (ex-CEO at Boeing and Ford), and is filled with insights for Scrum Masters, who are the future of the CEO role!

One more quote to finish (from the podcast, at around minute 29)

“My biggest contribution, was holding myself and the team accountable for following the process and acceptable behaviours”
– Alan Mulally, ex-CEO of Boeing and Ford

That’s a quote from a CEO, not a #ScrumMaster. But it could be from a Scrum Master!

Help us grow as a Scrum Master community, share your best 2020 articles below.

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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
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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
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