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Annu Paganus: Short-Term Thinking, Long-Term Consequences, How Agile Teams Create Their Own Problems

Annu shares the story of a team that delayed documentation and planning because they expected that the system they were maintaining would eventually be replaced by a new system. However, while she was away on a long leave, the system change did not happen. The team’s mindset of impending change led to neglecting long-term considerations, impeding progress. Annu advises teams to scrutinize the narratives they tell themselves about their work and to understand their origins. She stresses the importance of focusing on the present and evolving their work methods based on the current situation.

Featured Book of the Week: Keskusteluälykkyys by Helena Åhman

Annu shares her passion for personal development and its impact on her professional and personal growth. She recommends the book “Keskusteluälykkyys” by Helena Åhman (link in Finnish) for its valuable lessons on conflict resolution. Annu appreciates how her team’s passionate discussions have been productive. She highlights the significance of overcoming conflict as a Scrum Master. Additionally, she praises “Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life”for its insights on fostering a sense of belonging. The book emphasizes the role of routines in reinforcing community bonds, a principle applicable to Agile teams. Annu underlines the importance of creating meaningful rituals within the team dynamic.

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 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.

Aki Salmi: Working With BDD To Help Agile Teams Understand And Deliver On Business Needs

In this episode, Aki shares two impactful stories of change. Firstly, he recounts a scenario as a scrum master in a team with two-week sprints. Because the team was “ok” with letting a feature slip from one sprint to the other, that feature eventually took four weeks to deliver, after which the team found out that they implementation did not align with the business. Implementing Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) with tools like Specflow facilitated better communication with the business, ensuring subsequent deliveries met business needs. Aki’s second story reflects his realization about strong opinions and conflicts. Aki learned the value of active listening and being open to others’ perspectives. In this episode, we refer to Chris Argyris’ “Knowledge for Action”nd Portuguese.

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 Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

Eliza Gregory: Unlocking Team Autonomy, and Achieving Success through Difficult Conversations

In this episode, Eliza explores success for Scrum Masters and discusses a situation where success was achieved when her team no longer relied on her. She describes an anti-pattern where teams still ask for permission as if she were their boss, indicating a lack of autonomy. Eliza shares an experience with a team that was initially closed off to change. A manager’s demoralizing comment caused the entire team to shut down. However, during a retrospective, Eliza was able to facilitate a discussion by getting one team member to open up, leading to the team collectively sharing their feelings about the manager’s comment. This retrospective proved to be a success as it allowed for an open conversation about a difficult topic with a little prompting from Eliza. The team then took the initiative to address the issue themselves. Eliza provides tips, noting that when the entire team realizes they are on the same page, they gain the courage to bring up important topics. She also highlights the significance of shared experiences within the team, as it contributes to their overall growth and effectiveness.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Letter From the Future, predicting the future in your Agile Retrospective

In this segment, Eliza introduces the concept of the “Letter From the Future” and shares her experience of implementing it for the first time. She advises that it may require explaining the concept multiple times before being able to successfully conduct it. The retrospective follows a specific format, beginning with setting up a digital whiteboard. Eliza then assigns a postcard to each developer. To engage the team, she appeals to their culture. The main activity involves writing a letter to oneself from the future. Eliza highlights that the different format of this retrospective helps the team think differently and encourages fresh perspectives.

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 Eliza Gregory

Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.

You can link with Eliza Gregory on LinkedIn and connect with Eliza Gregory on Twitter, and you can read about her novel Painting the Whiskey Blue.

Takunda Noha: From Paper to Practice, Addressing Accountability and Discipline Issues in Agile Projects

In this episode, Takunda shares his experience as the scrum master for a team that supported the HR department and developed an HR platform. While the team seemed successful on paper, they struggled with discipline and frequently missed their sprint goals. Takunda attributes these challenges to a lack of accountability for not delivering on promises. He recommends the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, which helped him understand and address these issues, emphasizing the team’s avoidance of conflict and lack of focus on results. He highlights the importance of ensuring that the team feels alive and engaged.

Featured Book of the Week: The Servant Leader, How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance by James Autry

In this segment, Takunda discusses his transition from being a project management professional (PMP) to a scrum master, which he describes as a significant change. He recommends the book The Servant Leader by James Autry, highlighting its impact on his understanding of the scrum master role. The book emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence in building connections and unlocking influence. Takunda shares that this book helped him develop a deeper understanding of how to effectively serve his team. In this segment, we also mention another recommended book, How to Win Friends, And Influence People by Dale Carnegie, which provides insights into building relationships and fostering positive interactions with the Scrum Master’s critical stakeholders.

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 Takunda Noha

Takunda is a seasoned change agent. He specializes in turning dysfunctional teams into high performing teams.

You can link with Takunda Noha on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Liberating Structures and Wise Crowds, Strategies for Facilitating Effective PI Planning in Agile Teams

In this episode, Oz discusses the challenges of leading change and shares some tips for Scrum Masters to enable effective planning and team participation. Oz describes a scenario where the team was struggling to commit to the goals of the next PI and how it was discovered that the teams were not self-organizing and did not understand the “why” behind their work. The planning process was already defined before the teams came into the PI planning session, which was an anti-pattern of using agile terms but applying waterfall practices.

Oz suggests that effective facilitation is critical for Scrum Masters and advises creating a planning process that involves the team in defining the plan. Oz also recommends observing the meeting first to understand what the team is trying to accomplish and encourages enabling the team to speak up. Oz shares some links to resources that can be useful in planning and facilitating team participation, such as the wise crowds liberating structure. Additionally, Oz suggests using break out rooms to help the team talk about goals/user stories in private and to find problems in the plan using the 1-2-4-all Liberating Structure.

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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
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
FREE QUIZ - What's Your #1 Agile Roadblock:
(Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).
Identify What's Holding You Back & Transform Your Challenges Into Strengths
FREE QUIZ - What's Your #1 Agile Roadblock:
Identify What's Holding You Back & Transform Your Challenges Into Strengths (Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).