Chuck Durfee: Clash of Perspectives, Managing Differences between Startup and Established Company Mindsets in an Agile Team

In this episode, Chuck discusses a team he led for a mission-critical software project with structural challenges. The arrival of a new developer from a startup background, while the rest of the team had experience in larger companies, created friction. Misunderstandings arose when the new developer pushed the message “move fast, break things,” leading to frustration as the team, and the company were not ready to hear and act on that message. Chuck sought help from his manager, who asked questions to understand the situation. Lessons learned included the importance of setting clear expectations, focusing on people problems, fostering relationships with product managers, and ensuring regulatory clarity. Effective communication and problem-solving within the team were highlighted as crucial elements for success.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Coaching Habit” by Bungay Stanier

In this segment, Chuck recommends the book “The Coaching Habit” by Bungay Stanier, which focuses on the power of asking questions. Chuck highlights that he found seven specific questions from the book to be highly effective in his role. One of these questions is the strategy question: “If I say YES to this, what do I need to say NO to?” This question helps in making thoughtful decisions by considering trade-offs. Chuck also advises staying curious a little bit longer, emphasizing the value of maintaining a curious mindset during coaching conversations.

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 Charles “Chuck” Durfee

Chuck Durfee is an Engineering Manager in the Denver area. He leads teams to deliver quality software on-time and within budget. With expertise as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach, he uses relationships, teamwork, and a pragmatic approach to solve complex business problems. In this episode, we explore his perspective as an engineering leader, and learn what makes a great Scrum Master from the perspective of the leaders they work with.

You can link with Charles “Chuck” Durfee on LinkedIn and connect with Charles “Chuck” Durfee 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.

Dennis Wagner defines success for Scrum Masters with the help of 2 key tools

To define success for us as Scrum Masters we need to define also what it means not to succeed. Dennis defines what is failure, and uses 2 concrete tools to check the situation all the time. The tools are 5 Why’s and a simple powerful question: “how are we succeeding?”
Each of these tools tackles a different purpose that Dennis explains in this episode.

About Dennis Wagner

Dennis is an Agile Coach with a lot of experience in the technical side of software development. Dennis has worked with teams in different industries, is thinking of writing a book about continuous delivery (bug him if you want to know more), and he loves, really loves his work.
You can connect with Dennis Wagner on LinkedIn and XING, and you can connect with Dennis Wagner on Twitter.

Natalie Warnert on how observation can help you uncover the system

Natalie explains her approach to understanding and visualizing the system conditions that affect the teams she works with:

  1. Start by asking “how are the tools, practices and policies affecting the team’s I work with?”
  2. Then take a pen and draw the links between the different observations, do this with the whole team. Expect to hear many different perspectives, and help the team make sense of those different views.
  3. Use also metrics, but not just one. Look at several metrics and ask people to look beyond a single metric, and beyond the metrics. What do these metrics tell us?
  4. Identify possible underlying conditions that affect the team.

Always keep in mind, that this process will be different for every team you work with, each team is different.

About Natalie Warnert

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.
You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

Natalie Warnert: the questions the team ask are your Success Metric

There are many ways to measure success, and it’s not easy to choose just one of them. Natalie chooses to focus on the questions that the team asks. Are they asking questions that challenge you? Are they asking questions that make you feel uncomfortable? Natalie also suggests you focus on how your own questions make you feel. The job of the Scrum Master is not easy, and the questions we ask are supposed to be a critical part of our job. HOw many uncomfortable conversations did you have last week?

About Natalie Warnert

As a developer turned Agile coach, Natalie Warnert understands and embraces what it takes to build great products. Natalie focuses teams on embracing Agile values to build the right product and build the product right. Natalie is currently coaching the Cart/Checkout teams for Best Buy Dotcom and recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.
You can link with Natalie Warnert on LinkedIn, connect with Natalie Warnert on Twitter, read her blog at nataliewarnert.com, and visit her project page Women in Agile.

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
Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Discover practical, real-world solutions from leading Agile practitioners. Download three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Discover practical, real-world solutions from leading Agile practitioners. Access three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Discover practical, real-world solutions from leading Agile practitioners. Download three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
FREE! Audiobook Chapters: Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Download three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
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