Donna Marie Lee on how change starts by helping Scrum teams ask the right questions

When teams start a change process, we often look back at single events that may have triggered that change. In this episode, we talk about a different type of process. A process where the Scrum Master helps the team find the right change by asking questions. We discuss the process that questions help trigger, and how that helps the team (and the Scrum Master) find the right time and the right way for change to take hold.

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

You can link with Donna Marie Lee on LinkedIn and connect with Donna Marie Lee on Twitter.

Product Owner coaching challenges for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

As part of our upcoming “Coach Your Product Owner” course, we’ve been hard at work creating simple and actionable tools you can use to help your Product Owner progress. But that coaching cannot happen unless we tackle the biggest problems we have when coaching Product Owners. So, last week I asked people who receive my Newsletter to help me answer this question:

When it comes to Coaching and Supporting your Product Owner(s), what is the single Biggest Challenge that you are facing right now?

The reason for this question is my belief that, as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, we must help the Product Owners as part of our duties. Sometimes those duties may be just about helping them manage/facilitate a particular session, but often we need to help the Product Owner grow their skills, knowledge, and experience with Agile product development. All aspects of it.

So what are the key challenges we face, when coaching and supporting our Product Owners?

Read on to find out…

Continue reading Product Owner coaching challenges for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

Daniel Heinen on how Scrum Masters must go from teachers to moderators

When a change process starts it is easy to be tempted to “drive” that change in the organization. However, that’s not always a good option. In this episode, we discuss the possible negative side effects of “driving” change into a team or organization.

How can Scrum Masters get out of the “drive” change anti-pattern? In this episode, we discuss how management can play a major role in helping move to a pull-mode change process and what the role of the Scrum Master is in that type of change.

Listen in to learn about concrete tools and practices that help the Scrum Masters go from “teacher” to “moderator” in the change process.

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

David Denham how to reach a fast concept-to-cash cycle with the help of the Scrum Master

David started working with a group of teams that were component-focused and started seeing the usual anti-patterns. The “concept to cash” cycle was too slow. How do you help an organization get out of the component-focused organization and switch to a more outcome-oriented organization?

In this episode, we explore one approach that David put in practice, and how that may help your organization recognize what they are missing by sticking to the silo-prone component-based organization.

In this episode, we refer to Design Sprints, a method that focuses on a quick learning process, and also discuss the game “Build Your Own Scrum”.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.

The (surprising) 9 most common challenges that Product Owners face, and affect their Scrum Teams

Product Owner anti-patterns, round 2Would you want to have a simple, collected, set of solutions (techniques and strategies) to solve the most common challenges Product Owners face? So would I! But before we can collect the solutions, we must understand the problem!

That’s what I did in 2018.

I asked the listeners of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast and the readers of the blog what were their most common challenges when working with Product Owners. So, if you are a Scrum Master, an Agile Coach or a team member who wants to help the Product Owner, the list below is for you! (NOTE: there are links to solutions as well! ?) Continue reading The (surprising) 9 most common challenges that Product Owners face, and affect their Scrum Teams

David Sabine on how to survive a large Agile adoption process

When we are involved in large organization transformations there can be a sense of overwhelm. That the organization and the different groups are too large to grasp. So how do you survive a large transformation process? In this episode, we explore some of the practices that David learned through his own story when involved with a transformation in a large organization.

In this episode, we refer often to the book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide by Edgar Schein.

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

You can link with David Sabine on LinkedIn and connect with David Sabine on Twitter.

Silvana Wasitova on The Critical Importance of Permission to Coach for Scrum Masters

As Scrum Masters, one of the key ingredients for our work to succeed is “permission”. Permission to do our work with the teams. Permission to help the team find new ways of working.

In this episode, Silvana shares the story of a team, how they were reluctant to give her permission at first, and how Silvana handled it, to the point where permission was finally granted.

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Paulo Rebelo on How Scrum Values can help trigger a change process

As Paulo started helping this company in their Agile adoption he noticed that, even if the company was “doing” Scrum, they were missing some critical aspects.

Listen in to learn how Paulo helped this company find a better way to adopt Scrum, using the Scrum Values as the anchor to the change.

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Elizabeth Christensen on How Scrum Masters can Support Change with Data and Evidence

As Scrum Masters we are often confronted with challenges and problems that the teams suffer on a daily basis. These challenges are only the start of the change process. In this episode, Liz explores the ways in which we can support the teams in effecting changes they perceive as necessary. We talk about the role of retrospectives in the change process and also the importance of arguing for the change with data and evidence to gain stakeholder support.

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Kyle Aretae on change models, and change practice for Scrum Masters

Kyle’s own journey when learning about change led him to understand the importance of focusing on the organizational aspects, not just the team he was working with. In this episode, we explore several different change models and end up with a set of tips that Kyle has learned over time work for organizational, not just team-level, change.

In this episode we refer to John Kotter’s 8-step process for change, Organization Change: Theory and Practice by W. Warner Burke, and David Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry.

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since ’81. Teaching since ’91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming – XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.