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Takunda Noha: From Ego to Collaboration, Embracing Scrum and Overcoming Resistance

In this episode, Takunda shares his journey from being a project assistant to becoming an assistant project manager in an Agile transformation process. He discusses how a coach introduced scrum to his organization, challenging the traditional ways of working. Takunda emphasizes the importance of managing ego and addressing failure openly. He recounts joining a new team just before the COVID-19 pandemic and discovering that team members were scattered throughout the building. He tried to bring them together physically but faced resistance. The team seemed uncomfortable during stand-up meetings and quickly returned to their previous locations. Takunda advises talking to line managers to explain the situation and meeting the team where they are. He also shares the challenges of justifying his decisions and negotiating with managers. It is essential to understand what aspects might upset others to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

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 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.

Paula Dunne: Adapting Scrum to the new world remote work, an Agile learning journey

When Paula joined this team, she noticed the team was not sharing the good (or bad) things that were happening. We discuss how teams in the new “remote world” become passive and do not follow-up on their agreements, and let things drop because the other person is not there, present by their side. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to work on the relationships between team members as well as between team members and stakeholders, especially in this remote work world!

Featured Book of the Week: The Art of Being Brilliant by Cope and Whittaker

In The Art of Being Brilliant: Transform Your Life by Doing What Works For You by Cope and Whittaker, is a book that helped Paula orient her career and learn about positive psychology which helped her feel and help others feel more confident in themselves. In this segment, we refer to Woody Zuill, a previous guest on the podcast and his mantra “turn up the good”.

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 Paula Dunne

Paula is an Agile Coach with experience in large organization Agile adoption as well as in coaching product owners.

You can link with Paula Dunne on LinkedIn.

Pedro Silva: Critical lessons for Scrum Masters taking on a fully remote Agile team

Pedro joined a team right at the start of the Corona pandemic, and because of that did not have the opportunity to spend time with the team face to face before the team went full remote. This led to Pedro not being able to create a bond with each team member. Later on, he realized that the team had started to drift apart themselves, and on top of that, Pedro did not have the strong relationships that would allow him to help the team members open up, and share their challenges. Listen in to learn what to take into account when starting as a full remote Scrum Master.

About Pedro Silva

Pedro considers himself a Scrum Master supporting software development teams while keeping his focus on their growth towards the efficient delivery of value, while having a blast.

You can link with Pedro Silva on LinkedIn.

Franziska Moenster: The missing ingredient for a Scrum team to be able to work remote! 

This is the story of a team that, even if they had a long history of working together, was faced with a new reality: remote work! During the pandemic years, many teams had to change from co-located work to remote work, and that change had big impacts on their work, and relationships. We discuss the lessons learned by Franny about teams that made that transition, and what is usually missing that leads to problems!

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Lencioni

In The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Lencioni, Franny found a reminder that conflict is a necessary, and – if managed correctly – productive part of the team’s development. We discuss how everyone in the team has a different relationship with conflict, and why Scrum Masters should take that into account when observing, and intervening in team conflicts.

In this segment, we also talk about the book New Work needs Inner Work: Ein Handbuch für Unternehmen auf dem Weg zur Selbstorganisation, a German language book that helped Franny understand that the inner structures we have as Scrum Masters also need some work for us to be able to adapt ourselves to Agile.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Franziska Moenster

Franny (short for Franziska) loves seeing the power of building strong performing teams that build products in a customer centric way. She’s been working as a Scrum Master/Agile Coach for over 5 years. Profiting from her hands-on experience on scaling agile across teams and her joy of trying out new things she is always inspecting and adapting on an organizational level as well! On a personal note, she has recently moved to Tenerife to follow her passion of freediving.

You can link with Franziska Moenster on LinkedIn.

BONUS: Aligning Agile Remote teams with Luke Szyrmer

Aligning teams is not only the challenge we face as Scrum Masters working with remote teams. There’s also the stakeholder side, and aligning stakeholders is even harder than aligning the teams we work with. 

We discuss some tactics, as well as a key metric to keep our eye on: “the velocity and quality of decisions that happen around the teams.”

Scrum team consequences due to missing alignment

When teams and stakeholders are not aligned, we can see decisions being delayed, or even ignored. All of this leads to a direct impact on the team’s ability to deliver. Luke shares with us some anti-patterns and some tips he’s collected over the years. 

We learn how important it is for Scrum Masters to keep tabs on the communication, and alignment between different departments (not only between teams), and we discuss how sometimes the solution is “more meetings”, leading to the inevitable meeting overload anti-pattern. 

We also discuss and describe some of the anti-patterns that emerge when teams and departments lose alignment. 

Solving the lack of alignment

When it comes to helping departments and teams get aligned, Luke suggests we try what he calls “sensemaking meetings”. These are meetings that help us find answers to questions and improve shared group understanding of a topic or situation. But there’s another goal for sensemaking meetings: to build the necessary interpersonal networks that are needed to solve future problems.

Solving meeting overload: an experiment

Just like many of us have experienced, Luke also experienced moments when there were too many meetings. In this segment, he suggests we try an experiment he tried before: cancel all meetings for 2 weeks. We discuss why you may want to try that experiment, what were some of the consequences of trying that experiment, and the good things that happened once people started to realize that some meetings were actually useful and necessary. 

Dealing with unreasonable expectations

There’s another aspect of remote work that leads to problems at the team level. The fact that work gets hard when remote, and that stakeholders are now more distant from the teams, leads often to unreasonable expectations. These expectations can cause problems at the team level, through high levels of stress, and between teams and stakeholders because of missed expectations. In this segment, we discuss the dynamics that lead to unreasonable expectations and what we can do to help both teams and stakeholders adjust their expectations to the reality of remote work. 

About Luke Szyrmer

Luke is the host of the Managing Remote Teams podcast. Luke has managed or participated in fully remote teams for almost a decade. He has lead programs of widely distributed teams. Over the last 9 years, he has lead teams building software, running marketing and sales, and launched a bestselling book. Remotely. In many cases, with people he never met or spoke to in person.

You can link with Luke Szyrmer on LinkedIn and connect with Luke Szyrmer on Twitter

You can also follow Luke’s work at

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Internal Conference
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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
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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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