Linda van Sinten: Creative thinking formats to spice up your retrospectives 

Linda describes her own success as a Scrum Masters through the behaviors she wants to see in the teams she works with. We discuss what we need to do as Scrum Masters to enable those behaviors as well as the importance of asking questions. The goal: to help teams feel enthusiastic about their work!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Creative thinking formats to spice up your retrospectives

Linda prefers to use different formats in most retrospectives, and especially likes to use formats and exercises that encourage creative thinking by the team. These formats help the teams get out of “complaining” and focus on improvements. She describes some formats for us, and we refer to Story Cubes; The 4 L’s; Liberating Structures; 1-2-4-all and other formats you can use to spice up your retrospectives. 

In this segment, we also refer to the Ecocycle planning workshop. 

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 ​​Linda van Sinten

Linda van Sinten is an experienced Scrum Master and creator of the Liberating Structures Visual design cards. She combines her knowledge of Scrum with the powerful skill of creating visualizations and visual tools to drive teams forward. She has trained over 500 people in making powerful visuals out of ideas, structuring strategies and product visions in Tech, Healthcare and other industries. 

You can link with ​​Linda van Sinten on LinkedIn.

Samet Ulutas: Check-in, a critical aspect for successful retrospectives

There are 3 factors that Samet reviews regularly to assess his own work as a Scrum Master. We discuss those 3 factors, as well as some of the questions to take into account for a possible survey that documents the progress of the team over time. 

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: Helping teams warm up to the retrospective

Samet shares Retromat.Org, a tool that helps Scrum Masters come up with new formats for every retrospective. When preparing for the retrospective, Samet puts special focus on the warm-up/check-in part, to help teams get ready to discuss the really important topics. Samet shares with us some tips on how to help teams get ready for the retrospective with some warm-up/check-in exercises. 

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 Samet Ulutas

Samet has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 3 years and coached 35+ different teams until now. Samet has plenty of experience dealing with difficulties of an Agile Transformation, including being to witness the Agile Transformation of the largest private bank in Turkey from the beginning. Samet is also the co-owner of “Be Agile Stay Agile” YouTube channel. 

You can link with Samet Ulutas on LinkedIn and connect with Samet Ulutas on Twitter. 

Matthew Green: Assessing what we can’t measure in the Scrum Master role

Matthew describes his goal as a Scrum Master and explains how he assesses the impact of his performance. We also discuss some of the “unmeasurable” aspects of the Scrum Master role, and how to keep those in mind even if it’s hard to quantify our impact on those dimensions.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Wheel of Agile Goodness

Matthew shares a format that focuses on finding the teams’ strengths and focusing on how to get even better. In some cases, teams can feel that Scrum is “pushing them to the hamster wheel”, and that detracts from motivation and satisfaction. Matthew suggests a format that helps teams get out of that hamster wheel anti-pattern.

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 Matthew Green

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Matthew worked in a variety of roles both inside and outside of IT. This eclectic background has served him well in working with teams and individuals to help them on their own journey to a more humane way of working. 

You can link with Matthew Green on LinkedIn and connect with Matthew Green on Twitter.

Kathryn Tancos: Tweaking Retrospectives to help silent Agile teams speak up

Even when measuring our success can be difficult, we can define a set of questions that help us reflect and help teams. Kathryn shares some of those questions, as well as a “guideline” for our success as Scrum Masters. Listen in to learn about Kathryn’s success questions. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Tweaking Start/Stop/Continue to help teams that have a hard time speaking up

Kathryn likes to adapt the format to the team. Even when using simple formats, such as Start/Stop/Continue, Kathryn prefers to add some twists so that all team members participate actively. In this segment, Kathryn shares a story of a team that had a hard time speaking up, and what she did to help the team contribute actively in the retrospective. 

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 Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter.

Rasmus Lund-Jensen: Helping Agile teams deliver, the success focus for Scrum Masters

Scrum Masters help others “do”, and because of that they are further away from the delivery work, making it hard to understand – sometimes – how we contribute to that delivery. Rasmus shares with us tips and questions to ask that helps us understand how we help teams deliver and succeed. 

In this segment, we refer to the Monday episode, where Rasmus talks about an Agile transformation story.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Setting up Conversations, a key Scrum Master skill

Although Rasmus shares with us a structured format, he starts by asking us to create moments of pure conversation with the team. Creating the conditions for conversations to happen on a regular basis is Rasmus’ favorite approach to Agile Retrospectives. The structure format he shares with us is the Sailboat Retrospective, which we’ve covered in the past from multiple perspectives. 

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 Rasmus Lund-Jensen

Rasmus is an agile coach and Scrum Master from Denmark. He is passionate about finding pragmatic ways for teams to reach their potential. He previously spent six years at the LEGO Group where he learned the power of bad jokes. If people are laughing, it means they are listening. 

You can link with Rasmus Lund-Jensen on LinkedIn and connect with Rasmus Lund-Jensen his website.

Maximilian Dazer: Agile team morale as an indicator of Scrum Master success

Team morale is Max’s focus when it comes to measuring his success as a Scrum Master. He asks a few specific questions which he describes in this episode, and then evaluates the team’s answer to a survey he sends the team members during the Sprint. Max also likes to use some flow metrics (e.g. Cycle time) to reflect on how the team is evolving, as well as help the team select the improvements to put in practice. 

In this episode, we refer to Cycle time, and Cycle time scatter plot.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Scrum Values Retrospective

Max prefers to prepare his retrospectives based on the events of the preceding Sprint. However, he has a format he likes to run with all of his teams, and even at regular intervals. The Scrum Values retrospective is about helping the team reflect on how they grow, and evolve as Agile teams by creating a conversation on how they want to apply the Scrum values as defined in the Scrum Guide.

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 Maximilian Dazer

Maximilian’s goal is to drive change from the bottom. For every team he creates a vision and tries to get them on board to pursue the change together. Maximilian wants to free people from the micromanagement-hell version of “scrum”.

You can link with Maximilian Dazer on LinkedIn.

Lucia Alarcon: Lean Coffee, the swiss army knife of Agile Retrospectives

When it comes to assessing her own success as a Scrum Master, Lucia uses the “health” metaphor to identify and measure critical aspects of a healthy team. In this episode, we talk about The Squad Health Check. The Squad Health Check was also described in these episodes. We also mention Radical Candor, as a feedback framework as well as Clean Language.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Lean Coffee, the swiss army knife of Agile Retrospectives

Lucia likes to try many formats, but there’s one format she often comes back to thanks to its power to spark creative, and insightful conversations. That format is the Lean Coffee Retrospective format, which focuses the team’s conversations instead of trying to cover too many things in a retrospective. In this segment, we also refer to the game Cards Against Humanity, which you can learn more about (and download) by listening to this episode with Ellen Santamaria.

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 Lucia Alarcon

Lucia is a Delivery Lead and a coach working in Wellington NZ, leading an amazing development squad to achieve the delivery of multiple digital initiatives using Agile, creating a culture of empowerment, collaboration and communication. With 15+ years of experience, her professional (and personal!) journey has taken her through a variety of organizations and halfway around the world from Argentina. Lucia loves all things Agile, facilitation and coaching. 

You can link with Lucia Alarcon on LinkedIn and connect with Lucia Alarcon on Instagram. 

Madhuri Korapati: Team building exercises for Agile Retrospectives

Madhuri starts by sharing her vision for a great Agile team, and then lists some of the questions she asks herself, as well as the team to help gage her own success as a Scrum Master. We also talk about how “work in progress limits” can help teams move quickly towards self-organization.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Great team building retrospectives

Madhuri starts by sharing with us that she prefers to use a different format every time, however, she also shares some of the formats she uses when starting off with a new team. We talk about the “Two truths and a lie” exercise, that helps team members know more about each other, and the “Candy Love” Agile retrospective format which helps create a positive atmosphere in the team. 

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 Madhuri Korapati

Madhuri a self-motivated servant leader with 14 years of software industry experience across Payments and Banking sectors. She is a Scrum Master at Mastercard, and enjoys helping teams in their agile transformation and showcasing their improvements. 

You can link with Madhuri Korapati on LinkedIn and connect with Madhuri Korapati on Twitter.

Kevin Pedersen: How to define Success metrics for Scrum Masters working with Agile teams

Success is not easy to measure for Scrum Masters. If you ask a manager, you will get a different set of metrics, than if you ask the team, or even other stakeholders. Kevin shares with us how to look for the right metrics with the people you work with: managers, team, product owner, and others. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Conversation focused formats to try in your team

Kevin is a fan of trying a new format for every retrospective he facilitates. However, there’s a common thread among all of those formats he shares: to help teams have great and insightful conversations. In this segment, we refer to Mad/Sad/Glad, The 4 L’s, Lean Coffee and how bringing the team outside the office can generate great conversations. 

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 Kevin Pedersen

Kevin is a Managing Director, agile coach and international trainer for Growing Agile in South Africa. He is passionate about helping people connect to their purpose. This is best described in Growing Agile’s vision ‘to grow people and inspire ideas so that they can be the best version of themselves and we do that by changing the way people think about work’.

You can link with Kevin Pedersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kevin Pedersen on Twitter. 

Mariana Trigo: Icebreakers as boosters for great Agile retrospectives

Looking at how the team executes the process is one of the key aspects that defines the impact and success of the Scrum Master. However, there’s a lot more than process that we should take into account. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of adapting our definition of success to the company we are working with.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The difference an icebreaker makes

When we start a retrospective, we have the challenge to get the team’s attention and focus. Mariana shares how she found and started using icebreaker activities to both address the team-jelling goal, as well as shape the mood for the retrospectives. 

In this segment, we talk about a list of icebreaker activities, which you can get here from the Collaboration Superpower’s website, and we also discuss the use of the Lean Coffee format in the retrospectives.

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 Mariana Trigo

Mariana’s path from Biology to Retail to IT, is a unique path in the search for purpose and the feeling of belonging. Helping development teams to reach their full potential by improving processes and people. Her favorite time is retrospective time, probably connected with her need to constantly get out of her comfort zone. 

You can link with Mariana Trigo on LinkedIn.