Niko Kortelainen on how to run effective retrospectives

Retrospectives are both important and hard to get right. There are many teams that stop having retrospectives and feel lost as to how to run them effectively. Niko shares with us his own view of how to run effective retrospectives, filled with tips and advice, this is a must listen episode about retrospectives.

About Niko Kortelainen

Niko Kortelainen is a Scrum Master at Digia, which among other things commercializes the cross-platform Open Source framework Qt. In his journey he discovered that the most challenging problems in software industry are not technical problems and ever since then, he has been focusing on how to make everyday work more fun.
You can link up with Niko Kortelainen on LinkedIn and connect with Niko Kortelainen on Twitter.
You can read Niko Kortelainen blog, where he wrote about his experience with adopting Scrum.

Alex Fürstenau explains how to host retrospective with large groups

Working with large groups is challenging enough, but Alex went further and started hosting retrospectives for a large group of people (several teams). In this episode Alex explains how he hosts and facilitates retrospectives with larger teams than the default 7-+2 people.

About Alex Fürstenau

Alex Fusternau scrum master toolbox podcast(1)When he was 12, his father bought him his first computer, a C64. The moment he saw characters appearing on the television was the moment when he knew he would do something with computers. Several years and a computer science study later that “dream” became true.
Alex quickly realized that the customers were not happy with our product. The first approach was to fix more of the requirements but it made things worse. During that time (around 2002) he thought “There has to be a better way” and he found several, among which was Agile.

You can link with Alex Füsternau on Linkedin, or connect with Alex Füsternau on Twitter. Alex also facilitates a regular meetup in Hamburg on the topic of Liberating Structures, for more on the meetup visit their meetup page.

Sean Dunn’s experience of failure leading an army patrol

There are many similarities between the way teams interact in many industries, but in this episode we explore the similarity between a team leader in the army and the role of Scrum Master. Listen in while Sean explains his story, and what he learned from it that he still applies today in his work as Scrum Master and Agile Coach.
He also shares with us his recipe for dealing with failure:

  1. Acknowledge that you are giving it your best. The prime directive also applies to ourselves, not just the teams we work with.
  2. Ultimately, our goal is to learn, so step back and reflect. Develop a set of questions you ask yourself when things don’t go as you expected. Frame mistakes in the context of learning.

About About Sean Dunn

Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach. Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army. In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.
That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.
You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at sean.dunn@ihs.com.
Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.

Jeff Campbell on the Coffee Room Whining Anti-Pattern

We’ve all done it in one way or another. We spend time in a retrospective criticizing what is wrong, and assigning blame to others. Jeff Campbell has been there as well, and in this episode he explains how you can get teams to stop spending their valuable time whining, and start taking action.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.
You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Daniel Hommel talks retrospectives

There are many sources of inspiration that help us understand how to “see” the system. Daniel mentions the Logical Thinking Process by Dettmer, and The Goal by Goldratt as good places to start understanding the system and how to address it. But the real tool we all already use and can have a large impact on our understanding and influence is the Retrospective meeting. Daniel suggest the Circles and Soup Retrospective as a way to help the team understand the system and act on it.

About Daniel Hommel

Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general. You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.

Anton Zotin on why retrospectives are your tool for success as a Scrum Master

Retrospectives are the tool for Scrum Masters to achieve success in their role. In this Episode we discuss many different types of retrospectives and Anton introduces the “themed” retrospectives as well as some tools on how to facilitate those. You can also read about one example of a themed retrospectives that Anton wrote especially for this episode. The Human Aspect Retrospective by Anton Zotin.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.
You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Anton Zotin on why teams need conflicts to evolve

Conflicts are part of the journey of any team. In this episode Anton explains the case of a team where conflicts were not addressed, and they became a source of problems for the team.
We discuss in this episode several Retrospective exercises that can help you address the conflicts by creating a more empathic atmosphere: the Journey Lines Exercise and The Constellation Exercise.
The Nonviolent Communication book by Rosenberg is also mentioned in this podcast.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.
You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

Emilia Breton-Lake on the importance of retrospectives when trying to understand the system

Emilia uses retrospectives and specific questions to help the team discover the system conditions that affect their performance. She also shares how she knows, and has learned to ask the right questions at the right time.

About Emilia Breton-Lake

Emilia is a natural-born Agile thinker who managed to swim out of the PMI waterfall almost a decade ago. As the head of the PMO at a major non profit she is constantly looking for new ways to build better software and make the world a better place.
She has also been working on 2 major innovations, On going retrospectives, and #NoNumbers where they have eliminated sizing of stories. They still groom and plan, but don’t assign sizes to stories.
Emilia has worked hard to introduce Scrum and Agile to a non-profit that is very resistant to change.
You can link up with Emilia Breton-Lake on LinkedIn. Or follow Emilia Breton-Lake’s articles at the Scrum Alliance website.

Marc Löffler on Causal Loop Diagram and other systems thinking tools

There are many tools that we can use, just like Causal Loop Diagram, to help us understand the deeper dynamics in our organizations. We discuss several of those tools and also how to use them. Finally, Marc introduces his book Retrospektiven in der Praxis: Veränderungsprozesse in IT-Unternehmen effektiv begleiten and why he wrote it. NOTE: the book will be available in English in the near future.
We also mention a systems thinking tool called Current Reality Tree that you can use to investigate the system you work within.

About Marc Löffler

Marc’s passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.
You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.
He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.

Ben Linders on Retrospectives as a systems thinking tool

Retrospectives are a systems thinking tool that can help you understand how teams are affected by the wider system. Ben explains his views on how to build that into the way you host and facilitate retrospectives.

About About Ben Linders

Ben Linders is an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives & What Drives Quality.
You can follow Ben Linders on Twitter, and connect with Ben Linders on LinkedIn.

You can find Ben’s Agile self-assessment in his web-site, and find more about his work and upcoming workshops.

In case you are interested in Agile Retrospectives we are at the moment preparing a 10 DAYS FREE AGILE RETROSPECTIVES PROGRAM. This is a complete self-study program where you will learn anything that you need to become a great Agile Retrospectives facilitator.