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Tom Siebeneicher: Are The Scrum Team Members Honest And Critical When Needed? A Scrum Master Success reflection

In this episode, we explore Tom’s thoughts on the factors for Scrum Master success. He emphasizes the importance of team members feeling safe to share impediments and the prompt resolution of such issues. Tom encourages actions that promote collaboration and the consistent identification of impediments. He advises a perpetual drive for improvement and stresses the necessity of measuring progress. Tom underlines the need for a space where honesty and constructive criticism can be part of the team dynamics to ensure continuous growth and success in the Scrum Master role.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: Creating Connection Through A People Focused Agile Retrospective Format

Tom shares his preferred Agile retrospective format, emphasizing the increased impact of being physically together in one room. He advocates for a simple start/stop/continue approach, focusing not only on the retro itself but also on the moments leading up to it. Tom underscores the importance of observing non-verbal cues to gauge team dynamics and potential pressure points. For remote retrospectives, he advises a thorough check-in with each participant. He stresses the significance of verbally setting the scene, considering it a critical aspect of a successful retrospective.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Tom Siebeneicher

Tom is an engaging speaker, who has delivered presentations at conferences like the Atos DREAM Conference, the Agile Leadership Day, and TED XKE by Xebia. Their enthusiasm for discussing Agile is evident in those talks.

You can link with Tom Siebeneicher on LinkedIn.

Rohit Ratan Mani: The Short and Long-Term Success of a Scrum Master, Two Contrasting Perspectives

In this episode, Rohit distinguishes between short-term and long-term success. In the short term, he shares his experience with a team new to DevOps, encouraging them to take initiative and experiment by asking, “Who’s stopping you?” Rohit emphasizes the importance of building a safe space for the team to explore and learn. In the long term, he measures success by the team’s ability to refer to the knowledge and conversations shared, becoming self-sufficient and capable of driving their own growth. Trust, empowerment, and fostering self-organization are vital for achieving success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Improv Theater Inspired Retrospectives

Drawing inspiration from the book “Improv-ing Agile Teams” by Paul Goddard, Rohit incorporates metaphors and improv games into retrospectives to encourage creative thinking and engagement. One format he enjoys is Collaborative Drawing, where the team collectively creates a drawing representing their reflections on their work. This leads to a fun and deep conversation about their sprint experiences. Rohit suggests having the team title the drawing and recommends using word games or drawing games to trigger creative thinking before the retrospective. The key takeaway is the importance of incorporating interactive and creative elements to make retrospectives more engaging and insightful.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Rohit Ratan Mani

Rohit is an Enterprise Agile Coach, helping Leaders, individuals and teams to develop a growth mindset to be top achievers in their respective work area and  in personal life.

You can link with Rohit Ratan Mani on LinkedIn and connect with Rohit Ratan Mani on Twitter.

Oguz Ozyurt: Checklists, and an accountability partner, the Scrum Masters’ best friends

In this episode, Oz emphasizes the importance of having a list of topics to review regularly in a self-assessment moment. He includes assessing whether the team is delivering what they committed to, taking advantage of Agile practices, and working on continuous improvement items. He notes that his list of topics consists of four dimensions, including the Value dimension which focuses on the value of the Scrum Master, and the Happiness dimension which assesses whether people around him are happy. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of having an accountability partner as a helpful tool for achieving success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Conversation Café, helping everyone to be heard

In this segment, Oz shares his favorite Agile retrospective toolbox: liberating structures. He explains that he likes to focus on the process and facilitation, leaving the content for the team to decide. Oz mentions a specific format called Conversation Cafe, which he likes to use. The Conversation Cafe format helps to promote active listening and allows everyone to be heard.

Oz emphasizes the importance of focusing on the process of the retrospective, rather than the content. By creating a safe and structured environment, everyone can share their thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment or retribution. Using the Conversation Cafe format, the team can have a productive and meaningful conversation about the sprint, identifying areas for improvement and celebrating successes. Oz believes that by focusing on the process and creating a safe space, the team can achieve better outcomes and improve continuously.

How can I, as a Scrum Masters, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Nousheen Manzoor: Reflecting on success for a Scrum Master, without getting stuck on velocity as a metric

Velocity can be a tempting metric for Scrum Masters to follow, but that’s no measure of success as Nousheen reminds us. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to create an environment where the team itself can work on improving their performance, and how to include 3rd party (e.g. a client) feedback in your own assessment as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The WADE Matrix, a great retrospective for the end of a tough project

In this segment, we talk about the WADE Matrix retrospective format, which can be used as an in depth reflection and a closure technique for a project that just ended. In this segment, we also talk about some techniques you can use to help a team create a lot of ideas in a retrospective, even if they are usually silent.

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 Nousheen Manzoor

Nousheen believes that the future of leadership is kindness and empathy, and the same goes for any role which involves individuals and teams, like the Scrum Master role!

You can link with Nousheen Manzoor on LinkedIn.

Ruta Hardikar: Building great Scrum teams, the how to!

As part of working with teams, we must learn to grow teams, to make them feel as a group that can perform and overcome the challenges they will inevitably face. In this segment, we talk about a team Ruta was working with, and how she helped them create a safe space to share and talk about “the hard stuff”, and how we can build in team building into the Scrum ceremonies with the goal of building a great team.

In this segment, we talk about the Tuckman model of group development, and the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni.

Featured Book of the Week: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry

In Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Ruta found different aspects we need to develop as Scrum Masters. Scrum Masters work in a people-oriented job, therefore we need to actively study and learn more about people’s defining characteristics. The book helped Ruta learn to manage, and benefit from emotions, rather than be afraid of them.

In this segment, we also talk about Start with Why by Simon Sinek.

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 Ruta Hardikar

Ruta has over 8 years experience with Agile, and has taken the roles of Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer (RTE in SAFe), working with GM Financial.

You can link with Ruta Hardikar on LinkedIn.

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