Bent Myllerup: Emotional intelligence as a key skill for Scrum Masters

Bent’s definition of success for Scrum Masters, is equally applicable to Agile Coaches. It starts with helping teams be able to excel without the presence of the Scrum Master. Through the work of teaching, and supporting the use of the Scrum framework, the Scrum Masters can help the team work well, and be “the oil in the gearbox”

In this segment, we talk about emotional intelligence, and the book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goldman.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat retrospective as an inspiring format

Bent introduces his own perspective on the Sailboat Retrospective, by bringing in an approach that focuses on creating a positive, and inspiring atmosphere for the team.

In this segment, we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Derby and Larsen.

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 Bent Myllerup

Bent Myllerup is a management consultant, organisational change agent and agile transformation coach with 20 years of personal experience in management and leadership. He holds a Master in Management Development (MMD) from Copenhagen Business School and a Bachelor in Science of Electronic Engineering. He was the first European Certified Scrum Coach and he is also a Certified Scrum Trainer.

You can link with Bent Myllerup on LinkedIn and connect with Bent Myllerup on Twitter.

Daniel Lutz: Psychological safety for Agile teams, a sign of Scrum Master success

Psychological Safety (see these episodes for details) is one of the key aspects that Daniel looks for in a team, and also a focus of his work as a Scrum Master. He shares with us some of the signs that indicate the presence, or absence of psychological safety, and recommends we have a retrospective question focused on psychological safety. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A format for quick decision making, and one for new teams

Daniel shares with us why the Agile Retrospectives are the most power tool we have in any transformation or change process we might be involved in. He shares with us 2 different types of retrospective formats. One that is more adequate for teams that are under time pressure and need to get quickly to actions, and improvements, and one for teams that are maybe at a crossroads in their forming process, or are just about to get started. For teams that need to get to quick actions, Daniel recommends the Start, Stop, Continue format or the 1-2-4-all Liberating Structure (see these episodes for more) as these help silent people speak up and get to actions quickly. And for teams that are at a crossroads, or starting their team journey, he recommends the Sailboat 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 Daniel Lutz

Daniel is an organizational agile coach, working full time at a leading European Energy company, scaling agile with around 30 agile teams. After years in Marketing departments, he realized how much more impact he can have as a Scrum Master by empowering people and building cross-functional teams. He also works part-time as a freelance coach and business consultant helping clients on building high performing teams.

You can link with Daniel Lutz on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lutz on Twitter.

Nick Nielsen: Creating a success dashboard for yourself as a Scrum Master

Scrum Masters work on many levels of the organization, and sometimes that makes success hard to spot. Nick shares how he starated using metrics for many different aspects of his work, and how he was able to create a perspective on his own success through constant measurements with a holistic view. 

In this episode, we talk about the DORA metrics

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Tournament of Ideas Agile Retrospective

The Sailboat Retrospective is one of Nick’s favourite formats. He explains that the technique can be easily adopted to many different contexts, and helps people think through their context in a visual manner. In this episode, we also talk about the “tournament retrospective”, where improvement ideas are pitched against each other to find the one idea the team wants to focus on.

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 Nick Nielsen

Nick completed his education at Aarhus University in Denmark and currently works in the Digital Organisation at Grundfos, the worlds biggest pump manufacturer. He views him self as a pragmatic Agile Handyman.

You can link with Nick Nielsen on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Nielsen on Twitter.

Lorna Mason & Jon Lawrence: Two Agile retrospective formats for two different times in the lifecycle of a team

When a team is performing, and they show up and are happy in their work, these are great signs that the Scrum Master has helped the team. All of these are signs that we can be sure to move on, and the team will likely pick-up and own their own process. We also about about how Scrum Masters can help to create an environment where teams can succeed.

In this segment, we talk about “bad jokes” and “dad jokes” as a great way to break the ice in teams or retrospectives. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat as a great new-team retrospective

When we start with a new team, it’s good to have a format that helps us understand the team, and their context. Jona and Lorna suggest we could start with the Sailboat Retrospective and use that to establish a baseline for the team. Then we talk about a retrospective format to use at the end of a cycle with the team, the Awards Ceremony retrospective. This format helps us get closure while learning from what happened during that period.

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 Lorna Mason & Jon Lawrence

Lorna Mason and Jon Lawrence are both agilists working in an insurance scale-up based in Brighton. Their journey to agile has walked a less ‘traditional’ path of Change Management and Continuous Improvement, to Scrum Master, Delivery Manager and Agile Coach; (proving not EVERY Scrum Master needs to code!). They hold the firm belief that you can be a successful Scrum Master as long as you genuinely care about people and value first; and hold a profound desire to always make things better!

You can link with Lorna Mason on LinkedIn

You can link with Jon Lawrence on LinkedIn.

Usman Kotwal: Helping Agile teams focus on outcomes

When we start working with a team, we need to understand what is their situation, so that we can decide what to start with. As we start to understand the team’s situation, we might need to focus on the organizational impediments to help the team progress. Some useful questions to ask are: is the team engaging with the stakeholders? Are they able to interact with customers/users? Do they have clear impact metrics for their product? What is the level of engagement in the team? 

All of these questions help us, Scrum Masters, understand if the team is ready to focus on, and work on outcomes. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Retrospectives for Scrum Masters starting with a new team

The Team Health Check is one of the formats we talk about as a possible “getting started with a new team” format. Usman also recommends the Sailboat Retrospective for Scrum Masters getting started with new teams. 

Once we are “in the rhythm” with a team, Usman recommends some more “free” formats like 1-2-4-all or something from Liberating Structures. Finally, his recommendations is: “help teams make their own choices, as they are much more committed to those”

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 Usman Kotwal

Usman is a Scrum Master and Agile Coach in the field of data analytics in life sciences. He considers his learning journey to continue forever when it comes to bringing forward change in the ways we work collaboratively. His mission is to help guide the way to empowered product teams.

You can link with Usman Kotwal on LinkedIn.

Tanzil Choudhury: A fresh new look at the Sailboat Agile Retrospective

Tanzil’s definition of success has evolved over time, and revolves around assessing and acting on the idea that companies and teams should be moving “forward” continuously in their Agile journey. 

We dive into some of the questions that Tanzil asks to assess if the teams are able to learn and advance in their journey. We also introduce the concept of “cultural hangover”, which Tanzil uses to describe one of the problems he wants to remove in the teams he works with.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A fresh new look at the Sailboat Retrospective

Tanzil’s retrospective format of choice is the Sailboat retrospective (featured often here on the podcast), but he uses that in a specific way. For Tanzil, the Sailboat retrospective can be a great Futurespective, focusing the team on the future to define their vision. He then uses the Lean Coffee format to discuss the times that come up 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 Tanzil Choudhury

Tanzil is a passionate Agilist focused on coaching individuals, teams and organizations towards the Agile transformation journey. Specialized in working with teams and organizations to help them overcome cultural hangovers. 

You can link with Tanzil Choudhury on LinkedIn.

Priyanka Keswani: Helping teams go from “doing” to “being” Agile

Success for a Scrum Master can mean many things and is also directly affected by the context of the team. In this segment, we talk about one aspect of that success: how good are the team at thinking about their performance outside the simple execution of a process. As Priyanka defines it: helping the team going from “doing” Agile to “being” Agile. 

In this segment, we refer to the tool “mood board”

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat retro and why it works so well

We start this segment by discussing when, and why, the basic retro formats are useful for teams. Then we move on to discuss why the retrospective is about much more than just process, or how we work and discuss how the Sailboat format helps the teams think outside their usual context of process and tools. 

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 Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter

Nancy Beers: Taking advantage of Agile Retrospectives BEFORE the retrospective takes place

While retrospectives are a critical part of the Sprint, and the team’s evolution over time, there’s a problem when “everything” gets discussed only in the retrospective. Nancy shares her perspective on the importance of team conversations during the Sprint, right when the events to be analyzed take place. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: “Get out of your head” retrospectives

Nancy is an avid gamer, and regularly adapts and creates games to help her in her work with teams. In this segment, we talk about how we can use certain games to help teams “get out of their head”, and learn to listen to the emotions caused by certain events in the sprint. 

In this segment, we refer to Rory Story Cubes, a fun tool we can use to help teams be more creative in analysing the events of the Sprint. 

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 Nancy Beers

Nancy says she is here to change the world one game at a time. She plays with people to learn or unlearn things. This can either be hard skills or soft skills (aka. Human skills)

You can link with Nancy Beers on LinkedIn and connect with Nancy Beers on Twitter.

Ademar Perez: How to unlock your team’s potential

Ademar’s perspective on success brings the idea of unlocking the potential of the team. We discuss what might be the things that need to be in place before we can help the team reach their potential. Finally, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help teams along their journey. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

In this episode, we revisit the Sailboat Retrospective, a format that is a favorite for many Scrum Masters. We explore how we can use that format to help set up a new project or analyze something that happened recently. 

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 Ademar Perez

Ademar Perez is cultivating high-performing product teams as an Agile Coach at Xero. He fell in love with the Agile way of working after seeing 5 to 6 scrum teams collaborate to develop a customer-facing application. Since then, Ademar has helped over 30+ teams become self-organizing and high-performing.

You can link with Ademar Perez on LinkedIn.

Mustafa Ergun: The Scrum Master’s success from 3 different perspectives

Mustafa looks at three different aspects of the Scrum Master work to define what success looks like. From these aspects he suggests we ask specific questions to evaluate the team’s situation and progress over time. Listen in to learn about these 3 different aspects, and how to incorporate these into your regular reflection as a Scrum Master. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Breaking Bad Retrospective

Mustafa focuses on formats that help the team be fully engaged in sharing insights, questions, and learnings. He suggests we focus on helping teams share via games, and suggests a TV series based retrospective: “The Breaking Bad Agile Retrospective”. Listen in to learn how Mustafa introduces and facilitates retrospectives based on TV series. 

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 Mustafa Ergun

Mustafa is an experienced Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping individuals and organizations see their potential and make things better. His current focus is on improving teams’ performance through insightful facilitation. Mustafa is always eager to learn, share his experience with others and enjoys seeing people succeed.

You can link with Mustafa Ergun on LinkedIn and connect with Mustafa Ergun on Twitter.

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