Pascal Clarkson: Helping teams own, and measure their own success

In Pascal’s perspective, Scrum Masters can be successful if they help the teams be comfortable with change, and feel accountable for their delivery. In order to get there, we must help teams know what success means (they need to be part of defining it) and measure it (help them do it!) In this segment, we also refer to the “what could go wrong” retrospective exercise. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Questions that generate conversations

In this segment, we talk about a simple concept: “helping teams have a conversation”. Pascal shares some of the tips and questions he uses when helping teams get started with the improvement conversation we hope to trigger in every retrospective. 

Pascal also shares a critical tip on how to handle the situation when the team does not go along with your plan in the retrospective. Don’t miss it!  

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 Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter. 

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Tomo Lennox: Customer-delight as the success KPI, and how to measure end-to-end success

Tomo suggests we consider “customer-delight”, the measure of success. However, that is hard to measure. In this episode, we explore how we might be able to measure “customer delight” and mention some “end-to-end” tools we can use to help the teams be aware that their work only produces value after team-external activities are completed. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Best Story this sprint

Tomo starts by recommending we always have more than one format ready to go when preparing a retrospective. However, we explore “The Best Story” retrospective format that helps team members talk about their work. In this segment, we also refer to the “mood-graph” (aka Journey Lines for 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 Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years of experience in project management, both waterfall, and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson’s first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter.

Dov Tsal: Defining success as a dynamic benchmark, that follows the team’s evolution

When it comes to defining success for a Scrum Master, Dov suggests we think of it as the success of a parent. Where the perspective, and the actions we take change constantly because the team (like a child) is also continuously evolving and changing. In this segment, we share many tips on how to review and assess our performance as Scrum Masters. 

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Silent Retrospective

Dov introduces the “silent retrospective”, an approach he takes to help the team reflect and share their insights in a way that allows all to share their views and thoughts. We also talk about how to prepare and facilitate the “silent 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 Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent, and enabler, helping companies teams, and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn.

Philip Rogers: How to measure Scrum team happiness and team satisfaction

When we try to assess our impact and success as Scrum Masters, we can look at team happiness and satisfaction. Measuring those will help us assess our impact, and there are simple ways to do it. In this episode, we talk about the Niko Niko Calendar (the Niko Niko Calendar has been previously discussed also in other episodes) and the ideas from the Spotify Health Check approach.

Featured Retrospective From for the Week: Pick Discussion Questions

Philip shares with us a format that can be set up relatively quickly and focuses on helping the team get started with a productive discussion on some of the most pressing topics for them. Philip shares some of the questions he uses when starting this kind of retrospective, and suggests we use a Futurespective to help teams gain fresh insights on their approach to work. 

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 Philip Rogers

Phil is a father of four children and a volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an “agile whisperer” (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter.

Wouter Gheysen: Scrum team success from many different perspectives

Success can have many different perspectives. We start this episode, discussing how those perspectives affect how we define and measure success with the teams we work with. And Wouter asks an important question, we should all think about: “What do you do that brings success to the team you work with?”

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

Even if he uses many different retrospective formats, the first retrospective format that Wouter uses with a new team is The Sailboat Retrospective. For many teams, this format is something new, that helps them feel engaged with the retrospective. The use of metaphor and drawing can also engage the team, and help the team discuss difficult problems that would otherwise be difficult to approach.

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 Wouter Gheysen

Wouter is a creative generalist with a broad area of interest beyond agility, a focus on people, and working with teams. He is a coach, guide and life long learner with a keen interest in facilitation, design thinking and systemic coaching.

You can link with Wouter Gheysen on LinkedIn and connect with Wouter Gheysen on Twitter. 

Jacy Ong: Defining Scrum team agreements with the Sailboat Retrospective format

“As a team you level up together”, and “the work of a Scrum Master is never finished”, are some of the critical realizations that Jacy shares with us on this episode. We discuss the signs that the team is “leveling up”, and explore how we might know that the teams start to be self-suficient.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

The Sailboat Retrospective is a popular format for the guests of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast. However, Jacy’s take on that format is different from previous guests. She talks about the role of that retrospective format in helping teams define working norms, and in surfacing “lurking feelings” within the team. Finally, she talks about how the Sailboat format can help in dealing with teams that are new. 

Use the Sailboat retrospective to boost the production of new improvement ideas by using the “rocks” that the sailboat has to navigate around.

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 experiences: 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 Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: “nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)”

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn. 

Charles Rodriguez: Creating a learning model for Scrum Master success

Charles provides a clear vision for what success is for a Scrum Master, and we discuss what are some of the growth models that help us improve our performance. 

In this episode, we refer to the book Turn The Ship Around! by David Marquet, to the learning model based on Shu-Ha-Ri, and a movie, The Karate Kid, which illustrates a learning journey from the very early moments to a moment of mastery.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

Metaphor retrospectives help teams enter a mood of reflection by creating a scene where the team projects their feelings and thoughts. In the sailboat retrospective, the metaphor helps the team talk about what is going on at that time, but also to plan for the future and draw a map to achieve their goals. Watch this video for a hands-on example of the sailboat retrospective.

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to ‘try to make things better’ for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Leslie McCormack: The ultimate success goals for Scrum Masters and Scrum teams

Leslie asks a few questions of herself when evaluating her success. We review those questions and why they are important to assess team growth and product success which are the ultimate success goals for Scrum Masters and Scrum teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Rotating exercises to create creative thinking

Scrum Masters must be able to adapt their Agile Retrospective exercises to the needs of the team at that time. In this episode, we talk about multiple exercises you can run, and why it is important to always be ready to facilitate a different exercise. We also discuss some of the downsides of repeating exercises over time.

In this episode, we refer to the Sailboat / Speedboat Restrospective exercise, the 3 L’s Retrospective exercise (similar to the 4L’s Retrospective exercise) and others.

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Nick Stewart: Focus on people to define and measure success as a Scrum Master

When asking his own success questions, Nick prefers to focus on the people in the team and the team’s direct environment. He asks questions about how those people feel or act, and from that, he derives his own self-evaluation for the role of Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

There are many reasons why we prefer one or the other Retrospective format. And Nick’s perspective is no different. He has many reasons to like the sailboat retrospective format, and explains why in this episode.

Follow this link, if you want to explore how a previous guest used this specific sailboat agile retrospective format.

About Nick Stewart

Nick has worked in the “Projects Space” for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

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

Ben Clark explains The Sailboat Agile Retrospective Exercise

Scrum Masters are successful when they help the team when they can create the self-confidence in the team members that they can act, and make improvements on their own. 

In this episode, we talk about how you – the Scrum Master – can easily check if the team is progressing in that direction. 

In this segment, we refer to the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, as a model that can help Scrum Masters focus on small changes, and how to make them stick. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format

Using the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise helps teams get out of the “clinical” mindset and find improvement opportunities. When we use the drawing of the sailboat as a fun check-in exercise we also get the team in the mood to explore their ways of working in a relaxed atmosphere. These make the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise a complete retrospective for the team. 

About Ben Clark

Ben’s career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter.