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.

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.