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.

Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras: 3 signs of a successful Scrum team

Scrum Master’s success is dependent on the team’s approach to solving their own problems. In this episode, we talk about how teams that take ownership of the process, make decisions on their own and find their own incremental improvements are a sign of a successful Scrum Master. But how do we get there? In the episode, we talk about tools that help Scrum Masters succeed.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles

Joe and Katy share with us two retrospective formats. First, we discuss “Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles”, a format that turns the team’s attention to the items, or things they want to improve.

The second agile retrospective format is the “Picture retrospective” (example: The Sailboat Retrospective exercise). In this segment, we specifically talk about the use of pictures or drawings as check-in as well as data gathering and decision exercises.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

You can link with Katy Cabral on LinkedIn.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

You can link with Joseph Contreras on LinkedIn.

Nedeljko Damnjanovic: the Sailboat Retrospective Format and 5 success metrics for Scrum Masters

Scrum Masters must pay attention to how Scrum teams adhere to the Sprint Goal, how they collaborate with the Product Owner and other aspects that help teams perform.

In this episode, we talk about 5 different success metrics for Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format

Scrum Masters usually have multiple retrospective formats in their “back-pocket”. The Sailboat Retrospective format is one that is easy to setup (a flipchart and markers/post-its are enough), and can engage the team in a creative assessment of their ways of working.

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

David Denham on how Scrum Masters can overcome the Impostor Syndrome

Scrum Masters can easily feel the Impostor Syndrome. After all, we are there to help a team, that usually works with a technology we don’t fully understand, and develops a product for a business we might not be familiar with. How can we them overcome the Impostor Syndrome? David suggests that we should focus on a set of simple questions that guide our actions. These questions help us focus on the core role of the Scrum Master, and help us acknowledge our strong points and main responsibilities as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Using metaphors to help generate creative ideas

There are many metaphor formats for retrospectives. The Speed Boat Retrospective, the Amazon Product retrospective, the Sailboat Retro, the Hot-air Baloon Retro, etc. All of these formats help the team be creative about finding the impediments they want to focus on. It helps the team get out of their day-to-day scenarios and think deeper about the issues they want to tackle. Metaphors also help the teams discuss problems that they would otherwise hesitate addressing.

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

You can link with David Denham on LinkedIn and connect with David Denham on Twitter.