Rafał Witaszek: What is often missing when an Agile adoption process starts to fail

When Rafał joined this organization, he had a conversation with some of the Agile Coaches and Product Owners. In that process, he presented some ideas, and they came to an agreement of how to introduce Agile. However, that was not enough. Quickly, Rafał discovered that some critical stakeholders had not been listened to, which caused adoption problems. Rafał learned a key lesson in creating alignment between stakeholders before starting an engagement.

About Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn.

Thomas van Zuijlen: A key lesson for Scrum Masters when taking on a new team!

Thomas was working with a scale up. The organization had grown quickly and the management felt that it was slowing down too much, so they wanted to work on their processes, and get the teams to collaborate better, and speed up the rate of delivery. After 6 months of trying, Thomas left. He felt that he had not had an impact on the organization, and needed to move on. Listen in to learn about what happened, and why that organization was not ready to improve. There’s a key lesson for all Scrum Masters starting to work with a new team or organization.

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn.

Erik de Bos: When Self-organization does not work, the missing conditions for a critical transformation in a Scrum team

Erik was working with a team that had been started under deadline pressure to build a critical application. But that was not all! That team had gone through all kinds of transformations and failed agile adoption processes. They were overworked, and had little trust among themselves and in management. Erik himself, was thought to be a spy for management. This was not the ideal scenario for a Scrum Master/Agile Coach to be able to help the team. Listen in to learn the key lessons Erik took from this difficult assignment.

Featured Book of the Week: Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini was a book that opened Erik’s eyes to the problem Agile is trying to solve in practice. Even if the book does not mention Agile, it builds a powerful case for Agile in modern organizations.

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 Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: The magical ingredient that transformed a team member, from bad apple, to team player!

Sometimes there are team members that have an outsized impact on the progress of the team. In this episode, we talk about a team member that was holding the team back. Erik tried several approaches to help this team member, but those did not work. After a while, this team member was moved to a new team, and Erik was afraid the same anti-pattern would happen again. However, something magical happened, and this team member was able to move on from his previous anti-patterns. How did this happen? Listen in to learn what was different in the second team, and how Erik was able to support the team member and the new team in a new approach that helped both the team and the individual succeed!

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Wilson Govindji: Why you must stop being a developer when you become a Scrum Master

Wilson fell into the Scrum Master role by accident. And even if this is not an unusual story for a Scrum Master, this journey brings with it an identity crisis that Wilson describes for us. Wilson was both a Scrum Master and a tech lead, a technical Product Owner and a developer. These many hats seemed to work well together, until the release time came. Listen in to learn about how these many roles can interfere with each other and cause problems for the Scrum Master and the team.

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Gurucharan Padki: How to deal with Agile adoption anxiety in waterfall organizations

Gurucharan (aka Guru) was working in a large organization, in a waterfall process. The people at that organization were not aware of Agile, and Guru took the initiative to discuss Scrum with the leaders of the organization. The start of the journey was rough, with people unsure, and even scared of the change. This gave Guru an opportunity to bring change in a slow, but effective way. Listen in to learn about the story of change, and how to deal with Agile adoption anxiety in waterfall organizations.

About Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Yousef T. Fahoum: Scrum Master job descriptions tell you a lot about the company hiring

When applying to a Scrum Master position, you should pay attention to the job description. Does it describe the job as you see it? Yousef shares a story of a Scrum Master job that did not go as expected. The manager wanted to be in all the meetings, and asked the Scrum Master to record and share of the Retrospective sessions. This was not looking good! Listen in to learn how Yousef got out of this tricky situation.

About Yousef T. Fahoum

When starting out as a ScrumMaster and BA years ago Yousef passionately followed the ScrumMaster Podcast. Yousef is a SAFe Enterprise Coach at Elabor8 with experience implementing Agile and SAFe at some of the largest and most recognized brand leaders across industry domains in the U.S. and Australia.

You can link with Yousef T. Fahoum on LinkedIn and connect with Yousef T. Fahoum on Twitter.

Julie Wyman: Learning to coach, and listening to the Scrum team’s needs

As we move from our mentoring/training stance, to more of a coaching stance, we need to be mindful of the team’s own journey. In this episode, we talk about the transition that Julie was going through, from mentoring to coaching, and how the team reacted to her change. Listening to the team, and learning what is the right stance to take is critical for Scrum Masters. 

About Julie Wyman

Julie Wyman has been working with Agile teams for over a decade and is continuously learning with and from them. She’s based just outside Washington, D.C., but has had the pleasure of supporting teams distributed across the globe and even experienced her own Agile takeaways all the way in Antarctica.

You can link with Julie Wyman on LinkedIn.

Jeroen de Jong: A Scrum Master anti-pattern we must avoid at all costs

“This is what it says in the Scrum Guide” is probably the most importantly overused phrase among the Scrum Master community. In this episode, we explore how using phrases like this can actually make our work harder, and the message harder to understand and accept. An anti-pattern we must avoid at all costs. 

About Jeroen de Jong

Jeroen started his career as a self-employed jack-of-all-trades in IT and is passionate about Agile. He is determined to keep learning and to share his knowledge with others.

You can link with Jeroen de Jong on LinkedIn and connect with Jeroen de Jong on Twitter.

Steen Villumsen: A critical Agile adoption lesson for Scrum Masters 

Steen took on the challenge of being both a Scrum Master and a Product Owner. In his eagerness to help the team adoption Agile, he ended up putting too many things in motion, and got frustrated when the team did not follow at the speed he wanted. This brought him an important lesson about how teams adopt Agile over time. 

About Steen Villumsen

Steen is an Agile Coach, who calls himself a conceptualiser and a communicator. His focus is on moving people and supporting change through coaching.

You can link with Steen Villumsen on LinkedIn.

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