Success is when a team has reached a point where they improve regularly, and perhaps don’t even need a Scrum Master present at every meeting, or facilitating every session with the team. When that happens it is time to move on to other topics. Is the team learning how to measure themselves and the flow of work? In this episode we talk about team self-measurement and how the team can learn from starting and maintaining their own dashboard.
Featured retrospective format of the week: Have the team own the retro
Learning happens at the team level. The retrospectives are the key ceremony where that aspect of our work is most visible. In this episode we talk about the different phases of the retrospective and how get teams to own the retrospective.
Jeff is a speaker, trainer, and agile coach. He has been a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team member. Jeff has worked with enterprise companies to small start-ups. His goal is to end human suffering in organizations, by nudging people to be the change they want to see in the world.
Our efforts to improve, and help the team improve are often focused on actions. Undoubtedly, we must focus on constant action that leads to improvement. But how do we get the teams to take initiative to improve, and collaborate with other stakeholders? In this episode, we review the importance of having a clear goal as the spark for the improvement cycle to start.
Featured Retrospective format of the week: Immediate Retro
Often we organize retrospectives at the end of the Sprint. But is that the best time to solve problems? It may be! But not always. So what to do when we need to act now? The Immediate Retro, of course! Petr explains his view of why the Immediate Retro is important, and how to go about it.
Petr has a small consulting company where he helps businesses overcome obstacles of ever-faster changing environment, growth problems, stale processes, poor performance, lacking company culture etc. Petr helps companies be more adaptable through empowering their people. Petr also does some pro-bono consulting. Recently for example for a Liberal/democratic school in Prague. His passion is introducing modern management (we can call that “Agile”) to “old school” businesses like heavy industry, manufacturing and so on. Petr wants to help build a brighter future! You can find Petr’s business at: www.cerebra.cz. You can link with Petr Holodňák on LinkedIn.
Agile is an approach to software development that is based on quick learning cycles: we do something, we check the results and then we learn from those results. This cycle (previously known as the PDSA/PDCA cycle) is about creating a learning loop that helps us develop the right product, with the right method, and continuously learning how to make that happen.
In this episode Daniel shares how he applies that same thinking to defining success for the work of a Scrum Master. In this episode we refer to Growth Hacking, and the concept of the One Metric that Matters, the metric that helps us find the learning opportunities.
Featured Retrospective format for the week: Daily Retrospective
Daniel suggest that we hold a quick retrospective every day instead of once per Sprint. Five minutes at the end of the day can help quickly solve some impediments, without having to wait for the end of the Sprint. He also suggests that we be very quantitative in our analysis. Listen in to learn a few examples that Daniel has applied in this work.
About Daniel Hooman
Agile coach from Scrum Data since 2010. Daniel comes from a strong Business intelligence background. He is passionate about large scale product development, organisational structure and culture, being idealistic pragmatist, framework agnostic.
Scrum Masters become a force for change over time. This “fate” we meet, sooner or later, requires us to be aware of different stages in our role. In this episode we discuss 5 steps that are critical in a Scrum Master’s journey according to Chad.
Featured Retrospective format of the week: The Thirty-Five
There are many retrospective formats that try to illustrate or visualize problems and opportunities. This week we talk about a completely different approach. A format named after the process of the retrospective. The Thirty-Five format for a retrospective is based on the idea that it is easier to prioritize when we compare only two items. This is a very cool format for quick group prioritization, where the prioritization naturally emerges from the discussion happening in the pairs. A great format for that difficult prioritization step that helps you choose the action to take this Sprint!
About Chad Beier
Chad’s first experience with Scrum was in 2005 on a global team responsible for consolidating financial software. After some dark days of death march projects, he left his traditional business analyst and project manager roles behind. He is now consulting organizations as an external change agent and organizational agility advisor.
Heidi shares with us 4 characteristics she has identified in successful teams, the ultimate measure of our Scrum Master success.
We also talk about how retrospectives can be used to assess our own impact as Scrum Masters.
In this episode we mention a tool you can use to keep a finger on the happiness pulse of your team: BlogYourMood.com Do you have experience with that tool? Please share that below!
Retrospective format of the week: The Futurspective
In Futurspectives (for example: success criteria futurspective) we look at the future. We understand what it would look like to “succeed” and we backtrack, asking what got us there. Heidi suggest you use this format if you want the team to “step out” of the complaining cycle. We also discuss how to turn those Futurspectives into actionable output.
About Heidi Araya
Heidi is an Agile coach who has been working with remote teams since 1999. She aims to show teams and enterprises the value of a cohesive vision and mission, systems thinking, and self-organizing teams. An active member of the Agile community, she trains and speaks at events and conferences worldwide.
Each Scrum Master should spend some time reflecting on their work, and its impact. Felix likes 4 questions that he asks regularly to understand the impact of his work.
He also shares some tips to check if the team is evolving and trusting each other.
Retrospective format of the week: the Starfish retrospective
Similar to the good/bad or keep/drop formats, the Starfish retrospective also focuses on some categories of problems/work. However, it does so in a more subtle way. As Felix describes it, it allows for more space to be creative because of some ambiguous categories like “What should we start doing?”
About Felix Handler
Felix likes to bring out the best in as many people as possible by providing an environment in which people can sustainably thrive. After his Bachelor in Computer Science he wanted to develop people rather than software. He also is part of 12min.me, a movement for inspiring people.
Leonardo shares with us 3 questions he asks himself when thinking about what defines success for him in his Scrum Master role. During this episode he also shares with us some of the tips he’s collected along the way, and help him tackle the challenges he sees in his work.
Featured Retrospective format for the week: PopcornFlow
PopcornFlow is a method by Claudio Perrone, that helps us be deliberate with our experimental approach. That method can also be used to structure our retrospectives. Read more about PopcornFlow.
Currently Leonardo is a Scrum Master at Equifax Ireland. Focused on building high performance teams through Agile and/or Lean adoption, he is an enthusiastic about Lean and Agile mindset in the Software Development industry as the transformation agent to create great working environment as well as products that matters.
When we start our roles, we often (and rightly so) focused on the process. How to get people to understand and benefit from the power of Scrum. This focus on process may seem counterproductive because, after all, our success depends on the success of the people around us. But is it? Listen in to learn how Ryan uses his process experience to build trust with the team, which he later on turns into a critical ingredient for his own success as a Scrum Master
Featured Retrospective format for the week: “Proud, thankful, learned”
Ryan breaks the rules once more by introducing, not one, but 2 retrospective formats that empower the team to find, and focus on the most important improvements for them.
The first format is “Proud, thankful, learned”. Three simple headings that help the team focus on, and amplify the positive things that happened during a Sprint. Consider also using this (in a shorter version) as a check-in exercise.
The second format is “Lean Coffee”. A simple way to generate and prioritize possible improvement items.
About Ryan McCann
Ryan is a former waiter, car detailer, line worker, cemetery worker, intern, financial analyst, tech support rep, team lead, QA manager, Scrum Master and Product Owner. Current husband, father, school board member, community volunteer and agile coach. He believes in building trust and social capital, which is not easy for any of us (himself included)…Ryan does his best everyday to help teams make this happen.
Looking at the outcomes from previous retrospectives, and what has been achieved so far based on those retrospectives, is a good way to assess our impact on the way the team works. This is only one of the methods Natalie uses to assess her success as a Scrum Masters. In this episode we also review some tools Natalie has learned to use in a distributed team environment.
Featured Retrospective format of the week: GOOD / IMPROVE / LOOK BACK
This week we look at a retrospective format that helps us re-evaluate what we achieved from previous retrospectives. Natalie asks us to focus on the positive (what works), what we want to do better (what to improve) and also to look at previous retrospectives to review the achievements to far.
About Natalie Cervantes
Natalie is a Certified Scrum Master and Agile Coach with over 12 years experience working with both veteran and new agile teams. Her experience spans everything from mobile and embedded systems to enterprise scale website projects with a client base that includes Microsoft, Amazon, Coca-Cola and many others.
How many conversations have you helped start as a Scrum Masters. Have you helped the team tackle the problems in a collaborative manner? And what kind of culture do you drive in your team?
These are some of the questions Tanner asks of himself when assessing his impact as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn how he evaluates his performance, and helps teams start and benefit from the conversations they have.
Featured Retrospective format of the week: Creating a container for the team to have a conversation
Tanner challenges us to think of the role of the Scrum Master as a creator of conversations. In this conversation about the role of retrospectives we explore what our role is as a Scrum Master; how that helps the teams; how to measure the outcome of our work in facilitating retrospectives.
About Tanner Wortham
www.SpikesAndStories.com. He’s helped many organizations in their journey toward agility. He’s been accused that his military training would mold him into a rigid, unmoving Scrum Master, but nothing could be further from the truth. What civilians call agile, the Corps calls leading Marines, and it’s through his experiences as a Marine that he derives most of his insight as a Scrum Master.