Catrine Björkegren: Questions every Scrum Master should ask when joining a team

When we join a new team, there’s a set of things we should look for in order to know what the team needs help with. In this episode, we talk about what to look out for when joining a team, to ensure that we know what requires our focus. We discuss a set of critical questions every Scrum Master should ask from themselves.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Speedboat Retrospective

Catrine likes this format because it helps move the conversation from complaining to taking action. Listen in to learn how to apply this format in practice and help the team focus on positive action that brings improvement.

 

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

Kristopher Stice-Hall: Agile Retrospective format: Turn up the good, what’s going well and how can we make it better?

The hours people put in are a good indicator of the success of the Scrum Master. Are your teams working long hours? Putting in crunch weeks and then laying back for a while? Those are signs that something isn’t working as it should. Scrum and Agile are about sustainable, continuous progress towards our goal.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: What’s going well and how can we make it better?

Starting the retrospective with the team by sharing Kudos (appreciations) can energize and team and get them in the mood to improve their practices. The “what’s going well, and how can we make it better” retrospective format, takes the energy from the Kudos check-in and turns up the good by focusing the teams on how they can continue to build on what’s already working.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Varun Maheshwari: The Product Owner as a key to Scrum Master success

Scrum Master success is not only about the team, but also about the Product Owner. When we want to help Scrum teams, we should check how the interaction with the Product Owner works, and how to help the team and Product Owner collaborate effectively.

Helping Product Owners also means focusing on the business side of our work and defining together the critical business metrics for the PO and team.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Conversations as retrospectives

Sometimes retrospectives are simple moments in time where team members have important conversations with each other. Instead of waiting for a retrospective event, Scrum Masters should encourage those conversations every day. In this episode, we also talk about how to help distributed teams hold regular, even daily retrospectives.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather “Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’” are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Elena Astilleros: How to execute an Agile Retrospective in 30 min or less and still get lots of value from it

Scrum Masters can use their self-check-in every day to assess their progress. In this episode, we talk about questions you can ask yourself to assess your progress and find the areas that are working or need more focus.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The 5 steps, how to execute them when time is of the essence

The Agile Retrospectives steps that Derby and Larsen shared in Agile Retrospectives can take a while to execute in a retrospective setting. Sometimes we don’t have that much time. In this episode, we discuss how we can implement the standard 5 steps of a retrospective even when time is of the essence and we only have 30 min or less.

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Eduardo Ribeiro: The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Format

When working with teams, the team’s metrics should also become the Scrum Master’s metrics. In this episode, we talk about metrics that teams use but can also be important for Scrum Masters to assess their success, and help the teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Format

The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective format is a format that helps teams use a metaphor to explore their current problems (ballast) and the things that are working well (heat, wind, etc.) Metaphors help teams get out of their minute task focus and focus more on themselves as a group.

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

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.

Henrique Centieiro: I Like / I Wish Retrospective Format

For Scrum Masters, success must include the team’s success. In this episode, we talk about the metrics and the type of feedback we must help teams collect, and how to use that to measure our Scrum Master success as well.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: I Like / I Wish and other games

Sometimes Scrum Masters must focus on helping teams feel at home, so that team members can discuss the issues that bother them. In this episode, we talk about how a CEO/CTO can derail a retrospective and what kind of games we can use to help teams focus on improving, even when managers are present in the retrospectives. The retrospective format we talk about is “I Like / I Wish”.

In this segment, we refer to Retromat, a service that helps you choose games/activities and plan your retrospective.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Ajeet Singh shares when to use the Well/Start/Stop agile retrospective format

Ajeet has come to value 4 specific ways to measure his impact as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we review these 4 benchmarks and how he uses them regularly to improve his approach.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Well/Stop/Start retrospective format

In the Well/Stop/Start retrospective format (see a facilitation guide here), we have a simple format that can trigger important conversations. Especially when team members see each other’s contribution to those 3 categories.

This is a format that suits very well teams that are action-oriented, and have a high degress of collaboration already.

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Tilman Rumland on the Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective Format

As we look for a definition of success for a Scrum Master, it is also important that we identify signs that problems may be developing. In this episode, we discuss Tilman’s definition of success, but also the signs that we may not yet have achieved it.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Appreciation Shower

The Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective format is a format that Tilman found to have a large positive impact on the team atmosphere. He shares his tips on how to implement this format, and avoid it from being overwhelming.

We also mention the Football Agile retrospective format, where the team describes the Sprint as if it were a football match, including first-half, substitutions, red cards, etc. A fun format to get the team’s creative juices flowing.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. (www.agrilution.com)

You can link with Tilman Rumland on LinkedIn.

Raluca Mitan and the “in your shoes” Agile Retrospective Format

The success of a Scrum Master starts with the adoption of the Agile mindset. After all, can we help others understand and be Agile if we are not able to apply that to our own work?

That’s the start of the definition of success for Scrum Masters that Raluca shares with us in this episode.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: “In your shoes” retrospective format

How do we trigger empathy towards team members, stakeholders, and other teams? Raluca suggests that a format like “In Your Shoes” will help teams understand the reality others face, and be able to bring that into the retrospective conversations.

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the “good, the bad and the ugly” received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.