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.
Miguel shares with us his approach to define and reach a successful outcome of his work. We explore the role of metrics in defining what we should focus on and improve. After all, without data to backup your ideas, you are just another person with an opinion.
Featured Retrospective format for the week: Start-Stop-Continue
When looking at what to improve, what to amplify in our teams, the start-stop-continue retrospective format helps the team identify not only what they want to change or improve, but also those things that are working well. When we find what is working well, we can then amplify that. Select items from the Continue section of the retrospective and ask: how can we benefit even more from this technique?
About Miguel Santos
Miguel is a Brazilian living in Germany and currently Scrum Master for two teams at NewStore. He believes that there is no single methodology (agile or not) to lead projects and teams to success. Because of that, he would like Scrum Masters to be less biased when working with their teams.
Richard’s perspective is that our Scrum Master success is directly linked to the success of our teams. That much we can all agree. But how do we get there? We discuss the perspective that we need, as Scrum Masters, to help our teams achieve a successful outcome.
One possible tool to use when helping teams focus on the good things, and how to improve them further, is the practice of distributing Kudo Cards from Management 3.0.
Retrospective format of the week: The Perfection Game
The Perfection Game is also one of the Core Protocols that help teams focus on improvements, rather than what is not working in their teams. The process is:
Rate your team from 1 to 10, where 10 is best
Say what you like about the team at the moment
Describe what would be needed to get you to rate it as a 10
About Richard Kasperowski
Richard is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author focused on high-performance teams. Richard is the author of The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness. He leads clients in building great teams that get great results using the Core Protocols, Agile, and Open Space Technology. Richard created and teaches the class Agile Software Development at Harvard University. Learn more and subscribe to Richard’s newsletter at www.kasperowski.com.
At the start of her journey, Krisztina did not measure success. Later she started measuring many things and making those metrics visible. Over time, she realized that the team benefited from that information and she was also able to assess her own impact on the team. Listen in to learn how Krisztina started using the metrics for her, and her team’s success.
Retrospective format of the week: Simple, yet effective format and a special tip
Good facilitation is a major part of a good Retrospective. This week Krisztina introduces the Scrum Games format for the Retrospective, and shares a very special tip that makes Retrospectives the best moments of the Sprint for the team.
About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo
Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience of several aspects of IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary, she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, the project manager, test manager and many other roles.