Featured Retrospective for the Week: Open Discussion
When the right format is a very simple format, Open Discussion, can be a great start for a team conversation. Jen and Jamie suggest that asking the team members to describe, in their own words, the events of the Sprint, leading to potentially different perspectives. These differences (when facilitated properly) can help the team understand each other better and find insights on how to improve as a team.
About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people’s strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.
Featured Retrospective format for the Week: What was good / bad and what actions should we take?
The Good/Bad/Actions format is a simple, yet effective format. Nisha explains how to facilitate this format in a short time frame and how Scrum Masters can prepare to host the retrospective.
About Nisha Balwatkar
Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.
When we can help a team get to a point where they can release software “on demand”, that’s when we’ve had an impact on the team and been successful in our role of Scrum Master. But that’s just the end goal. As Scrum Masters there are a lot more issues to consider, and Eddie explores those in this episode.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well / not so well
But beware of the “too many actions” anti-pattern!
About Eddie Kenny
Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.
Success is an endless journey for Scrum Masters, but there are tools that help us assess where we are, and also what are the areas we are already successful in. We discuss a Scrum Master self-assessment tool developed by Luca Minudel and refer to the Learning Guide for the Certified Team Coach program by Scrum Alliance (not freely available).
Featured Retrospective for the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad
The Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format, inspired by the Core Protocols is a retrospective format that helps the team discuss the issues that are causing emotional reactions. Emotions are often symptoms of other problems the team needs to process, and this format helps address those problems.
Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.
When thinking about the role of the Scrum Master, Richard comes up with 4 clear signs that indicate we are on the right path with the teams we work with. In the end, Richard says, we must do ourselves out of a job to be successful Scrum Masters.
Featured Retrospective of the Week: The Amazon Product Review retrospective
Lapsed software developer, agile and scrum learner, tenor, drummer. Richard guides and coaches Scrum Teams and organizations on how to use Agile/Scrum practices and values. Helping to teach, facilitate, collaborate & mentor software development teams, enhancing their agile maturity through coaching technical practices as well as the ceremonies and techniques. Richard likes to help teams and organizations obtain higher levels of maturity, at a pace that is sustainable and comfortable for the team and organization.
When thinking about the aspects that define our success, measuring the critical aspects of our work needs to be part of it. Rade challenges us to try to measure those things that we think we need to improve. We talk about how to measure interactions and the right kind of interactions in the team and between team and stakeholders. Are you measuring the key aspects of your contribution as a Scrum Master?
Featured Retrospective format for the week: Three little piggies
When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, we need to have a clear definition that helps us make regular decisions about where to put our focus. In this episode, Max shares with us 3 aspects that he has in mind and reflects on when it comes to assessing his progress as a Scrum Master. We also talk about concrete practices that Max has found help reach his own definition of success.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Pre-mortem
Retrospectives are usually about what has happened. How the Sprint went. How the release went. However, sometimes it is useful for the team to reflect on their near future. The Pre-Mortem Retrospective format focuses on that near future. In this episode, Max explains how you can use that format to help improve cross-team collaboration in a multi-team environment
About Massimiliano Fattorusso
Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.
A quick way to check if our work as Scrum Masters is having the needed impact is to check if the team is still hosting the Scrum Retrospectives when we are away. If that’s the case, then it is likely that the Scrum Master has done a fairly good work. In this episode, we discuss this and other approaches Scrum Masters can use to assess their contribution to the team.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Retro Beers
When we think of retrospectives we typically think of a meeting room, people sitting down (or standing) and executing some prepared exercises over the course of the meeting. But that’s not what a retrospective is about. It’s simply a possible format. In this episode, we discuss the 5 stages of retrospectives and how those can be implemented in many different ways.
In this episode, we refer to Retromat, a useful resource to help you plan your retrospective.
About Donna Marie Lee
Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.
Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices. Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.
There are many possible answers to the question: “what does Success mean for you as a Scrum Master”. And some of those answers can be very detailed and in-depth. But that’s not the only way to look at our success as Scrum Masters.
In this episode, we discuss a simple definition of success. Listen in to learn more about that simple definition, and see how that can help you improve your own work as a Scrum Master.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Weather Report check-in
You use this exercise as a check-in (with a short phrase or two from each team member), or as a starter for a deeper conversation about what we might want to do differently in the next Sprint.
About Daniel Heinen
Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.
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!