Luis Carvalho: Be the best at getting better, the Scrum Master mission!

“We want to be the best at getting better”, this is the key mission of the Scrum Master, as Luis puts it. As Scrum Masters, we should focus on more than “the deliverable” or “the process”, and build the team to be ready to continuously improve over time. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Mourning the end of a project

As so often happens, many Agile teams go from one project to another without a break. However, when we allow that to happen we skip a critical step in the human process of “letting go” of the previous project, teams, processes, and colleagues. 

In this segment, we talk about the Mourning Retrospective, that helps teams, and team members accept that something ends, and a new story starts. A necessary process for psychological balance.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Luis Carvalho

Luis is an enthusiast for all things related with organizations, teams, structures and ways of working. He has been working in large scale consumer products for most of his professional life, worked with people of many backgrounds, cultures and locations and made many friends in the process. He loves traveling, food and getting to know people.

You can link with Luis Carvalho on LinkedIn.

BONUS: Social Complexity and the work of the Scrum Master with Jurgen Appelo and Ari-Pekka skarp

Social Complexity is a topic that does not get enough attention in the Agile community. Even if Social Complexity has been studied for a long time and has a significant influence on the study of groups, and society at large, we seem to have dropped it, or even missed it’s importance in the world of Agile.

Agile organizations, and agile teams are a prime subject for the use of tools and methods from Social Complexity research. So what do we need to learn from that field in our roles as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

What is Social Complexity? A primer for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

Continue reading BONUS: Social Complexity and the work of the Scrum Master with Jurgen Appelo and Ari-Pekka skarp

Nick Nielsen: Creating a success dashboard for yourself as a Scrum Master

Scrum Masters work on many levels of the organization, and sometimes that makes success hard to spot. Nick shares how he starated using metrics for many different aspects of his work, and how he was able to create a perspective on his own success through constant measurements with a holistic view. 

In this episode, we talk about the DORA metrics

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Tournament of Ideas Agile Retrospective

The Sailboat Retrospective is one of Nick’s favourite formats. He explains that the technique can be easily adopted to many different contexts, and helps people think through their context in a visual manner. In this episode, we also talk about the “tournament retrospective”, where improvement ideas are pitched against each other to find the one idea the team wants to focus on.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Nick Nielsen

Nick completed his education at Aarhus University in Denmark and currently works in the Digital Organisation at Grundfos, the worlds biggest pump manufacturer. He views him self as a pragmatic Agile Handyman.

You can link with Nick Nielsen on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Nielsen on Twitter.

BONUS: What you can learn from the Scrum Master Journey, with Marc Loeffler

This is episode 3 of a series of episodes dedicated to the content, and the steps of the Scrum Master Journey, a program hosted by our guest: Marc Löffler.

In the previous episode, we shared tips on how to help teams self-organize and how to work with, and change the culture in organizations. 

In this episode, we talk about the transformation we need to go through as Scrum Masters after obtaining the basic training. How the training we have is necessary, but not sufficient to face the challenges that we need to face in our roles. We start this episode talking about the need to reflect on our own journey, and Marc shares with us a guide to self-reflection which you can download here.

Scrum Master training is necessary, but not sufficient to deal with the challenges Scrum Masters must face

— Scrum Master Journey, Marc Löffler

The most important part of your success as a Scrum Masters

Continue reading BONUS: What you can learn from the Scrum Master Journey, with Marc Loeffler

Lorna Mason & Jon Lawrence: Two Agile retrospective formats for two different times in the lifecycle of a team

When a team is performing, and they show up and are happy in their work, these are great signs that the Scrum Master has helped the team. All of these are signs that we can be sure to move on, and the team will likely pick-up and own their own process. We also about about how Scrum Masters can help to create an environment where teams can succeed.

In this segment, we talk about “bad jokes” and “dad jokes” as a great way to break the ice in teams or retrospectives. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat as a great new-team retrospective

When we start with a new team, it’s good to have a format that helps us understand the team, and their context. Jona and Lorna suggest we could start with the Sailboat Retrospective and use that to establish a baseline for the team. Then we talk about a retrospective format to use at the end of a cycle with the team, the Awards Ceremony retrospective. This format helps us get closure while learning from what happened during that period.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Lorna Mason & Jon Lawrence

Lorna Mason and Jon Lawrence are both agilists working in an insurance scale-up based in Brighton. Their journey to agile has walked a less ‘traditional’ path of Change Management and Continuous Improvement, to Scrum Master, Delivery Manager and Agile Coach; (proving not EVERY Scrum Master needs to code!). They hold the firm belief that you can be a successful Scrum Master as long as you genuinely care about people and value first; and hold a profound desire to always make things better!

You can link with Lorna Mason on LinkedIn

You can link with Jon Lawrence on LinkedIn.

Lead the change! The Challenge we face as Scrum Masters – Scrum Master Summit 2022

Copyright by the owner – Unsplash.com

As Scrum Masters we are constantly dealing with change. That’s one of the topics we cover every week here on the podcast.

As Scrum Masters, we are responsible for helping progress all kinds of changes. Personal, team or organizational level changes. Perhaps the Scrum Master role is one of the few roles that specifically dedicates itself to helping organizations change. After all, it is one of our Agile Values (Responding/adapting to change over following a plan).

This year’s Scrum Master Summit is all about change. Not just change in the sense we deal with every day, but also change for us, as Scrum Masters.

This year’s Scrum Master Summit title is: “Lead The Change!”

Why is this year’s conference titled “Lead the Change!”?

Continue reading Lead the change! The Challenge we face as Scrum Masters – Scrum Master Summit 2022

BONUS: Two common Scrum Master challenges and how to solve them. With Marc Loeffler

The Scrum Master Journey (SMJ) is a program designed to help you succeed as Scrum Master. Marc joins us to explain what that SMJ program includes, and share some first-hand stories of how this program has already helped many Scrum Masters in practice. 

If you want to know more, you can visit the Scrum Master Journey at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/SMJ

For the full show notes on this episode, please visit the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

This is episode 2 of a series of episodes dedicated to the content, and the steps of the Scrum Master Journey, a program hosted by our guest: Marc Löffler.

In the previous episode, we shared what were the top 2 challenges that Scrum Masters face in their role. We start this episode by sharing ideas on how to solve those problems, and what Scrum Masters can do to learn more about what is behind those challenges. 

Helping Scrum teams self-organize, a practical how-to

Continue reading BONUS: Two common Scrum Master challenges and how to solve them. With Marc Loeffler

Usman Kotwal: Helping Agile teams focus on outcomes

When we start working with a team, we need to understand what is their situation, so that we can decide what to start with. As we start to understand the team’s situation, we might need to focus on the organizational impediments to help the team progress. Some useful questions to ask are: is the team engaging with the stakeholders? Are they able to interact with customers/users? Do they have clear impact metrics for their product? What is the level of engagement in the team? 

All of these questions help us, Scrum Masters, understand if the team is ready to focus on, and work on outcomes. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Retrospectives for Scrum Masters starting with a new team

The Team Health Check is one of the formats we talk about as a possible “getting started with a new team” format. Usman also recommends the Sailboat Retrospective for Scrum Masters getting started with new teams. 

Once we are “in the rhythm” with a team, Usman recommends some more “free” formats like 1-2-4-all or something from Liberating Structures. Finally, his recommendations is: “help teams make their own choices, as they are much more committed to those”

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Usman Kotwal

Usman is a Scrum Master and Agile Coach in the field of data analytics in life sciences. He considers his learning journey to continue forever when it comes to bringing forward change in the ways we work collaboratively. His mission is to help guide the way to empowered product teams.

You can link with Usman Kotwal on LinkedIn.

BONUS: The Scrum Master Journey, a program to help you succeed in your role. With Marc Löffler

This is episode 1 of a series of episodes dedicated to the content, and the steps of the Scrum Master Journey, a program hosted by our guest: Marc Löffler.

The Scrum Master Journey (SMJ) is a program designed to help you succeed as Scrum Master. Marc joins us to explain what that SMJ program includes, and share some first-hand stories of how this program has already helped many Scrum Masters in practice. 

We start this episode by reflecting on the observation that the Scrum Master role has become a profession, with specific training needs, as well as a specific type of tasks that come with it. These tasks, and responsibilities are different from many other roles in the product development space, and therefore require a specific journey of learning and practicing. A Scrum Master Journey

Marc has written several books on the Scrum Master role, and he is also the host of a Scrum Master focused program, that cuts through the weeds of the many different things a Scrum Master must learn and helps us go through a journey designed to get us ready for the challenges ahead. 

The chaos of new ideas that Scrum Masters must understand and apply

Continue reading BONUS: The Scrum Master Journey, a program to help you succeed in your role. With Marc Löffler

Jan Neudecker: Business and team focus, the aspects that define Scrum Master success

Jan shares with us two dimensions of the Scrum Master work that define success for him: the business perspective, and the team members perspective. We discuss some of the questions that Scrum Masters can ask themselves in order to help them assess their work thus far, as well as define possible areas for improvement to focus on. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Movie Critic Format

The Movie Critic Agile Retrospective format is the one that Jan shares with us. He focuses on how this format lightens the mood and helps the team share their thoughts without the burden of “being serious”. Jan describes this format as one of several “fun methods” that can help understand how everyone perceived, and experienced the previous iteration. 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. /Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Jan Neudecker

Jan is an Agile Coach and Trainer. His vision is to make workplaces more humane, enjoyable and purposeful. An unpleasant diagnosis three years ago had a big impact on how he looks at these topics today. It became his mission to get these topics more into the spotlight of teams and organizations so they are less of a taboo subject in future.

You can link with Jan Neudecker on LinkedIn and connect with Jan Neudecker on Twitter.

If you want to know more about Jan’s fight with cancer, you can follow his blog

Jan also organizes a Scrum User Group in Germany.

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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
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