Andy Grosman: A Christmas Agile Retrospective format to inspire your Scrum Team!

Are you passionate? What is preventing you from finding that motivation and intensity in your work. This is one of the questions that Andy asks us to consider when reviewing our work, and assessing our contribute to the Scrum team.

In this segment, we also talk about the importance of learning how to get things moving, even when we lack the authority.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Christmas Carol retrospective

Sometimes, referring to a familiar experience can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate ideas they would otherwise ignore. In this Agile Retrospective format, Andy shares how a familiar story (A Christmas Carol) can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate improvement ideas

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: StoryCubes as a tool for Agile Retrospectives

Are people asking you for help? This is the question we start Eddy’s definition of success for Scrum Masters. But the conversation does not stop there. We also discuss the role of coaching agreements with the teams, and some of the anti-patterns Eddy witnessed in Agile teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Storytelling with Story Cubes

In this segment, we discuss what might be some of the factors affecting the effectiveness of your Agile Retrospectives. We also discuss how we can use Story Cubes (video example) as a facilitation technique in some of the steps of the standard Agile Retrospective format.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Jim Sammons: The Baseball Agile Retrospective and one important success question for Scrum Masters

“Am I making other people better?” is the question that Jim starts his own success retrospective with. We then dive into the “do no harm” rule that Jim applies to his own work, and how to use Retrospectives in our work and reach a successful outcome.

We talk about the standards that we must ourselves to, as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The Baseball Retro

Although there are many possible games and exercises for Agile Retrospectives, in this Agile Retrospective format – The Baseball Retro -, the focus is on creating an analogy of the Sprint to a baseball game. And how we can use this analogy thinking to find opportunities for improvement.

Listen in to learn how Jim prepares and hosts that retrospective.

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Martin Lambert: The Empathy Agile Retrospective Format How-to

When it comes to success as a Scrum Master, Martin asks us to consider the “little things”. For example: “how does your team react to adverse situations?” This and other questions help Martin assess his work as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the other questions that Martin asks himself to assess his own success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Empathy Retrospective

In this retrospective format, Martin focuses on helping team members understand their colleagues’ perspectives. We discuss how to “warm-up” the team to this format, as well as how to execute the format. Learn also why this format is important, and what you can expect from it.

About Martin Lambert

Martin’s an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: “sorry for you know what”.

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Building Skyscrapers and Shattering Dreams in Product Development | Guest post by Rainer Tikk

Rainer Tikk writes this guest blog post about what Product Development looks like from the perspective of a leader of a software organization in a mid-size bank. He’s the Head of Software Development at LHV, an Estonian bank betting on IT as a competitive advantage.

To a non-IT person, developing an IT solution might often seem like a mystical activity that boys with ponytails (and some girls) do in a dark basement somewhere. Moreover, software development, in general, is an expensive activity altogether and often takes more time than it really should. And even if there is money available to pay for the software development, more often than not, it’s almost impossible to find a developer to build the stuff you need.

Continue reading Building Skyscrapers and Shattering Dreams in Product Development | Guest post by Rainer Tikk

Dirk Fabricius: How do we measure the Scrum Master role?

A question Dirk has heard often (and you might have too!) is: how should we measure the Scrum Master role? That led him to think about possible metrics to present to stakeholders. In this episode, we discuss possible Scrum Master metrics as well as the “self-check” questions you can ask yourself when evaluating your own success and evolution as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Customizing your Retrospectives

At some point, the formats you are used to may not be enough, and you need to find another format for the issues at hand. In those situations, Scrum Masters must be comfortable with customizing the retrospective format for their team. In this segment, we discuss tools and approaches you can take to customize your next retrospective to the team’s specific needs.

A useful tool, which has been referred to before on the podcast is Retromat.org. However, there are some caveats when using that tool. Listen in to learn about possible drawbacks and how to overcome those.

About Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

Stanislava Potupchik: in Scrum, we produce value through the actions of people

When it comes to the success of a Scrum Master, Stanislava likes to focus on the conflicts that emerge in the team, and ask if they have been solved, and if people are collaborating again.

I the end the value we produce is fully dependent on what people contribute, in Scrum, we only produce value through people!

Featured Retrospective of the Week: The simple matrix

Stanislava likes to refer back to the previous action points from the previous retrospectives and examine what has changed. She asks, for all items listed: “has it changed in the previous 2 weeks?” This way she focuses the conversations on the core outcome of the retrospective: the changes we want to implement to improve our work.

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter.

Susanne Taylor: Using Liberating Structures in Agile Retrospectives

While it is tempting to define success as an end state for the work of the Scrum Master, it is important to recognize that the journey (how we get there) is also important. In this episode, we talk about a method to reflect on our work, and how that can help us navigate the challenges we will face as Scrum Masters. Take this episode, and reflect on your role, learn from what you have faced in the past, and keep the journey going.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Liberating structures, the 3 W’s

We’ve talked about Liberating Structures in a past episode, in this segment we talk about the “What?, So What?, Now What?” technique. We also discuss how we can bring team members into the retrospective so that they are present and focused on the retrospective.

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Izis Filipaldi: The importance of action points as an Agile Retrospective outcome

As Scrum Masters, we aim to help teams progress in their ability to deliver value. However, it is important that we ask a few questions about the team behavior when reflecting on our own performance. We discuss some of the questions that Scrum Masters can ask to assess their own impact on the teams they serve.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Focusing on action points

Although Izis prefers to use the 3-question retrospective format, she tends to not follow that format strictly. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of having a strong focus on defining and following-up on the action points from retrospectives.

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis’ mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter.

Izis Filipaldi: Scaling the Scrum Master role

Scaling the use of Scrum in any organization is not easy. In this episode, we discuss Izis approach to that challenge from the Scrum Master perspective. Scrum Masters in larger organizations end up having to work with multiple teams. We explore an approach that may help Scrum Masters serve more teams, while amplifying their impact. 

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis’ mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter