Jem D’jelal looks at what changes over time to assess Scrum Master success

When we are knee deep in our role as Scrum Masters, we often forget that all success is a function of how we, and the team, and the organization evolve over time.

Jem suggests we should look at what has changed over time to assess our success as Scrum Masters. He also suggests some specific “metrics” you can take into account to measure team and organizational evolution over time.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Constellation Game

In the Constellation Game, the goal is to get the whole team to express their views on a specific topic. And because it involves physical movement, rather than just talking it is also a great way to get new team members introduced to the team in a safe atmosphere. Finally, it allows the whole team to see where all other team members are relative to a specific topic.

About Jem D’jelal

Jem trained to be a social worker, but ended up dropping out & joining the dark side instead : investment banking 🙂 In a funny way, Jem was led back to his passion – helping people. This happened when he was introduced to Scrum in 2006, and has been a career Scrum Master since. He calls himself “nomadic”, having had almost 30 roles in 10 + years. He does say that he will be searching for a home at some point. Some of Jem’s other passions involve running, a part time mentoring charity for repeating youth offenders in North London & callisthenics.

You can link with Jem D’Jelal on LinkedIn and connect with Jem D’Jelal on Twitter.

Jem D’jelal and the temptation of taking on the Product Owner role as well as the Scrum Master Role

As an unlikely Scrum Master Jem went through a journey of adapting to a new industry, and a new role. In his eagerness to bring value to the organization and teams he worked with he focused on taking on more responsibility. But is that a good idea? What happens when the Scrum Master also takes the Product Owner role? Listen in as we discuss the anti-pattern of the Scrum Master that is also the Product Owner.

About Jem D’jelal

Jem trained to be a social worker, but ended up dropping out & joining the dark side instead : investment banking 🙂 In a funny way, Jem was led back to his passion – helping people. This happened when he was introduced to Scrum in 2006, and has been a career Scrum Master since. He calls himself “nomadic”, having had almost 30 roles in 10 + years. He does say that he will be searching for a home at some point. Some of Jem’s other passions involve running, a part time mentoring charity for repeating youth offenders in North London & callisthenics.

You can link with Jem D’Jelal on LinkedIn and connect with Jem D’Jelal on Twitter.

Andreas Plattner shares 5 categories to evaluate Scrum Master success

A recurring approach to self-evaluation is to define aspects or categories that we should evaluate on a regular basis. Andreas shares his 5 categories, and how he focuses on the reflection and improvement cycle as a Scrum Master. The key message however, is: accept that sometimes – maybe even most of the time – you will progress through baby steps!

Featured Retrospective format of the Week: Lean Coffee

Lean Coffee is a format that allows the team to cover many issues in a short period of time. In this episode we also discuss check-in exercises.

About Andreas Plattner

Andreas is an Agile Coach @ Daimler. He is has been a passionate Agilist and Scrum Master for over 10 years. He works on and cares for organizational health.

You can link with Andreas Plattner on LinkedIn and connect with Andreas Plattner on XING.

Mark Cruth: 2 aspects to assess Scrum Master success

During our journey as Scrum Masters we often struggle with the meaning of success. Mark’s approach hinges on two aspects: eliminating the need for the role, and connecting with the “why”. In this episode we discuss how those two aspects shape Mark’s own self-evaluation and the role he takes on when working with teams.

In this episode we talk about the Energize your Retrospectives deck that Mark prepared for Agile Midwest, and we discuss the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Bubble-up format

Just like in football or basketball tournaments we have the “brackets”, we can use the same metaphor to bubble-up the main issues the teams want to solve during the retrospectives. Mark describes how he uses this format, and why it may be important for your team.

About Mark Cruth

Mark has been playing in the Agile space since 2009, helping multiple organizations move towards a more Agile perspective on work across several industries, including manufacturing, eCommerce, and FinTech. Today Mark works as an Agile Coach for Quicken Loans, as well as operates his own Consulting company called Teal Mavericks.

You can link with Mark Cruth on LinkedIn and connect with Mark Cruth on Twitter.

BONUS: Richard Kasperowski on on high-performance teams and The Core Protocols

In this episode, we explore The Core Protocols, a set of ideas developed by Jim and Michele McCarthy as they investigated the causes of performance improvement in teams.

During that research, Jim and Michele discovered that high-performance teams did a lot of things in a similar way, and we explore some of those patterns that successful teams take on.

The Core Protocols not only describe the patterns of successful teams, but also act as a “map” of the things we need to consider when helping our teams.

Read on for the detailed break down of the episode…

Continue reading BONUS: Richard Kasperowski on on high-performance teams and The Core Protocols

Product Goal-Setting: How Scrum Masters can onboard a new or beginner Product Owner

Photo by Mohamed Hassan @ Pixabay

Why do we have daily meetings? Why do I need to be involved with the team every day? Why can’t I just give you the requirements document and concentrate on other tasks?

This blog is part of Module 2 of the Coach your Product Onwer v2.0 video course.

The Anti-Patterns When A Product Owner Is New To The Team, The Product And To Scrum

These are just some of the questions that Product Owners that are new to Scrum will ask. But sometimes we need to onboard Product Owners that are new to Scrum, new to the Product and new to the team. That’s not an easy task.

The Product Owner may not have any technical knowledge of the product or the understanding of the business the product supports. When a Product Owner is new to the team, and the collaboration habits have not yet developed. For example, he may be tempted to just go away and write all the User Stories in isolation or with a Business Analyst, and never involve the team. Which later leads to the “tell the team what to do, and disappear” anti-pattern. Continue reading Product Goal-Setting: How Scrum Masters can onboard a new or beginner Product Owner

20 TOP Agile Blogs for Scrum Masters that you will not (easily) find on google searches (2017 edition)

Before reading the post, I wanted to share with you a great interview about how we, as Scrum Masters are always starting from Scratch (just like new year! 🙂 Here’s a Podcast episode as a new year gift from the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast archive built over the last 3 years interviewing Scrum Masters from all over the world.

Podcast Topic: We start a new with every team  (interview with Lucian Stroie)

Now for the list! 🙂

Here in the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, we share insights and inspiring stories from Scrum Masters every day of the week because we believe we need inspiration and ideas every day. Therefore we also visit sites and blogs for the same reasons. To end the year with a bang, I wanted to create a list of Top blogs / Sites for Scrum Masters. Was I in for a disappointment… read on to know why…

Continue reading 20 TOP Agile Blogs for Scrum Masters that you will not (easily) find on google searches (2017 edition)

Product Owner Anti-Patterns, and how Scrum Masters can help overcome those

Product Owners have an impossible job! I know, I’ve been a Product Owner. And even worse, a Product Manager transitioning to Product Owner! And even worse! I was also the Project Manager. Geeez! When I look back I am amazed I survived that phase of my career.

Here’s the kicker, that was the best time of my Agile adoption journey. I got to see my ideas come to life so quickly! And have a concrete business impact (the product we delivered went on to generate 10 Million Eur in sales a little over 3 years).

My Product Owner journey towards Agile was not easy! Let me tell you how I survived that stressful time, and lived on to learn a lot from the experience.

Continue reading Product Owner Anti-Patterns, and how Scrum Masters can help overcome those

BONUS: Stefan Wolpers shares the results of the Scrum Master Salary Survey of 2017

There was an article in early 2017 stating that Scrum Master is one of the top 10 best paid jobs in IT in the USA (LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017)

This inspired Stefan Wolpers to do a survey on the salaries that Scrum Masters can ask for world-wide. From this survey came the Age of Product Scrum Master Salary report of 2017.

According to the Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance websites we have now more than 500 000 Certified Scrum Masters or Professional Scrum Masters. With these kinds of numbers, it is clear that there is a demand for our profession. So what does that mean? How is the breakdown between countries and women vs men employed in this profession?

A more equal opportunity profession?

According to the report that Stefan compiled, there’s no significant difference between women and men when it comes to salary level. However, even if the profession has more women than the overall programming/technical professions, it is still a male-dominated profession (30% of people that replied to the survey are women).

When it comes to education, having a bachelor or similar degree plus hands-on experience seems to be the right level of qualification for aspiring Scrum Masters. Having one certification makes sense, but according to the survey there’s no significant effect of having more than one certification.

Finally, the organizations that hire Scrum Masters seem to be firmly rooted in the Product Development industry. Which begs the question: when will Scrum break-out of IT and product development? What is your view?

Agile PMO? Or waterfall with a bit of Scrum splashed on it?

An interesting aspect of the survey is that it reveals that many Scrum Masters are under the PMO (Project Management Office) umbrella in most organizations. We discuss why this is and what this might mean in terms of the Agile adoption process in certain organizations.

There are currently many different options as to how to govern software development in product organizations. We have SAFe, LeSS and other scaled framework and Oikosofy’s own Agile Portfolio Management governance framework. The Project Management paradigm is however, still the dominating paradigm, and we discuss what that might mean.

If you are interested in more details, and all the data from the Salary Report, you can download it in the Age of Product website.

What did you think of the results? Are they coherent with your experience?

 

 

About Stefan Wolpers

Stefan has been working as agile coach and product owner for fast growing, mainly Berlin-based startups for about 10 years. He is writing on hiring agile practitioners, Why agile fails?, and curates Age of Product’s “Food for Agile Thought” newsletter.

You can link with Stefan Wolpers on LinkedIn and connect with Stefan Wolpers on Twitter.

Ruben Sadoyan on the 3 conditions for Scrum Master success

The 3 conditions are: the team is enabled, involved and happy. But that’s easier said than done! How do we get there? How do we helps reach those 3 conditions? That’s what we talk about in this episode.

About Ruben Sadoyan

Ruben has played many different roles in his career. Agile Coach, Team Engineer, Scrum Master with IT Project Management and Software Development background are just some of those. He’s also been an Account executive with software/web development roots and business development, experienced in team and client relationship management.
He’s also launched a startup named Internet Company and has more than 15 years experience in IT. He describes himself as Focused on constant improvement and self-education. Result driven, able to lead in a Lean way, identify root causes and gradually improve teams to make results happen.