Rafał Witaszek: What is often missing when an Agile adoption process starts to fail

When Rafał joined this organization, he had a conversation with some of the Agile Coaches and Product Owners. In that process, he presented some ideas, and they came to an agreement of how to introduce Agile. However, that was not enough. Quickly, Rafał discovered that some critical stakeholders had not been listened to, which caused adoption problems. Rafał learned a key lesson in creating alignment between stakeholders before starting an engagement.

About Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn.

Thomas van Zuijlen: Setting up a Scrum team for success when working as a contractor

Thomas was part of a team that had to replace a whole application. They decided to go with the StranglerFig pattern described by Martin Fowler. But, in this case, the pattern was being applied not only to the software, but also to the team, and interaction with the client. Thomas set-up a kick-off for the relationship, and based it on the key aspects we need to take into account as a Scrum Master: team agreement, expectations, vision for the product, and much more! Listen in to learn how Thomas used the first meeting with the client to set up the team’s agile ways of working, and get the customer involved in giving feedback and guidance to the team from day one!

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn.

Thomas van Zuijlen: A key lesson for Scrum Masters when taking on a new team!

Thomas was working with a scale up. The organization had grown quickly and the management felt that it was slowing down too much, so they wanted to work on their processes, and get the teams to collaborate better, and speed up the rate of delivery. After 6 months of trying, Thomas left. He felt that he had not had an impact on the organization, and needed to move on. Listen in to learn about what happened, and why that organization was not ready to improve. There’s a key lesson for all Scrum Masters starting to work with a new team or organization.

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn.

Erik de Bos: The magical ingredient that transformed a team member, from bad apple, to team player!

Sometimes there are team members that have an outsized impact on the progress of the team. In this episode, we talk about a team member that was holding the team back. Erik tried several approaches to help this team member, but those did not work. After a while, this team member was moved to a new team, and Erik was afraid the same anti-pattern would happen again. However, something magical happened, and this team member was able to move on from his previous anti-patterns. How did this happen? Listen in to learn what was different in the second team, and how Erik was able to support the team member and the new team in a new approach that helped both the team and the individual succeed!

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Wilson Govindji: Why you must stop being a developer when you become a Scrum Master

Wilson fell into the Scrum Master role by accident. And even if this is not an unusual story for a Scrum Master, this journey brings with it an identity crisis that Wilson describes for us. Wilson was both a Scrum Master and a tech lead, a technical Product Owner and a developer. These many hats seemed to work well together, until the release time came. Listen in to learn about how these many roles can interfere with each other and cause problems for the Scrum Master and the team.

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Gurucharan Padki: Customer-centric Product Owners that destroy the team because of that

The Great Product Owner: Great PO’s are committed to the success of the team, not only their personal success

Great Product Owners are able to relate to the team members, and share their perspective on the future of the product. This particular PO, was able to talk to the team about the roadmap, and communicated the Vision for the product. Even if the team was distributed among several timezones, the PO was able to be in contact and available to the team. Great PO’s are committed to the success of the team, not only their own success.

The Bad Product Owner: Customer-centric PO’s that destroy the team because of that

This PO thought they were the boss of everyone, and tended to micro-manage the team. This particular PO was more focused on sales, and pushed all customer ideas to the team without concern for their feasibility or applicability to the product Vision. The PO heard the customers, but was unable to filter out the bad ideas from the good ones.

Are you having trouble helping the team work well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Gurucharan Padki: Does your Scrum team own the resolution of the impediments? A success question for Scrum Masters

A great Scrum Master is not only helpful for the team, but knows when to step back and let the team take the lead, as their aim is to bring the team to a self-sustaining point of their journey. To check his own progress, Guru focuses on how much ownership the team exhibits when it comes to resolving impediments.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Using MURAL boards to spice up remote retrospectives

Guru often changes the retrospective format he uses with his teams. His aim is to find a format that fits a specific type of retro that that team might need at that point. However, he’s got a tip for all Scrum Masters working with a remote or hybrid team. He suggests we use tools like MURAL and shares some tips on how we could run the Timeline Retrospective with a MURAL board.

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 Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Gurucharan Padki: The critical differences between Project Management and Agile/Scrum

There’s a big contrast between some of the Agile values and principles, and the approach that we see implemented when Project Management is the ruling approach to delivering software. Agile and Scrum require that leaders (including Scrum Masters) learn about servant leadership, instead of looking at teams as “school children” that must be managed, and controlled.

In this episode, we talk about the key differences we must be aware between the “old” approach to software development (based on project management ideas), and what Agile is all about.

In this episode, we refer to the Tuckman’s stages of group development.

About Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Gurucharan Padki: The many anti-patterns that emerge when we focus on story points and velocity

The team Guru was working with was asked to “be more productive” and to “burn more story points”. That request led to a big anti-pattern, as the team was only concerned with the numbers after that point. In this episode, we discuss the many anti-patterns that emerge when teams are asked to focus on “the numbers”, instead of the quality and impact of their work.

In this segment, we refer to SDLC, aka Software Development Lifecycle, and the Shift-left movement approach in software development.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland

In Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland, Guru found an inspiring book that explains how, and where Scrum can be used, from visual boards for painting a house, to Scrum in education. The book makes Scrum easy to understand, and helps change agents learn how to present the framework to stakeholders and teams.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Gurucharan Padki: How to deal with Agile adoption anxiety in waterfall organizations

Gurucharan (aka Guru) was working in a large organization, in a waterfall process. The people at that organization were not aware of Agile, and Guru took the initiative to discuss Scrum with the leaders of the organization. The start of the journey was rough, with people unsure, and even scared of the change. This gave Guru an opportunity to bring change in a slow, but effective way. Listen in to learn about the story of change, and how to deal with Agile adoption anxiety in waterfall organizations.

About Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

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