Pascal Clarkson: Helping teams self-select in a “team market” for Agile organizations

This company had been using Agile for a while, but now they wanted to introduce the concept of squads, chapters and guilds. This required that the teams be reorganized as this model requires teams to be cross-functional. Pascal helped the organization set up a “team market”. When Pascal started participating in this team market he started realizing that everyone had a different reaction to that event. In this episode, we talk about how change is really a personal process, and that we need to take into account individual experiences and expectations. We also refer to the self-selection workshop process. 

About Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter. 

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

BONUS: Applying Agile to Sales and in Sales teams with Brad Jeavons

When it comes to applying Agile and Scrum to a sales team and organization, the first things we need to be aware of are the key differences to product/software development teams. And there are quite a few! In this segment, we talk about those key differences and the process that Brad developed over time to help sales teams benefit from Agile and Scrum in their work. 

We talk about the 3 step process to defining what is the focus of the work, and how to measure the progress of the team. Listen in to learn what those 3 steps are, and also how to align the team’s work around improving the key metrics.

The key challenges to Agile adoption in sales teams 

As we learn more about how sales teams work, the next big question is: what are the challenges we often face when adopting Agile in sales teams? We dive into some of the challenges that Brad has seen in his work and learn about his approach to bringing a goal-centric way of working, by starting to work with the sales leader. 

We mention Eduscrum (an application of Scrum to education), and learn how sales teams were already remote Agile teams before the covid19 pandemic. The remote work aspect of sales brings with it a set of challenges that astute Scrum Masters will be ready to tackle. Brad explains his approach to getting sales teams to collaborate effectively, even when they are constantly remote.

Adapting the cycle of Scrum to the rhythm of sales teams

The adoption of Scrum can’t be complete without adapting the Scrum ceremonies to the reality of the sales work. Brad walks us through his ideas on how we can take advantage of what is already there (the natural sales meetings and cycle), and slowly build in the ideas of planning, follow-up, “live” demonstration, and retrospectives into sales teams. In this segment, we also discuss how important visualizing the work, and the results is when bringing a set of – usually – independent-minded folks to work tightly together as an agile team.

About Brad Jeavons

Brad Jeavons is the author of the book Agile Sales and the host of the Enterprise Excellence Podcast and the Enterprise Excellence Youtube Channel. Brad is passionate about helping create a better future economically, socially and environmentally. He does this by sharing knowledge and supporting organizations to create cultures of continuous improvement and innovation at all levels.

You can link with Brad Jeavons on LinkedIn and connect with Brad Jeavons on Twitter. 

 

Dov Tsal: Working with change linchpins, the catalysts for change

It is often the case that in organizations that are in a process of change, the people who can block, or enable change are only a few. In this episode, we talk about these “linchpins” of change and reflect on how we can build productive relationships with those stakeholders, with the aim to help progress Agile adoption. 

About Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent, and enabler, helping companies teams, and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn.

Kyla MacDonald: Starting with an inspiring Agile transformation vision

Kyla was working on an Agile transformation program. This program started with an inspiring question: “what would a great day look like at work?”

The CIO that had just arrived helped management learn from other organizations, and that started to transform the organization. Listen in to learn how that Agile transformation team helped change the mindset and desire to go to work for hundreds of people. 

About Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter. 

Philip Rogers: Aligning Agile teams despite resistance to change from leadership

Philip was working with a health care organization, and discovered that they had not yet had help from other agile coaches. As he started working with teams, he discovered that one of the people who brought him in, was not all that positive on the change Philip had been hired to do. 

This created confusion, and conflict. So Philip started working on how to align teams quickly and developed a “rapid alignment framework” using techniques like Inception from the book The Agile Samurai by Rasmusson. 

In this episode, we also discuss Story Mapping and the Scrum Master playbook by Philip. 

About Philip Rogers

Phil is a father of four children and a volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an “agile whisperer” (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter. 

Evelien Acun-Roos: Helping middle management overcome anxiety and fear in an Agile transformation

In this organization, both the leadership and the teams wanted Agile. However, the middle management was resisting the adoption of Agile. This story helped Evelien understand that sometimes, we need to tackle the anxiety and fear that an Agile adoption brings. Middle-management was the “backbone” of the organization, they had been there for a long time, and they didn’t know what Agile meant for them. That created anxiety, and consequently resistance. Evelien explains how they engaged with middle-management and started helping them understand how Agile would help them (not only teams and leadership). 

About Evelien Acun-Roos

Evelien Acun-Roos is an experienced Agile Trainer at Xebia Academy, Professional Scrum Trainer at Scrum.org and a Certified Trainer for “Training from the Back of the Room”.

You can link with Evelien Acun-Roos on LinkedIn and connect with Evelien Acun-Roos on Twitter. 

Wouter Gheysen: Helping a team, learn and then own the Demo/Review ceremony in Scrum

Wouter was working in a bank, with a team that was just at the start of their Agile transformation. This team was insecure about the idea of a demo, they weren’t sure about how to conduct a demo with stakeholders, and the team members were hesitant to take ownership of that ceremony. 

Slowly, and methodically, Wouter helped the team first learn how, and then slowly take over the demo. By the end of this change, the team fully owned the demo, and team members put themselves forward to be the ones demonstrating the achievements they had accomplished during the sprint.

About Wouter Gheysen

Wouter is a creative generalist with a broad area of interest beyond agility, a focus on people, and working with teams. He is a coach, guide and life long learner with a keen interest in facilitation, design thinking and systemic coaching.

You can link with Wouter Gheysen on LinkedIn and connect with Wouter Gheysen on Twitter. 

Kamal Hans: Self-change, the hardest change for Scrum Masters

This episode starts with a question: which of the following is the hardest to change? Your boss, your spouse, or yourself? The key message is that, in order to be able to help others through a change process, we need to be able to change ourselves. We discuss what are some of the steps we need to go through when changing ourselves, and only then others.

In this episode, we refer to work by Audree Sahota.

About Kamal Hans

Kamal Hans believes people are capable of incredible things if they have the support they need. He is at his best when he gets to connect people with each other and their vision, create a structure of support, build a system to achieve their goals to accomplish bigger things than themselves. As an Agile Coach and disciplined facilitator, he has worked with global organizations like Ericsson, and Bose to name a few. 

You can link with Kamal Hans on LinkedIn and connect with Kamal Hans on Twitter

Nagesh Sharma: Helping Scrum teams reach independence and self-organization

In this organization, the skills were not well divided between the teams. As this story starts, we hear of a team member that was helping 5 or 6 other teams because they were the one that had the necessary skills. How do we address this “unevenness” in skills between the teams? In this episode we discuss what we can do, as Scrum Masters, to better prepare our teams to be self-sufficient, and it all starts with looking at the skills in each team. 

About Nagesh Sharma

Nagesh is a Professional Scrum Trainer by Scrum.org, He is Co-Founder & CEO of Flowsphere India. His mission drives him in increasing the joy and accomplishment people feel with agile ways of working. Nagesh is a Management 3.0 & collaboration Superpowers Facilitator. Trained more than 3000 people across the globe and an active speaker at various international conferences.

You can link with Nagesh Sharma on LinkedIn and connect with Nagesh Sharma on Twitter.

BONUS: The Nexus Framework For Scaling Up Scrum with Simon Flossmann

The Nexus Framework has been a topic on the podcast before. In this episode, we explore critical lessons for Scrum Masters that need to work with multiple teams and large organizations with the help of the Nexus Framework. 

To know more about Nexus and how it can help your organization, visit Simon’s Nexus course. 

Organizing A Multi-Team Retrospective: A Key Scaling Tool

One of the aspects that gets shortchanged in the “scaling” frameworks and approaches is the aspect of learning as a whole organization. It is not enough that each individual team learns how to improve. We also need to help the wider organization learn, and for that, we need to be able to organize multi-team retrospectives. 

Simon introduces the idea of the “sandwich retrospective”, and highlights that we must ensure that there is a product level and an organizational level learning loop. 

In this segment, we refer to the Nexus Framework Guide and the concept of Double-Loop Learning.

Facilitating Multi-Team Planning Efforts: The Key Steps

Knowing how to help a single team is not enough when it comes to helping a set of teams succeed with planning the next increment. The “Nexus” (a group of teams working on a product) planning requires different tools to help eliminate and account for possible dependencies. One of the tips Simon shares is that of ensuring that refinement is done together with multiple teams and before a big room planning event, where multiple teams come together to plan their product increment.

In this segment, we talk about what works when helping multiple teams plan and sprint together, and how to facilitate the refinement when multiple teams are involved. 

Focusing on Product Development, not Organizational Development

Every scaling framework has a different focus. In this episode, we talk about what is the reason behind Nexus’ approach to scaling Agile and differentiate Nexus from other frameworks that may focus on organizational changes, while Nexus focuses on the Product Development aspects, not on the organization.

About Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

You can follow Simon Flossmann’s writings on this home page.