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Johannes Andersen: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

The Great Scrum Master: Beyond the Backlog, How a Great Scrum Master Helps Product Owners

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes shares what an ideal Scrum Master looks like. This Scrum Master not only introduced him to Scrum but also focused on the underlying purpose beyond mere processes. His patience, clarity, and pragmatic approach in defining priorities and solving conflicts greatly facilitated the PO’s understanding of product development challenges. This Scrum Master’s ability to foster meaningful conversations significantly helped Johannes in the PO role, highlighting the importance of a Scrum Master’s soft skills in guiding and supporting the product vision.

The Bad Scrum Master: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes highlights an anti-pattern where the Scrum Master becomes overly focused on ceremonies and strict adherence to Scrum guidelines, losing sight of the actual outcomes. This approach mistakenly centralizes process ownership with the Scrum Master, rather than distributing it among the entire team. Johannes advises addressing this issue by realigning the Scrum Master’s role towards shared goals and understanding, using tools like Team Topologies for discussion. The key is moving beyond the “servant” aspect of “servant leader” to foster a team environment where understanding and self-direction are prioritized.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Manuele Piastra: Challenging the Team, The Scrum Master’s Role as a Change Agent

In this episode, Manuele discusses the role of the Scrum Master and the importance of being a leader rather than just a servant. He identifies several anti-patterns that can arise when a Scrum Master is seen as a personal assistant or secretary, such as being asked to write stories, move stories on the board, or run meetings for the team.

Manuele emphasizes that the Scrum Master is a part of the team and their behavior can have a significant impact on the team’s performance. He also discusses the importance of challenging the team and avoiding the temptation to please team members instead of helping them. Manuele recommends reflecting on whether your actions align with your role as a change agent and asks “What would be the reason for you not to do what you are asking me to do?” as a way to encourage the team to think critically about their approach. Finally, Manuele provides tips for how Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches can work together to drive improvement and disrupt the status quo.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

In this segment, Manuele recommends the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink, which he found himself referring to in many situations. He mentions using the book’s three key motivator factors when designing a workshop or considering what a team might be lacking. Manuele points out that OKRs follow two aspects of the Drive model, Purpose and Autonomy, and suggests that the Drive model is also useful for coaching Product Owners. Although Manuele read the book many years ago, he still finds it relevant and valuable.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Manuele Piastra

Manuele Piastra moved to London in 2014, which was a life-changing experience for him. He gained access to more sources of learning, worked in fast-paced companies with complex technology stacks and ambitious goals, and developed open-mindedness, patience, and autonomy.

You can link with Manuele Piastra on LinkedIn and connect with Manuele Piastra on Twitter.

Joe Auslander: From developer to Scrum Master, a cautionary tale

As a developer, starting your first Scrum Master assignment is not easy. In this story, we hear about how easy it is to stay in the developer mindset in our first Scrum Master job, and what that means for the team and yourself. We discuss how Scrum Masters can learn to step back, even if they “know” what to say. 

About Joe Auslander

Joe is into game/experience design and enjoys working with teams to solve unique problems. In the past this has been in areas of ship repair, crew coordination, television production and software delivery. Joe enjoys learning and sharing what he has learned and he particularly loves seeing people succeed. 

You can link with Joe Auslander on LinkedIn and connect with Joe Auslander on Twitter.

Jakub Jurkiewicz: When Scrum becomes the outcome, the Scrum Master has failed

As Jakub took on the challenging role of being a Scrum Master for 7 teams, he started facing the problems that come with over-committing (as a Scrum Master). The typical running around just to be present at the teams’ meetings started to take its toll. Jakub did not know how to handle that many teams, and that led to a reflection and learning that stayed with him forever: he had turned Scrum into the outcome that he was pushing teams towards, instead of the tool that helps them succeed.

About Jakub Jurkiewicz

Jakub is a kaizen practice lead who participated in his first standup in 2005 and facilitated his first retrospective in 2007. Previously a software developer, team leader, Scrum Master and Agile consultant, Jakub is also, a podcaster and trainer at Agile Coaching Lab. Loves wine, bicycles and his wife (in the reverse order).

You can link with Jakub Jurkiewicz on LinkedIn and connect with Jakub Jurkiewicz on Twitter.

John Albrecht: Struggling and discovering the true meaning of Servant Leadership for Scrum Masters

The story that John shares with us, starts when Project Management transformations were a thing. He went through a PRINCE2 adoption process, which led to the emergence of the inevitable silos. John started searching for better alternatives and found Extreme Programming, Scrum and Kanban. As he tried to play the servant leader role that comes with Scrum, however, he discovered that there’s a good and a bad way to be a servant leader. Listen in to learn when to stop serving, and when to be a true leader! 

About John Albrecht

Agile Person, for the team by the team, used to be a developer. Got into Agile via Extreme Programming (XP), then Kanban, then Scrum. Some of his key ideas are Principles over Practices, #noestimates, love working with teams and organizations, the softer side, finding what they and customers need and what works for them.

You can link with John Albrecht on LinkedIn and connect with John Albrecht on Twitter.

You can learn more about John Albrecht’s work at Scrum Lake, and All Agile websites.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
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
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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