We hear it often: success is when the Scrum Master is no longer needed. Is it though? In this episode we explore what the Scrum Master responsibility is when the team starts “flowing”. The role of the Scrum Master is not restricted to dynamics of the team, it also includes the collaboration aspects with the rest of the organization, and many other “enabling” factors.
Listen in to learn about Darryl’s experience.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee Format
In this episode we talk about a Retrospective format called Lean Coffee, a format that focuses on surfacing and tackling the issues that teams want to focus on. It’s a great format to host without much preparation, as the team comes up with their own ideas and prioritizes the topics to discuss, having the timeboxed conversations drive them to the actions they want to take during the next sprint to improve their work. In this episode we also mention the Starfish retrospective format.
About Darryl Sherborne
Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Ice Breaker challenge
Instead of focusing on one single format, Joanna inspires us to look at the “ice breaker” exercises we use and seek new ones. After listening to this episode, I’m sure you will want to try several different ice breakers for your next retrospectives!
About Joanna Koprowicz
Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.
“Don’t get frustrated, progress takes time”, that’s a line Max wants you to remember when you start looking into more detail to what it means to be successful as a Scrum Master.
Set aside a time, and follow Max’s approach to evaluating your progress, as well as the team’s progress. In this episode we discuss some of the aspects you may want to consider when evaluating your work, and success as Scrum Master.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Identify Boring Stories
This Retrospective format helps the team find the not-so-obvious problems that they often face when implementing stories. By identifying boring stories they are finding problems in collaboration as well as the enabling practices that are missing, and would make work more fun if they were there.
About Maximilian Fritzsche
Maximilian worked as a Scrum Master for several years and believes that the way to look at the role is to always have in mind the following quote: “Keep moving forward” – his favorite quote, and what he tries to do every day. “One step at a time!”
Scrum Master is a relatively new role, Scrum itself started the rise to popularity in the early 2000’s. That means that, as Scrum Masters, we are performing a relatively undefined role.
Abbas suggests that, as part of our understanding and definition for success we should ask a few questions that help define the role for us and the organization we work with.
Abbas suggests we consider the role from 3 different perspectives: The tactical side; the strategic side; and the culture side.
Listen in to learn more about what each of these perspectives entails.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: MAD/SAD/GLAD retrospective and other techniques
The MAD/SAD/GLAD exercise is a simple approach to cover the different aspects of the previous sprint in a way that elicits emotional thinking. The emotions we have towards the sprint events will help elicit problems, as well as achievements the team experienced during the Sprint.
During the retrospective discussion we also mention other simple, yet powerful techniques that you can use when planning your next retrospective.
About Abbas Ghahremani
Abbas is a Scrum Master who enjoys coaching individuals and teams who are on a journey of developing an agile mindset, focusing on values and principles which will make them work lean, collaborate and generally enjoy work more!
He calls himself an agile and product person focusing on delivering value early and often to customers.
The second is the use of retrospectives as a coaching opportunity for Scrum Masters. In this episode Andrew describes his approach and experience with the coaching retrospectives.
About Andrew Hudson
Andy is a Scrum Master within the Media industry. He’s passionate about making work a motivating, enjoyable and empowering place to be. He wants to help teams and individuals reach their full potential and believes developing the right vision and mindset is more valuable to effective teams than any process or framework.
Scrum Master success is the visible outcome when team members are performing. The role of the Scrum Master is therefore, at least in part, to help team members grow and improve their approach to work, and collaboration. In this episode we discuss the signs that team members may be ready for a jump in performance, and how to support their growth.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: #NoFormat
Scrum Masters that have tried many formats in their Retrospectives may grow tired of the structure that the default Agile Retrospectives book recommended back when Retrospectives were “new”. Gilberto eventually got tired of that approach and created a new approach to retrospectives. Listen in to learn about how an experienced Scrum Master now oragnizes his Retrospectives alone or with the help of team members.
About Gilberto Urueta
Gilberto is a Berlin-based Scrum Master. He is passionate about Agile, Lean, Scrum and most of all complexity. He is currently working at Takeaway, a leading online food delivery marketplace in Continental Europe.
When Jeff discovered that Menlo Innovations (from the book Joy, Inc. by Richard Sheridan) was a drive away from his workplace, he got a few people together and started a journey that would change his view of how work should work. He decided that his work as a Scrum Master was about improving lives.
Featured Retrospective format: The Sailboat Retrospective
In the sailboat retrospective we use a metaphor to help the team identify the goal, the obstacles (the rocks), the drags on the team performance (the anchor) and the things that push us forward (sailing wind). Through metaphor we help the team explore ideas that they would otherwise skip in a more structured retrospective.
About Jeff Maleski
Jeff is passionate about working with and building up both individuals and teams using ideas from Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0 and Dan Pink’s Drive. When leading project teams, Jeff strives for empirical based planning and forecasting, continuous learning, and delivering high quality software products that exceed expectations. Jeff believes in leading by actions and focusing on building relationships with others.
When we start our roles, we often (and rightly so) focused on the process. How to get people to understand and benefit from the power of Scrum. This focus on process may seem counterproductive because, after all, our success depends on the success of the people around us. But is it? Listen in to learn how Ryan uses his process experience to build trust with the team, which he later on turns into a critical ingredient for his own success as a Scrum Master
Featured Retrospective format for the week: “Proud, thankful, learned”
Ryan breaks the rules once more by introducing, not one, but 2 retrospective formats that empower the team to find, and focus on the most important improvements for them.
The first format is “Proud, thankful, learned”. Three simple headings that help the team focus on, and amplify the positive things that happened during a Sprint. Consider also using this (in a shorter version) as a check-in exercise.
The second format is “Lean Coffee”. A simple way to generate and prioritize possible improvement items.
About Ryan McCann
Ryan is a former waiter, car detailer, line worker, cemetery worker, intern, financial analyst, tech support rep, team lead, QA manager, Scrum Master and Product Owner. Current husband, father, school board member, community volunteer and agile coach. He believes in building trust and social capital, which is not easy for any of us (himself included)…Ryan does his best everyday to help teams make this happen.
Tony quotes Basketball legend on trust: “good teams become great ones when members trust each other to surrender the me to the we”. Tony also shares how he chooses to work with teams, and it is not what most of us do today.
About Tony Richards
Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.
“Step back and ask more questions” is a recommendation we hear often. I this episode Jon shares with us how he came to that realization, and how that aspect defines success for his work as a Scrum Master.
About Jon Eversett
Former Business Analyst, Product Owner wannabe, currently a Scrum Master. Jon works with teams with different maturity levels and some relatively new Product Owners. You can find Jon Eversett on LinkedIn, or interact with Jon Eversett on Twitter. You can read Jon Eversett’s blog to find out more about his ideas on the role of the scrum master and all things agile.