Ajeet has come to value 4 specific ways to measure his impact as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we review these 4 benchmarks and how he uses them regularly to improve his approach.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Well/Stop/Start retrospective format
In the Well/Stop/Start retrospective format (see a facilitation guide here), we have a simple format that can trigger important conversations. Especially when team members see each other’s contribution to those 3 categories.
This is a format that suits very well teams that are action-oriented, and have a high degress of collaboration already.
About Ajeet Singh
Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.
As we look for a definition of success for a Scrum Master, it is also important that we identify signs that problems may be developing. In this episode, we discuss Tilman’s definition of success, but also the signs that we may not yet have achieved it.
Featured Retrospective for the Week: Appreciation Shower
We also mention the Football Agile retrospective format, where the team describes the Sprint as if it were a football match, including first-half, substitutions, red cards, etc. A fun format to get the team’s creative juices flowing.
About Tilman Rumland
Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. (www.agrilution.com)
The success of a Scrum Master starts with the adoption of the Agile mindset. After all, can we help others understand and be Agile if we are not able to apply that to our own work?
That’s the start of the definition of success for Scrum Masters that Raluca shares with us in this episode.
Featured Retrospective of the Week: “In your shoes” retrospective format
How do we trigger empathy towards team members, stakeholders, and other teams? Raluca suggests that a format like “In Your Shoes” will help teams understand the reality others face, and be able to bring that into the retrospective conversations.
About Raluca Mitan
Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the “good, the bad and the ugly” received distinctive names.
She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).
And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).
Helping Scrum teams take ownership, and drive their self-improvement is Doug’s definition of success.
We talk about the Nanny McPhee phrase: “When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go.” A simple, yet effective heuristic for Scrum Masters!
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Kata
The Toyota Kata is a method of reflection and learning that helps people and teams to keep themselves accountable for their work, and how they develop over time.
We discuss the format, how to facilitate a Toyota Kata retrospective and what were the influences (e.g. Deming) that led Doug to choose this format.
About Doug Knesek
Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.
One of the critical tasks of a Scrum Master is to help team members contribute to the success of the team. When we look at Anja’s Scrum Master success definition, helping team members directly contribute to the team is very high on the list.
In this episode, we cover how Scrum Masters can help new team members feel like they are part of the team and directly contribute to the team from the start.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well/not so well/what can we change?
Anja prefers the classic “What went well/not so well/what can we change?” retrospective format. In her experience, this format gives people the ability to bring up the points that affect them personally. When experimenting with different formats remember that it takes a while for people to get used to new formats.
About Anja Bonatto-Minella
Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.
Featured Retrospective for the Week: Open Discussion
When the right format is a very simple format, Open Discussion, can be a great start for a team conversation. Jen and Jamie suggest that asking the team members to describe, in their own words, the events of the Sprint, leading to potentially different perspectives. These differences (when facilitated properly) can help the team understand each other better and find insights on how to improve as a team.
About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people’s strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.
Featured Retrospective format for the Week: What was good / bad and what actions should we take?
The Good/Bad/Actions format is a simple, yet effective format. Nisha explains how to facilitate this format in a short time frame and how Scrum Masters can prepare to host the retrospective.
About Nisha Balwatkar
Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.
When we can help a team get to a point where they can release software “on demand”, that’s when we’ve had an impact on the team and been successful in our role of Scrum Master. But that’s just the end goal. As Scrum Masters there are a lot more issues to consider, and Eddie explores those in this episode.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well / not so well
But beware of the “too many actions” anti-pattern!
About Eddie Kenny
Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.
Success is an endless journey for Scrum Masters, but there are tools that help us assess where we are, and also what are the areas we are already successful in. We discuss a Scrum Master self-assessment tool developed by Luca Minudel and refer to the Learning Guide for the Certified Team Coach program by Scrum Alliance (not freely available).
Featured Retrospective for the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad
The Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format, inspired by the Core Protocols is a retrospective format that helps the team discuss the issues that are causing emotional reactions. Emotions are often symptoms of other problems the team needs to process, and this format helps address those problems.
Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.
When thinking about the role of the Scrum Master, Richard comes up with 4 clear signs that indicate we are on the right path with the teams we work with. In the end, Richard says, we must do ourselves out of a job to be successful Scrum Masters.
Featured Retrospective of the Week: The Amazon Product Review retrospective
Lapsed software developer, agile and scrum learner, tenor, drummer. Richard guides and coaches Scrum Teams and organizations on how to use Agile/Scrum practices and values. Helping to teach, facilitate, collaborate & mentor software development teams, enhancing their agile maturity through coaching technical practices as well as the ceremonies and techniques. Richard likes to help teams and organizations obtain higher levels of maturity, at a pace that is sustainable and comfortable for the team and organization.