Is your team more like a Golf team or a Hockey team? That’s one of the questions David asks himself when assessing his impact as a Scrum Master. Checking the Scrum Guide, for a list of responsibilities may also be a good way to get started assessing your success as a Scrum Master, but don’t forget to adapt to the local reality, a core idea of Agile that also applies to the Scrum Master work.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish Retrospective
The Starfish retrospective is a format that David finds leads more often to concrete actions, the final goal of a retrospective. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of having many formats in your toolbox, so that the retrospectives don’t get boring and stop delivering results.
About David Gentry
David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility.
Long suggests that Scrum Masters collect feedback from the team to assess their success. The method he suggests is the team NPS: “How likely are the team members to recommend that others join the team?” We also talk about how it is important to measure and reflect to reach a successful outcome for our work as Scrum Masters.
Featured Retrospective format of the Week: Liberating Structures
Retrospectives follow a specific set of activities, from the check-in to get everybody focused and in the mood to reflect, to the data gathering. These activities can be organized in many ways. In this episode, we talk about Liberating Structures, a set of activities that you can use in any of the steps of the retrospective.
About Long Suciu
Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working.
Scrum Master’s success is dependent on the team’s approach to solving their own problems. In this episode, we talk about how teams that take ownership of the process, make decisions on their own and find their own incremental improvements are a sign of a successful Scrum Master. But how do we get there? In the episode, we talk about tools that help Scrum Masters succeed.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles
The second agile retrospective format is the “Picture retrospective” (example: The Sailboat Retrospective exercise). In this segment, we specifically talk about the use of pictures or drawings as check-in as well as data gathering and decision exercises.
About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras
Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Island Expedition metaphor format
Nick likes to focus on creativity for the retrospectives he facilitates. He’s found several metaphor-focused formats that work, but one he especially likes is The Island Expedition.
Metaphor-focused formats help the teams be more creative by taking them out of their regular context and pushing them to imagine themselves in a different context.
About Nick Vitsinsky
Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.
One of the most common, and sometimes forgotten, sensors for a Scrum Master is the daily meeting. Mili asks us to consider how the team members show up for the daily. Are they excited about the day that is starting? Or happy about the results of the day that is ending?
How are you using the Daily stand-up to assess your impact on the team?
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: KALM
Keep your teams focused on the problems they want to solve with this simple format. KALM stands for Keep, Add, Less, More. These are the keywords that Mili asks the team to consider when reflecting on the previous Sprint.
About Mili Shrivastava
Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
Continuing the thread from Monday’s episode with Jassy, we discuss how feedback from the team is a critical source of information and inspiration for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we discuss how to collect feedback from the team, so that the feedback is not biased by your presence, and what are the 4 dimensions of Scrum Master success for Jassy
Featured Retrospective for the Week: Games that inspire insights
Jassy calls himself “not a friend of retrospectives by the book”. He claims to rarely use a “vanilla” format from somewhere else, but prefers to facilitate retrospectives that feel like a game, like a fun thing to do. We discuss metaphor games, and how they help teams find insights they would not find otherwise.
About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)
Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself: the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.
There are many challenges teams face that require Scrum Master support. Some of those are related to cross-team dependencies (one of the core aspects for Scrum Masters), but they can also be related to basic improvements in the ways of working. In this episode, we discuss how the team’s outlook on improvement is critical for Scrum Masters and what to look at when evaluating our own contribution to the team.
Featured Agile Retrospective format for the week: What are you looking for out of your work?
When starting with a new team, the questions you ask are critical. Bradley shares with us a format that helps team members understand each other, as well as define the work agreements they need to get them started on the journey to high-performance.
About Bradley Pohl
Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an “Agile Transformation.” As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.
Jeremy explains the questions that he asks himself when evaluating his contribution to the team. As Scrum Masters, these are some of the many questions that can help us assess our work and improve our approach to help make teams successful.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Speed Car retrospective format
The Speed Car retrospective format is one of the many metaphor exercises that helps teams get out of the details of what happened and think about the impact those events might have on their performance, just like many aspects have an impact on a race car.
Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He’s passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!
A Scrum Master can wear many hats. Specifically, the Scrum Master can be a coach, a mentor and a teacher. All three roles are necessary at different times in our assignments. How do we know which ones to hold? We discuss that in this episode, where we explore Elena’s definition of success for a Scrum Master.
Featured Retrospective of the Week: What? / So what? / Now what?
Elena found in “Liberating Structures”, a good exercise to help teams reflect on the outcomes, and the necessary changes after a Sprint. In this episode, she shares one facilitation technique that helps facilitate a retrospective even with large teams.
Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier 🙂
When we join a new team, there’s a set of things we should look for in order to know what the team needs help with. In this episode, we talk about what to look out for when joining a team, to ensure that we know what requires our focus. We discuss a set of critical questions every Scrum Master should ask from themselves.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Speedboat Retrospective
Catrine likes this format because it helps move the conversation from complaining to taking action. Listen in to learn how to apply this format in practice and help the team focus on positive action that brings improvement.
About Catrine Björkegren
Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.
She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.