Is the team swarming? Are they talking to each other face-to-face, instead of e-mail? Those are just some of the questions that Angeliki asks when assessing the team’s ability to continue to work without the daily presence of the Scrum Master.
We also talk about some of the worrying signs that sometimes Scrum teams show.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: 3 aspects to keep in every retrospective
Angeliki uses many different formats for the Retrospectives she facilitates. But in all of those she tries to keep certain aspects fixed. She shares with us 3 aspects that help her constantly change the format, but keep certain things the same so that the retrospective also feels familiar.
About Angeliki Hertzfeldt
Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum.
According to Joost, seeing our own value is a hard task. How to reflect, what to look at, and how to be sure?
In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can reflect on their contribution to the team, and what kind of behavior to look for that helps Scrum Masters be sure that they are having a positive impact on the team.
Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lego retrospective that uses self-reflection
When teams enter a retrospective, they usually expect to work on the process. Find improvements, plan some changes, and move on to action. In this segment, we discuss a different type of retrospective, one that focuses on the team’s own self-image, and how it helps the team learn about its team members in-depth.
About Joost Mulders
Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients.
Can the team work well without you? This is only one of the questions that Remy asks when evaluating his own contribution to the team’s progress. But there are other questions. In this episode, we discuss questions we can ask ourselves that help us understand how autonomous the team really is.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Lean Coffee
The Lean Coffee format has been a regular on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss how this format can help teams execute a retrospective in a short time, but still be focused on creating concrete improvement ideas to take on.
In this segment, we also refer to the Kudos practice whereby the team members highlight positive behavior and attitude by other team members.
About Remy Fletcher
Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.
The process of reflection Scrum Masters go through, helps us find our own personal and contextual definition of success. In this episode, Micah describes the types of questions he asks of himself when assessing his success as a Scrum Master.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 3 questions that focus teams on concrete changes
Micah likes simple formats, and he recommends a format where we focus on 3 questions that help the team members reflect on concrete things they’d like to change. Listen in to learn about what questions he asks his teams.
About Micah Stamper
Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master.
In this episode, we review 5 different aspects that Rahul follows with each team he works with. From how the team delivers each Sprint, to the interaction with the Product Owner, we discuss different aspects that Scrum Masters should pay attention to.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Radar chart for team self-evaluation
There are many different exercises for teams to run a self-evaluation exercise. The Radar chart helps the team choose several (typically 5-7) items they want to follow-up on, and evaluate themselves in each topic. If you collect similar charts over time, you will have a graphical representation of how the team has evolved in those core skills or aspect.
About Rahul Bhattacharya
Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.
He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.
One way to look at success for Scrum Masters is to ask the team about the contribution of the Scrum Master. Asking them directly, however, can lead to “polite” answers, and avoiding the problems that need solving. In this episode, we talk about other signs that tell us that the team appreciates the contribution of the Scrum Master, and we talk about concrete tools Scrum Masters can use to continue to grow and succeed with their teams.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Wonder Question Agile Retrospective Exercise
When a Scrum team is stuck and needs help to find improvements, we can ask them to imagine that something “magic” has happened. Then, we ask what does the team look like now that the “wonder” has happened. With this exercise, we help teams “think outside the box”, without ever having to bring them outside the box. This exercise appeals to the imagination and helps teams imagine a better team that they are all part of.
About Ines Stuppacher
Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format
Using the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise helps teams get out of the “clinical” mindset and find improvement opportunities. When we use the drawing of the sailboat as a fun check-in exercise we also get the team in the mood to explore their ways of working in a relaxed atmosphere. These make the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise a complete retrospective for the team.
About Ben Clark
Ben’s career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.
When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, a happy team is arguably the most common answer. However, for Scrum Masters, that is not enough. In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters should also focus on the product the team is developing. Is the product being successfully developed as well?
In this segment, we refer to a tool that helps the team focus on the impactful ways to help the product succeed: Impact Mapping.
Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Guess Who? A game to learn more about the Sprint
It is sometimes hard to focus on the details of what happened during the Sprint. However, when we fail to do so, the team and the organization lose out on a big opportunity to improve how they work. With the “Guess who?” Agile Retrospective exercise Dragana helps the teams – in a fun and entertaining way – explore the detailed events of the Sprint, so that they are ready to discuss improvements and take concrete actions out of the retrospective.
About Dragana Hadzic
Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.
Isaac focuses on the team’s self-image as a way to reflect on his success as a Scrum Master. For that he uses a survey-style NPS questionnaire where he asks the team members how likely they are to ask other people to join their team.
Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Tools for dynamic retrospectives
For Isaac, Agile Retrospectives are not only about finding the next improvement actions. They are also about building a team spirit that carries the team forward into the next sprint in a state of energized motivation. In this segment, we talk about many tools that you can use to keep your Agile Retrospectives fresh and high-energy. We refer to Retromat.org and Tastycupcakes.org, two sites that you can use to find formats that work in your team and your organization.
About Isaac Garcia
Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.
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.