Robert Briese: Tools and Tips for Organizational Transformation, An Agile at Scale Approach

In this episode, Robert shares insights from a change process aimed at meeting a challenging deadline for a customer event. The organization transitioned from functional to cross-functional teams, addressing bottlenecks and implementing the “chief product owner” system from the Agile scaling framework LeSS. The episode recommends strategies such as self-selection for teams, weekly PO alignment, visualizing deliverables, establishing overall priorities, and using tools like system modeling and Causal Loop Diagrams.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who’s seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW’s level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He’s on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter.

Zach Stone: Overcoming Vision Challenges in Agile Teams, And The Key Role Of The Product Owner

In this episode, Zach recounts a team’s struggles with a platform and component-based structure. Despite having capable members, the team faced challenges surrounding unclear priorities and vision. Frequent changes in priorities left the team uncertain about their work’s purpose after a significant launch. Communication issues arose as developers weren’t grasping the vision. The absence of direction led to disengagement, arguments during refinement, and an overwhelming workload. Introducing a Product Owner with a clear mission restored commitment. A critical incident, the Ukrainian war, catalyzed a much-needed laser focus. This episode underscores the importance of a well-defined mission and external factors in shaping team dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee

In this episode, Zach discusses some of his favorite Agile-related books. “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee is praised for its insights into conflict facilitation and fostering healthy communities. This book transformed Zach’s perspective on communities and equipped him to navigate groups with conflicts. Another book that Zach highlights is “Thinking in Systems” by Meadows explores various aspects of sociology, economy, and more, encouraging readers to view the world holistically. Zach values its ability to prompt a deeper understanding of “why” and uncover systemic factors. He emphasizes how external/systemic issues can impact team-level problems, shedding light on the interconnected nature of challenges.

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 Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone on LinkedIn.

Mirela Mus: The Product Owner’s View on Understanding and Overcoming Agile Team Self-Destructive Patterns

In this episode, Mirela discussed a team that self-destructed, highlighting various anti-patterns and providing helpful tips. She emphasized the negative impact of being overly focused on competition rather than individual work. Toxic personalities within the team and the acceptance of individuals who didn’t align with the team culture were identified as destructive factors. Mirela suggested ignoring disruptive behaviors selectively and being mindful of personal anxiety when starting work. Working “around” difficult team members was discouraged, while assuming good intentions and engaging in one-on-one discussions were recommended. The Nonviolent Communication (NVC) approach was mentioned, and open discussions in team channels were advised to address problematic behaviors transparently.

Featured Book of the Week: Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice by Clayton Christensen

In this episode, Mirela shared her recommended books. The first recommendation was “Competing Against Luck” by Clayton Christensen, which helps cut through the noise and understand the underlying factors in successful innovation. The next recommendation was “Thinking in Systems” by Donella Meadows, a book that aids in navigating organizations and comprehending incentives by emphasizing the impact of systems. Mirela humorously mentioned the phrase, “it’s because of the system, man!” Lastly, Mirela refers to the concept of “OODA Loop,” which is the cycle observe–orient–decide–act, developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. These books provide valuable insights for understanding innovation, organizational dynamics, and the PO role.

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 Mirela Mus

Mirela is the founder of Product People, a Product Management Consultancy on a mission to help companies discover and deliver great products faster. They have 41 full-time Product Managers who help companies focus on product-led growth and/or profitability.

You can link with Mirela Mus on LinkedIn and connect with Mirela Mus on Twitter.

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse: The Road to Agile Success, How to Manage Organizational Change

In this episode, Frederik shares a story of organizational change and the challenges faced by Scrum teams. Despite working well at the team level, organizational-level issues hindered their progress. The lack of understanding and support from management regarding the benefits of agile methods was a key obstacle. Frederik provided tips such as identifying organizational pain points, creating conditions for team success, aligning objectives with strategic goals, and managing the project portfolio effectively. He emphasized the importance of serving the organization beyond the team level and understanding the structural dynamics at play. This episode shed light on the significance of addressing organizational challenges to foster successful agile transformations.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Frederik is a Certified Team and Enterprise Coach at the Scrum Alliance. He works and lives in Belgium. He is part of the company iLean. Frederik has worked as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach. He works with teams and leadership to improve collaboration, flow, and learning. Frederik co-organizes the XP Days Benelux conference – this year, in 2023, the conference has existed for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at local and international conferences.

You can link with Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse on LinkedIn.

Kaisa Martiskainen: What are “15% solutions”? And how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa discusses her approach to measuring success in agile/scrum teams. While some people focus on metrics like sprint velocity, Kaisa prefers to survey the team to get a pulse on how they are doing. She also emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the bigger picture of the organization and using surveys to make decisions on how to improve as a scrum master. Kaisa recommends using different survey tools, such as the Scrum Culture Index (or the Squad Health Check), to assess the team’s agility and identify areas for improvement. She also highlights the importance of understanding the system in which the team operates and identifying and removing any problematic structures that may be hindering progress. Finally, Kaisa mentions the concept of “system’s intelligence,” which emphasizes the idea that structures produce behavior, and coaches the audience to identify systems and work towards removing any obstacles to team success.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What are “15% solutions”, and how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa shared some tips on how to switch up the retrospective format to make it more interesting. She suggested using “strings” from Liberating Structures and also talked about the “15% solutions” structure where the team comes up with small solutions that don’t require extra resources. This encourages creativity and helps counteract the need to come up with a perfect solution. Kaisa emphasized the importance of being ready to progress in small steps.

In this episode Kaisa refers to a Liberating Structure String that includes the following elements:

      1. Impromptu Networking
      2. What, So What, Now What?
      3. TRIZ with nested 15% Solutions

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

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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
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.