Kaisa Martiskainen: The danger of thinking you know the solution before involving customers, a case study for Agile teams

In this episode, Kaisa talks about a temporary team that was formed to solve a problem in their organization. The team was using monitoring tools that sent a lot of alerts, making it difficult for customer support to determine which alerts required action. Kaisa and her colleague wanted to try out Agile practices to address this issue.

However, one individual on the team almost destroyed it with their behavior. One person, who was an expert on the monitoring tool, sent a PowerPoint presentation with all the solutions without consulting with others. This person also declined meeting invitations and eventually left the company after becoming angry.

Kaisa highlights two anti-patterns: thinking we know the solution without involving the customer and pushing one’s own solutions without consulting with others. She also emphasizes the importance of changing the culture of action and including customer feedback. Ultimately, the team reached its goal after the problematic person left, and Kaisa learned the importance of involving everyone in the problem-solving process.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Kaisa recommends the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Lencioni as a helpful resource for understanding common issues that can arise in a team environment.

She also discusses the concept of System’s intelligence, introduced by Esa Saarinen (PDF Download), which emphasizes the importance of connecting engineering thinking with human sensitivity.

Kaisa also recommends “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay as a book that has helped her avoid an anti-pattern where her knee-jerk reaction is to immediately help someone without allowing the person to help themselves. The book provides seven questions that every coach should ask, which help to increase precision and effectiveness and allow others to take more responsibility. By asking these questions, sometimes people realize they do not need Kaisa’s help. This allows her to avoid being overly involved and helps people become more self-sufficient.

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 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.

Daniel Westermayr: The Group Mentality vs. Creating Real Agile Product Teams

In this episode, Daniel discusses the overuse of the word “team” and the importance of true teams in product development. He highlights the need for preconditions for a team, and notes that sometimes teams don’t even have a shared goal. Daniel also warns against the “it’s done, just needs to be tested” anti-pattern and explains how it can lead to problems with team collaboration. We discuss the use of Causal Loop Diagram to find hypotheses, and mention a talk by Jeff Patton on the client-vendor anti-pattern. Finally, Daniel emphasizes the need to remove the notion that one party needs to own the game in the client-vendor relationship.

Featured Book of the Week: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

In this segment, Daniel Westermayr discusses the importance of data-driven decision making in product development. He references the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, which highlights the biases and faulty intuitions that can arise in decision making. Daniel emphasizes the need to use data to inform decisions and cites the book “Out of the Crisis” by W. Edwards Deming as an important resource. He also provides a link to a talk by Russell Ackoff about Deming’s approach.

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 Daniel Westermayr

Daniel is a Kanban Trainer with a knack for all things Lean and Theory of Constraints. He wants to help teams achieve and measure their continuous improvements.

You can link with Daniel Westermayr on LinkedIn.

BONUS: How to answer commonly asked Scrum Master interview questions, with Jeff Campbell and Vasco Duarte

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).


In this episode, Vasco and Jeff share answers to common Scrum Master interview questions. They also discuss how to address stakeholder resistance to Agile practices.

When it comes to resistance, Jeff suggests focusing on early adopters and individuals who are already open to change. It is important to understand the needs and concerns of those who resist Agile practices, rather than simply dismissing them as being wrong.

Jeff emphasizes the importance of being patient and dancing with the system, as there is no straight line to success. He also recommends building relationships with stakeholders and gaining their trust by being curious and asking questions.

Jeff and Vasco also discuss active versus passive resistance and suggests putting things on the table to differentiate between the two. They also encourages using real stories to illustrate an understanding of stakeholder concerns and focusing on the problems that can be solved. Jeff offers tips for improving storytelling abilities and recommends working with early adopters who can help amplify the impact of Agile practices.

In this episode, they refer to NoEstimates and Mooseheads on the Table, the book by Karin Tenelius.

About Jeff Campbell and Vasco Duarte

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large and has published a book on the subject: bit.ly/aatbook.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn.

Vasco is a leading voice in the agile community, known for his contributions to the development of agile methodologies and practices. He is the co-founder of Agile Finland and the host of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, the most popular Agile podcast in the world, which has more than 8 000 000 unique downloads. He is also the author of “NoEstimates: A novel look at how Agile can transform software development, making it both more sustainable, as well as incredibly profitable.” Vasco is a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and experience with the agile community. With his passion and expertise in agile, Vasco has made a significant impact on the way software development is done today, helping organizations to become more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing requirements.lYou You can link with Vasco Duarte on LinkedIn and connect with Vasco Duarte on Twitter.

Paula Dunne: The conditions that create bad Product Owners

The Great Product Owner: Repetition as a communication strategy for Product Owners

This Product Owner was very clear in their communication with the team and stakeholders. The PO was able to regularly and consistently share their Vision for the product, the long term plan and their ambition. The PO understood that repetition was part of the communication strategy!

In this segment, we also talk about the Scrum Master – PO relationship, and how important it is to continuously work on that. To support you with the Scrum Master – PO relationship, we’ve developed a course you can take at your own pace. This course focuses on concrete aspects of coaching with PO’s that Scrum Masters must be aware of. You can find out more about that e-course at bit.ly/coachyourpo.

The Bad Product Owner: The conditions that create bad Product Owners

As Scrum Masters, we must be aware that Product Owners are not “bad” on purpose. Paula suggests that, if we find a bad PO, we look beyond the PO and understand what are the circumstances, or the missing knowledge that may be causing that outcome. Paula suggests we ask: “what are the Product Owner being asked to do?”, “are priorities clear for the Product Owner themselves?”. In this segment, we also discuss metrics, and how the metrics we have in our organization may help (or not) the PO’s.

Are you having trouble helping the team work well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Paula Dunne

Paula is an Agile Coach with experience in large organization Agile adoption as well as in coaching product owners.

You can link with Paula Dunne on LinkedIn.

Pedro Silva: Learning to grow trust within an Agile team

When Pedro joined this team, he noticed that the team members did not try to include a new team member in their conversation. Although sometimes this pattern is subtle, in this team it was an obvious lack of inclusivity in the team’s approach to communication: they did not use a language that the new team member would understand! Listen in to hear the critical lessons Pedro learned about inclusivity in Agile teams!

Featured Book of the Week: The Speed Of Trust by Stephen Covey

In The Speed Of Trust by Stephen Covey, Pedro found a clear manual on how to focus on building trust within an Agile team, and with stakeholders. He shares one of the key lessons, that trust has many different aspects that we don’t often consider. Listen in to learn how trust can change depending on the relationship and the context.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Pedro Silva

Pedro considers himself a Scrum Master supporting software development teams while keeping his focus on their growth towards the efficient delivery of value, while having a blast.

You can link with Pedro Silva on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
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.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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