Agile Software Development is a new entrant in the Software Development industry. Although it started in 2000, the fact is that many organizations are still in the first stages of adoption.
Inevitably we run into several Agile Theatre problems: missing PO, teams doing Scrum ceremonies to keep the Scrum Master happy, but not really understanding why they are needed. The list goes on.
In this episode we discuss some of those patterns and what we can do as Scrum Masters to understand and learn how to overcome those anti-patterns.
In this episode we refer to the Hands-On Agile Slack for agilists to share their experiences and learn from each other.
About Shubhang Vishwamitra
Shubhang is a passionate agile practitioner originally from Bangalore, India. Who’s worked in Japan and Finland and is currently based in London and working as scrum master.
Shubhang has an extensive background in software development and agile delivery model in smartphone, travel and finance industries. He believes that having a technical background helps to connect with teams and ease the flow of discussion in solving complex problems.
Scrum was “born” in the IT world, and it is still mostly applied in that environment. But the lessons that Scrum can teach us go over industrial borders. In this episode we learn how the ideas in Scrum can apply to an old-world industrial company. At the same time we explore what kind of systemic conditions Petr uncovered in that assignment and how he tackled them.
About Petr Holodňák
Petr has a small consulting company where he helps businesses overcome obstacles of ever-faster changing environment, growth problems, stale processes, poor performance, lacking company culture etc. Petr helps companies be more adaptable through empowering their people. Petr also does some pro-bono consulting. Recently for example for a Liberal/democratic school in Prague. His passion is introducing modern management (we can call that “Agile”) to “old school” businesses like heavy industry, manufacturing and so on. Petr wants to help build a brighter future! You can find Petr’s business at: www.cerebra.cz. You can link with Petr Holodňák on LinkedIn.
In the regular Retrospectives we find the symptoms of the systemic problems we have to face. We can use Retrospectives as the engine to find and create possible improvements to solve those systemic problems. Balazs shares his approach to Retrospectives and some examples of how he applied this approach in his work. We also discuss a critical technique to make the “intangible” problems more concrete and actionable. This technique can take your team from complaining to taking action.
About Balazs Tatár
Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.
When we start our role of Scrum Master in a new team or organization, Samantha suggests, listen first. Pay attention to the interaction, the way people relate to each other, the language they use. When you know where the pain is, be an agile paramedic. Go where the pain is, help the teams reflect and find their real pains, and possible solutions.
Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.
How do we learn how the system affects our teams? We study the system and the effects on our teams. And how do we do that? Why, retrospectives of course! Karthik shares his recipe for frequent retrospectives and suggests: turn every Friday into a retrospective day.
About Karthik Nagarajan
Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.
When we work with organizations and teams that adopt Scrum, we need to have an understanding of what might be the inherent organizational and personal barriers to adoption. There are a number of tools we can use to learn about which barriers are active, and from that generate ideas about what might be the next step.
A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)
Systems affect the teams we work with. Systems develop certain patterns – the system conditions – that we must be aware of, and the people in the system also must be aware of. To find and understand those system conditions we need tools, practical tools that help us understand and describe the system conditions. In this episode we review 3 specific tools that help us understand the system conditions we deal with in our role as Scrum Masters.
During this episode we discuss the concept of the Lindy Effect, a useful heuristic that can help us understand the systems we are part of.
About Jacopo Romei
Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.
There’s some serious gaps in the current Agile scaling frameworks. We know that because we are the start of the scaling journey. But what are the scaling frameworks missing today that we should be looking out for? Steve shares his views on what is missing and how looking at the system performance can help us find the gap, as well as what solutions are already out there to help us close the gap. In this episode we discuss the TameFlow community as well as the concept of Throughput Accounting, from the Theory of Constraints.
About Steve Tendon
Steve Tendon popularised the Theory of constraints in some of the agile community and he is also the Creator of the TameFlow systems thinking approach which nurtures breakthrough performance innovation. This system is described in the book with the same name: Tame the Flow.
When working with organizations, we are part of facilitating the right aspects. Gunther asks us to facilitate the system, not the mechanics of the system. What that means for us as Scrum Masters will depend on the phase of transition the organization is in. Listen in to hear Gunther’s views on how to facilitate a system (not the mechanics of the system).
About Gunther Verheyen
Gunther left consulting in 2013 to partner with Ken Schwaber, Scrum co-creator, at Scrum.org. He represented Ken and Scrum.org in Europe. Gunther left Scrum.org in 2016 to continue his journey of Scrum as an independent Scrum Caretaker.
He calls himself a connector, writer, speaker, humaniser. Gunther assists, serves, advices teams, individuals and executives.
Gunther believes that Scrum – the most applied software development framework – will not only increase the value that software delivers to organizations but is also a way to re-humanise the workplace for people. Gunther likes to inspire individuals, teams, departments, and organizations to realize their potential.
Beyond Scrum, Gunther is all about his family, life, books, and music. He communicates in Dutch and in English. Gunther is co-creator to Agility Path and the Nexus framework for Scaled Professional Scrum.
There are many tools and approaches we can use to define and understand the system we work within. Victor explains how he uses conversations and Value Stream Mapping in his attempt to understand the system he works within.
About Victor Bonnacci
Vic coaches software teams at Bio-Rad Laboratories using Scrum and XP practices. He’s worked in IT for twenty years; first as a webmaster, programmer, project manager and currently as a scrum master and coach. Vic lives in Southern California where he is very active in the local community, and he hosts the Agile Coffee podcast.
You can link with Victor Bonnacci on LinkedIn, and connect with Victor Bonnacci on Twitter.
Be sure to follow Victor Bonnacci’s podcast: Agile Coffee.