Josh Lambert: Strategies for Improved Team Collaboration in Agile Teams

In this episode, Josh shares a team’s struggles – newly formed, but spanning distant timezones, and facing communication issues. Individual work overshadowed teamwork, and this was made worse by very unclear responses from a team member that was not meeting their sprint goals. Frustration peaked on the final day of one of the Sprints. Reflecting on that story, Josh advocates transparent communication, urging team members to share when help is needed. He stresses the importance of a working agreement when seeking help and proposes conducting psychological safety assessments and focusing on team well-being.

Featured Book for the Week: “Coaching Agile Teams” by Lyssa Adkins

In this episode, Josh recommends “Coaching Agile Teams” by Lyssa Adkins for Scrum Masters. He highlights its enduring value, providing continuous support for navigating challenges. Drawing from a team member’s experience feeling trapped in a “hamster wheel,” Josh emphasizes the book’s relatable stories, offering preparation for similar situations.

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 Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Eliza Gregory: The Power of Crucial Conversations, Helping Resolve Conflicts in Change Management

In this episode, Eliza discusses a specific experience in a new company where processes were not yet solidified. She describes a situation where an external person, known as the “JIRA god,” had access to her team’s backlog and re-opened an item without consulting the team. This led to an argument and conflict, prompting Eliza to apply the Crucial Conversations techniques to resolve the issue. She emphasizes the importance of understanding different expectations and avoiding judgment during such conversations. Eliza shares tips, including clarifying the desired outcome and the benefits of the proposed change, as most people are unlikely to change unless they see the benefits. She also suggests taking a break from the computer, seeking feedback and support from other scrum masters, and giving the situation time to evolve. Ultimately, she highlights the significance of effective communication and patience in navigating conflicts.

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 Eliza Gregory

Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.

You can link with Eliza Gregory on LinkedIn and connect with Eliza Gregory on Twitter, and you can read about her novel Painting the Whiskey Blue.

Eliza Gregory: Addressing Communication Issues by Building Trust and Safety With The Scrum Team

In this episode, Eliza shares a story about an international team that faced trouble with communication and escalation issues. The team initially attempted to create team agreements using a shared whiteboard. However, Eliza later discovered that team members were escalating concerns directly to management without involving her. This raised concerns about whether the team felt safe communicating with her. Eliza offers the tip of addressing this issue through one-on-one conversations, emphasizing the importance of creating a safe space for team members to express themselves. She found that these coaching conversations had the most significant impact. Eliza advises making it clear to team members that you are there to listen and understand their concerns. Additionally, she recommends setting up one-on-one meetings and allowing individuals to define the cadence that suits them best. Eliza also suggests conducting more workshops, especially for teams that are not yet mature, to facilitate better communication and collaboration.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Grenny et al.

In this segment, Eliza describes the book “Crucial Conversations.” She highlights that the book is dense and cannot be read in one sitting. Although it is not specifically focused on Agile or Scrum, it delves into conversations that occur when emotions are high and people feel unsafe or threatened. The book emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space and presents essential skills for effective communication with one’s team and others. Eliza emphasizes the significance of recognizing within oneself when entering a crucial conversation.

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 Eliza Gregory

Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.

You can link with Eliza Gregory on LinkedIn and connect with Eliza Gregory on Twitter, and you can read about her novel Painting the Whiskey Blue.

Amruta Beri: Building Trust and Encouraging Participation with Team Agreements

In this episode, Amruta shares their experience as a new scrum master and the challenges she faced in encouraging participation from all team members. She emphasizes the importance of building trust early in the team formation process and highlights the Tuckman model of team formation as a model that helps us understand the stages of group development. Amruta discusses the issue of some team members lacking trust and not feeling comfortable expressing their views and ideas in meetings, leading to the dominance of the loudest person in the room. To address these issues, Amruta suggests using working agreements (see Lisette’s approach to team agreements) and conducting a starting exercise around team agreements. She provides tips such as using silent writing techniques to involve quieter team members and the value of establishing rapport through one-on-one conversations. Additionally, they refer to the “1-2-4-all” method from liberating structures as a useful resource.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Amruta Beri

Amruta is an Agile enthusiast, artist, and environmentalist. She loves quiz shows, travel and sports, and is an engineer at heart.

You can link with Amruta Beri on LinkedIn and connect with Amruta Beri on Twitter.

Julie Wyman: Introducing Agile to a new organization with Kanban

While working with an organization in their Agile transition, Julie and colleagues recommended that they start with Kanban. Kanban would bring minimal disruption to the teams, and enable them to learn what Agile would mean in their context. However, there was a lot more to do before the teams were able to run a Kanban flow and start learning what Agile meant for them. In this episode, we explore not only how to introduce Kanban, but also what to consider when bringing Agile to a group of teams that are new to Agile.

About Julie Wyman

Julie Wyman has been working with Agile teams for over a decade and is continuously learning with and from them. She’s based just outside Washington, D.C., but has had the pleasure of supporting teams distributed across the globe and even experienced her own Agile takeaways all the way in Antarctica.

You can link with Julie Wyman 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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