Nimi Bello: Strategies for Team Cohesion, And How To Build Trust With Agile Teams and Stakeholders

In the episode, Nimi discusses her role in a complex sales force migration project. Juggling multiple hats as PO, Scrum Master, and project manager, she faced challenges such as resistance to the new system and a lack of team cohesion. Nimi provides valuable tips, emphasizing the importance of team understanding, intentional team building, and fostering a collaborative mindset. We talk about the book “The Speed of Trust” by Covey and share insights on creating trust through personal conversations and shared expectations. Nimi also offers strategies for job-seeking Scrum Masters, drawing inspiration from Zig Ziglar‘s advice on speaking the value language.

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About Nimi Bello

Nimi Bello is a seasoned Agile professional with a diverse skill set. She currently serves as a Release Train Engineer at Deloitte. With over 8 years of experience, Nimi is an award-winning Creative Director, Principal Agile Consultant, and Strategic Partner. Her expertise lies in sales, technology, and guiding teams through the complex journey of transitioning to Agile methodology. Nimi is a global change agent with a fervor for building and scaling businesses and communities.

You can link with Nimi Bello on LinkedIn.

Mike Salogub: Overcoming Team Conflict in Remote Work Environments, lessons learned as a Scrum Master

In this segment, Mike recounted a situation where he was brought in to help a team where there was conflict between two team members who fought about roles and responsibilities. Despite being excellent people individually, when they were together in the same room, they would undermine each other and interrupt each other. Mike took the initiative to understand what was going on and went through every single issue with them.

Upon reflection, Mike realized that remote work was the reason for the misunderstandings and conflict. When the team members first came into the same physical room, they started to mellow out, and this face-to-face presence helped them to accept each other as humans. Mike noted that the team members had projected their problems onto each other, and when they met in person, those problems dissipated. Mike shared two tips based on this experience: first, to meet in person if possible, and second, to have cameras on for retrospectives.

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

Mike recommended two books related to agile software development and leadership in the podcast. The first book is “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink, which Mike described as agile in a nutshell. The book emphasizes values that can be thought of as the core values for Scrum Masters and explains the key characteristics of a team player. It also helps readers understand what it means to be a servant leader. Mike highlighted the importance of transparency, ownership, and teamwork, which are critical components of agile methodologies. Overall, “Extreme Ownership” provides practical insights into how to become an effective leader and team player.

The second book that Mike recommended is “Trillion Dollar Coach” by Bill Campbell. The book follows the life and work of Bill Campbell, a legendary coach who worked with Google leaders and other leaders in Silicon Valley. Mike noted that the book explains many ideas that are equally applicable to being a Scrum Master and emphasizes the importance of transparency, ownership, and teamwork. Mike explained that the Scrum Master’s role is to help team members shine and facilitate effective collaboration. Overall, “Trillion Dollar Coach” provides valuable insights into leadership, team building, and helps understand why agile methodologies actually work.

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 Mike Salogub

Mike’s an accomplished, committed and creative Scrum Master with over 10+ years of expanding horizons in the healthcare technology industry. Focused on continuous improvement using data to inform business decisions, and driving innovation to meet the needs of patients.

You can link with Mike Salogub on LinkedIn and connect with Mike Salogub on Twitter.

Caterina Palmiotto: Address conflicts in your Agile Team, or else…

In this segment, Caterina Palmiotto discusses the story of a software development team that was self-destructing due to conflicts and a blame culture. When Caterina joined the team, she heard blame, resentment, and conflicts among the developers. The team struggled to resolve bugs, and one developer was causing the majority of the conflicts. Caterina tried to address the conflicts and had some success, but it took a difficult decision to remove the person causing the conflicts for the team to work better. Caterina emphasizes the importance of addressing conflicts and the impact of culture on the success of a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Legacy, by James Kerr

In this segment, Caterina Palmiotto discusses the book Legacy by James Kerr, which is a collection of leadership stories about the All Blacks rugby team from New Zealand. As a scrum master, Caterina noticed similarities in leadership between sports and software development. The book connected all the dots in her mind and emphasized the importance of a strong team culture. According to Caterina, if you focus on the team, the results will follow. The book highlights the idea that strong leadership is essential to building a strong team culture.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Alina Thapliyal: Finding Scrum Master Success in Empowering Teams through Personal Connection

Our personal experiences will shape the approach we take to the role of the Scrum Master. Alina recalls her childhood where she always had the urge to motivate people around her. Later in life she never lost the drive to help people find their potential. As a Scrum Master, she believes that it is important to remember that before being a leader in any capacity, one is a human being and therefore, it’s essential to bring our humanity to work. She suggests starting with small acts of kindness, such as being there for your team when they need you, creating a kudos board to show appreciation, and conducting a discovery type of meeting to focus on personal and team strengths and motivation. The goal is to remind the team of their strengths and overcome the fear of problems.

Featured Retrospectives Format for the Week: Changing up the retrospective, by rotating the facilitator

In this segment, Alina highlights the importance of alternating between different types of retrospectives to keep things fresh and engaging. At times, a prepared template can be helpful, while at other times, an open conversation with very little formality, may be the best option. Alina also suggests that sometimes, it’s better to just give the team time, as there are situations when people need time to understand a problem. When focusing on enabling an open conversation, and deciding on the topic of the retrospective, Alina suggests collecting topics during the sprint and bringing them to the retrospective. To add even more dynamism, and creativity to the retrospective, we can also rotate the facilitator role, as that bring many different perspectives to the conversation.

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 Alina Thapliyal

Alina is the Scrum Master for a team within the public sector. Her aspiration is to become an agile coach. She grew up in Romania and has been living in Germany for 13 years. She loves jogging, reading and actively listening to people’s life stories.

You can link with Alina Thapliyal on LinkedIn.

BONUS: Embracing Self-Awareness and Empathy in the Agile Change Process, Insights from Dustin Thostenson

In this episode, we explore Dustin’s personal experience with change during his career and share his lessons learned, and experiences with change in teams. Dustin notes that while he has found certain practices to be successful, sometimes things do not work out and this can lead to consequences like being fired. Dustin asks us to consider if our  behavior could be perceived as telling others they are doing things wrong instead of being considered helpful by the team.

The Importance of Self-Awareness and Empathy in Agile Software Development

Continue reading BONUS: Embracing Self-Awareness and Empathy in the Agile Change Process, Insights from Dustin Thostenson

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