Mike Lyons: Guiding Agile Teams to Independence, Tips For Scrum Masters

In this segment, Mike shares practical tips on measuring and fostering team independence using the five events of Scrum. Key strategies include ensuring teams have seen work before planning, encouraging team-defined goals, limiting the scrum master’s role in daily scrums, optimizing sprint lengths for quicker feedback, and focusing on product showcasing and feedback during sprint reviews. Mike challenges teams to push boundaries and continuously improve.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Commitment-Driven Retrospectives

Mike shares his favorite retrospective format—commitment-driven retrospectives. Mike emphasizes the importance of starting retrospectives with the question, “Did we make the improvement we committed to last time?” He argues that without this initial focus, the format of retrospectives becomes irrelevant and could lead to disengagement. Mike discusses creating an environment that empowers team members to bring and own their improvements, highlighting the scrum master’s role in modeling effective approaches to continual enhancement.

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 Mike Lyons

After reading the Agile Manifesto in 2006, Mike focused on making teams and organizations more adaptive and efficient. Despite facing failures and mistakes, these experiences provided him with valuable lessons that enhanced his ability to achieve tangible results with Agile.

You can link with Mike Lyons on LinkedIn.

Stephanie Cully: How To Lead with Empathy, The Story of an Open-Minded Scrum Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Leading with Empathy, The Story of an Open-Minded PO

In this episode, Stephanie discusses her experience with an exceptional Product Owner (PO) who, despite having no prior experience in Agile and Scrum, demonstrated a remarkable willingness to learn and adapt. The PO’s approach was characterized by asking questions, seeking help, and engaging in training sessions to better understand Agile practices. This openness extended to discussions about customer pain points and the user journey, contributing significantly to the team’s ability to deliver effectively. The PO’s caring attitude towards the team and flexibility in adapting to the developers’ needs further exemplified the qualities of a great PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Addressing the Root Causes of an Absent PO

In this segment, Stephanie shares an experience with a Product Owner (PO) who was essentially absent, leaving a Business Analyst (BA) to handle product prioritization. The BA inadvertently compounded the issue by taking on the PO’s responsibilities instead of addressing the root cause together with the team and the PO. Stephanie intervened to emphasize the importance of understanding why the PO was unavailable, revealing that the PO was overwhelmed with multiple roles. Through facilitating direct conversations among the BA, developers, and stakeholders, Stephanie highlighted the need for clear roles and effective time management in agile teams.
If you are facing a similar situation, where the PO is mostly absent, you may want to review our Sprint Checklist, which helps you have a coaching conversation with the PO, and define clear expectations about participation in the work with the team.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Stephanie Cully

Stephanie Cully is a Scrum Master, and CEO of Scrum Life Consulting. Stephanie founded Scrum Life with a mission to help Scrum Masters overcome self-doubt and land the role.

You can link with Stephanie Cully on LinkedIn.

Stephanie Cully: How A Misunderstanding Created The Opportunity For Collaboration Between A Scrum Team And Their Product Owner

Stephanie recounts the challenges faced by a team transitioning to a new application project, marked by tension between developers and the product owner (PO), who micromanaged interface details without clearly conveying customer goals. Initially, separating the team from the PO led to communication issues and misunderstandings. A turning point occurred when a design misunderstanding prompted a shift in strategy: apologies were made, and collaborative design sessions were initiated. This improved communication and understanding, eventually leading the PO to facilitate direct developer-customer interactions, fostering a more integrated and effective team dynamic.

Featured Book of the Week: How To Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty

Stephanie was deeply inspired by Jay Shetty’s “How to Think Like a Monk” in her career as a Scrum Master. The book emphasizes the importance of consistent practice, showing up authentically, and contributing equally within a team. Its teachings resonate with the Scrum Master role, highlighting the significance of not solving problems for others but facilitating their ability to solve problems themselves. This approach fosters self-reliance and growth within the team, aligning with the core principles of effective scrum mastery.

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 Stephanie Cully

Stephanie Cully is a Scrum Master, and CEO of Scrum Life Consulting. Stephanie founded Scrum Life with a mission to help Scrum Masters overcome self-doubt and land the role.

You can link with Stephanie Cully on LinkedIn.

Freddie Brown Jr: Inspiring Excellence, How the Commitment and Clarity Transforms the Performance of the Scrum Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Inspiring Excellence, How the Commitment and Clarity Transforms the Performance of the Scrum PO

In this segment, Freddie highlights the exceptional qualities of a great Product Owner (PO), Sara. She exhibited visionary leadership, with a clear and effectively communicated product vision. Her ability to inspire the team and her commitment to the product’s success were some of the most important qualities highlighted by Freddie. Sara’s enthusiasm for the work, skill in defining and explaining requirements, and prompt feedback to the development team set her apart as an exemplary PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Collaboration Over Dictation, Tackling the Micro-Manager Scrum PO Challenge

In this segment, Freddie discusses the challenges of dealing with a micro-managing Product Owner (PO) who dictates team processes and avoids accountability. This PO type often over-commits work, ignoring team capacity. Freddie suggests that Scrum Masters should foster a collaborative environment, seek to understand the team’s feelings towards the PO’s behavior, and communicate with the PO to get to the root cause of their behavior’s. He emphasizes the importance of helping the PO explain their goals to the team, to create alignment and avoid misunderstandings.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Freddie Brown Jr.

Meet Freddie Brown Jr, the Agile Genie! With a magic brain that grants your corporate wishes faster than Aladdin’s lamp, he transforms chaos into strategic brilliance. He’s the genie you never knew you needed, making agile dreams come true – all with a sprinkle of humor that’s truly magical! 🪔🚀😄

You can link with Freddie Brown Jr. on LinkedIn and connect with Freddie Brown Jr. on Twitter.

Konstantin Ribel: The Three Tiers of Scrum Master Success, Team, Multi-team, and Product

Konstantin outlines three tiers of success for Scrum Masters. Level 1 centers on fostering teamwork and trust within a single team. Level 2 emphasizes collaboration between multiple teams, avoiding silos, and ensuring equitable workloads. Level 3 delves into product-focused success, considering customer-driven value, delivery efficiency, and feedback loops. Konstantin advises bringing teams together through multi-team events and facilitating progress sharing among teams to enhance overall success in the Scrum Master role.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: Tailoring Retrospectives, Konstantin’s Recipe For Scrum Master Adaptability To Team Needs

Konstantin advocates for adaptability in retrospectives, noting the importance of ditching a pre-planned format if it doesn’t suit the team dynamics at the time of the retrospective. He emphasizes the need to prepare each retrospective, as it helps us to be secure if there’s a need to improvise. Konstantin shares the example of a team that received news of an impending change just before the retro, and that prompted Konstantin to focus on the team’s need for a conversation around closure, rather than future improvement. This highlights the value of addressing real-time team needs over rigid adherence to a set format.

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 Konstantin Ribel

Konstantin drives organizational success through innovative thinking, simplifying processes, and building high-performing teams. With a strong track record in change management and process optimization, he leads agile transformations and applies systems thinking for adaptable, thriving businesses in dynamic industries.

You can link with Konstantin Ribel 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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