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.

Oguz Ozyurt: Helping Scrum Teams by Establishing Trust and Shared Understanding with Product Owners

In this segment, guest Oz emphasizes that we all work in a complex environment and are change agents. Oz shares a story about a team that faced problems with its product owner, who would add stories to the sprint backlog without refinement and interrupt the team even on the last day of the iteration. As a result, the team lost trust in the PO.

To address this challenge, Oz recommends making sure the team has an agreement on how to bring new stories into an ongoing sprint and discussing the team agreement with the PO. Oz also suggests bringing up the topic in the retrospective when the PO introduces a surprise story. Oz acknowledges that these conversations can be difficult, especially when the PO is a good friend of the team’s manager, but emphasizes the importance of building trust and ensuring shared understanding.

Featured Book of the Week: Leading Change by John Kotter

In this segment, Oz recommends “Leading Change” by John Kotter, which outlines eight steps for organizational transformation and is useful for anyone looking to apply these steps to a change process. Oz also suggests “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek for its insights on inspiring others and finding the purpose behind the work. Finally, Oz recommends “Team Topologies” which provides guidance on building and managing modern teams, a key responsibility for Scrum Masters. The authors of Team Topologies, Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, have been previous guests on the podcast.

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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Meena Venkataraman: Building Psychological Safety, lessons from helping an Agile team to share interpersonal feedback

In this segment, Meena shares her experience coaching a team that struggled to take off and was stuck in a cycle. Despite being nice to each other during scrum events, team members were not sharing feedback with each other, and psychological safety was not present in the team. Meena stresses the importance of having hard conversations and discussing the interpersonal topics in the team, and she suggests that teams should have the necessary tools to talk about difficult topics.

By highlighting the value that a team coach can bring to a team, Meena emphasizes the importance of psychological safety and how it plays a crucial role in team dynamics. She suggests that teams should be aware of the small things that can become big things and make sure that they are having hard conversations to address interpersonal issues. Ultimately, Meena’s experience coaching this team shows that building a successful team is not just about being nice to each other but also about creating a culture of openness, trust, and psychological safety.

We also discuss how using approaches such as non-violent communication can help the Scrum Master create an open environment that is also psychologically safe.

Featured Book of the Week: Sooner Safer Happier, by Jonathan Smart

In this segment, Meena Venkataraman recommends the book “Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility” by Jonathan Smart as a valuable resource for scrum masters. She notes that as a scrum master, it’s important to have a holistic view of agile and to be “T-Shaped” – understanding the various facets of product development. Meena highlights that the book brings the 12 principles of agile to life and is a resource she refers to often.

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 Meena Venkataraman

Meena is an Agile & Lean coach who helps organizations and teams transition to Agile ways of working. She is passionate about the neuroscience behind team dynamics and is interested in organizational design and the application of Agile principles across different business domains. Meena enjoys speaking at conferences and is an avid learner.

You can link with Meena Venkataraman 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: Lessons from an Agile Transformation in a Manufacturing Company

In this episode, Caterina discusses a large-scale Agile transformation she was involved in at a manufacturing company. The transformation was initiated after a successful pilot with a few software development teams. The company adopted a top-down approach, hiring many Agile coaches and implementing a model that combined the Spotify Model and a big-bang change. Despite its success, the transformation was risky due to its size, and Caterina suggests starting the Agile adoption with a single Value Stream and measuring the impact on the business. In this case, the company’s culture was also key in integrating the many different backgrounds and expectations from the different regional offices.

The success factors Caterina identified were: team coaching, focus on effective communication, and constant respect for each other.

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 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.

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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