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Sofia Katsaouni: Adapt and Thrive, A Success Perspective For Scrum Masters And Agile Coaches

In this episode, Sofia defines success for Scrum Masters as achieving team self-organization by fostering independence and ownership. Emphasizing adaptability in the evolving dynamics of organizational living systems, she advises focusing on changes and working to create acceptance. Sofia shares a practical tip of viewing the Kanban board from right to left. Success, to her, is marked by team members raising previously discussed topics, indicating ownership.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Separating Event From Impact, A Lesson In Coaching And Reflection Skills

In this episode, Sofia discusses a retrospective format focusing on “What happened?,” “Impact on you,” and “Your learnings.” This format effectively separates events from their impact, encouraging diverse team experiences and fostering open communication. Sofia shares a retrospective involving an MVP release, highlighting how team members’ perspectives enriched the discussion.

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 Sofia Katsaouni

Sofia is a dedicated Agile and Organizational Coach who places people and their needs at the forefront. Transitioning from electrical engineering, she applies analytical skills to empower high-performing teams. With an emphasis on trust and psychological safety, Sofia enables startups and scale-ups to foster human-centric, performance-driven cultures.

You can link with Sofia Katsaouni on LinkedIn.

Aki Salmi: Indicators of a Thriving Agile Team When Uncertainty Rules

In this episode, Aki emphasizes the importance of growth within a team, regardless of whether the path forward is uncertain. He provides insightful tips, such as tracking the effectiveness of retrospectives and monitoring the nature of discussions. Aki prompts reflection on whether the team is delving into systemic issues or getting stuck in “but” statements. He encourages listeners to observe where the team’s focus lies and whether they exhibit curiosity towards their work, asking exploratory “what if” questions.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: The Empty Table Retrospective

In this segment, Aki shares his preferred retrospective format inspired by “Agile Retrospectives” by Larsen and Derby. He gives the tip that it’s a lot easier for Scrum Masters when we don’t run retrospectives for our own teams. Aki introduces the “Empty Table” retro, emphasizing the significance of a thorough check-in. Participants imagine an empty table to gather insights and events. He used to employ dot-voting extensively, but later decided there were better methods to select the topics for discussion. He suggests a different approach for topic selection to promote shared leadership. He stresses the importance of active listening and embraces silence as a valid contribution.

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 Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

Seye Kuyinu: Agile Re-Teaming For Scale, Restructuring Scrum Teams Along Value Streams

In this episode, Seye discusses an organization’s journey towards creating value streams and aligning teams accordingly. They adopted the approach of taking teams to the work rather than the reverse. This involved setting up teams for new features, but the structure changed after a few months, leading to reassigning team members. Seye refers to the Tuckman’s stages of group development to highlight the transitional nature of teams. In this episode, we also discuss how important it is to focus on setting up a robust infrastructure to make it possible to dynamically reconfigure teams, underlining the importance of adaptability in Agile environments.

Featured Book of the Week: The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship by David Whyte

Seye’s recommended book for Scrum Masters is “The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship” by David Whyte. The book explores reimagining work and relationships, emphasizing the need for a holistic view rather than strict work-life balance. Another impactful read is “Extraordinarily Badass Agile Coaching: The Journey from Beginner to Mastery and Beyond” by Bob Galen, which transformed Seye’s coaching approach. He suggests adapting language to the audience, shifting from software development jargon to business terminology. Seye advocates speaking the language of those being served, aligning communication for more effective collaboration.

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 Seye Kuyinu

Seye has been a Scrum Master for about a decade now. He first connected to Agile, frustrated with the lack of adequate communication that plagues traditional complex projects. He finds People and Interactions over Processes & Tools cannot be overstated, while seeing that everything is a fractal- our individual, team, organization and societal challenges are the very same. The solution in every layer is the same- an understanding of ONENESS!

You can link with Seye Kuyinu on LinkedIn and connect with Seye Kuyinu on Twitter.

Sónia Won: From Guide to Coach, How to Nurture Team Autonomy as a Scrum Master

In this episode, Sónia discusses success as a Scrum Master, emphasizing the goal of becoming unnecessary for the team. Similar to parenting, the Scrum Master’s role evolves over the team’s life cycle. Initially, the Scrum Master guides the team, but over time, the stance changes to that of a mentor and coach. Sónia looks for signs of team autonomy, such as not depending on the Scrum Master for daily activities or resolving impediments. Adapting to the team’s growth is crucial for the Scrum Master’s effectiveness. The ultimate measure of success is when the team can function independently and no longer relies heavily on the Scrum Master’s interventions.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 4 L’s retrospective

Sónia’s favorite retrospective format is the 4 L’s: Learned, Lacked, Liked, and Longed for. This format helps teams consider four important aspects often overlooked in retrospectives, especially the “learned” part. It encourages a more nuanced understanding of positive outcomes and avoids binary thinking. By reflecting on what they learned, lacked, liked, and longed for, the team gains valuable insights and can set mid-term development goals for continuous improvement.

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 Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

Johannes Lindman: Lessons in Communication and Trust for Scrum Masters, helping teams overcome adversity

In this episode, Johannes Lindman shares a story about a small team he worked with for a few months leading up to a major release. The team was focused on delivery and even had checklists to ensure that they were well-prepared. However, they encountered a problem that they had not anticipated and had to stop and acknowledge their failure. The team was surprised because they believed they had prepared well and were not sure how they missed the issue.

The team started to point fingers and look at one person who did not talk much. They realized that they were not talking about the problems they were afraid of and needed to be super honest with each other. Johannes notes that the team trusted each other as individuals, but they did not pick up on each other’s signs. In the end, the team learned the importance of communication, honesty, and trust. They realized that they needed to work on their communication skills and ensure that everyone felt comfortable speaking up when there was an issue.

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck

In this segment, Johannes shares the impact that the book “Extreme Programming Explained” by Kent Beck had on his career. Johannes explains that the book helped him in many ways, and he found so many valuable ideas in it. He recalls the mantra  “make it work, make it right, make it fast,” which he believes summarizes the essence of the book’s philosophy.

He credits the book with helping him to become a better developer and to embrace a growth mindset.

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 Johannes Lindman

Despite many years of experience Johannes still learns new things every day in order to stay relevant. This aligns with his curiosity on life and people.

You can link with Johannes Lindman on LinkedIn.

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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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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
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Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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