Rafał Witaszek: Helping a Scrum team that was drowning in “invisible” work

Rafał joined a large organization that was moving to Agile. Even if the team Rafał joined claimed to have been practicing Scrum, when he observed the team, it looked like they were organized around components, and the team also had a large amount of “hidden” work. There was not enough transparency on what was going on. This is when Rafał understood that a lot of work was needed to help this team understand the situation, and act on it.

In this segment, we refer to the episode with Jeff Campbell and János Csorvási, where they also describe a similar situation, and how they got out of it. We also refer to the idea of using the Iceberg visualization to help teams understand that there’s a lot of “invisible” work that needs to be surfaced for the team to be able to take action.

Featured Book of the Week: Atomic Habits by James Clear

In Atomic Habits An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, Rafał found many ideas, and practices that helped him change how he operates both in his professional and personal life. In this segment, we also refer to the book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded by Watknis.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn.

Thomas van Zuijlen: How to help a Scrum team of experts that had started to work alone in their silos

This team was full of passionate people, and experts in their field. However, they had the sense that they were “busy”, and this led them to retreat to their own tasks, and forget about talking to each other. As they were “busy” with their own tasks, they didn’t dare ask for help either, which made the situation even worse, and pushed them further into their personal silos. How can a Scrum Master help a team in this situation? We discuss with Thomas the possible angles we can take to help such a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Good Talk: How to Design Conversations that Matter by Stillman

For Thomas, Good Talk: How to Design Conversations that Matter by Stillman, was a reminder that conversations don’t happen by chance, and that our job as Scrum Masters is to prepare and facilitate many conversations. The book gives some tools, and advice on how to prepare those conversations.

In this segment, we talk about Thomas’ newsletter, which you can follow at TheBacklog.cc

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Thomas van Zuijlen

Thomas is an independent Scrum Master and workshop facilitator from the Netherlands. He believes self-organization, empiricism and facilitation will save the world (of work). A former developer and occasional quiz master with 15 years of experience, Thomas operates in the Netherlands and Lithuania. His weekly newsletter on practical agility can be found at TheBacklog.cc.

You can link with Thomas van Zuijlen on LinkedIn.

Erik de Bos: When Self-organization does not work, the missing conditions for a critical transformation in a Scrum team

Erik was working with a team that had been started under deadline pressure to build a critical application. But that was not all! That team had gone through all kinds of transformations and failed agile adoption processes. They were overworked, and had little trust among themselves and in management. Erik himself, was thought to be a spy for management. This was not the ideal scenario for a Scrum Master/Agile Coach to be able to help the team. Listen in to learn the key lessons Erik took from this difficult assignment.

Featured Book of the Week: Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini was a book that opened Erik’s eyes to the problem Agile is trying to solve in practice. Even if the book does not mention Agile, it builds a powerful case for Agile in modern organizations.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Wilson Govindji: How a new Scrum team struggled, and then learned what working as a team is about 

Wilson was working with a team that was new to Scrum. It was the first time that many different roles were working together. Then he noticed a pattern: people were no longer speaking up during the Scrum ceremonies. The testers would challenge the behavior of the software, but the developers would just ignore them. This was the start of a longer process of self-destruction for this team. Listen in to learn what happened, and how Wilson helped this team turn the situation around.

In this segment, we refer to the Tuckman’s stages of group dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Ownership, How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Willink and Babin

In Extreme Ownership, How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Willink and Babin, Wilson found a reminder of how important it is to accept ownership of everything that happens. This is a leadership book from which Wilson learned some key lessons for him as a Scrum Master.

In this segment, we also talk about the book The People’s Scrum by Meyer.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Wilson Govindji

Wilson is a pragmatic Scrum Master, he has over 15 years in Software development and has worked in different roles, from Support Analyst, Developer to tech lead. Wilson is from Portugal, with Indian origins and currently living and working in the UK with his wife and two daughters.

You can link with Wilson Govindji on LinkedIn and follow Wilson Govindji’s blog on Medium, and follow Wilson Govindji on Instagram.

Jeremia Riedel: Helping a Scrum team that was lacking direction, and feedback

Jeremia was working with a new team that was dedicated to collecting and analyzing data. As he started working with the team, he noticed the team lacked direction. Even if they were using Scrum, they did not understand the need to collect/gather feedback early. In this episode, we talk about the lack-of-feedback anti-pattern and how the Product Owner is a critical role to help the team define a direction / goal for their work.

Featured Book of the Week: Momo by Michael Ende

In Momo by Michael Ende (a German language novel), we learn about the power of listening, and how it can transform our outlook on things. Jeremia shares how this novel helped him understand the Scrum Master role better.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Jeremia Riedel

Jeremia is an Agile Coach that describes himself as an Explorer, Enthusiast and Challenger.

You can link with Jeremia Riedel on LinkedIn, and read Jeremia Riedel’s blog on Medium.

Gurucharan Padki: The many anti-patterns that emerge when we focus on story points and velocity

The team Guru was working with was asked to “be more productive” and to “burn more story points”. That request led to a big anti-pattern, as the team was only concerned with the numbers after that point. In this episode, we discuss the many anti-patterns that emerge when teams are asked to focus on “the numbers”, instead of the quality and impact of their work.

In this segment, we refer to SDLC, aka Software Development Lifecycle, and the Shift-left movement approach in software development.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland

In Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland, Guru found an inspiring book that explains how, and where Scrum can be used, from visual boards for painting a house, to Scrum in education. The book makes Scrum easy to understand, and helps change agents learn how to present the framework to stakeholders and teams.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Bent Myllerup: Creating end-to-end Feature teams in an Agile transformation

Bent was working in a team of Agile Coaches that was trying to help a company move from component teams to feature teams. The process started with some training, but one of the teams was not able to move from the component-focused way of working, to a more end-to-end or feature-focused way of working. It turned out that this team did not have what was needed to be a complete, and fully functional team. Listen in to learn about what is needed to be a fully functional team that works on end-to-end features.

Featured Book of the Week: The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Katzenbach et al.

In the The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Katzenbach and Smith, Bent found a lot of research on team, and team performance. This helped him understand that influences team-level performance. In this segment, we also about about the Tuckman’s stages of group development.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Bent Myllerup

Bent Myllerup is a management consultant, organisational change agent and agile transformation coach with 20 years of personal experience in management and leadership. He holds a Master in Management Development (MMD) from Copenhagen Business School and a Bachelor in Science of Electronic Engineering. He was the first European Certified Scrum Coach and he is also a Certified Scrum Trainer.

You can link with Bent Myllerup on LinkedIn and connect with Bent Myllerup on Twitter.

Yousef T. Fahoum: The missing ingredient for a Scrum team to succeed

Yousef was working with a team that others call “trouble team”. But, as he observed the team, it looked like they were trying hard to do a good job. So he started working through 1-on-1’s to try to get a better, more detailed picture of what was going on. In that process, he realized that something critical was missing for that team to work well.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Lencioni

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Lencioni, Yousef learned how to diagnose a team by looking at their dynamics. He also learned a model that helps him work with teams and grow the people in it.

In this segment, we also refer to Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General McChrystal, and MobProgramming, a topic we’ve covered before here on the podcast.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Yousef T. Fahoum

When starting out as a ScrumMaster and BA years ago Yousef passionately followed the ScrumMaster Podcast. Yousef is a SAFe Enterprise Coach at Elabor8 with experience implementing Agile and SAFe at some of the largest and most recognized brand leaders across industry domains in the U.S. and Australia.

You can link with Yousef T. Fahoum on LinkedIn and connect with Yousef T. Fahoum on Twitter.

Julie Wyman: Getting a Scrum team back on the retrospectives train

Julie was part of a team supporting a large program of 10 scrum teams. The team that Julie was working with, started to skip the retrospectives because they were trying to catch-up. However, after they had been able to catch-up, the team did not come back to start holding their retrospectives again. When should the Scrum Master stand-up and push the team to hold their retrospectives again? In this episode, we talk about the critical role Scrum Masters play in keeping the teams accountable to themselves when it comes to process, and how sometimes, it is important to stop, even if that affects delivery, because retrospectives are the “power station” for the rest of the work the team does. 

Featured Book of the Week: Impact Mapping, by Gojko Adzic

In Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects by Gojko Adzic, Julie found a way to crystalize the concept of business impact. Impact Mapping, is a short book with lot of visuals. You can also learn about Impact Mapping in Gojko Adzic’s presentation on Impact Mapping

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

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.

Jeroen de Jong: The Project Manager disguised as a Product Owner, and the impact on the Scrum team

This story starts with a team that is doing detailed tasking and planning during a refinement session. The Product Owner for that team behaved like a project manager, dictating what each of the team members should do, and in what order. This was not helped by the fact that the team was heavily silo-ed around skills. 

In this segment, we discuss the importance of understanding the “flow” in the team, and Jeroen refers to the talk by Henrik Kniberg on the impact of not limiting the work in progress.

Featured Book of the Week: Getting Things Done by David Allen

In Getting Things Done by David Allen, Jeroen found a method that helps him manage the stress that comes from being deliberate and structured about managing our own work. In this segment, we talk about some of the main aspects of the GTD (Getting Things Done) method, and the lessons we can take from that method and apply with the teams we work with.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Jeroen de Jong

Jeroen started his career as a self-employed jack-of-all-trades in IT and is passionate about Agile. He is determined to keep learning and to share his knowledge with others.

You can link with Jeroen de Jong on LinkedIn and connect with Jeroen de Jong on Twitter.

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