Reinald Kirchner: How a “team of specialists” can kill productivity

In this episode, we explore the anti-pattern of the “team of specialists”. This team was formed by many freelancers and sub-contractors that were hired to do a specialist job and were not about to give that up. Listen in to learn what that caused and how Reinald handled the problem.

Featured Book of the Week: The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery

In The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery, Reinald found a good reason to change his personal attitude towards the things he didn’t like to do.

Reinald also mentions the Rene Brown’s talk about Vulnerability, a talk that helped him change his attitude as a freelance software developer, and stopping to try to be a superhero, a problem that many freelancers face in their desire to help their clients.

About Reinald Kirchner

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchner on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchner on Twitter.

Dmytro Balaba: How to handle a low performer in your Scrum team

What happens when a team member who joined as a “gift” from management fails to keep the standard expected from each of the team members? If you add to this, the fact that some team members become vocal about the problem, but others don’t even want to touch the subject, you have all the ingredients you need for massive conflict. What can a Scrum Master do? Listen in to learn how Dmytro, the Scrum Master helped the team get out of this negative spiral.

Featured Book for the Week: Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgren et al.

Dmytro’s recommendation is the book by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, and Nicole Forsgren, Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations.

In Accelerate, Dmytro found many inspirational stories and anecdotes that helps him improve the organization and the teams he works with.

Dmytro also recommends Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland. In this book, he highlights the many real-life examples.

Additionally, Dmytro refers to The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, a book he describes as filled with technical practices that teams can apply.

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right hand, he has a tattoo with the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management, Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: Having tough conversations with Scrum team stakeholders

When things go wrong, it is critical to help the team prepare how the discuss and recover from bad news. The worst that can happen is when teams (and Scrum Masters) just drop “the bomb” of bad news and put the responsibility on others. In this episode, we talk about how to prepare those tough conversations.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Andy found a new perspective on self-development and team development.

In this segment, we also mention Perfect Time-Based Productivity: How to rescue your peace of mind as time demands increase by Francis Wade, a book that allowed Andy to design his own time-management system, a must-have tool for all Scrum Masters.

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: From “group” to Agile Team, a Scrum Master coaching roadmap 

This team had all the ceremonies in place. They were “doing” Scrum by all accounts. But they weren’t even a team. We explore the “group, not team” anti-pattern with Eddy, and discuss what might be some of the techniques and approaches Scrum Masters can use to help these teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Eddy found a new approach to the eternal question of motivation. He found a new paradigm to help him understand the role of managers and management in organizations.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Jim Sammons: How to recognize the anti-pattern the buries the Scrum teams in a mountain of technical debt

As this story starts, the team is buried under technical debt. Why they got there is the topic of this episode’s story. We talk about finding the signs that the team is starting to drown in tech debt, as the recognition of that pattern is the first step to avoid major damage to the team and the product.

In this segment, we refer to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Featured Book of the Week: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Jim found a reminder of some practices that are useful for Scrum Masters. The highlight is the process of “decluttering”, removing the mess we often have to deal with in our teams, our backlogs or in relationships between team members. Jim challenges us to find those “cluttered” areas in our work and ask the team: “do you feel overwhelmed?”

In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Martin Lambert: Swarming a whole-team approach to getting work done

What happens when team members see themselves as specialists? We discuss some of the common anti-patterns of the specialized team member perspective and talk about the benefits of swarming, an approach where the whole team feels responsible for the deliverables they have to complete, instead of standing by and letting the specialists work alone.

Featured Book of the Week: <Redacted>

Martin wants to share some of the insights that he got from a book he read. The book allowed him to feel free from previous fears, and find space to express his curiosity. This lead to Martin finding a newly rekindled thirst for knowledge. The book? You may want to ask Martin directly on LinkedIn, his LinkedIn page is linked below, in his bio! 🙂

About Martin Lambert

Martin’s an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: “sorry for you know what”.

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Dirk Fabricius: Helping Scrum teams survive micromanagement

Sooner or later, Scrum Masters will face the micro-management anti-pattern. What should Scrum Masters do in that case? In this episode, we talk about the anti-patterns that can emerge in a team that is subject to micro-management and some of the tools that Scrum Masters can use in those situations.

We discuss the Game of Trust (GDoc link) (here’s another Game of Trust you can use) and the Niko Niko Calendar.

Featured book for the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

Geoff Watts has been a past guest of the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast, and is also the author of Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership. In that book, Dirk found out about servant leadership and how that could change his approach to the Scrum Master role.

In this segment, we also mention Scrum for the people by Tobias Mayer and Product Mastery by Geoff Watts.

About Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

Stanislava Potupchik: how to work with team members that act defensively

Sometimes team members have significantly different expectations of the Scrum process or any other Agile process. Before we can help that team, we must detect when the team members are growing apart and understand what the expectations are for each one of them.

In this episode, we talk about the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni.

Featured Book for the Week: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute

In Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute, Stanislava found a source of inspiration on how to work with people that might be in a defensive mode. It’s a book that helped Stanislava understand better her team members and to communicate with people that are on the defensive

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter.

Susanne Taylor: The critical ingredient you might be missing to move your Scrum team from micro-management to self-organization

Working with a team of leaders, Susanne was facing a tough situation. The team was not able to collaborate. When investigating the situation, listening to the team members, and doing her own reflection, she realized what the problem was. In this episode, we talk about a critical need for teams to successfully self-organize, and how the move from micro-management to self-organization is a multistep journey.

Featured Book for the Week: Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz

In Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz by Frank J. Barrett, Susanne learned to recognize the importance of having a clear framework for the team, but also letting the team members build on each other’s contribution. She learned that, once you have the right constraints in place, the team has an easier time being creative and clear in their decisions.

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Izis Filipaldi: The new role of leaders in Agile teams

In Agile teams, Leadership has a different role. In this episode, we talk about the traditional approach to leadership in teams. From the technical lead to the line manager, and how those roles should change to enable Agile teams. 

Featured Book for the Week: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, Izis found a set of tools that help her in her daily work as a Scrum Master. The book was written in the 1930’s, on the back of the Great Depression, and shares some of the techniques that successful people used to achieve in their lives. Dale goes through many of those techniques and outlines simple approaches that can help Scrum Masters also achieve their goals and help their teams. 

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis’ mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter.