Gonçalo Valverde: How to deal with a disruptive team member (before it is too late)

Gonçalo was working with two teams that were busy migrating to a new system. However, in one of these teams there was a disruptive team member. The management tried to put this team member aside by pushing him into test management. But this only made the situation worse. Listen in to learn what Gonçalo tried to help this team member, and what he learned from this story that he carries with him ever since.

Featured Book of the Week: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al.

While reading Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al., Gonçalo realized that it’s possible and there’s a method to having conversations on very difficult topics, yet be constructive. This book shares some critical tools that all Scrum Masters should be aware of. 

In this segment, we also refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton, and to the Oikosofy’s User Story Mapping facilitator’s guide, available for free. 

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 Gonçalo Valverde

Gonçalo is an Agile Coach from Portugal working with teams and organizations in their continuous improvement journey. As a keen amateur photographer, he learned that less is more and how constraints help one focus on the outcomes. He’s also a co-organizer of Agile Coach Camp Portugal. 

You can link with Gonçalo Valverde on LinkedIn and connect with Gonçalo Valverde on Twitter

Kim Hinsch: Going beyond “best practice” a must for Scrum teams that want to learn and improve

Kim was working with a new team, with a new PO. However, this team had a history in that organization, and their culture was already established. A lot of people came in with their own beliefs, and the inevitable culture clash happened between the “new” PO and Scrum Master, and the “old” team members. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to bring these issues up with the team and have them process/learn from the conflicts that are happening. This led Kim to understand that when teams (think they) “know the best practices”, they are not motivated to learn and improve. 

Featured Book of the Week: Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun by Joost Minaar et al.

In Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun, by Joost Minaar et al., Kim found examples of how different companies have taken decisions to the teams, and empowered them to take responsibility for their own work and success. She found those stories inspiring. 

In this segment, we also talk about Turn The Ship Around! By David L. Marquet, a book we’ve reviewed with the author 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 Kim Hinsch

Kim is an agile enthusiast, that has been stung by the power of games, communication, and psychology. Kim practices every day the fine art of making magic happen the agile way. And what makes her heart beat faster is supporting teams and organizations on their magical journey across the hills of excellence and effectiveness.

You can link with Kim Hinsch on LinkedIn

Priyanka Keswani: Individual performance appraisals as an obstacle to teamwork in Scrum teams

We start this episode with a quote by Goldratt: “Tell me how you will measure me, and then I will tell you how I will behave. If you measure me in an illogical way, don’t complain about illogical behavior.” We dive into how metrics can totally affect the team’s performance, and why individual performance appraisal destroys teamwork. 

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, Priyanka found inspiring stories that helped her understand how Scrum applies in real life. Priyanka also refers to the book “Start with Why” by Sinek, a great reminder that we must help the organizations define their purpose as an enabler for improvement.

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 Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter.

Lena Löfdahl: The “we’re too busy to share knowledge” Scrum team anti-pattern

The team Lena was working with had the assignment to move all customer information from multiple systems into one. The pressure was high, so the team wanted to focus on continuous progress. However, and because of that, the team had neglected the need to share knowledge among team members. This, in turn, led to having a siloed team, where they could not help each other when a task was stuck. Listen in to learn how to deal with the common “we’re too busy to share knowledge” anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum and XP from the trenches, by Kniberg 

In Scrum and XP from the trenches, by Kniberg, Lena found a book that spoke to her in a language she could understand and helped her by explaining situations that she was familiar with. The book is freely available to download by signing up here.

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 Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn

Inderdip Vraich: How to deal with conflict in the Scrum team caused by external pressure

Inderdip was working with multiple Scrum teams, and there were pressure and high expectations on the team. The high stakes led to micro-management, and suddenly the team – which was composed of competent and committed people – fell into hard conflict. The team was unhappy. This story taught Inderdip an important lesson of where to start when dealing with conflict caused by external pressure. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time, by Sutherland

In The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time, by Sutherland, Inderdip found insightful lessons in every chapter, and stories of success from many different industries. Those lessons helped her to focus on actions, and learn to deal with unpredictability.

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 Inderdip Vraich

Inderdip is an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master based in New Zealand. She has been working in the agile space with IT teams since 2007. She believes in lifelong learning and derives deep satisfaction from working with teams & individuals and see them grow in their journey.

You can link with Inderdip Vraich on LinkedIn and connect with Inderdip Vraich on Twitter

David Wallace: When Agile teams care more about the product than its users

In this team, we could see the team members cared for the product they were working on. However, they cared so much, they started to allow themselves to “dive into the code and refactor” at will. Eventually, that care for the product was translated into an anti-pattern: caring more about the code, than the people using the product. Does your team care more about the product than the users? In this episode, we share some tips on how to handle that Agile anti-pattern of caring more for the product than the users.

Featured Book of the Week: The human side of Agile by Gil Broza

In The human side of Agile by Gil Broza, David found insights on how to focus on the people in the team, and the organization that is adopting Agile. The book helped David understand that, even if it is tempting to focus on the tools and processes, the core of Agile adoption is focusing on people. 

In the same vein, the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast published a book that is exactly about how to focus on people in your Agile adoption. If you want to know more, download your free chapters to Shift from Product to People, a book by Michael Dougherty and Pete Oliver-Krueger.

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 David Wallace

David Wallace is an agile coach with 25 years of experience in the IT industry. He’s a passionate Agilist and the cohost of the Heart of Agile – Boulder meetup group. He’s currently based in Denver as a Product Delivery Coach at Xero, a New Zealand-based cloud accounting software company. 

You can link with David Wallace on LinkedIn and connect with David Wallace on Twitter.

BONUS: Rahul Bhattacharya on what do on your first 90 days of a scrum master for a new team

We start this episode by talking about why it is important to have a specific focus on your first 90 days when working with a new team. The first 90 days are all about setting yourself up for success, and that requires that you take certain actions. 

Start preparing before you start helping

Rahul suggests that we start preparing for our new role as a Scrum Master by asking specific questions (even in the job interview if that’s the case). Rahul suggests that to understand the expectations placed on you, you must understand what others have done before, what the team might be struggling with, but also how the context around the team works. What are the hierarchies, what do the team expect the Scrum Master to do, and more!

Do the Gemba: a critical step for your success as a Scrum Master

The gemba (a term from Lean that means “the place where the work happens”) walk is all about seeing with your own eyes, and talking directly to the people that you will be working with, or that your work will depend on. It’s important for Scrum Masters that are getting started that they not only talk to the team, but also to the stakeholders of the team, and possibly other teams that represent dependencies for the team you are trying to help. 

See the system: looking beyond software development

Finally, the third step in this structured approach to the first 90 days with a new team, is all about what’s around the team that you need to deal with, even if it is not at the core of what the team does. This is “the systemic view” or context for the team. Rahul shares some critical questions we should ask ourselves (and those around the team), so that you can understand what kind of pressure and expectations are placed on the team.

Mega tips to close off this episode (make sure you listen all the way to the end) 

Once we review the 3 main activities to prepare your Scrum Master assignment successfully, we dive into some of the tips that Rahul has collected over the years as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. Rahul shares some critical insights that will help you overcome the most common challenges Scrum Masters face when taking on a new team. 

To know more about Rahul’s approach, check out this article for Agile Coaches and Scrum masters called “Needs-oriented model of Agile Coaching”

And check out Rahul Bhattacharya’s podcast, The Agile Atelier

About Rahul Bhattacharya 

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at Delivery Hero. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

And check out Rahul Bhattacharya’s podcast, The Agile Atelier

 

Richard Lizama: The order-taker Scrum team anti-pattern, and what to do about it

From the many Scrum team anti-patterns, Richard highlights the “order taker” anti-pattern. When the Scrum team accepts that the Product Owner knows everything, and gives them already pre-digested features they just need to deliver. In this episode, we discuss why some teams adopt this anti-pattern, and what we can do as Scrum Masters to help them understand what they are missing.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

The book Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, gave Richard that “aha!” moment he was looking for. In the book, Geoff Watts goes over the differences between doing a good job, and being a great Scrum Master and that helped Richard grow in the role of the Scrum Master. 

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 Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn

Mark Metze: Helping a Scrum team of introverts learn how to collaborate and engage 

When working with a team, Mark noticed that the team was composed mostly of people that preferred to work in silence. They were introverts. However, their desire for privacy started to affect the team’s performance. Mark started to think about how to create more engagement and communication in the team, and designed a working agreements session to help the team understand how their distance was starting to affect their performance.

Featured Book of the Week: The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master by Barry Overeem

In the 8 Stances of a Scrum Master whitepaper, Mark found a model to help him reflect on his career, and understand that even as a manager, Mark was performing some of the Scrum Master duties. The whitepaper, authored by Barry Overeem (a previous guest on the podcast), helped Mark understand the Scrum Master role in-depth.

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 Mark Metze

Following the pattern of all good Computer Science majors, Mark began his career as a programmer and devoted the first 2 decades of his career to the craft of writing code. His next decade was spent in a managerial role for a software team. And then recently he pivoted once again to the role of Scrum Master. Mark has a heart for leading through service and has enthusiastically embraced the role of Scrum Master.

You can link with Mark Metze on LinkedIn.

Med Marouane Ajraoui: Helping a large group of Agile teams learn to collaborate

Med Marouane joined a large organization to work on a big Agile transformation. He was working with more than 10 teams in a difficult environment. The teams had started doing their cross-team collaboration using the Scrum of Scrums pattern, but when Med Marouane attended the Scrum of Scrums, he noticed the teams were merely reporting to each other. And, most importantly, they were sharing excuses for what was not delivered, instead of working together to overcome the challenges they faced. 

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Med Marouanne found practices that helped him as a Scrum Master. The book also helped him reflect on how to shape his personal and work life so that it would be meaningful.

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 Med Marouane Ajraoui

Med Marouane Ajraoui enjoys practicing AIKIDO while helping individuals, teams, and organizations embrace the agile mindset. He is from Morocco but has lived in several countries, and he enjoys being a “citizen of the world”. He is the founder of Agile Africa, an NGO for disseminating Agile culture in Africa. He is also the CEO and founder of JediSquad, an international firm that supports developing Eco Agile businesses and meaningful digital products.

You can link with Med Marouane Ajraoui on LinkedIn