Tomo Lennox: Swarming out of a bad place, a Scrum team tool

Tomo worked with 6 teams on a project. Although the teams were good at developing software, they lacked something that was critical. As Tomo investigated further, he pinpointed what was missing, and focused on providing them with the tools to overcome their lack of innovation, and decision making ability. 

In this segment, we refer to the concept of Swarming, which when applied correctly can make times much more productive. 

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!

Featured Book of the Week: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck is one of the foundational books for Lean applied to software. Although many have followed the Poppendieck’s, their book still has many learnings on how to apply Lean to software development. 

In this segment, we also refer to the work by Klaus Leopold, of which the book Rethinking Agile is one example

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years of experience in project management, both waterfall, and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson’s first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter

Dov Tsal: The problems Scrum Masters create when trying to help teams

The problems in Scrum adoption can come from the conflict between a team and the person “pushing” the process. In this segment, we talk about the approaches we sometimes take as Scrum Masters that negatively affect the team and their Agile adoption.

Featured Book of the Week: The Agile Tao by Peter Merrel

The Agile Tao by Peter Merrel is based on the Book of Tao, an ancient book with series of meditations on the mysterious nature of the Tao–the Way, the Light, the very Source of all existence. Dov shares how The Agile Tao helped him understand better his role as 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 Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent, and enabler, helping companies teams, and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn

Kyla MacDonald: From unaware and confused to engaged and motivated, a Scrum team transformation

Kyla was working with a team that was under a lot of pressure. They were busy, and stressed. No one in that organization wanted to disturb, or interrupt this team. So much so, that planning was done only with senior people. However, by not wanting to interrupt the team, the organization was making the team unaware of why they were working on, and confused. The story changes when the Product Owner starts involving the team in planning and decision making. 

Featured Book of the Week: Leadership is Language by David L. Marquet

In Leadership is Language by David L. Marquet (a previous guest here on the podcast), Kyla learned about how language impacts people and behaviours. A key lesson for us, Scrum Masters. In this episode, we also talk about The Skilled Facilitator by Roger M. Schwarz, where she learned some of the concepts she now applies in her work as 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 Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter

Philip Rogers: Team agreements to help Scrum teams thrive despite organizational constraints

Philip was working in an organization that was undergoing an Agile transformation. As they started to work with a few teams, they observed that the teams were quite large, and had a trade union representative. This meant that the teams were heavily silo-ed, with testers only doing testing, developers only programming, etc. Because of this, the teams could not be made smaller. In this episode, we discuss how we can help teams improve, even when they are stuck with their current structure. Philip shares the Team Canvas, to help facilitate the definition of working agreements

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen

In Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen, Philip found a book that helped him learn how to run effective retrospectives and become a retrospective specialist. As he practices his approaches to retrospectives, Philip ended up creating a Trello Board with many retrospective formats to serve as inspiration and help other Scrum Masters host great retrospectives. You can check out Philip’s retrospective Trello Board 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 Philip Rogers

Phil, is a father of four children and volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an “agile whisperer” (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter

 

Evelien Acun-Roos: The “rotating” Scrum Master anti-pattern

This team had a “rotating Scrum Master”, however, what happened was that the Scrum Master role was mostly ignored, and the team stopped learning and improving. The rotating aspect of the Scrum Master role led to a lack of accountability for that role, and consequently for the team! The team stopped challenging themselves. 

Featured Book of the Week: Training From The Back Of The Room by Sharon Bowman

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Evelien found one of the first professional agile coaching books, which helped her in her Agile journey. After that, Evelien found Training From The Back Of The Room by Sharon Bowman, a book that helped her perfect her delivery of training and understand why the game and engaging approaches are so important when delivering knowledge and information to 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 Evelien Acun-Roos

Evelien Acun-Roos is an experienced Agile Trainer at Xebia Academy, Professional Scrum Trainer at Scrum.org and a Certified Trainer for “Training from the Back of the Room”.

You can link with Evelien Acun-Roos on LinkedIn and connect with Evelien Acun-Roos on Twitter.

Wouter Gheysen: How to help teams improve, even after an Agile transformation

When we work in a company that is in, or has just gone through an Agile transformation, we often see that external coaches leave and slowly the good behaviors fade away. The pressure of delivery takes over, and the teams start skipping the good things that had helped them before, like the retrospectives. In this episode, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help teams stick to the good practices they’ve learned and how the collaboration with the PO is so critical in keeping the process going, and the team improving. 

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

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Wouter found instpiurational and practical tops that he wanted to try in his work. It helped him understand the importance of coaching and gave him methods and tools to deal with conflict in the team.

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 Wouter Gheysen

Wouter is a creative generalist with a broad area of interest beyond agility, a focus on people, and working with teams. He is a coach, guide and life long learner with a keen interest in facilitation, design thinking and systemic coaching.

You can link with Wouter Gheysen on LinkedIn and connect with Wouter Gheysen on Twitter.

Kamal Hans: How the Scrum Master can help teams work through their fear of taking risks

In this episode, we talk about a team that everyone felt was “high performing”. However, when Kamal joined he started to notice that something was off. The team members themselves had started to feel the “burden” of being seen as high performing. At the same time, Kamal was working with another team that was not considered to be high performing, and the contrast became evident: the “high performing” team had started to fear taking risks. This is when the job of the Scrum Master is so important: how to help teams work through their fear of taking risks!

Featured Book of the Week: Permission To Screw Up, by Kristen Hadeed

In Permission To Screw Up, by Kristen Hadeed we learn how to embrace failure as part of our journey, and turn those moments into learning points that help us get better at our work. The book also talks about the “people first” perspective and how to be OK with vulnerability and asking for help. 

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 Kamal Hans

Kamal Hans believes people are capable of incredible things if they have the support they need. He is at his best when he gets to connect people with each other and their vision, create a structure of support, build a system to achieve their goals to accomplish bigger things than themselves. As an Agile Coach and disciplined facilitator, he has worked with global organizations like Ericsson, and Bose to name a few. 

You can link with Kamal Hans on LinkedIn and connect with Kamal Hans on Twitter

Nagesh Sharma: How to solve the “It’s not my job” anti-pattern in Scrum teams

This story starts with a team that wasn’t making their customer happy. As Nagesh and his colleagues looked at the situation, they found out that the team members did not feel accountable for the success of the whole team. The team members thought they were only responsible for delivering on the tasks they were assigned. In this episode, we explore how to address this “it’s not my job” syndrome that affects so many teams.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni, helped Nagesh understand what are the things that need to be in place for a team to achieve high performance. Patrick Lencioni’s easy-to-read style is a great introduction to the model he builds in the story that helps us pay attention to the different interactions in the team, and be ready to analyze those in a way that helps the team succeed.

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 Nagesh Sharma

Nagesh is a Professional Scrum Trainer by Scrum.org, He is Co-Founder & CEO of Flowsphere India. His mission drives him in increasing the joy and accomplishment people feel with agile ways of working. Nagesh is a Management 3.0 & collaboration Superpowers Facilitator. Trained more than 3000 people across the globe and an active speaker at various international conferences.

You can link with Nagesh Sharma on LinkedIn and connect with Nagesh Sharma on Twitter.

Rob Cooper: Helping a team in an impossible situation, a Scrum Master story

Rob joined this company at the tail end of this team’s story. As Rob entered the organization, he understood that the organization was still stuck in the “old world”. The company had fired many of the people who had developed the legacy app that the team was trying hard to maintain. On top of that, there were many things going wrong at this organization. What could Rob do to help this team? Listen in, to learn about what we, as Scrum Masters, can do in very difficult situations, when everything seems to be going wrong for the team. 

In this segment, we refer to Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Laloux, and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.

Featured Book of the Week: Two surprising recommendations

Rob leaves us with two surprising recommendations that are worth an listen, to understand why he recommends these books. The first book, a book about the full complexity of human behavior and change aversion is The Bible. As Rob puts it: “it’s about human behavior”. The second recommendation, no less surprising is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a book that helped Rob understand storytelling and how a story can crystalize the direction for a team.

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 Rob Cooper

Rob is a Lead Agile Coach at Sainsbury’s, focusing on how the whole business uses Agility. Rob is an experienced Agile Coach at Enterprise, leadership, and team levels. In this career, he worked with change in organizations using a range of frameworks, including Scrum, Kanban, SAFe & LeSS approaches. He’s experienced in program & Project Management and has helped multiple teams transition from waterfall to Agile. 

You can link with Rob Cooper on LinkedIn.

Susannah Chambers: Overcoming the waterfall reporting syndrome

In this project, the team was “forced” to report their work in a waterfall model: milestones, up-front plans, etc. This brought a series of problems that Susannah describes as “the joyless team”. This highlighted for her the important role Scrum Masters play in helping the team translate the information they have into a language that fits the needs of the stakeholders, but without going all the way back to waterfall plans and reports. 

Featured Book of the Week: Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear, by Sheridan et al. 

In Chief Joy Officer, Susannah found ideas and tools to help teams (and herself) find joy in the workplace. The book resonated with her, and offered ideas that fit the role of the Scrum Master very well. In the book, she also learned about using Joy as the metric that helps teams perform.

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 Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter.