Miguel Santos on how to help teams tackle their problems head-on

When teams face problems they have a choice: avoid, or confront. Which of these patterns does your team adopt when faced with problems? This can make the difference for the teams that want to grow and improve. In this episode we review the story, and the consequences that teams face when they can’t face the problems they are going through.

In this episode we discuss the Retrospectives’ Prime Directive, a rule we can follow to ensure that Retrospectives stay focused on improvements, rather than blame.

Featured book of the week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

This is a book that we’ve covered often here on the podcast. So often that we even included it in a bundle offer we had for our listeners: 4 books every Scrum Master should read! In this book Patrick Lencioni walks us through a process of building a team that is not able to collaborate, where trust isn’t present. The goal: a functioning high-performance team.

About Miguel Santos

Miguel is a Brazilian living in Germany and currently Scrum Master for two teams at NewStore. He believes that there is no single methodology (agile or not) to lead projects and teams to success. Because of that, he would like Scrum Masters to be less biased when working with their teams.

You can link with Miguel Santos on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Santos on Twitter.

Richard Kasperowski on the anti-pattern of the 1-on-1 with the boss

The 1-on-1 meetings are a staple of management practice today. But are they really a great idea when we develop software as teams? In this episode we discuss a case that illustrates why the 1-on-1 meetings are not really a good idea when you want to solve intra-team conflict.

In this episode we talk about the Check-in Protocol, one of the Core Protocols to which we refer regularly in this series of interviews with Richard.

Featured book of the week

This week we explore Software for your Head, by Michele and Jim McCarthy, where they explore the aspects that contribute to successful software development teams. This is also the book that introduced the Core Protocols, which we refer to extensively in this series of interviews with Richard.

About Richard Kasperowski

Richard is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author focused on high-performance teams. Richard is the author of The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness. He leads clients in building great teams that get great results using the Core Protocols, Agile, and Open Space Technology. Richard created and teaches the class Agile Software Development at Harvard University. Learn more and subscribe to Richard’s newsletter at

You can link with Richard Kasperowski on LinkedIn and connect with Richard Kasperowski on Twitter.

Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on the complaining negative spiral of death

Teams complain. I mean, who can blame them? Often they have to deal with corporate policies that would destroy the motivation of even the most excited Agile adopter. As Scrum Masters, we know this. But how do we get the teams out of the complaining negative spiral of death? Listen to this episode to learn how Krisztina was able to turn the meetings around, helping the team focusing on improving, rather than complaining. She also shares the concrete tips and tricks she used in her approach.

In this episode, we refer to the book Kanban in Action by Joakim Sundén and Marcus Hammarberg. Shameless plug: Marcus Hammarberg is writing a book with Oikosofy on how he used Kanban to save a hospital from bankruptcy, twice! Check it out.

Featured book of the week: Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development








In Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde describe their approach to leading large-scale Scrum implementations and suggest a number of practices that have worked in organizations around the world.

About Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo

Krisztina is a Senior IT manager with experience of several aspects to IT management on different levels as well as methodologies used. Originally from Hungary she has worked in many countries. First as a tester, the a project manager, test manager and many other roles.

You can link with Krisztina Sajgo-Kalo on LinkedIn.

Viyoma Sachdeva on how measuring individuals can destroy teams

The team was being asked to measure individual velocity and compare that with each other’s velocity. Problems ensued! In this episode, we talk about the individual focus, and why that may be catastrophic for the teams. How do we get out of that anti-pattern? That’s the topic of today’s episode, where we share alternative metrics and other tools that can help the team focus again on collective success.

Featured Book: Start with Why, by Simon Sinek







Viyoma uses the lessons from this book in her own work. She found the inspiration and tools to find the “Why” in every situation. Read: Start with Why, by Simon Sinek.


About Viyoma Sachdeva

Viyoma has over 11 years of experience in Software and Product development across different domains and phases of software development cycle. She is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner and has worked in an Agile delivery model for the last 6 years. Her experience includes many different domains like Marketing, manufacturing, retail and Public sector and she has worked in a patent of Epidemic disease predictions.

Viyoma believes that the Agile mindset and practices are keys to solve complex problems.

You can link with Viyoma Sachdeva on LinkedIn and connect with Viyoma Sachdeva on Twitter.

Susan McIntosh on how the best people can destroy a team

Sometimes we don’t need a super-smart, get things done person. Sometimes we just need a person in the team that can help the team grow. But what happens when we don’t have that kind of person? How do we handle those super smart people that want to direct the whole team? Listen in to learn what happened in Susan’s story, and what she learned from those events.

Featured book: Jurgen Appelo’s How to Change the World







Jurgen Appelo’s How to Change the World is featured this week. It explains how we can talk about in change in practice. Hands-on. It also describes how you can track the change in practice.

About Susan McIntosh

Susan McIntosh is an agile coach and scrum master, especially interested in training and agile transformations – both fast and slow. She finds analogies to improving workplace culture in her experience in theater, teaching, cooking, and parenting. Susan is an active participant in the agile community in Denver, Colorado.

You can link with Susan McIntosh on LinkedIn and connect with Susan McIntosh on Twitter.

Sebastian Hitzler on rushing into problems

Being in a rush is a common anti-pattern in software development. When deadlines are tight, and there’s a lot to do people enter the “rush” mode. They start taking short-cuts, drop communication, and complain about meetings. In this episode we discuss the anti-patterns coming from being a hurry and what to do about them.

Featured Book







This week we talk about the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. In the book Kahneman explains why we are reliably over-optimistic, and gives some amazing concrete examples to prove that point.

About Sebastian Hitzler

Sebastian works as a dedicated Scrum Master for two delivery teams at Fidor Solutions in Munich. The team members are from 10 different countries and spread into 3 different locations in Germany, Spain and Ukraine. Fidor enables clients to become digital banks based on their ecosystem. Sebastian also works with the wider organisation to help them transform with lean and agile.

You can link with Sebastian Hitzler on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Hitzler on XING.

Barry Overeem from team captain to servant leader

Scrum Masters are typically people committed to the success of the teams they work with. That’s great, but it can lead to problems. It may lead, for example, to the teams not making decisions on their own! In this episode, we discuss anti-patterns that develop in teams where the Scrum Masters act more like a team captain than a servant leader. Most importantly, we discuss what we need to do to transition from captain to servant leader.

In this episode, we talk about Scrum, a Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, a previous guest on the podcast. We also talk about Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership by Geoff Watts.

The books of the week








About Barry Overeem

Barry, the learning facilitator as he calls his blog, considers himself a 100% Scrum Master

. It’s such a comprehensive and interesting role that he gives it his full focus and keeps learning and discovering new aspects every day!

You can link with Barry Overeem on LinkedIn and connect with Barry Overeem on Twitter.

You can also check the many resources that Barry Overeem shares on his website!


Joe Anderson on how to identify limiting beliefs in the teams we support

The teams we work with are victims of their own limiting beliefs. They bump against the prejudices, and the lack of belief they have and need to break through before they can improve how they work. What do those “limiting beliefs” look like? Which limiting beliefs have you identified in your teams? Listen in and join the conversation on twitter! Mention @scrumpodcast and let’s keep identifying those limiting beliefs!

In this episode we refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins as one of the books Scrum Masters should have in their book-shelf!

Book of the week








About Joe Anderson

Joe is a Scrum Master at a small travel technology company with a passion for bringing out the best in people and building deep relationships. He works hard to foster an environment of safety, fun and learning with a focus on relentless improvement.

You can link with Joe Anderson on LinkedIn and connect with Joe Anderson on Twitter.

Arif Bobat on the indigestion anti-pattern teams suffer from

In this story that Arif shares with us, he explains how you can focus the team because if you don’t the teams might succumb to indigestion: wanting to do too much. But how can you help the teams escape that anti-pattern? Listen in as Arif describes the steps he took to help the team getting out of that indigestion anti-pattern. As we discuss the anti-pattern we refer to the 3C’s for User Stories, a way to look at User Stories that drives collaboration.

In this week’s book of the week, we get a BONUS! Arif recommends Drive! By Dan Pink and Story Mapping by Jeff Patton. Check out why!

Books of the week







About Arif Bobat

Arif is an experienced Scrum Master with a passion for enabling teams to achieve their potential, Arif loves challenging situations. In the last 5 years, he has been made redundant twice and fired twice. He is not afraid of speaking up when he sees anti-patterns and/or a lack of willingness to change behaviors.

You can link with Arif Bobat on LinkedIn and connect with Arif Bobat on Twitter.

Donald Ewart: it all starts with a human connection!

Featured book

In this episode, we introduce a new Feature: the Featured book! A recommendation by our guests that will help you choose which books to read. Every week a new book for you to read.

This week Donald recommends you revisit one of the classics: Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle. Listen in to learn why!


The human connection!

In this episode, we discuss how teams, in the forming phase, may get stuck in the avoidance of conflict, and how conflict may actually be a sign that the team is progressing in their journey to be an effective team. It all starts with a human connection! We describe tools and signs that help us detect if our teams are stuck.


About Donald Ewart

For more than 10 years, Don has been a scrum master and coach working in different sectors in London and across the UK as an independent consultant.

With a background of 10+ years in several development roles for web and finance systems, Donald has a good technical knowledge of modern development techniques, and can quickly build rapport and respect with development teams, understanding their issues and helping them to find the right solutions.

You can link with Donald Ewart on LinkedIn and connect with Donald Ewart on Twitter. You can also find out more about Donald’s work on his website.