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.

Venetia Foo on how one team member can destroy a whole team

Many of us have been in teams where there’s a “dominant” team  member. But have we thought about the possible consequences that it may bring to the team? In this episode we explore the possible consequences that dominant team members can trigger. We also discuss a very unusual way to address such situations, one that takes into account the whole team, not just the dominant team member.

About Venetia Foo

Venetia has been on her agile journey since 2007 and has been a witness to the best and to the worst of it. She is passionate about learning and continuous improvement. She uses a variety of skills to empower and enable teams to perform at their best.

You can link with Venetia Foo on LinkedIn and connect with Venetia Foo on Twitter.

Jac Hughes on learning to deal with impossible goals

Sooner or later we will be in a situation where someone has committed to a goal that the team did not co-create. A schedule the team did not work on. A plan that the team wasn’t aware of. These are normal anti-patterns that we will deal with in our role as Scrum Masters. And while, in some cases, it is better to run away, we also must be prepared and help our teams and stakeholders to deal with those anti-patterns. In this episode, we discuss those anti-patterns, how they can affect the teams we work with and also what we can do to avoid the common pitfalls that come with them.

About Jac Hughes

Jac is a scrum master who has a passion to help teams become empowered, autonomous bust mostly importantly productive. Jac has served 7 years in the Royal Navy before moving into the world of IT.

You can link with Jac Hughes on LinkedIn.  

Balazs Tatár shows how to crush blockers!

Blockers are our most common obstacle. We face them, the team faces them. In fact, most of our time is spent on either solving or helping team and stakeholders solve the most critical blockers to progress. In this show Balazs gives us some tips on how we can get the teams to crush the blockers. Help the team crush their blockers and you will see them blossom and progress faster than you could imagine.

About Balazs Tátár

Balazs is a technical project manager, working for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. Currently, he plays the Scrum Master role in a support team of one of the biggest web project at the European Commission. He is a former technical lead and fan of open source technologies.

You can link with Balazs Tátár on LinkedIn and connect with Balazs Tátár on Twitter.

Samantha Webb on the part-time Scrum Master anti-pattern

Many organizations look carefully at where their people spend their time. This is, in general, a good thing. Problems start when we don’t give our people the chance to succeed. A very common anti-pattern in this context is the part-time Scrum Master temptation. We believe that a good Scrum Master can handle more than 1 team. But do we know the problems that come from that? Can we recognize the anti-patterns that result in time to avoid bigger problems? In this episode, we discuss the anti-patterns that result from part-time Scrum Master assignments so that we can detect those in time and avoid them if possible!

About Samantha Webb

Samantha is a Scrum Master based in London where she works with clients in a number of different industries. In her spare time, she is a game writer and designer and uses Scrum to work on game projects.

You can link with Samantha Webb on LinkedIn and connect with Samantha Webb on Twitter.

Karthik Nagarajan shares 3 things you can do to make retrospectives more effective

It is very common that teams stay in the cycle of no improvement. They go through the motions, even have retrospectives every sprint. But nothing happens. This can be very de-moralizing. How can we help our teams get out of the rut and start making a real impact in their results? Listen in for Karthik’s 3 suggestions to make your retrospectives more effective.

About Karthik Nagarajan

Karthik has worked as a Product Manager, Scrum Master and QA Manager across a variety of domains, including: Fintech, Travel, Human Capital Management, CRM, Recruitment, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services. He loves tackling complex business challenges and being a positive bridge between Product, Design, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Customers and Business Teams.

You can link with Karthik Nagarajan on LinkedIn.

Adrian Kerry on the anti-pattern of building something no one cares about

Teams need to care about their work. If teams are the only ones that care, that can’t last for long. In this story Adrian talks about the role of stakeholder engagement and how critical it is to learn to engage the stakeholders. When that engagement dies out, bad things start to happen.

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Jacopo Romei What is Conway’s Law and how it affects our work as Scrum Masters

Conway’s Law is a little known observation that organizations seem to mimic the architecture of the software they develop, and vice-versa. So what does that insight mean for us Scrum Masters? Jacopo shares with us his story of a team that was living proof of Conway’s Law, and how he used his understanding of team dynamics and Conway’s Law to help the team evolve and get out of the self-destructive pattern they found themselves in.

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter. 

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Ruben Betancourt on how slicing Epics into smaller deliverables can increase your chance of success

It’s hard enough to deliver a small increment of a product, yet we often find ourselves and our teams in positions where they need to deliver a whole product, project or release in 1 go. No change for mistake. And you know what happens: when failure is not an option, failure is the only option!

About Ruben Betancourt
Ruben Betancourt is a computer systems engineer with experience in project management. Currently in love with agile software development methodologies.
You can link with Ruben Betancourt on LinkedIn and connect with Ruben Betancourt on Twitter.