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.

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.

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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
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Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works