Denis Salnikov on how teams get stuck in their Agile adoption

It’s hard enough to adopt Agile in a company that wants to progress in their Agile journey. But what happens to teams that are stuck in an organization that is still using traditional software development methods? In this episode we discuss the case of a team that wanted to adopt Agile, but everybody else was so far behind that this team got stuck. Although it is useful to look around and look for examples to learn from, when we look around and see only teams that are further behind doesn’t that affect our own Agile journey?

In this episode we refer to the book: The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald Reinertsen.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts helps us structure our role as Scrum Master and provides many tips on how to go through the learning journey towards being a better Scrum Master.

In this book Geoff shares a collection of stories and practical guidance, drawn from over ten years of coaching numerous Scrum teams that will guide you on your path to greatness.

About Denis Salnikov

Agile Coach and Scrum Master passionate about creating and fostering happy workplaces and safe environments. Denis calls himself an Agile Mythbuster.

You can link with Denis Salnikov on LinkedIn and connect with Denis Salnikov on Twitter or follow his blog on Medium.


Shubhang Vishwamitra on the impact leadership can have on a team

In this episode we explore how leadership can have a huge impact on how teams develop, and what kind of patterns or behaviors take over.

Drawing on the Tuckman model and The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team model we explore how managers can help teams improve, instead of trying to manage each team member’s behavior.

Featured Book of the Week: Great Scrum Master by Zuzana ‘Zuzi’ Šochová

In the Great Scrum Master, Zuzana ‘Zuzi’ Šochová explores the practices, techniques and approaches she found to be effective in learning to be a great Scrum Master.



About Shubhang Vishwamitra

Shubhang is a passionate agile practitioner originally from Bangalore, India. Who’s worked in Japan and Finland and is currently based in London and working as scrum master.

Shubhang has an extensive background in software development and agile delivery model in smartphone, travel and finance industries. He believes that having a technical background helps to connect with teams and ease the flow of discussion in solving complex problems.

You can link with Shubhang Vishwamitra on LinkedIn.


Sarah O’Brien on the tough Scrum Master job of listening

Listening is not the easiest part of the Scrum Master job. However, that’s one of the most important and powerful tools we have in our toolbox. In this episode we explore the case of a team that was entering a spiral of conflict and what was needed to avoid that from going out of control.

Featured Book of the Week: The Human Side of Agile by Gil Broza

The Human Side of Agile by Gil Broza is a book that helped Sarah understand the personal transformation we need to go through when we adopt Agile.

In this episode we also refer to Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

About Sarah O’Brien

Sarah is passionate about helping teams work together to bring value to their work lives. She has worked in the Scrum Master role for the past 6 years after transitioning out of waterfall as a senior software engineer. Her (not so) secret goal is to help people bring agile practices home.

You can link with Sarah O’Brien on LinkedIn.

Jella Eifler on what to do when you, or the team, feel stuck

Teams can sometimes enter a negative, destructive cycle whereby their actions make their own situation even worse. In this episode we talk about a team that refused to engage with users, and did not want to host their sprint reviews with stakeholders. Most importantly, we understand why the team entered that cycle and what we can do to help them find their own way to implement one of the most important Agile principles: “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.“

Featured Book of the week: Coaching Agile Teams

The book Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins discusses the different coaching approaches we can take when working with a team, and shares some of the problems we will face throughout that process. It’s a very important book, especially for those getting started in their coaching journey.

About Jella Eifler

Jella has a background in linguistics (totally non-tech) and calls herself “agile native” (having never worked any other way, at least in software development). She works as a Scrum Master since 2014 at Qudosoft in Berlin. She has worked with both colocated as well as distributed teams.

You can link with Jella Eifler on LinkedIn and connect with Jella Eifler on Twitter.


Lynoure Braakman on Technical Debt and having the courage to say “no”

Software developers are often put in a position where they need to “enable” some other aspect of the business. After all, software is a tool for businesses. In those cases, developers may be pressured and encouraged to say “yes” without taking into account (or heavily discounting) the effect on the long term maintainability of the code. This need to please management, marketing, sales (wherever the requests might come from) will only be visible much later down the line. In this episode we discuss what we can do to help developers learn to say “no” also.

Featured Book for the Week: Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

Peopleware by DeMarco and Lister is one of the classics in the management of software projects niche. Originally published in 1987, the book focuses on the specific aspects that relate to successfully managing a software development team. In this episode we talk about how it helped Lynoure understand what are the factors that influence a team’s productivity.

About Lynoure Braakman

Lynoure has worked in many roles in the IT, from operations, scrum mastering and requirements analysis to programming, even a little as a tester. She’s worked in agile teams since 2000 and loves being an adapter type, bringing in a wider perspective into her projects and to help different types of personalities to work together.

You can link with Lynoure Braakman on LinkedIn and connect with Lynoure Braakman on Twitter. You can also follow Lynoure Braakman’s blog at:

Kathy Andersen from waterfall project management to Agile Software Development, a big change for a team

When a team has a past firmly in the waterfall camp there are some specific problems we should look for. In this episode we talk about one such team, how they looked at requirements and how that impacted their work. We also discuss about the changes we need to go through with the team before they are ready and able to adopt an Agile process.

Featured Book of the Week: The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt

The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt is a book that has often been mentioned on the post. In this episode we discuss how this book can help us understand the concept and ideas behind Systems Thinking.


About Kathy Andersen

Kathy works as a Scrum Master with a team implementing a billing management system for a company called Hudl. Hudl is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska and provides video review and performance analysis tools for coaches and athletes to review game footage and improve team play. Kathy took an uncommon route to the software world, and since then she has had the luck of working on a diverse set of projects and teams. You’ll find her speaking at conferences and participating in the agile community.

You can link with Kathy Andersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kathy Andersen on Twitter.


Umer Saeed on Artificial Scrum and other anti-patterns

Teams sometimes take “timeboxes” in Scrum as something of a “soft rule”. A rule that is ignored when necessary to avoid the hard-truth of failing to deliver in the Sprint. This is just one of the anti-patterns we discuss with Umer in this episode where we explore how we can help teams implement and benefit from Scrum.

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

Scrum and XP from the trenches by Henrik Kniberg is a down-to-earth account of how Scrum and XP were adopted at a Swedish company. It’s a book that focuses on the practices, and the daily insights that we collect when working hands-on with the adoption of Agile.

About Umer Saeed

Umer is a Scrum Master, joining us from London, UK, currently working for one of the largest TV broadcasters in the UK, ITV. He has 5 years experience working in Agile environments spanning across Sports, Broadcasting, Travel and Publishing.  

You can link with Umer Saeed on LinkedIn and connect with Umer Saeed on Twitter.

Jeff Maleski on developing teams and team members

When we let the team grow their own silos, then we end up with teams that have many single points of failure. Is that really what is best for the team or the business? The famous bus-factor metric tells us how many people would have to be run over by a bus for us to hit a major problem.

Are you helping your team reflect on their bus-factor areas? Listen in to learn about the practices you can use to identify and resolve those bus-factor problems.

Featured book of the week: The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

A question that many managers ask themselves: who’s the best person to hire for my team? In The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni explores the characteristics and how to develop the idea team player for the team.


About Jeff Maleski

Jeff is passionate about working with and building up both individuals and teams using ideas from Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0 and Dan Pink’s Drive. When leading project teams, Jeff strives for empirical based planning and forecasting, continuous learning, and delivering high quality software products that exceed expectations. Jeff believes in leading by actions and focusing on building relationships with others.

You can link with Jeff Maleski on LinkedIn.

Lucas Smith: practicing Scrum is not enough, the other critical Scrum team ingredient

Getting a team to learn and practice Scrum is not enough. There’s a critical aspect to a team’s own success and further development: feeling ownership over the product they are developing.

In this episode we discuss how the lack of ownership in the team led to bigger and bigger problems.

We also discuss how to work with manager, who sometimes are the biggest blocker for the team to evolve.

Featured Book of the week: Every good endeavour by Timothy Keller

Every Good Endeavor is about the theology of work. Timothy Keller explores the importance of vacation in work, and asks: why do we do the work we do. An important reflection for Scrum Masters, who are there to serve.

In this episode we also mention Extreme Programming explained by Kent Beck and Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

About Lucas Smith

Lucas has been a developer, manager, and agile coach and trainer with Boeing. Currently works a Professional Scrum Trainer with and is the owner of LitheWorks. Lucas enjoys helping people and organizations improve the way they work to be more creative, effective, and efficient.

You can find Lucas Smith’s company at

You can link with Lucas Smith on LinkedIn.


Michael Küsters: A real story about the negative consequences of too much autonomy

Autonomy is one of the key aspects in Daniel Pink’s motivation triggers: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose. However, there is such a thing as too much autonomy. In this episode we explore the story of a team that was too autonomous. Listen in to learn what problems that led to, and how you can help your team avoid those problems.

Featured book of the week: Humble Inquiry

Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein is a book about the gentle art of asking and not telling. One of the core skills for a Scrum Master: asking the right questions.


About Michael Küsters

Michael helps companies and people become more agile by providing coaching, training and consulting in agile frameworks, principles and mindset.

Michael has consulted for a wide range of companies from small start-up to international corporation, transforming teams, divisions and entire organizations. He is a seasoned veteran with Scrum, Kanban, XP, LeSS and SAFe, Lean and Six Sigma and harnesses this vast experience for his clients’ success.

Michael is a Thought Provoker helping organizations become more agile.

You can link with Michael Küsters on LinkedIn and connect with Michael Küsters on Twitter.