Priyanka Gorai: Helping a Scrum team get unstuck, and stop complaining

Priyanka joined a small team that already felt they were following Scrum. However, as she started to understand better what was going on, she noticed the team followed the motions, but did not understand what Scrum was all about. To add to the challenge, the team did not have a good experience with the previous Scrum Master. They were not happy, and showed it with regular complaining. Listen in to learn how Priyanka solved the situation by working with the team.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Sutherland et al.

In Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Sutherland et al. Priyanka found many examples of the challenges that Scrum Masters can expect to face, and how Scrum helps them solve those challenges. 

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 Priyanka Gorai

Priyanka started her journey as a Software Test Engineer in 2014 and has more than 7 years in the software industry. Priyanka was thrilled by the concept of servant leadership in agile software development, and started supporting her team and then became a full-time Scrum Master. She is very passionate about agile development and wants to share that passion with others. She’s also learned that while improving individuals or a team, one can improve themselves.

You can link with Priyanka Gorai on LinkedIn

Linda van Sinten: How do teams engage, improve and own their own work?

In this organization, the teams found themselves dependent on their managers or group leads. The culture was that the group leads would know the answer to everything. Additionally, all improvements were given to “improvement teams”, leaving the Scrum teams out of the improvement discussions. Listen in to learn how Linda and the rest of the Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters were able to turn this story around, and help the teams take an active role in the definition of their work!

Featured Book of the Week: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

In Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, Linda learned a different way to lead. She learned that it is ok to not know the answer to every question, and it is necessary to give space to the others, to the teams we work with. She learned about inviting others to share to be vulnerable. 

As Linda puts it: “if you always talk, you hear only what you already know!”

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 ​​Linda van Sinten

Linda van Sinten is an experienced Scrum Master and creator of the Liberating Structures Visual design cards. She combines her knowledge of Scrum with the powerful skill of creating visualizations and visual tools to drive teams forward. She has trained over 500 people in making powerful visuals out of ideas, structuring strategies and product visions in Tech, Healthcare and other industries. 

You can link with ​​Linda van Sinten on LinkedIn.

Samet Ulutas: Helping a team willingly adopt Agile, even when they start by saying “no”!

Samet was working with a team that was new to Agile. This team had been successful in the past, so they did not see any need to change, or move to a new process. As Samet tried to organize the Scrum ceremonies for the team, he was met with their absence. The team did not participate. Through this experience, Samet learned that trying to push Agile on a team that is not ready is not a good idea, but there are certain activities that are helpful even for teams that are not yet ready for Agile. Listen in to learn how Samet turned this situation around.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Larsen and Derby

In Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby, Samet learned about the retrospective standard format, and started believing that retrospectives could have a great impact on the team’s performance over time. This is a book that Samet now recommends to all Agile leaders, not only Scrum Masters. 

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 Samet Ulutas

Samet has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 3 years and coached 35+ different teams until now. Samet has plenty of experience dealing with difficulties of an Agile Transformation, including being to witness the Agile Transformation of the largest private bank in Turkey from the beginning. Samet is also the co-owner of “Be Agile Stay Agile” YouTube channel. 

You can link with Samet Ulutas on LinkedIn and connect with Samet Ulutas on Twitter. 

Matthew Green: How a refinement meeting helps see BIG collaboration problems in Agile teams

Matthew was helping a team working in a “big data” context. He started noticing that their refinement meetings did not look like he expected. As he started to look deeper into that practice, he found that the team had developed a critical anti-pattern that prevented them from collaborating. The refinement meeting was just one symptom of a much deeper problem…

Featured Book of the Week: The Coaching Habit by Michael Stainer

In The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Stainer, Matthew found a model that helped me get into the “curiosity mindset”, and out of the Scrum dictator role that some Scrum Masters adopt. This helped Matthew learn to adapt Scrum to the context where he worked.

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 Matthew Green

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Matthew worked in a variety of roles both inside and outside of IT. This eclectic background has served him well in working with teams and individuals to help them on their own journey to a more humane way of working. 

You can link with Matthew Green on LinkedIn and connect with Matthew Green on Twitter.

Kathryn Tancos: How to Agile transformations succeed or fail

Kathryn was part of an agile transformation and working with 6 different teams. As she dug deeper into the ways of working in those teams, she found that there were patterns in their behaviors that negatively affected their performance. Among these, there was the belief that the team knew all the solutions and did not need to talk to, or listen to other teams. In this segment, we hear about how Scrum Masters can help change these patterns, and the other organizational patterns that make Agile transformations fail. 

Featured Book of the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Kathryn found a framework for giving and receiving feedback that helped her with the difficult conversations she needed to have in her Scrum Master role. The book shares ideas, and stories on how to build an environment of trust and respect. 

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 Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter.

Rasmus Lund-Jensen: How even the best teams can forget what Agile is about, and how to fix it

This team was succeeding in the improving and implementation of their practices. They were in control of the testing. They were doing most things right. As they felt more comfortable, they started thinking about the future, and decided to invest in tackling a future risk with a “quick” hackathon. What happened next was both surprising and instructive on how, even the best teams, can lose sight of what Agile is all about. 

In this segment, we refer to the Tuckman model of team development

Featured Book of the Week: I’m Afraid Debbie From Marketing Has Left for the Day by Munster

How do we make changes stick in the real world? Munster’s I’m Afraid Debbie From Marketing Has Left for the Day is about asking the right questions to understand how change can be implemented in a way that sticks. In this segment we also refer to Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman.

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 Rasmus Lund-Jensen

Rasmus is an agile coach and Scrum Master from Denmark. He is passionate about finding pragmatic ways for teams to reach their potential. He previously spent six years at the LEGO Group where he learned the power of bad jokes. If people are laughing, it means they are listening. 

You can link with Rasmus Lund-Jensen on LinkedIn and connect with Rasmus Lund-Jensen his website

Maximilian Dazer: Fighting Conway’s law, an Agile story we all should learn

Max worked with a team that was composed of team members from two previous teams. As he joined in the role of the Scrum Master, he started noticing that the team members did not focus on collaboration, but rather on single, individually assigned tasks (listen in to learn about how you can detect if your team is falling prey to the same anti-pattern). This way of working was causing delays, and slowing down the team because of the many handovers necessary. In this episode, the Scrum Master can help the team understand the anti-pattern, and help teams get out of the silo-thinking. In this episode we refer to Conway’s Law, an empirical observation and statement by Mel Conway that helps us understand why organizations and software end up mirroring each other: “if you have a 3 team compiler organization, you end up with a 3-pass compiler”.

Featured Book of the Week: User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton

User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton helped Max understand many critical aspects of applying Agile to the requirements/definition of the product. He learned about how the Backlog could be different than a simple list of requirements/user stories, and how User Stories are meant to be used. 

Jeff Patton has been a previous guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

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 Maximilian Dazer

Maximilian’s goal is to drive change from the bottom. For every team he creates a vision and tries to get them on board to pursue the change together. Maximilian wants to free people from the micromanagement-hell version of “scrum”.

You can link with Maximilian Dazer on LinkedIn.

Lucia Alarcon: The management antipattern that destroys Agile teams, and how to fix it

Lucia was part of a great team, with motivated and talented team members who were clearly committed to the work they had. But as time went by, Lucia started noting that the team was starting to develop some anti-patterns, with team members working in silos and not sharing with each other what was going on. As Lucia investigated the situation, she found that the manager of that team had started to develop a specific behavior that over time can destroy teams. Listen in to learn what that behavior was, and how to work around it with managers in the teams you work with.

Featured Book of the Week: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website: http://bit.ly/SMTP_ShowNotes.

In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Lucia found insights and the theory behind getting to a state of optimal experience, the state of Flow as described in the book. 

In this segment, we also refer to the book Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, a book we’ve covered several times here on the podcast.

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 Lucia Alarcon

Lucia is a Delivery Lead and a coach working in Wellington NZ, leading an amazing development squad to achieve the delivery of multiple digital initiatives using Agile, creating a culture of empowerment, collaboration and communication. With 15+ years of experience, her professional (and personal!) journey has taken her through a variety of organizations and halfway around the world from Argentina. Lucia loves all things Agile, facilitation and coaching. 

You can link with Lucia Alarcon on LinkedIn and connect with Lucia Alarcon on Instagram.

Madhuri Korapati: A slow developing, high-impact anti-pattern in Agile teams, and how to fix it

The team we talk about in this episode was an example of a great team. They collaborated well, were able to tackle the challenges that came their way. However, after they were put on a bigger, higher pressure project, things started to change. Over time, in this new project, the team started to forget how to retrospect and improve as a team, and this started to affect their performance. Listen in to learn how Madhuri solved this slow developing, but high-impact anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey

Madhuri starts by introducing The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, to show how important it is for Scrum Masters to focus on building trust with their team members and other stakeholders. But how do you do that in practice? That’s what the book Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey comes in. This book, which Madhuri acknowledges has changed her own way of acting, helps explain what trust is in practice, and how to build that in your Scrum 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 Madhuri Korapati

Madhuri a self-motivated servant leader with 14 years of software industry experience across Payments and Banking sectors. She is a Scrum Master at Mastercard, and enjoys helping teams in their agile transformation and showcasing their improvements. 

You can link with Madhuri Korapati on LinkedIn and connect with Madhuri Korapati on Twitter.

Kevin Pedersen: How do you help a Scrum team that does not want to be coached? You have to be Agile as a coach! 

In this team there were big egos to deal with. These people were happy to work without the support of the Scrum Master. This raised an important question that we must tackle: how do you help a team that does not want to be coached? Kevin shares his approach in this team, and how slowly things started to turn around. Key lessons for all Scrum Masters.

Featured Book of the Week: Salvation, the Bungsu Story! By Marcus Hammarberg

Salvation, The Bungsu Story by Marcus Hammarberg is a book that explores how to apply agile methods in a non-software environment. Marcus shares the story of The Bungsu, a Hospital in Indonesia that was literally in crisis (the roof had just fallen off) when Marcus arrived. The story Marcus shares is an uplifting and insightful story about how applying concrete Agile methods can help any organization. A MUST READ book for all Scrum Masters, as well as a great story that you will remember forever!

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 Kevin Pedersen

Kevin is a Managing Director, agile coach and international trainer for Growing Agile in South Africa. He is passionate about helping people connect to their purpose. This is best described in Growing Agile’s vision ‘to grow people and inspire ideas so that they can be the best version of themselves and we do that by changing the way people think about work’.

You can link with Kevin Pedersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kevin Pedersen on Twitter.