Carsten Lützen: What happens when Scrum Masters get too far from the teams they support

When Carsten started as a Scrum Master, he worked with a team of brilliant developers. The team worked well, and all seemed to function. However, soon after that, Carsten started working with a second team, and the problems started. Carsten found that he had let the team to its own devices, and grew apart from the team that had been working so well. Listen in to learn what happens when Scrum Masters get too far from the teams they are supposed to help! 

Featured Book of the Week: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Coaching by Agile42 consulting

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Coaching, Carsten learned some important lessons about the coaching approach and why Scrum Masters must be aware of their different stances (teaching, mentoring, coaching, and more!)

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 Carsten Lützen

Carsten is an Agile Coach at the LEGO Group. Before that a Scrum Master for different teams. He has a deep love of graphical facilitation and professional coaching. Besides his full-time job, he shares weekly tips on YouTube and LinkedIn on Agile, Facilitation, and Coaching.

You can link with Carsten Lützen on LinkedIn and connect with Carsten Lützen on Twitter.

Nancy Beers: Why the Scrum Master work with stakeholders is critical for the teams’ success

Nancy was working with a team that was high-energy and focused on delivering value. Every sprint they tried to ship software, but there was always something that was preventing them from releasing. Over time, the team and Nancy tried to bring that up with stakeholders, but all they got was “blame” for not delivering to production. And then the team lost it… Listen in to learn how teams may react when external blockers are identified, talked about, but never solved.

Featured Book of the Week: Three books to help you perfect the team’s routines and calendar

In this segment, we talk about 3 books that, as Nancy puts it, bring together 3 important lessons for Scrum Masters that try to help their teams perform. The books are: Drive by Daniel Pink, When by Daniel Pink, and Deep Work by Cal Newport. These books helped Nancy reconsider the cycle she sets up for her teams with the aim to help them perform better. In this segment, we also refer to Ayurveda, and Team Coaching. 

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 Nancy Beers

Nancy says she is here to change the world one game at a time. She plays with people to learn or unlearn things. This can either be hard skills or soft skills (aka. Human skills)

You can link with Nancy Beers on LinkedIn and connect with Nancy Beers on Twitter

Dahm Hongchai: Helping Scrum teams collaborate with other teams!

In this episode, we discuss how teams are often unaware of what is going on around them. Their desire to perform and focus on their work can lead them to ignore the dependencies around them. Dahm shares one such story, and we discuss what we can do as Scrum Masters to help teams be aware, and react to what other teams need around them. 

Featured Book of the Week: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by DeMarco and Lister

In Peopleware, by DeMarco and Lister, Dahm found a call to focus on people, which was missing in his experience. Many businesses are good at technology, but are not so good with co-workers and people in the business. The book covers many insights that help Scrum Masters understand and implement the people focus that is often missing.

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 Dahm Hongchai

Dahm Hongchai is an Agile coach, a Scrum Master, and a business consultant with 5 years experience in high-tech and Startup industries in Silicon Valley, Thailand, and Australia. He was the first Thai to become a Scrum Trainer (ST) with Scrum Inc. Dahm also has 10+ years of experience with other approaches such as Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. And he is an Agile trainer and helps people to understand Agile via, for example Agile Cooking.

You can link with Dahm Hongchai on LinkedIn

Raj Solanki: Helping a skeptic team adopt Scrum

Raj was working with a team, where some people were just not ready to accept and adopt Agile. Some of the team members did not attend the ceremonies on a regular basis, and presented all kinds of “excuses”. He heard: “it slows down my productivity”, “I have other meetings” and many more. When some team members don’t buy in to the Scrum framework, that starts spreading and creating questions and doubts in those that were previously on board. In this episode, we discuss how to tackle this kind of resistance to Scrum adoption, and Raj shares how he was able to turn this story around, and help the team succeed in their adoption of Scrum. 

Featured Book of the Week: Essential Scrum by Kenneth S. Rubin

In Essential Scrum by Kenneth S. Rubin, Raj found a simple and welcoming description of Scrum for newcomers. The book goes through what is scrum and is easy to understand even if you don’t have a long background in Agile. 

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 Raj Solanki

Raj is a Manager, Technical program manager as well as Scrum master. He focuses on helping the teams learn about Agile, overcoming obstacles, foster a collaborative community, and more. 

He constantly reads about agile and seeks out coaches when he feels stuck. He seeks constant feedback and helps teams be transparent and build trust.

You can link with Raj Solanki on LinkedIn and connect with Raj Solanki on Twitter

Ademar Perez: The problems that happen when the team listens to the Product Owner, but does not understand the customer

Ademar joined a team that was dependent on the Product Owner to create and prioritize the User Stories for the team. The team would always wait for the PO to drive the conversation, and would never challenge or question the PO’s ideas. It was a “yes” team. Ademar found out that this team had been told that “the PO is the customer!” But this was hiding a bigger problem, the team did not know who the customer really was. Listen in to learn about the anti-patterns that develop when the team does not think about the customer on their own. 

In this episode, we refer to Marty Cagan’s work as well as the Scrum Guide

Featured Book for the Week: The Scrum Fieldbook, by JJ Sutherland

In The Scrum Fieldbook: A Master Class on Accelerating Performance, Getting Results, and Defining the Future, by JJ Sutherland, Ademar learned that Scrum is not only made for software, it can work in any industry and organization. In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams, by Lyssa Adkins

 

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 Ademar Perez

Ademar Perez is cultivating high performing product teams as an Agile Coach at Xero. He fell in love with the Agile way of working after seeing 5 to 6 scrum teams collaborate to develop a customer facing application. Since then, Ademar has helped over 30+ teams become self-organizing and high-performing.

You can link with Ademar Perez on LinkedIn.

Mustafa Ergun: The story points anti-pattern, and what Scrum Masters can do to help teams

In many organizations, and teams, there is a strong focus on metrics and measuring everything (e.g. velocity). When Mustafa joined this team, he found the same pattern of focusing very much on the “pointing” of stories, instead of understanding the goal/impact of the story. But this led to the team being “lost” as to how to implement their stories. At this point Mustafa suggested the team focus their attention on understanding the stories first. Listen in to learn how to facilitate a conversation around the stories the team will work on. 

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!

Featured Book of the Week: Fixing your Scrum by Ripley and Miller

In Fixing your Scrum by Ripley and Miller, Mustafa found a book that helped him understand the many possible dysfunctions that organizations suffer from when adopting Scrum. 

In this segment, we also refer to How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clayton Christensen, a book that helped Mustafa put his work in perspective, and reflect on how he wants his work to help him build the life he wants for himself.

About Mustafa Ergun

Mustafa is an experienced Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping individuals and organizations see their potential and make things better. His current focus is on improving teams’ performance through insightful facilitation. Mustafa is always eager to learn, share his experience with others and enjoys seeing people succeed.

You can link with Mustafa Ergun on LinkedIn and connect with Mustafa Ergun on Twitter

Pascal Clarkson: Helping build diversity of thought in a Scrum team

Pascal was working with a team that had a team member that was particularly good at pointing out problems. She had worked at that company for a long time and had developed a reputation for “being difficult”, which led to the other team members judging this one team member’s actions, and they ended up dismissing her actions. In this episode, we hear about how Pascal approached this situation and modeled curiosity to help other team members understand why she was pointing out problems. 

Featured Book of the Week: From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate Using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling by Caitlin Walker

In Contempt to Curiosity by Caitlin Walker, Pascal learned about Systemic Modeling and Clean Language, which gave him a set of models to do group facilitation. It all starts with getting people to be curious about each other. 

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 Pascal Clarkson

Pascal has a bachelor degree in computer science. After years of working as a software engineer and having 8+ years of practical experience with the Scrum Framework, he has shifted his attention towards group facilitation. He uses Systemic Modelling and other methods to support groups in their discovery of how they can be the best version of themselves.

You can link with Pascal Clarkson on LinkedIn and connect with Pascal Clarkson on Twitter

You can also follow Pascal’s writings on Artocraft.nl.

Tomo Lennox: Swarming out of a bad place, a Scrum team tool

Tomo worked with 6 teams on a project. Although the teams were good at developing software, they lacked something that was critical. As Tomo investigated further, he pinpointed what was missing, and focused on providing them with the tools to overcome their lack of innovation, and decision making ability. 

In this segment, we refer to the concept of Swarming, which when applied correctly can make times much more productive. 

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!

Featured Book of the Week: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck is one of the foundational books for Lean applied to software. Although many have followed the Poppendieck’s, their book still has many learnings on how to apply Lean to software development. 

In this segment, we also refer to the work by Klaus Leopold, of which the book Rethinking Agile is one example

About Tomo Lennox

Tomo has 20 years of experience in project management, both waterfall, and Agile. A few years ago he was at David Anderson’s first Kanban Conference and has been a fanatic ever since, even though he has lost several jobs as a result of it. Tomo became then an advocate for projection over guessing, and reactive planning.

You can link with Tomo Lennox on LinkedIn and connect with Tomo Lennox on Twitter

Dov Tsal: The problems Scrum Masters create when trying to help teams

The problems in Scrum adoption can come from the conflict between a team and the person “pushing” the process. In this segment, we talk about the approaches we sometimes take as Scrum Masters that negatively affect the team and their Agile adoption.

Featured Book of the Week: The Agile Tao by Peter Merrel

The Agile Tao by Peter Merrel is based on the Book of Tao, an ancient book with series of meditations on the mysterious nature of the Tao–the Way, the Light, the very Source of all existence. Dov shares how The Agile Tao helped him understand better his role as Scrum Master. 

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 Dov Tsal

Dov Tsal is a versatile agile coach, scrum-master, change-agent, and enabler, helping companies teams, and individuals to make an impact. Dov is also the creator of the #MeetingSpicer, a coaching tool to hack meeting culture. He is also the co-creator of The Agile Tao Podcast about understanding agility through the Taoist prism.

You can link with Dov Tsal on LinkedIn

Kyla MacDonald: From unaware and confused to engaged and motivated, a Scrum team transformation

Kyla was working with a team that was under a lot of pressure. They were busy, and stressed. No one in that organization wanted to disturb, or interrupt this team. So much so, that planning was done only with senior people. However, by not wanting to interrupt the team, the organization was making the team unaware of why they were working on, and confused. The story changes when the Product Owner starts involving the team in planning and decision making. 

Featured Book of the Week: Leadership is Language by David L. Marquet

In Leadership is Language by David L. Marquet (a previous guest here on the podcast), Kyla learned about how language impacts people and behaviours. A key lesson for us, Scrum Masters. In this episode, we also talk about The Skilled Facilitator by Roger M. Schwarz, where she learned some of the concepts she now applies in her work as Scrum Master. 

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 Kyla MacDonald

Kyla imagines a world where the talk at Friday drinks is all about the great things we achieved in the week, what we learned, and what we can try next. As she puts it, people who find satisfaction, meaning, fun, and growth in their work, will naturally be in a better position to find the same in their home life. The thing that excites Kyla the most about agile is how concepts and principles apply to any and every area of your life. Which for her is running, paragliding and life on her hobby farm (they call it a lifestyle block in NZ).

You can link with Kyla MacDonald on LinkedIn and connect with Kyla MacDonald on Twitter