Rob Cooper: Helping a team in an impossible situation, a Scrum Master story

Rob joined this company at the tail end of this team’s story. As Rob entered the organization, he understood that the organization was still stuck in the “old world”. The company had fired many of the people who had developed the legacy app that the team was trying hard to maintain. On top of that, there were many things going wrong at this organization. What could Rob do to help this team? Listen in, to learn about what we, as Scrum Masters, can do in very difficult situations, when everything seems to be going wrong for the team. 

In this segment, we refer to Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Laloux, and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.

Featured Book of the Week: Two surprising recommendations

Rob leaves us with two surprising recommendations that are worth an listen, to understand why he recommends these books. The first book, a book about the full complexity of human behavior and change aversion is The Bible. As Rob puts it: “it’s about human behavior”. The second recommendation, no less surprising is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a book that helped Rob understand storytelling and how a story can crystalize the direction for a 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 Rob Cooper

Rob is a Lead Agile Coach at Sainsbury’s, focusing on how the whole business uses Agility. Rob is an experienced Agile Coach at Enterprise, leadership, and team levels. In this career, he worked with change in organizations using a range of frameworks, including Scrum, Kanban, SAFe & LeSS approaches. He’s experienced in program & Project Management and has helped multiple teams transition from waterfall to Agile. 

You can link with Rob Cooper on LinkedIn.

Susannah Chambers: Overcoming the waterfall reporting syndrome

In this project, the team was “forced” to report their work in a waterfall model: milestones, up-front plans, etc. This brought a series of problems that Susannah describes as “the joyless team”. This highlighted for her the important role Scrum Masters play in helping the team translate the information they have into a language that fits the needs of the stakeholders, but without going all the way back to waterfall plans and reports. 

Featured Book of the Week: Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear, by Sheridan et al. 

In Chief Joy Officer, Susannah found ideas and tools to help teams (and herself) find joy in the workplace. The book resonated with her, and offered ideas that fit the role of the Scrum Master very well. In the book, she also learned about using Joy as the metric that helps teams perform.

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 Susannah Chambers

Susannah seeks joy and empowers teams to articulate how they add value. She is a Certified ScrumMaster and Agile Team Coach for 3 software development teams for a major retailer. Susannah is also a Personal Agility Recognized Ambassador for the Personal Agility Institute and she helps people identify what really matters.

You can link with Susannah Chambers on LinkedIn and connect with Susannah Chambers on Twitter.

Serge Huybrechts: How to overcome “firefighting” and help Scrum teams learn to collaborate

This particular manager was a master “firefighter”. Perhaps because of that, the manager had been promoted to that position. But there’s a problem! When the manager is a firefighter, the team starts to mimic that behavior and starts to focus on finding, and fighting fires, instead of building a reliable and replicable approach to work. In this episode, we explore the many anti-patterns that emerge when the team starts copying the manager’s behavior. 

Featured Book of the Week: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. By Brené Brown

In Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, Serge learned some important lessons that have helped him as a Scrum Master. He understood that leadership is a critical aspect for Scrum Masters, as well as how to act on that leadership requirement for Scrum Masters. In this segment, we also refer to Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman, a book that helped Serge look at other’s actions from the “good intentions” perspective, something that he tries to apply in his 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 Serge Huybrechts

Serge is a Scrum Master, Agile coach, and trainer with a long background in IT Service Management. He considers himself a guide for continuous improvement where Agile, Scrum, and Kanban are the vehicles. Serge loves Agile because of its focus on people and learning resonates with him. 

He also calls himself a bulimic reader and very passionate about music.

You can link with Serge Huybrechts on LinkedIn. 

Ines Garcia: Helping team go beyond “the motions” of Scrum

When adopting Scrum, it is very easy for teams to “go through the motions, without emotions” as Ines puts it. Transforming how we work to reach our collective potential is not an easy process. In this episode, we explore a story of a team that was stuck in the “form”, but was missing the substance of Agile and Scrum. We also explore some of the tools and tactics we can use to help teams that are stuck in the “motions without emotions” anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Collective Genius by Linda A. Hill et al

In Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, Ines found insights on how we can help teams come together and be innovative in practice. In this segment, we also refer to Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist and to Ines’ own book Becoming more agile whilst delivering Salesforce. 

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 Ines Garcia

Ines is an Agile Coach, a Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP-SM), and a Salesforce MVP. She focuses on helping organizations every day to become more Agile whilst delivering Salesforce technology. She consults, speaks, and trains in these arenas always with the end in mind of enabling an evolution (not revolution).

You can link with Ines Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Ines Garcia on Twitter.

Check out Ines’ books on Amazon.

Omar McNeil: Helping Scrum teams deal with unplanned work during a Sprint

In this team, the manager had developed the habit of overcommitting the team for side projects. Seeing this pattern, Omar worked with the team to understand how to deal with these “interruptions” that were bound to come from the manager. This story helps us understand how to plan for “unplanned” work in a team.

Featured Book of the Week: The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim

In The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Omar found a description of something that was happening in his company. From that, he took lessons that helped him develop an approach to help his teams lower the work-in-process, improve flow and adopt a focus on experimentation.

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 Omar McNeil

Omar is a Principal Agile Practitioner at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Omar worked in the Federal Government space as an Agile Practitioner Consultant, Project Manager, and Scrum Master. He has a passion for helping teams create a collaborative and safe environment, participating in Agile Communities, and coaching. 

You can link with Omar McNeil on LinkedIn and connect with Omar McNeil on Twitter.

Sarah Finn: How to increase safety within a team, tips for scrum masters

As this story starts, we hear how the team was starting to develop a blame culture. Sarah shares how she was able to help the team feel safe so that they could address the challenges they were facing instead of spiraling into a finger-pointing nightmare.

Featured Book of the Week: Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson

In Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson, Sarah learned a few key lessons about change management. She shares with us some of those lessons that remind us how we can do a good job at change leadership in our Scrum Master role. 

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 Sarah Finn

Sarah Finn is an Agile Coach, within an Agile Practice Team in Red Hat. Sarah currently works with an open-source community facing team called “The Community Platform Engineering Team”. Sarah also helps co-manage the Agile DevOps Community of Practice. Sarah believes by simply creating a safe environment for discussion & collaboration can open up so many opportunities to work together towards continuous improvement.

You can link with Sarah Finn on LinkedIn and connect with Sarah Finn on Twitter.

Ravi Jay: Building great Scrum teams

This team was full of “rock-stars”, but something was not working as expected. The architects were seen by the team as someone to look up to, and that affected how they estimated their work. Aiming to please, the team was getting into trouble. This helped Ravi understand an important lesson: building a rock-star team is always better than building a team of rock stars!

Featured Book of the Week: The Phoenix Project, by Gene Kim

In The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim was a book that helped Ravi understand some of the problems he had faced in his own work. It was a book that opened his eyes to some of the common problems that he later would face as a 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 Ravi Jay

Ravi started his career as a Mainframes developer in 2004 and was introduced to agility in 2007. He went from hating Scrum Masters to loving Kanban very quickly but became a believer in agile methods after learning by losing money implementing SAFe in his London-based startup in 2011. Over 16 years, Ravi has specialized in driving value out of complex software, hardware, firmware and organizational change programs using various large-scale agile and traditional methods across industries. He enjoys spending time coaching and building teams that create products, people love to use.

You can link with Ravi Jay on LinkedIn and connect with Ravi Jay on Twitter. 

Helen Garcia: Helping Scrum teams speak up and take responsibility for their success

This team would not speak up. That puzzled Helen. We explore the anti-pattern of the silent team that would not speak their mind, and what happened. Through this story, we discuss how we, as Scrum Masters, can help teams grow and be confident of their ideas, and take responsibility for their success.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Helen found inspiring stories that changed her perspective on the Scrum Master role. Through this book, she started her learning journey, and explored how to coach teams, and become a better coach herself.

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 Helen Garcia

Helen’s been in projects for over 10 years, everything from construction to pharma to more recently gaming. Not only does she want to bring an Agile mindset to organizations that are ready for change but she also strongly believes that Agile can be just as effective at home. Bringing value sooner, safer and happier thanks to Jon Smart it’s a quote Helen take most places!

You can link with Helen Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Helen Garcia on Twitter. 

You can also visit Helen Garcia’s website to learn more about her work.

Chris Foley: Defeating the “Hero” anti-pattern in Scrum teams

In this episode, we talk about the “heroes” anti-pattern, which describes the case of a team that is focused on the performance of its members, rather than the whole team. It starts with the siloed knowledge and skills, which cases over-dependence on a single team member for certain work, and hampers the team when that specific team member is out. Liste in to learn how to help your team get out of that self-defeating pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset, The New Psychology Of Success by Carol S. Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Chris found the concept of the “Growth Mindset” a model that helped him work with teams to develop their ways of working. And he also found that model useful in his study for coaching accreditation.

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 Chris Foley

Chris is a Principal Systems Design Engineer at Red Hat working in the area of Engineering Improvement. He has over 20 years of experience in software and has filled PO and ScrumMaster roles. The team, to Chris, is the essence of the whole process and the Scrum Masters role is to help optimize that. He uses his experience from the sporting world to draw parallels around how successful teams function.

You can link with Chris Foley on LinkedIn and connect with Chris Foley on Twitter.

Joe Auslander: From struggling with testing to shipping every Sprint!

There are many teams that struggle with the “last mile” in developing and shipping software. This story is about a team that had trouble getting everything tested by the end of the Sprint, and how, through visualization of work, they were able to change how they organized themselves, and started shipping software reliably.

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

Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Larsen and Derby is probably the most talked-about book on Agile Retrospectives and it helped Joe understand the role of the retrospectives as well as to prepare and facilitate great retrospectives. This was the book that helped Joe learn to appreciate Agile Retrospectives. 

About Joe Auslander

Joe is into game/experience design and enjoys working with teams to solve unique problems. In the past this has been in areas of ship repair, crew coordination, television production and software delivery. Joe enjoys learning and sharing what he has learned and he particularly loves seeing people succeed. 

You can link with Joe Auslander on LinkedIn and connect with Joe Auslander on Twitter.