Stefania Marinelli: Helping the introvert Scrum team members express their contributions

One of the worst anti-patterns to deal with as a Scrum Master is the disengaged team. And there are many possible reasons for that anti-pattern. One example is when a team is not allowed space for learning, and necessarily failing some times. Or if the team members are mostly introverts, and there’s no space for them to express their contribution. 

Scrum Masters must learn to create space for those team members to express themselves and help the team. 

In this episode, we talk about the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. This booked helped Stefania learn how to deal with, and help the quietest team members.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn

Each Scrum Master journey is a path, and each step has a different focus and a different book that makes an impact. Stefania shares how Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn was one of those books, and how later she discovered and learned from the NoEstimates book when she was in a different phase of her journey.

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Anubhuti Agarwal: Taking care of a Scrum team that just lost key team members

Sometimes, when team members leave the team, the ones that stay behind have a lot to deal with. The uncertainty caused by team members that leave can lead to negative anti-patterns. In this episode, we discuss some of the actions Scrum Masters can take to take care of the team, even when some of the team members are leaving.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations by Patterson et al.

In Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson et al., Anu found a book about a critical skill set for Scrum Masters. Anu also shares a concrete example of how she applied the learnings from that book in a tough situation.

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn

Thomas Kofoed: The “hero” culture that destroys Scrum teams

When we start out as a Scrum Master we might not yet be able to detect the anti-patterns that may develop in teams. That lack of experience can turn against us. One anti-pattern that emerges over and over again is that of the “hero”. In this episode, we explore what leads people to assume the “hero” role and how that negatively affects the team. 

In this episode, we refer to the graphic novel series Asterix and Obelix

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership by Geoff Watts, found many good stories and examples that make a difference between “good enough”, and “really great” Scrum Masters. The book does this via many short stories that illustrate the differences. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Scrum Guide as well as Gunther’s Scrum – A Pocket Guide. 

Both Geoff Watts and Gunther Verheyen have been previous guests on the podcast. 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He’s open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don’t need him but might miss him 🙂 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn

Denniz Dönmez: Helping Scrum teams overcome deadline pressure

Deadlines cause all kinds of side effects in team’s behavior. In this story, Denniz saw that the deadline pressure was increasing, and the teams were starting to show signs of stress. However, the teams were still trying to “power through” those deadlines, and they started to skip things. As it usually happens, at some point they started to skip important things. Listen in to learn how Denniz helped the team step back from that self-destructive behavior.

Featured Book of the Week: The Skilled Facilitator by Roger Schwarz

In The Skilled Facilitator by Roger Schwarz, Denniz found something that was in stark contrast with the command and control mindset. The book helped him understand his role as a facilitator, create approaches that favored collaboration and mutual learning, collaborative games, and more. All of it with backing from decades of research. As Scrum Masters, being a facilitator is perhaps the most important role we play, and this book helped Denniz learn a lot about what that role means in practice.

Denniz shares a list of the most important books for him at his site: enablingstructures.com/books

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart: helping Scrum teams have difficult conversations, safely

When a team started to have “backchannel” conversations and excluding some team members from those conversations, it was clear that something was going on that was not allowed to be discussed in the wider team. Samantha and Brian then focused on helping the team share what was going on in a safe way. Listen in to learn about what was holding the team back from discussing the important topics. 

Featured Book of the Week: Ideal Team Player by Lencioni and Difficult Conversations by Stone et al.

In Ideal Team Player by Lencioni Samantha found a great reference for a team that had to go through a recruiting process. The book helped the team reflect and choose the right candidate, by working together to define what they were looking for in a candidate beyond the technical skills. 

In this segment, we also refer to Difficult Conversations by Stone et al, a book that discusses conversation techniques to help move from emotion to productive problem solving.

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta’s transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer, but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta’s Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

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