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.

Mariana Trigo: Helping an Agile team recover from COVID19 isolation side effects

In the COVID19 year, there are many challenges that teams need to overcome, not the least of which is the isolation from other teams, and the rest of the company. When we can only meet through a previously scheduled online meeting, the number of connections and conversations is limited to the team we work daily with. In this story, we hear about a team that started to develop the “us against them” mentality because they were not in contact with other teams. 

Listen in to learn how Mariana helped this team get out of their inward focus, and accept that to succeed they needed to work with stakeholders outside the team.

Featured Book of the Week: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

As Mariana struggled to convince teams on how to move forward she searched for inspiration in this classic book. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carenegie helped her to learn how to communicate ideas, in a way that engages and brings out the best in the collaboration with the team members. The book helped her to shape her communication to the situation and the team member she was speaking with.

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 Mariana Trigo

Mariana’s path from Biology to Retail to IT, is a unique path in the search for purpose and the feeling of belonging. Helping development teams to reach their full potential by improving processes and people. Her favorite time is retrospective time, probably connected with her need to constantly get out of her comfort zone. 

You can link with Mariana Trigo on LinkedIn.

​​Tanzil Choudhury: A great Scrum team that went bad because they were so good at following Agile

Tanzil had just kickstarted a new team that he helped hire. The start of the assignment went as well as could be expected. The team picked up the practices, and learned how to apply them as described by Tanzil. However, later on that became part of the problem. The team, sure of their practices, was unwilling to move beyond the original practices they had learned. 

In this segment, we talk about The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni.

Featured Book of the Week: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell et al.

This week’s book, is also an audiobook: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell et al. In this book Tanzil learned several practices he could directly apply to his work, and go beyond the “process” aspects that a Scrum Master often works with. The book helped Tanzil move from thinking about product, to thinking and act with people. 

In this segment, we also refer to Shift From Product To People, a book that helps Scrum Masters understand and apply that shift to focus on people and their behaviors, instead of sticking only to process and product. 

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 Tanzil Choudhury

Tanzil is a passionate Agilist focused on coaching individuals, teams and organizations towards the Agile transformation journey. Specialized in working with teams and organizations to help them overcome cultural hangovers. 

You can link with Tanzil Choudhury on LinkedIn.

Alex Gbaguidi: Overcoming the skill silos in backend Scrum teams

When you are the Scrum Master in the backend team, and you understand that your team cannot deliver anything without other teams, what do you do? In this episode, we explore Alex’s story, and learn what he applied to align different teams that were organized around skill silos. 

Featured Book of the Week: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Alex shares with us a new edition of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, this is the Manga version of the book. As Alex puts it: the perfect edition for the visual learners among us. 

In this segment, we also refer to the Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley et al.

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 Alex Gbaguidi

Alex is an experienced agile practitioner, coach and trainer with twenty years of experience in IT consulting. He is passionate about helping teams discover the best ways of working adapted to their context. He’s worked in many different types of industries (Telecoms, Energy, Finance or Aeronautics) and provides training on many agile frameworks and practices all around the world in French & English.

You can link with Alex Gbaguidi on LinkedIn and connect with Alex Gbaguidi on Twitter

You can join Alex Gbaguidi’s Agile Africa community.

Gonçalo Valverde: How to deal with a disruptive team member (before it is too late)

Gonçalo was working with two teams that were busy migrating to a new system. However, in one of these teams there was a disruptive team member. The management tried to put this team member aside by pushing him into test management. But this only made the situation worse. Listen in to learn what Gonçalo tried to help this team member, and what he learned from this story that he carries with him ever since.

Featured Book of the Week: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al.

While reading Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al., Gonçalo realized that it’s possible and there’s a method to having conversations on very difficult topics, yet be constructive. This book shares some critical tools that all Scrum Masters should be aware of. 

In this segment, we also refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton, and to the Oikosofy’s User Story Mapping facilitator’s guide, available for free. 

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 Gonçalo Valverde

Gonçalo is an Agile Coach from Portugal working with teams and organizations in their continuous improvement journey. As a keen amateur photographer, he learned that less is more and how constraints help one focus on the outcomes. He’s also a co-organizer of Agile Coach Camp Portugal. 

You can link with Gonçalo Valverde on LinkedIn and connect with Gonçalo Valverde on Twitter

Kim Hinsch: Going beyond “best practice” a must for Scrum teams that want to learn and improve

Kim was working with a new team, with a new PO. However, this team had a history in that organization, and their culture was already established. A lot of people came in with their own beliefs, and the inevitable culture clash happened between the “new” PO and Scrum Master, and the “old” team members. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to bring these issues up with the team and have them process/learn from the conflicts that are happening. This led Kim to understand that when teams (think they) “know the best practices”, they are not motivated to learn and improve. 

Featured Book of the Week: Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun by Joost Minaar et al.

In Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun, by Joost Minaar et al., Kim found examples of how different companies have taken decisions to the teams, and empowered them to take responsibility for their own work and success. She found those stories inspiring. 

In this segment, we also talk about Turn The Ship Around! By David L. Marquet, a book we’ve reviewed with the author 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 Kim Hinsch

Kim is an agile enthusiast, that has been stung by the power of games, communication, and psychology. Kim practices every day the fine art of making magic happen the agile way. And what makes her heart beat faster is supporting teams and organizations on their magical journey across the hills of excellence and effectiveness.

You can link with Kim Hinsch on LinkedIn