How often do you reflect on the prevailing culture of the team and organization where you work? Are that team or organization’s values aligned with you own personal values?
As Scrum Masters, the organizations and teams we work with have a big impact on the work we can do. In this episode, we discuss how sometimes the organization and team’s cultures are not aligned with the Scrum Master’s values, and what we should do about it.
Featured Book for the Week: The Hitchhiker’s guide to Agile Coaching
Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.
Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.
Teams benefit from team members with a lot of experience. However, when those team members become the “only voice” in the team, that may lead to serious problems. In this episode, we explore the Senior Team Member anti-pattern, whereby one team member “overpowers” everyone else in the team, and the other team members are hesitant to share their perspectives. What should a Scrum Master do in this situation? Listen in to learn more, and get Valeria’s tips.
Featured Book for the Week: Coaching agile teams by Lyssa Adkins
In Coaching agile teams by Lyssa Adkins, Valeria found an inspiring book that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. In the book she finds a valuable reminder of the things she still has to practice and learn to be better at.
About Valeria Greco
Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: “I build teams!” And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)”
In this episode, we explore the anti-pattern of the “team of specialists”. This team was formed by many freelancers and sub-contractors that were hired to do a specialist job and were not about to give that up. Listen in to learn what that caused and how Reinald handled the problem.
Featured Book of the Week: The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery
Reinald also mentions the Rene Brown’s talk about Vulnerability, a talk that helped him change his attitude as a freelance software developer, and stopping to try to be a superhero, a problem that many freelancers face in their desire to help their clients.
About Reinald Kirchner
Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.
What happens when a team member who joined as a “gift” from management fails to keep the standard expected from each of the team members? If you add to this, the fact that some team members become vocal about the problem, but others don’t even want to touch the subject, you have all the ingredients you need for massive conflict. What can a Scrum Master do? Listen in to learn how Dmytro, the Scrum Master helped the team get out of this negative spiral.
Featured Book for the Week: Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgren et al.
Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right hand, he has a tattoo with the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management, Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.
When things go wrong, it is critical to help the team prepare how the discuss and recover from bad news. The worst that can happen is when teams (and Scrum Masters) just drop “the bomb” of bad news and put the responsibility on others. In this episode, we talk about how to prepare those tough conversations.
Featured Book of the Week: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.
This team had all the ceremonies in place. They were “doing” Scrum by all accounts. But they weren’t even a team. We explore the “group, not team” anti-pattern with Eddy, and discuss what might be some of the techniques and approaches Scrum Masters can use to help these teams.
Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
In Drive by Daniel Pink, Eddy found a new approach to the eternal question of motivation. He found a new paradigm to help him understand the role of managers and management in organizations.
About Eddy Bruin
For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.
As this story starts, the team is buried under technical debt. Why they got there is the topic of this episode’s story. We talk about finding the signs that the team is starting to drown in tech debt, as the recognition of that pattern is the first step to avoid major damage to the team and the product.
Featured Book of the Week: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Jim found a reminder of some practices that are useful for Scrum Masters. The highlight is the process of “decluttering”, removing the mess we often have to deal with in our teams, our backlogs or in relationships between team members. Jim challenges us to find those “cluttered” areas in our work and ask the team: “do you feel overwhelmed?”
Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.
What happens when team members see themselves as specialists? We discuss some of the common anti-patterns of the specialized team member perspective and talk about the benefits of swarming, an approach where the whole team feels responsible for the deliverables they have to complete, instead of standing by and letting the specialists work alone.
Featured Book of the Week: <Redacted>
Martin wants to share some of the insights that he got from a book he read. The book allowed him to feel free from previous fears, and find space to express his curiosity. This lead to Martin finding a newly rekindled thirst for knowledge. The book? You may want to ask Martin directly on LinkedIn, his LinkedIn page is linked below, in his bio! 🙂
About Martin Lambert
Martin’s an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: “sorry for you know what”.
Sooner or later, Scrum Masters will face the micro-management anti-pattern. What should Scrum Masters do in that case? In this episode, we talk about the anti-patterns that can emerge in a team that is subject to micro-management and some of the tools that Scrum Masters can use in those situations.
Sometimes team members have significantly different expectations of the Scrum process or any other Agile process. Before we can help that team, we must detect when the team members are growing apart and understand what the expectations are for each one of them.
Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.