Sometimes, Scrum teams are not facing any challenges. They might even be “good” at what they are doing. When that happens, it is a sign that Scrum Masters must pay extra attention to the team dynamics and the relationship with their stakeholders. Is the team really that good, or is it so that they are just getting comfortable with the status quo and not willing to improve anymore?
Featured Book of the Week: Agile Software Development by Schwaber and Beedle
The “black book of Scrum”, Agile Software Development by Schwaber and Beedle was the first book published on Scrum and it helped Eduardo understand Scrum and why it was created. It also helps Scrum Masters prepare their arguments for the adoption of Scrum when that is necessary.
About Eduardo Ribeiro
Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.
He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.
As Scrum Masters, sometimes we work with teams that are at the start of their learning journey with Scrum. These teams might even be motivated, and committed teams. But there are many aspects of Scrum that can only be learned with experience. In this episode, we talk about the possible problems we face when working with “new” teams, and how we can help them survive their first Scrum implementation.
Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts
In Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, Nedeljko found a great list of examples on what differentiates good from great Scrum Masters. He found also many patterns that helped him solve the problems he was facing in his Scrum Master role.
Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.
Even when teams are motivated, and progressing at a rapid pace, there’s an ingredient that, if missing, can derail the whole project. That ingredient is feedback from customers and users. In this episode, we talk about what happens when feedback is missing and how Scrum Masters can help their teams focus on collecting and reacting to feedback.
Featured book of the Week: Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time
In this segment of the episode, we also refer to Edx.Org, a website that focuses on education and includes Agile training as well.
About Henrique Centieiro
Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.
Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.
When new team members join a strong team, they may suffer from too much or the wrong kind of humbleness. In this episode, Tilman shares the story of a team member that joined a strong team, but failed to establish himself, failed to speak up and that led to a serious misunderstanding. Listen in to learn how to help team members establish themselves in a new team, even when the process might be intimidating at first
Featured Book of the Week: Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. (www.agrilution.com)
Distributed teams are notoriously hard for Scrum Masters. But why? In this episode, we talk about some of the anti-patterns we can expect in distributed teams and what Scrum Masters can do to help distributed teams jell and overcome those anti-patterns.
Featured Book for the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott
In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Raluca found a book that helped her develop her leadership approach. Kim shares many stories from different leaders and helps the reader understand what makes a good leader with concrete tools and methods.
About Raluca Mitan
Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the “good, the bad and the ugly” received distinctive names.
She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).
And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).
When teams come together, even if they have Scrum experience, they don’t always agree on the process. That can paralyze teams. In this episode, we explore a story about a team that was stuck with their definition of the process. All team members had different versions of Scrum in their mind. But still, they needed to progress. Listen in to learn how Doug tackled that problem and helped the team start to deliver.
Featured Book of the Week: Toyota Kata by Mike Rother
In Toyota Kata by Mike Rother, Doug found an approach that helps him deal with the natural uncertainty that comes with the Scrum Master role. We want to help teams reach a target condition, but we don’t know all the steps we need to take, so using the approaches in Toyota Kata helped Doug prepare for that uncertainty, and help teams progress even when only the next few steps are visible.
About Doug Knesek
Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.
When teams start working with Scrum they try to follow the process. They organize the process, they keep their meetings, but sometimes forget critical things that are not in the process. In this team, Anja felt frustrated. Something was missing.
Anja started looking for symptoms. At first only frustration, but later the symptoms started to become clearer. The team was missing the feedback! They held the ceremonies, but the concrete actionable feedback was missing. Check out this episode and compare with your team. Are you seeing the same symptoms?
Featured Book of the Week: Geschichten vom Scrum by Holger Koschek (in German only)
In Geschichten vom Scrum by Holger Koschek (in German only), Anja found stories that she could relate to. The book is a Scrum fable. Where people in a village need to build a Dragon trap, but they don’t know how. All they have is their ingenuity and ability to collaborate. The book walks you through a full experience of what it looks like to build a Scrum team.
About Anja Bonatto-Minella
Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.
There are many behaviors and dynamics that can lead to problems in a team. Jen and Jamie talk about a team that was feeling defeated and had a negative/complaining attitude towards everything around them. What can cause that? We discuss possible causes and also what we can do as Scrum Masters, when our teams are feeling down and out.
In this episode we refer to the “circles and soup” activity, a game used to efficiently form high-quality plans through retrospective analysis by recognizing factors that are within the team’s control.
Featured Book of the Week: Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
In the Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, Jen and Jamie found a good follow-up on another Lencioni book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. This is a book that can help you grow as a Scrum Master, and think about those personal characteristics that make certain people great team players.
About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people’s strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.
Teams want to excel at their work. So much so, that sometimes they forget that in order to succeed they need to act. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of endless debate and what Scrum Masters can do to help teams overcome that anti-pattern and move on.
Featured Book of the Week: Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn
In Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn, Nisha found practical advice and concrete examples that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. She calls it a good point to start your Scrum Master journey.
About Nisha Balwatkar
Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.