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Elly Griffith-Ward: How to help an overwhelmed team deliver! Flow lessons for Scrum teams

The team Elly was working with had a very large number of items in progress (high WIP). This was also a result of the team being under a lot of pressure to deliver. The team was motivated to deliver, but was also feeling down because of the inability to deliver all they wanted, when they wanted. Elly started to help the team by understanding their context, and then trying to understand where the work was being held up. She started learning Value-Stream-Mapping, a technique that helped identify the bottlenecks, something she had learned about in the book The Goal by Goldratt. Through that research work, Elly found out some options to improve the flow of work for that team. Listen in to learn what those were, and what technique she used to help the team! In this segment, we talk about the concept of Shifting Left, and Extreme Programming.

Featured Book of the Week: Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberger

In Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberger, Elly found a book that helped her as a Scrum Master, but also in other aspects of her life. The book offers a model of communication that tries to focus on resolving conflicts, and helps us become more self-aware of how we communicate with others. In this segment, we also talk about the hand-brain model, and the two thinking/acting systems (System 1 and System 2) that Kahneman describes in the book Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow.

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 Elly Griffith-Ward

Elly is an Agile Coach at a major e-commerce company. Previously in user research (and a royal food historian). She aims to 1) improve the experience of work through reducing mental load, improving communication and forming strong teams 2) shift the focus from managing the worker to managing the work by focusing on flow and waste.

You can link with Elly Griffith-Ward on LinkedIn and connect with Elly Griffith-Ward on Twitter.

Bert Heymans: How to help a Scrum team define and implement WIP limits in their process, a Kanban starting point

Bert shares a story of a change that affected a small team, of 6 people. As this story starts, we hear that the team was working within the Scrum framework, but they had a testing column in their board what was always full/busy. Bert started to help the team figure out why that was, and what they could do to get out of that anti-pattern. They discussed Theory of Constraints, Single Piece Flow, and Work in process limits (WIP limits), and decided to try and impose a limit to the number of items in the testing column. This proved to be a huge change for the team, and Bert shares some tips on how we can help teams going through similar changes.

About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter.

Amitai Schlair on the importance of understanding our environment

When we start working with a team, we don’t actually work with that team. That team is part of a larger system, and we must understand the system before we can help the team. Amitai uses ideas from Theory of Constraints, and mentions The Goal, by Goldratt as a foundational book in his own journey as a Scrum Master. He also shares with us Schmoz’s theory, a critical insight when we work with and within human systems.
Today we play one more Agile in 3 Minutes episode which describes how we can reach freedom in our work. Today’s Agile in 3 minutes episode is episode #12, titled “Free”.

About Amitai Schlair

Amitai is a Software development coach, and legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, award-winning bad poet, and creator of Agile in 3 Minutes, which is a great podcast about what Agile really is about. A must listen for anyone interested in Agile Software Development.
You can link with Amitai Schlair on LinkedIn and connect with Amitai Schlair on Twitter.

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This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works