Paulo Rebelo: Helping a Product Owner change from long specifications to User Stories

As Scrum Masters we don’t just work with the team, we also work directly with the Product Owners that support the team. In this story, Paulo shares the case of the Product Owner that had a Business Analysis background and thought the job was about writing specifications in isolation. Listen in to learn how Paulo handled that and helped the Product Owner transition to User Stories and more team interaction.

Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo

In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Paulo found a management model that better suited his goal to become a Scrum Master. By reading this book he learned about how he could become a better servant leader. A key aspect of the Scrum Master role.

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Elizabeth Christensen on Applying Scrum outside Software Development: a Marketing team

Scrum is an approach to managing work, and helping teams collaborate. In non-SW teams, however, some things are harder to adopt. Listen in to learn how Liz helped a Marketing team use Scrum, and what were the major obstacles they faced when adopting Scrum.

Featured Book of the Week: Strategic Planning by Bryson

In Strategic Planning by John M. Bryson Liz found some important lessons about how to lead a team with a mission. In Strategic Planning by Bryson we can read about how to lead an organisation and a team with intent.

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Kyle Aretae on how Scrum Masters can help teams address conflict without a blow-up

For Kyle, Agile solves 2 problems. One is the building of software in a better, more sustainable manner. The other is to create a functioning organization, which will become a better place to work. In this episode, Kyle also explains how a simple technique can help the team address behavior that negatively affects the team without ever making that a personal conflict.

Featured Book of the Week: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennet

Kyle was struck by the book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennet. It helped him understand the enormous difference between plannable systems and evolutionary systems. That helped him understand the impact that Agile could have on organizations. During his research after reading that book he also came across Interactual Ritual Chains by Randall Collins, which helped him understand the role of (Scrum) ceremonies in the development of the team, and ultimately led him to write one of his own books: Ceremony: A Profound New Method for Achieving Successful and Sustainable Change by Kyle Aretae and Thomas Meloche

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since ’81. Teaching since ’91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming – XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Faye Thompson on how a poor Product Owner can destroy the team’s ability to deliver

Many things can fail when we work with teams. But one critical anti-pattern that leads to problems is the lack of a good Product Owner. In this episode, we explore what are the consequences for our teams of having a Product Owner that is unable to filter input from many stakeholders or even to politely say “No!”. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that can come from a poor Product Owner.

Featured Book of the Week: any book by Gerry Weinberg

Faye has followed the work of Gerry Weinberg and recommends that to all Scrum Masters. She mentions several of Gerry Weinberg’s books in this episode, for example: The Secrets of Consulting, or An Introduction to General Systems Theory. For Faye, Gerry’s work is an example of what Scrum Masters work is about: being humane.

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Ilya Bibik on how Scrum Masters can identify possible future problems with teams

How can you identify that a team is starting to fail, possibly going into a negative behaviour pattern that will eventually lead to problems? In this episode we review a set of signals that you can use to review your team’s behaviour and detect possible problems ahead.

Featured Book of the Week: Stages of Group Development by Tuckman

This week we recommend a paper, where Bruce Tuckman, of the famous Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model describes his famous model. Unfortunately that article is not freely available for everyone to read, so we stick to the wikipedia entry for the Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model.

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book “How to Kill the scrum Monster” that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Peter Zylka on the problematic relationship between a team and their Product Owner

What happens when the Product Owner and the team can’t collaborate? When the team just takes orders from the Product Owner and stops contributing to the planning and content of the User Stories? This was the situation that Peter had to face. Listen in to learn how he tackled this relationship problem.

Featured Book of the Week: Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

In this book, Peter found an approach that helps him as a Scrum Master. In Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng tries to offers a method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Paulo Rodriguez on how even small changes can wake up a team

In this team Paulo was facing an environment of complacency. The team wasn’t taking initiative, not holding their daily stand ups unless asked to. Paulo had to come up with ways to help the team raise their energy level and commitment to the Scrum process. It is a story on how helping to raise the level of energy in the team meetings helped the team get excited and have productive meetings.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive, by Daniel Pink

Continuing the theme from the previous episode, we talk about rewards and their impact on teams. In the book Drive, Daniel Pink explores what research has revealed about the use of rewards in different environments, and that helped Paulo find better ways to use rewards. Listen in to learn about his tips.  

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Claudia Toscano how a Scrum Master can help the team create a more successful “self identity”

It’s inevitable that teams bump against problems sooner or later. That’s something all teams go through. However, how the teams decide to react to those problems makes a huge difference. In this episode we talk about the “self identity” that teams develop and how that affects their development and effectiveness as a team. What “self identity” is your team developing?

Featured Book of the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular

In the Spanish version of People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer (Por Un Scrum Popular by Tobias Mayer and Alan Cyment), the authors go further than in the original English language book. For Claudia the focus on how to work with the organisation and the disquieting role of the Scrum Master were the key takeaways. If you don’t read Spanish, you can find the English book on Amazon.  

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Darryl Sherborne: when team empowerment goes wrong

Empowering teams to take initiative, react to the changes that come their way, and quickly adapt is (in principle) a good thing. Or is it? In this episode we explore a story of a team that took their empowerment and turned it into an obstacle. A set of behaviors that caused more problems than solutions. Because sometimes, empowerment is not a good thing. Listen in to learn about this story, and what Darryl learned about empowerment that can help you avoid the same problems.

Featured Book of the Week: The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim et al.

In the Phoenix Project, Gene Kim and his co-authors tell a story based on their real-life experience about how IT needs to change to adapt to the fast paced digital world we live in. For Darryl this book is the best written story that showcases the trials and issues faced on an agile/devops transformation, and the often forgotten direct link to the business struggles and goals.

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

You can also find out more about Darryl’s work at his company website: https://www.kaizenjoy.co.uk/

Joanna Koprowicz and the subversive role that Scrum Masters play

Scrum Masters are there to help teams progress. But sometimes teams are the reason, and the reasons why everything must remain the same. However, we as Scrum Masters are there to bring a different perspective. A new way of looking at things. In this episode we discuss one such story, and learn about Joanna’s approach when she was being told: “we can’t change it because that’s how it has always been”…

Featured Book of the Week: Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet

The book Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet has been the focus of a BONUS episode here on the podcast. For Joanna, this was a book that helped her understand a new kind of leadership, and what are the factors that remove independent action, and motivation from the people in organizations that are managed with traditional leadership approaches.

About Joanna Koprowicz

Joanna is an Agile Enthusiast with a burning passion to help organizations work smart not hard. She is one of the co-organizers of Agile-Lean Ireland Community. Currently she works as a ScrumMaster in Dublin.

You can link with Joanna Koprowicz on LinkedIn and connect with Joanna Koprowicz on Twitter.