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Josh Lambert: Strategies for Improved Team Collaboration in Agile Teams

In this episode, Josh shares a team’s struggles – newly formed, but spanning distant timezones, and facing communication issues. Individual work overshadowed teamwork, and this was made worse by very unclear responses from a team member that was not meeting their sprint goals. Frustration peaked on the final day of one of the Sprints. Reflecting on that story, Josh advocates transparent communication, urging team members to share when help is needed. He stresses the importance of a working agreement when seeking help and proposes conducting psychological safety assessments and focusing on team well-being.

Featured Book for the Week: “Coaching Agile Teams” by Lyssa Adkins

In this episode, Josh recommends “Coaching Agile Teams” by Lyssa Adkins for Scrum Masters. He highlights its enduring value, providing continuous support for navigating challenges. Drawing from a team member’s experience feeling trapped in a “hamster wheel,” Josh emphasizes the book’s relatable stories, offering preparation for similar situations.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Josh Lambert

Josh is an Agile Coach at a financial institution. He has been through a few different Agile Transformations. And became a Scrum Master in one of the early transformations and loved the role where where he stayed for 6 years, after which he transitioned into an Agile Coach.

You can link with Josh Lambert on LinkedIn.

Julie Wyman: Introducing Agile to a new organization with Kanban

While working with an organization in their Agile transition, Julie and colleagues recommended that they start with Kanban. Kanban would bring minimal disruption to the teams, and enable them to learn what Agile would mean in their context. However, there was a lot more to do before the teams were able to run a Kanban flow and start learning what Agile meant for them. In this episode, we explore not only how to introduce Kanban, but also what to consider when bringing Agile to a group of teams that are new to Agile.

About Julie Wyman

Julie Wyman has been working with Agile teams for over a decade and is continuously learning with and from them. She’s based just outside Washington, D.C., but has had the pleasure of supporting teams distributed across the globe and even experienced her own Agile takeaways all the way in Antarctica.

You can link with Julie Wyman on LinkedIn.

Bootstrapping an working agreement with a Scrum team by Jimmy Jalén

I’ve been working on a collection of great blog posts about the Scrum Master role. If you have a favorite article on the Scrum Master role, or it’s goals and responsibilities, let me know by submitting it here: https://bit.ly/TheBestScrumMasterBlogPosts2020

Jimmy Janlén’s post on setting up working agreements with your Scrum team

What’s a “working agreement”, Vasco? Good question! As a Scrum Master, one of the things I worry about is if the team members are aware of the (often implicit) agreements they have with each other.

Not having a clear picture of what we have agreed to, may lead to conflict as an outcome of missed expectations. Most commonly, it leads to bugs in the software, and delays in delivery.

So, how can working agreements help reduce bugs and eliminate delays? A simple example of this might be a working agreement like: “share bad news early, even before there are any indications of delays or other consequences”

This agreement, will help the team keep in mind the need to discuss and solve problems early, before they escalate. But, as a single agreement, this would not be enough for a team to work with.

Take It To The Team: The WorkingAgreements Workshop

As a Scrum Master, I also know that the team itself will have a more complete view of the agreements they need to work well together.

I have a few ideas, and will bring those up in our “working agreements workshop”, but it’s up to the team to define and ultimately put into practice those agreements!

In 2017, Jimmy Janlén published an article that helps you prepare a working agreements workshop. In this article, he describes what has worked for him when defining working agreements with teams. Jimmy also shares tips and guides for each of the sections of the workshop.

Jimmy defines the working agreement as capturing “the expectations we have on each other within the team when we collaborate and communicate. I’ve seen teams call it “Code of Conduct” or “Ways of Working”. I call it Working Agreement. You call it whatever makes sense for you.”

Check out the Working Agreements Workshop blogpost by Jimmy to learn more about working agreements, and to get a facilitation guide for his approach to this critical workshop.

Have you had working agreements workshops with your teams? Share below your insights and questions!

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