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Agile, Uncategorized

Jaké šance mají junior scrum masteři najít si práci a získat zkušenosti s týmem? Velká část scrum masterů, co znám, začínali ve firmách v nějaké jiné roli a následně se rekvalifikovali na scrum mastera. Jak je to ale s lidmi, kteří mají potenciál a pracují v jiném oboru, dali byste jim šanci, nebo preferujete rekrutování z řad vlastních zaměstnanců?

Výsledek ankety z ledna 2021 na profesní síti LinkeIn naleznete níže.

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Agile, Uncategorized

Zdá se, že současná doba je jako stvořená pro využívání agilních přístupů. Přestože řada lidí si dnes pod pojmem Kanban představí jen nástěnku, dokáže vám správná implementace toho co se za tou nástěnkou skutečně skrývá, přinést finanční úspory, odstranění plýtvání ve výrobě a zajistit plynulost toku dodávky vašich produktů. Z naší zkušenosti se také řada agilních transformací neobejde bez implementace Kanbanu, agilní transformace není jen Scrum. Podívejte se na naší infografiku, nebo se rovnou přihlaste na některé z našich školení .

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Agile, Uncategorized

Zdá se, že současná doba je jako stvořená pro využívání agilních přístupů. Dynamicky se mění potřeby našich zákazníků a proto je vhodné experimentovat při jejich objevování. Agilní přístupy už dávnou nejsou doménou jen IT firem, ale rozšířily se do celé řady dalších odvětví. Podívejte se na první část naší infografiky o agilních přístupech zaměřenou na Scrum a jeho přínosy pro vás.

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Agile, Uncategorized

With those shady mentoring and coaching techniques, a good scrum master can vastly improve the team performance, happiness, output quality, etc. despite not having any executive power.

A “good” scrum master is a very broad term, however. What is good for you?

Aaaaand this is where it gets tricky… Any senior scrum master is more or less able to say the things that are expected of him during the interview. Experience is important, but it’s not enough. It’s how he or she APPLIES the skills, experience and knowledge that matters.

Do you want a shark, that will deal with problematic team members/stakeholders/managers? Do you need someone systematic to help you with discipline? Or do you want a psychologist with a lot of empathy? …

When choosing the right scrum master, try to understand the situation you are in and look for the signs that are important to you.

Id like to share with you one of the best ways to find out what the new guy is all about, I have ever witnessed. Shout out to the agilists at Mavenir! This is what we did…

The Essence

We invited our potential new colleagues to play a little role-playing game with us. It was a 45 minutes long retrospective scenario where we displayed pretty much every anti-pattern out there and observed how the interviewed fare.

The Task

This text was shared with the interviewed: „Our team just wrapped up the last sprint. We had a lot of issues though – Top priority stories were not delivered, requirements changed during the sprint, the release was botched, unwanted features, … Our old scrum master went insane, you are our new scrum master, this is your first day and our first retrospective together, deal with it.

They had 10 minutes, if needed, to prepare and ask questions.

The Script

The second part of the text was NOT shared with the interviewed and was only for us (Interviewers) to guide us through the process. It outlined the roles we played in the simulation. Personas, with their own little characteristics, issues and interactions. We even chose different names!

Since we were in a fairly resistant and difficult environment, we reflected this fact in our simulation. We were looking for someone who can take some heat, not crumble, and “sell” the agility to people that often do not want to hear about it.

  • A PO who doesn’t care or know whats going on as long as things are done (I usually played this character, loved it! 🙂 )
  • Someone that is always on home office, not doing much, or doing something out of sprint
  • An agile supporter with a lot of enthusiasm but also with a lot of stupid points for the retro such as “the coffee is too strong, and the sun is shining on my keyboard from the right side, I think it would be better from the left side)
  • There was an „alpha“ developer that hated any agile, disrespected his colleagues and only wanted to work, but always delivered everything perfectly on time.
  • A guy that always has the right answer but never speaks, unless asked
  • … go nuts, I’m sure you will think of many more cool personas.

The Results

It is borderline IMPOSSIBLE to pretend, be dishonest or mask your „true you“ when thrown into this role-play. Even if you try, you won’t be able to keep it up for long.

By the way, not only is this brutally effective… It’s so much fun as well!

Both, the preparation as well as the execution, is the perfect teambuilding exercise for any group (in our case scrum masters).

Watching my former boss in the role of the alpha techie giving the first contribution to the retrospective: “Everything is fine, can I F**k off now?” Or the agile enthusiast with his poker face suggestion that “The sun problem should be resolved because his grandmother thinks it would boost his effectivity“ were the highlights of my career! 🙂

Oh and by the way, I admit that it sounds horrible for the one who is being interviewed, but most of the people who went through this exhausting thing actually thanked us for the experience of a lifetime… while drinking about 3 litres of water. Interesting.

Hope this helps,

Tom

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Agile, Uncategorized

Let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we?

The textbook daily scrum

I noticed that the “Did this, will do that, and this bothers me” format may have some seriously annoying effects on the participants. While the level of agile maturity, team composition and culture in your company are important factors here, I believe this issue to be rather common.

Have you ever observed any of the following?

  • Turning the brains off

The slightly introverted member of your team is about to give his daily scrum „speech“. You can tell the tension is killing him. He stopped listening 5 minutes ago and has been evidently rehearsing in his head. Imagine if this happens to everyone.

  • Embracing the “I” attitude

I try to encourage teamwork and cooperation in the teams I work with. The “I,I,I” format is not helping me with this.

  • Difficulties with priority tracking and focus

I make a lot of fuss around priorities, this needs to be said. I like to build the mindset that everything can and SHOULD be prioritised.

The alternative

There is one simple trick that addresses all this and it is beyond easy for the team to adopt it too!

(This is starting to sound like one of those bad ads on the internet, doesn’t it?… Scrum masters hate him… 🙂 )

Forget taking turns and talking about „I did this and that“. Instead, gather around the sprint backlog and start at the top, discussing progress on the PRIORITIES, one at the time! Don’t worry, your team members will still get to talk about all the cool things they did, but this time around, it will be all focused on giving a clear picture of the delivery of the team, not an individual contribution.

You might need to encourage the discussion at first, so help them move through the list by asking questions.

„What is the progress, how are we doing, who is working on this, are we still on track, are there any blockers?…“ , „Thank you, what’s next?

They will get used to it very quickly.

When you run out of priorities to talk about, don’t forget to ask: “What else is happening?”. Otherwise, anything not planned and visualized will fall through the cracks.

Some of the cool things that I experienced after switching to this:

  • The team was much more aware of the priorities not only during the standup
  • In the case of underestimated planning, we only failed to deliver the least important items
  • It was constantly nudging us to “swarm” the highest priority items in as many people as possible. Not only helping to deliver the most important story or task faster (obviously) but also building cooperation and T-shapes
  • The whole team was engaged during the daily, paying attention.
  • The PO was happy because he had a nice overview of the delivery progress
  • It was easy for me to track, visualize and challenge the delivery in case of any issues.

It is a small, simple tweak, but it’s one of my favourites because of how „low effort, high impact“ it is. Especially with the junior teams.

Hope this helps,

Tom

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