So, you just got out of your CSM class, overflowing with your newfound Scrum knowledge and renewed faith in software development practices. You're ecstatic to share your new view of the world and show how Agile can benefit your organization, and you can't wait to get started. But, in your first Agile project, you meet resistance, opposition, and worst of all, modified Scrum practices. What's a ScrumMaster to do?

Don't lose hope! You're definitely not the first ScrumMaster to meet these barriers, and you're not alone. I've encountered these situations in projects and have some tips to make the transition to Scrum easier on the team, the leadership, and you. Learn to overcome these problems in this interactive workshop and you become a better ScrumMaster and will help lead the team to the high performance you know they're capable of!

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The session will be run in small increments of lecture time and workshop time. Participants will be presented with or will volunteer common Scrum ailments and examples of what could happen. They will get a chance at their tables to determine what they would do in the situation and then hear some other tips from real life examples. It will help them in their problem solving and facilitation skills to determine a good course of action for some real life problems they will most certainly encounter. At the end of the session discussion the group will come back together and share what they learned and their situation outcomes.

Learning Outcome

Learn about common issues new ScrumMasters face with real life examples. Hear examples about how they were actually overcome and then determine how you will expertly handle the situations on your own.

Target Audience

ScrumMasters, Developers, Program and Portfolio Managers

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

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  • AgileSattva Consulting LLP
    By AgileSattva Consulting LLP  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Natalie,

    Being a scrum master has its own challenges with each team. Was wondering if you have a common set of problems that you would discuss and explore options of handling it OR let the small groups (i am assuming, you would have small groups, since its workshop mode), come up with their list of problems? if the groups come up with their own list, will you facilitate the discussions of answers? Am curious to understand your approach, will it be more of small groups and then share it with bigger group? 

    Let us know! It could turn out to be very interactive and active session! 

    Deepak

    • Natalie Warnert
      By Natalie Warnert  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Deepak,

      Yes, I do have a common set of problems/challenges/advice. How I plan on running the workshop is to go through a few with some examples of when I have used them. Then timebox small groups to about 5 minutes to discuss some situations where they have run into the same thing or where they might. Then bring the group back together and have some sharing time. Then we will continue and repeat the process a couple more times until we've made it through the list. The last part of the activity will be the small groups brainstorming other advice or things they have learned to share with the group.

      You can see the ten items I have either in the article link out or presentation I've provided. Thanks for the question and I really like the idea. If I get more feedback agreeing I would certainly consider changing the format a bit to allow for more workshop time and collaboration. This is a bit different from the last time I presented this because it was more of a lecture and I want it to be interactive this time. Thanks again!

      Natalie

  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Natalie,

    In your proposals, under the process section you've mentioned:

    Participants will be presented with common Scrum ailments and examples of what could happen. They will get a chance at their tables to determine what they would do in the situation and then hear some other tips from real life examples.

    I really like this format. However I'm curious to see a couple of examples of a typical scenario you'll give - the kind of discusions teams might have at their table and what tips you would give them for the specific context. I could not find this info anywhere in your slide or on your blog. Its extremely critical for us to understand at least a couple of examples to appreciate the insights you might give the participants.

    Also can you please share a video of you faciliating a workshop at any conference, local user group or even inside your company. It can be a simple 5 mins video recorded on a smart phone.

    Also I see that this proposal will fit in the Agile Adoption theme rather than the Agile Lifecycle theme. Request you to edit your proposal and change the theme to Scaling Agile Adoption.

    • Natalie Warnert
      By Natalie Warnert  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Naresh,

      Great questions. Some of the typical scenario examples I'd like to come from the group (and I will update the proposal to explain this) - e.g. I'd ask what types of things they had encountered where they were unsure of what to do and how the tips I give would help them. The tables would then brainstorm together with me walking around and facilitating. If there are few of these, I would give an example scenario. A couple I have in mind are as follows:

      -The Scrum team doesn't want to do a certain ceremony (e.g. daily Scrum, retrospective, sprint review etc.), what are some appropriate steps you can take to address this concern? The discussion I'd be expecting to see would be around asking the team why, determining where they see value, explaining why the ceremony is valuable, and trying to find the underlying concern with the ceremony the team has. I would give tips around these things and coach the small groups to determine the course of action that is correct for their team.

      Another example - Some of the team is self organizing while others are not, without being command and control how should the ScrumMaster ensure the whole team stays engaged? or What does self organization look like? The discussion I would hope to see around this would include facilitation techniques, potentially 1 on 1 meetings with team members, options around encouraged collaboration and specific retro activities around how things are going, what individuals are feeling and WHY. I would play the same facilitation and coaching role.

      I'd like to bring the group back together at the end to discuss findings and collaborate more on other tips they may have learned that I didn't cover.

      I can provide a clip of me speaking (I have a conference this Friday 9/6 if that works)? I will update my presentation accordingly.

       

      Thanks,

      Natalie

      • Naresh Jain
        By Naresh Jain  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Thanks for your prompt response. This really helps. Look forward to your video clip. Thanks.

        • Natalie Warnert
          By Natalie Warnert  ~  3 years ago
          reply Reply

          Here is a link to the video clip - it's unlisted on Youtube but you should be able to view it from this link shortly: http://youtu.be/3GQjd81x1EA

          It's part of my presentation on the UX Runway, my other submisson but tailored specifically for my company so has some internal jargon but the idea is the same.

  • Sachin goel
    By Sachin goel  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Natalie

    Your slides are impressive - thanks.

    Just curious to understand if some of the hurdles you would refer are context bound? Given a large part of audience primarily be from India, would we struggle presenting a problem in different context than the audience.

    Make sense or its just me thinking aloud here :)

    Thanks

    Sachin

    • Natalie Warnert
      By Natalie Warnert  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Scahin-

      Possibly, that is a good point. I think there would be some difference context wise but there would also be some similarities just as in the States. Each situation/piece of advice may not apply to everyone in the audience but I would think there would be enough cross over that it would still be a valuable discussion.

      Thanks,

      Natalie

  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Natalie,

      This session seems well lined up with Scrum masters, but help me understand the takeaways for developers, and program and portfolio managers.  I am missing that.

     

    Best,

    Joel

    • Natalie Warnert
      By Natalie Warnert  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Joel,

      That's a great point - it is directed mainly at ScrumMasters, hence the title. For program and portfolio managers it can help them to step down a level and see what types of problems their ScrumMasters and developers deal with on the "front lines" so they can be better servant leaders for both. As for developers, it can help them to also see what their ScrumMaster is doing to be a servant leader for them and how the obstacles they are truly trying to remove to make them more efficient.

      It's more of a level set for both those groups to gain some more understanding about the other roles around them and how when everything is working together the project team can move from storming or norming to performing. Does that make sense? If it's too confusing I would certainly consider taking the developers out at the least - I do think it could be very valuable from a program/porfolio manager perspective depending on how hierarchy and projects are set up - this is all bridging from my experience. Thanks for the comment!

       

      -Natalie


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