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On Coaching: Show, Don't Tell

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The Scrum Master/Agile Coach role is a very challenging role in the Agile World, not at all straight forward. To become a great SM you need to develop certain skills over time to help you add value to the companies you are working with.

SMs are often called:
...SHERPA because they are supporting the Team without telling them what to do. However, they are the backbone of the expedition and you cannot go without them, they are the leaders when it comes to guiding and ensuring safety.
...JEDI as opposed to a Scrum Nanny. He is the leader of Scrum helping the team understand the process and adapt it to their needs. Often they are taken for nannies and focus on administrative work, they become the team's secretary, which is wrong.
...ARMCHAIR PSYCHOLOGIST because they have a lot in common. Same as a SM, the psychologist tries to help the patient solve the problem by himself and not tell him how to fix it. Another important aspect is the listening, as most psychologists spend a lot of t…

On Coaching: When to Correct Behavior

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Daily.9.49. Team members discuss already since 9.30. They are trying to find a solution for the user management issue while synchronizing their work during the Daily meeting.

Planning.Team goes directly to the user stories without checking the Sprint Goal. 

Refinement.One user story is being discussed by the scrum team members. After some minutes one of the developers estimates the story with 8 story points and they all go to the next user story.

Review Meeting. Team starts the review meeting with PO and stakeholders going directly into the user stories and demo. No info is provided about the business value achieved.

Scrum Masters should not wait for the situation to come to an end in order to correct it, he/she should just DO IT, correct it at once, at the moment when this appear. This is the best moment to signal a wrong step and to bring it back to the correct flow.

Some trainers call it 'back to kindergarten', as we need to go back to the WHY and understand why we do what we …

On Coaching: Train One Aspect at a Time

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General Rule: Scrum Masters need to focus on one aspect at a time while coaching the team to be efficient and secure learning. This is not something new, but we always forget and need someone to remember it.

However this does not mean that the Scrum Master should close all other channels of communication and only focus on one thing.

e.g. you can focus on understanding the importance of the Sprint Goal while you finish your Dailies, while you go over the board or the burn-down chart, while you do the Retrospective and Planning.

Supportive storytelling: football gives you lots of similarities when we discuss about the Sprint Goal. The whole team becomes a defending team in football when there is a bottleneck, similar to the scrum members who should all do testing, if the testing pipeline is broken. In the end ''working software is the primary measure of progress'' (Agile principle).

This Topic also attracts discussions about DoR (stories that are not ready can jeopardize y…

Agile People Who Inspire Me

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If you search for a particular Agile topic on the Internet, it usually retrieves so many results, you grow old while going through.

Read a lot does not mean read anything you find out there. This is one of the most important things I learned from my Scrum Alliance Trainer, Pierluigi Pugliese, read high quality materials to push you forward (articles, webinars, interviews). What you learn from others is what you will share with your teams/organizations. Garbage in - garbage out. How do you know if one article/webinar/podcast is valuable? - well, you just feel it.

When you want to start on your Agile Journey I suggest you get a mentor to guide you or simply find people in the world who can inspire you.

Here is a list of people who inspired me, my online mentors, that you can use as a start for your learning journey. Only going through their websites and reading their books, listening to their webinars, online training and other online resources, will keep you busy for a lot of time and …

New Scrum Master - How do you start?

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Starting as a Scrum Master without any experience behind is a challenge. The SM role is an evolutionary role, you start small and then you develop yourself, you polish your knowledge and experience. Learning and experimenting play a great role in this situation, but are not the only ones. See article

I see two types of Starts: soft and hard.

Soft Start takes place in companies where you already work. They are companies that already started the Agile Transformation and you have the opportunity to learn from inside. You can start gathering the first Agile experience through the followings:

perform job rotationsapply to an internal job (PO, SM or developer within an Agile Team)join Scrum meetings (review, daily) - talk to people within the team and explain the reason behind, they will be for sure supporting your enthusiasm.learn from the internal communities. Any company going through an Agile Transformation should own an Agile Libraryjoin Agile clubs/x-Change/Agile Talkslook for SM/ Agile…

Agile Resume in a Fast Changing Environment

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When a Scrum Master/Agile Coach applies for a similar open position, the classical application process should not be an option, simply because it just does not match. As a SM/AC you learn to value Outcomes over Outputs, therefore you need to Inspect and Adapt and find the best solution for this event.

Here is my understanding of how an Agile Resume should look like when applying for a Scrum Master/Agile Coach position:

Name

Who am I?  
 e.g. Agile coach | trainer | remote enthusiast

Contributions to Agile Community 
blogs, presentations, interviews, podcasts, games, etc.

My Belief / My Manifesto 
e.g. I value x over y, for me Agile is....

Previous Companies
Role specifics
Outcomes
Complexity and organizational environment @work 

Trainings repository
- SM Training
- PO Training

Courses & Certifications

Technical Knowledge

Of course you need to make it shine and look good. Digital post-its allowed :)
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Other interesting Articles fo…

Good Scrum Master - How do you learn to become a GREAT Scrum Master?

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The title of this article is inspired from a great book which I consider the most important book after the Scrum Guide: 'Scrum Masteryby Geoff Watts.

A GOOD Scrum Master is learning and developing himself. A GREAT Scrum Master has the power to inspire other people while doing so.

Passion 

If you want to be a successful Scrum Master you need to love your job; not only be passionate about it, but also inspire other people. Whoever wants to be SM is usually either inspired by someone or by the process itself. With passion you will be better prepared for the challenges that Agile learning and development prepares for you on the way.

Continuous Learning - but how do YOU learn?

As a SM, you need to continually learn about the role and how other people did it. Your knowledge backpack needs to grow everyday in order to be prepared for different situations.

The most important thing I consider is to first understand how your BRAIN works and how you learn better. You can read or listen, …