Riding the Waves of Change: 4 Surf Lessons for Business Agility
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
3w ago
In the ever-changing tides of business, agility is not just an advantage—it’s a necessity. As a business agility enablement specialist, I’ve discovered that lessons in adaptability can come from the most unexpected places. Today, I want to share a personal story that perfectly illustrates the principles of continuous improvement and agility, straight from the unpredictable waves of the ocean. The Unexpected Classroom: A Stormy Sea I arrived at my surf coaching session with high hopes, only to find Mother Nature had other plans. The waves were monstrous, the wind was howling, and the conditions ..read more
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How do I measure success as a Scrum Master?
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
3M ago
In my experience, understanding how we measure success as a Scrum Master can be challenging. And of course, it’s something Scrum Masters have a strong desire to understand. This is also what the trends show us from the thousands of people in over 100 countries who are using the free Scrum Master Improvement Self-Assessment. We have a survey item that specifically speaks to this question: how do I measure success as a Scrum Master? So that is what we are going to unravel and create some clarity around in this article. Let’s start with aligning on the Scrum Master accountability. Measure Success ..read more
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Showing up: Why your Scrum Master mindset is everything
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
What is one of the most important aspects of holding the Scrum Master accountability? If you immediately thought about something like removing impediments and helping the team get to Done, I want you to think of the bigger picture. How you show up as a leader has the biggest impact. Not sure what that means? Read on to see why your mindset and what you bring of yourself to your Scrum practice are critical to success. What “showing up” as a Scrum Master means At its most basic, “showing up” relates to the mindset that informs our lives as Scrum Masters. I sometimes describe this as integrating ..read more
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How to navigate accountability without control as a Scrum Master
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
In the Scrum framework, the Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as it’s set out in the Scrum Guide and for the team’s effectiveness. It’s the second accountability that often trips people up.  As Scrum Masters, we know everyone will look to us if the team isn’t performing well. Yet it’s the team that decides how it will get the work done, and many unknowns and unexpected challenges emerge throughout the Sprint. It’s impossible to perfectly predict what our customers want or what shifts in the market lie ahead. Very little of the outcome is within our control in a complex wo ..read more
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3 Ways Organizations Use Measures Poorly
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
I am often asked what Scrum Teams and organizations should measure. And while measurement is important, it’s not just about what we measure. It’s about understanding why we measure and how we use those measures. And well, that’s what actually helps you figure out what to measure. In this post, I will share some common patterns I have noticed that lead to using measures poorly. If you start to recognize some of these patterns in your team or organization, well, that’s a good thing. Because seeing and understanding the problems (transparency) is the first step to improvement. And Evidence-Based ..read more
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4 Ways Organizations Use Goals Poorly (and How EBM Can Help)
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
I am often asked how to create better goals. This comes up at the team level, and it also comes up for the wider organization. When we are dealing with complexity, there is no one right way, no perfect template, and no best practice. And I find it helpful to look at the goals people are using today, explore the benefits those goals are giving them, and identify if there are unintended consequences of how they are using goals. In this post, I will share some common patterns I have noticed that lead to using goals poorly. If you start to recognize some of these patterns in your team or orga ..read more
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Staying Creative in a Reactive World
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
One of the most important things I have learned in the past few years is the difference between being reactive and being creative. And I’m getting better at staying in (or recovering to) my creative orientation to the world.  In this post, I will explain the difference between creative and reactive modes of operating, offer some examples of how this shows up in our teams and beyond, as well as some tips for cultivating your ability to stay creative. What do I mean by creative versus reactive? In a creative mode, I am open and curious. I am seeking to understand more about other people or ..read more
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The Biggest Challenge to Being a Great Scrum Master
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
When I made the transition from traditional project management to agility and Scrum, I was excited to step out of the chaos and feel more purpose in my daily work. I knew that empowering and enabling others to navigate complexity and uncertainty, cultivate innovation and resilience, and deliver maximum value was my calling. Becoming a Scrum Master felt like the right path for me. And I wanted to be a great Scrum Master. When I reflect on my own journey, I now see the biggest challenge I had to overcome. And I can also see this theme show up in the Scrum training and coaching work I have done o ..read more
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Is the Outcome of Your Meeting to Schedule Another Meeting?
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
When I ask this rhetorical question in a training class or a coaching call, I often get knowing smiles and uncomfortable laughs. We’ve likely all been in this situation, and you know how frustrating it can feel. It often leads to lots of meetings filling our calendars and little time to “do real work.” Those meetings aren’t working sessions that are moving us forward and creating new insights as a team; instead they feel like a waste of time. This problem shows up in Scrum Teams, and it shows up well beyond Scrum Teams.  In this post, we will explore the 3 common challenges that lead us t ..read more
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Your Impact Outweighs Your Intention
Agile Socks » Leadership
by Stephanie Ockerman
5M ago
When I first became a Scrum Master, I heard the phrase assume positive intent over and over again. And it really resonated with me. It made sense. I started to notice how quick I was to jump to conclusions about other people’s intentions. When I check myself on the assumptions I am making about other people’s intentions, I am more effective at navigating situations in a positive and productive way. And my stress goes down. However, in the past few years, I’ve noticed the phrase assume positive intent sometimes being used in a way that doesn’t feel good. I’ve seen it used in a way that lim ..read more
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