Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#4: The Developer Role in Scrum with Sherman Gomberg

June 15, 2022     49 minutes

Join Brian Milner and Sherman Gomberg for a discussion of the importance of a Scrum team’s developers and why self-organizing teams are at the heart of agile methodologies like Scrum. 

In this episode of the Agile Mentors podcast, Brian Milner and Sherman Gomberg discuss the evolution of one of the Scrum roles: developer. They also explain why self-organizing teams of developers have become critical to all organizations. 

On agile projects, developers are the people who “do the work” and while at first glance you may see agile developers as always engineers or other software development professionals, that’s not invariably the case. According to the Scrum Guide, the development team can be composed of all kinds of people including designers, writers, programmers, etc.

Using over 25 years of Scrum, agile, and project management experience, Sherman and Brian compare notes on the topic of how to build and sustain agile, self-organizing teams. They share their insights and advice on why empowering individuals to work in cross-functional agile teams leads to greater efficiency, higher rewards, and lower risks. 

Listen now to discover: 

-       03:38 –How to tell whether your agile team is self-organizing

-       05:25 – The advantages of having self-organized teams in agile environments 

-       07:10 – Bruce Tuckman’s four stages of team development: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing

-       09:17 Advice for Scrum Masters and product owners on how to promote self-organization among team members

-       09:60 The parallels between software teams and sports teams: self-organize and work together to shine 

-       13:34 How and why to build a learning organization 

-       18:00 The definition of “self-managing” as cited by the Scrum Guide

-       22:00 How to address bug-fixing and technical debt during a sprint

-       28:00 The three most valuable practices adopted by developers in a sprint

-       37:50 The importance of understanding the developer role and why all three roles on a Scrum team should take a Scrum developer course

-       40:48 – The role of a tech lead in Scrum 

 -    43:00 – Why it is essential to form a team of equals and how self-organization works to support this 

Listen next time when we’ll be discussing…

Sprint planning with guest co-host Scott Dunn. You’ll learn about the sprint planning event as described in the Scrum Guide and the 3 essential “Why? What? How?” topics addressed in order to plan successful sprints.

References and resources mentioned in the show

●      Scrum Guide

●      The Bruce Tuckman Model

●      The Agile Manifesto


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This episode’s presenters are: 

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He’s passionate about making a difference in people’s day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work. 

Sherman Gomberg is CEO at Scrum Adventures, Inc. He is a CTC and has a total of eleven certifications from the Scrum Alliance. He has over 25 years of experience with agile, Scrum, and project management across various industries. He enjoys working with teams during breakout sessions in online courses, where he helps to bring curiosity to valuable discussions and in doing so, moves the needle from training to knowledge obtained to knowledge applied.