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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#84: Listener Questions with Brian Milner

February 07, 2024     33 minutes

Join Brian in this solo episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast as he tackles listener questions, discussing topics ranging from the impact of AI on Scrum teams to managing retrospective challenges and fostering active participation. Don't miss this episode filled with practical advice and thought-provoking discussions.


In this solo episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast, Brian answers listener questions unraveling everything from AI's role in Scrum to the complexities of Agile practices and team dynamics.

Listen in for valuable insights as Brian explores metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of product owners, offering key indicators for project success. He also discusses managing challenges within retrospectives, including strategies for handling upper management involvement, fostering transparent reporting, and the significance of visibility in sprint reviews.

Discover the art of promoting active participation in retrospectives—Brian underscores the significance of psychological safety within teams and offers actionable insights into tailoring retrospective approaches to your team’s diverse personality types.

Tune in as Brian answers listener questions with both practical wisdom and actionable advice.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:18] - In today’s episode, Brian sits down to answer Agile Mentors Podcast listener questions.
[01:59] - Brian briefly shares a personal update about speaking at the upcoming Global Scrum Gathering 2024 New Orleans and invites listeners to attend.
[03:21] - The first listener question explores whether AI can replace members of a Scrum team. Brian discusses the current state of AI and its potential applications in different roles within a Scrum team. He also shares how his team is using “Goatbot.”
[08:10] - For the second listener question Brian tackles the issue of handling resistance to Agile from a team member, sharing some strategies to understand the root cause and address misunderstandings.
[11:48] - Brian introduces the third question about using metrics to judge the effectiveness of a product owner.
[14:47] - Brian discusses handling retrospective issues involving upper management, and the value of transparent reporting.
[16:42] - Brian explores scenarios about the cost of addressing an impediment and the importance of transparent decision-making by the organization.
[17:22] - Brian suggests raising visibility in sprint reviews and seeking assistance from stakeholders or powerful individuals to address unresolved issues.
[18:45] - Today's episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast is brought to you by Mountain Goat Software's Certified Product Owner Course. This is a two-day training course taught by one of our Certified Scrum Trainers to teach you how to use the product backlog as a tool for project success. For more information, visit the Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule.
[24:39] - Brian explores the issue of low participation in retrospectives, and how to tailor approaches to different personality types for more active engagement. He highlights the work of Amy Edmondson, suggesting her research on psychological safety for deeper insights into team dynamics and participation.
[26:15] - Lack of safety may be the Scrum Master's responsibility.
[27:18] - Awareness of personality types is crucial for Scrum Masters. Brian advises varying retrospective formats to avoid monotony, including visual and written formats tailored to diverse preferences.
[30:38] - Brian thanks listeners and invites them to share and subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts.
[31:23] - If you’d like to continue this discussion, join the Agile Mentors Community. You get a year of free membership into that site by taking any class with Mountain Goat Software, such as CSM or CSPO. We also have Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner®. We'd love to see you in one of Mountain Goat Software's classes, you can find the schedule here.
[32:39] - Do you have feedback or a great idea for an episode of the show? Great! Just send us an email.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Global Scrum Gathering 2024 New Orleans
Psychological Safety – Amy C. Edmondson
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts
Certified ScrumMaster Training and Scrum Certification
Certified Scrum Product Owner Training
Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner®
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community

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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.