Deep Impact! A Certified ScrumMaster Training Made a Difference (2)

Henrik Daae, Program Manager at a multinational company (12.000+ employees), sent me this feedback – I am so happy about it, that I need to share it with you.

Allow me to share some feedback with you, a month after the CSM
training at Bang & Olufsen, Struer, Denmark.

Part 2
Ok – the CSM training was a big wake-up call! I am so fortunate to
have a very open-minded team that actually listens when I come back
from a training, fully energized (manic!) with ideas for improvement
🙂 So far I have changed the following items:

1. Retrospectives. We now follow the heartbeat retrospectives
guidelines very strictly – timeline, what went well, what could be
improved. Only the Team is in this session, before product owner and
QA manager also attended (but didn’t contribute). I as a manager have
now stepped back and am no longer leading the pen at the whiteboard.
Result: Team members are now very active and everyone participates.
Before the first “improved” retrospective, I had a hard time seeing
the use of the sprint timeline (significant events), but now we use it
as fact-basis for the rest of the retrospectives. Facts as simple as
“Allan was travelling” can be root cause of tasks not being well
defined and identify improvements in our processes.

2. Product backlog. I am educating my product owner, he’s learning
that he has the absolute power of his product. He, and only he,
decides what we do. I force him to prioritize the items on the backlog
before we go into sprint planning. Furthermore, we have split the
meeting, that before was retrospective+planning into seperate
meetings: retrospective, sprint planning 1 and sprint planning 2 (like
you said). Product owner owns sprint planning 1 and presents the
backlog. Okay, I did most of his work – but having him sell the vision
and outline priorities make the team’s work important (and thus more

3. Only work on one story at the time. Okay
, this was the hardest one
for me. Our application is built upon two technologies – Java and
Socrates. My developers are either Java developers or Socrates
developers, how can they work on the same story, when they do not
share the same skills? Well, you told me to change the environment…
so, now we have stories that depend on both technologies to be
completed. In the past sprint it meant, that all developers and qa’s
were working on the same one story at once. What a difference!
Suddenly everybody felt committed to each other, you could feel the
dynamics in the team room, we’ve never had so much drive! Daily scrums
are interesting again, because people have the same goal – complete
the same story! Everybody was going the extra mile to help out their
teammates. We just had our retrospective today and we have decided,
that developers on the two platforms should now start to pair program,
regardless of their platform. This is a huge step away from our old
culture, where we were more divided.

Okay, this was a long email. To sum it up: Thank you Kurt and Boris!
The two days in Struer changed me as a person and gave me “something”,
that I now share both co-workers and friends. My team is performing
better, spirits are higher than ever – and the good thing is I know we
can get even better!
Next step is to send our product managers to the
certified product owners course, so they take even more ownership of
the product backlog.

Thanks for a great training, it really changed who I am and how I think.


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