The Liberators Network

The Liberators Network

If you're excited about unleashing organisational superpowers, then this is the podcast for you. We talk about Scrum, Liberating Structures and creating better workplaces. This podcast is created by Christiaan Verwijs and Barry Overeem. Both are Professional Scrum Trainers for Scrum.org and stewards for the Professional Scrum Master II class they created. Aside from their extensive background and experience with Scrum, they are very excited about Liberating Structures and are active members of this worldwide community. We aim to release a new episode every Friday.... Show More

Episodes

October 30, 2020 19 min

"How is it a good idea to mirror this complexity in the product with complexity in the group of people that develop this product?"

Scaling Scrum is seriously hard, right? How do you work with many teams on one product? How many Product Owners should you have for one large product? How can many teams deliver a "Done" Increment every Sprint? How do you manage the increasing number of dependencies between teams? 

Honestl...

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Few teams start from a position where the Scrum Framework works like a charm from the start. Scrum is radically different from the way that teams have built products and worked with stakeholders in the past. Scrum Teams usually need to improve in many different areas, and overcome many barriers, in order to reach their goals of higher customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, we’ve found that many Scrum Teams struggle to improve at all...

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October 16, 2020 30 min

How do you sell Agile to your customer?

"One of our biggest customers preferred the traditional way of doing projects. This boiled down to writing a massive requirement document, estimating the hours the work, and translating that to a fixed budget. We would then set a deadline and get to work."

And this is understandable. From the perspective of the customer, this gives them the guarantees on budget, date, and scope they nee...

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Last year, we brought together 30 Scrum Masters to talk about what made their success possible. We used a string of Liberating Structures to include everyone's voice. In this episode we share the 5 most important contributors that the group identified. How are you investing in those contributors yourself?

We offer many strings to explore similar questions with your team, your meetup or your community of Scrum Masters.

This episod...

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October 1, 2020 18 min

What if Scrum doesn't fit? If you work as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach, you have probably run into teams where Scrum just doesn’t take off. The various Scrum Events feel like a chore, motivation is low and people complain about Scrum.

One of the downsides of the popularity of the Scrum Framework is that organizations, teams, consultants, and coaches sometimes try to force Scrum onto problems it isn’t designed for. And the resul...

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This episode is about how unreliable, nonobjective, and biased your and my thinking is. As sociologists and psychologists have long pointed out, we should develop a more skeptical and nuanced view of our own opinions.

In this episode, we explore eight biases and explore how they influence our beliefs in the workplace. A bias called "regression to the mean" can easily lead management to conclude that punishment for mistakes i...

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September 11, 2020 19 min

This year has been challenging for all of us. It wasn't any different for our company, The Liberators. At the same time, seemingly insurmountable challenges are also drivers of innovation.

In this personal episode, we share how we are turning the ship around. Our purpose is to liberate teams from dehumanizing and ineffective ways of organizing work by putting them in control of shaping their future.

This change in direction also ...

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"Teams make people more than people make teams."

It may be a bold statement, but there is a surprising amount of scientific evidence that shows the overwhelming effect of our social environment on our behavior and performance. By understanding why it is easier to understand what makes change so difficult.

In this episode of our podcast, we explore a different way to understand organizations. Rather than the dominant perspecti...

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Liberating Structures are easy-to-learn, easy-to-facilitate techniques that build real engagement and involvement in groups of any size. We’ve been using them for a while now. One thing we’ve learned is that coming up with good ‘invitations’ is 90% of the work. In this episode we share some of the lessons we’ve learned and are still learning.

This episode is based on this blogpost. In the episode, we also mention this document with ...

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There is a problem with traditional learning models where experts tell people what they need to know: it doesn't work. Scientific research tells us that people don't learn from being told what they need to learn.

In this episode, we explore an alternative approach called Visual Thinking Strategies. Although only one piece of the puzzle, it creates engaging learning environments by guiding groups in their own learning. And V...

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What creates Zombie Scrum? One clear theme we — and many others — have found is that people use the Scrum Framework for the wrong reasons. When you ask people in a Zombie Scrum organization what they are hoping to get out of Scrum, you’ll hear things like “more speed”, “more brains”, “more output” and “more efficiency”. That’s very different from the actual meaning of the word “agile”. It’s also very different from what the Scrum F...

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"That doesn't work in the real world", "Our product is too complex" and "That works only for hip startups" are some of the reasons that people offer when we ask them why they don't ship faster.

In environments with Zombie Scrum, people don't understand why it's important to ship fast. When you ask them, they respond with a shrug. Or with a dismissive smile, because "that can't possibly...

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In this episode, we take a birds-eye view of what is happening in and around us. Technological innovations are emerging rapidly and our work is increasingly globalized, inter-connected and dependent on technology. And it seems to be accelerating: welcome to the technological Supernova!

In this episode we capture two complementary perspectives on this supernova and how to survive it. We also connect it to the Scrum Framework, and ho...

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“Self-organization is the process by which spontaneous order arises from something that is initially disorganized.”

That sounds very deep, but what does it mean in practice? For such a popular topic as "self-organization", its often remarkably unclear what it means or how to make it happen. In this episode, we explore how Liberating Structures are effectively instruments for self-organization in teams and organizations. We a...

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“Stakeholders are less satisfied, less value is delivered and team morale is markedly lower when management hardly interacts with the teams”

This is one finding from the 2.000+ teams that have participated to date in our Zombie Scrum Survey. In this episode, we explore the improvements we made to the survey based on the data we collected to data. We also shared other preliminary findings.

This episode is based on this blogpost:
ht...

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Does your Scrum Team use Sprint Goals? If not, why? Perhaps your team finds it hard to identify a goal for the Sprint out of the patchwork of items on the Sprint Backlog? Or perhaps your Product Owner doesn’t know how to balance the requests from many different groups of stakeholders?

In this episode, we bust one of the most persistent myths in Scrum; the notion that Sprint Goals are optional in Scrum. That they are nice-to-have, bu...

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A simple way to understand Scrum would be to emphasize that its all about releasing faster and sooner. But what if everything that is released isn't valuable or useful? How beneficial is Scrum then?

In this episode, we explore the curious case of the missing customer in Scrum. It's a case we often see in the Scrum Teams we work with. Even the Scrum Guide itself makes no direct mention of 'users' and 'customers&#...

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A good start for a new Scrum Team is really half the work. This is where you can start building the psychological safety and self-organizing skills that are so vital to the further success.

In this episode we share our approach to starting new Scrum Teams. And we offer 10 practical things you can do with a new team. Or even with teams that have been going on for a while, but can use a refresher.

This episode is based on this blog-pos...

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"By indulging in their own desire to 'try new structures' or dazzle the group with amazing riffs and mashups of Liberating Structures, facilitators may actually be preventing users from becoming skilled at them themselves.

This episode is a reflection on Liberating Structures, and in particular, an insight that we developed during the Liberating Structures Learning Gathering in 2019 in Hamburg.

Instead of facilitation met...

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Almost everybody sees the value of Sprint Goals. But most teams struggle with them nonetheless. In this short episode, we offer 10 Powerful Questions that we've found to be very helpful. Where some of the questions focus on identifying the general direction for the Sprint Goal, others are more about selecting the work that is needed for that. Or narrowing down to the Sprint to what is possible.

This episode is based on this blog...

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