10 examples of how to use Liberating Structures during and after the Daily Scrum

Many Scrum Teams have a love/hate relationship with the Daily Scrum. Obviously, it’s the most conducted Scrum event. When using the same format every single day, it quickly becomes the most boring one as well. So we always recommend experimenting with different approaches. In our own experience, the use of Liberating Structures makes a real difference. To make this statement tangible, we share 10 examples of how to use Liberating Structures during and after the Daily Scrum. One example for each day, randomly ordered.

Fitting in Liberating Structures in the 15-minute timebox of the Daily Scrum is challenging. It will sometimes require you to tweak the original steps of Liberating Structures. That’s ok. Just experiment, and see if you’re able to achieve the purpose of the Daily Scrum. And if it takes longer than 15 minutes but you’re having a great conversation, well… that’s valuable as well, right? …

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Order your deck of Scrum Mythbusters cards here

20 ideas for using the new Scrum Mythbusters card deck in your organization

Scrum is not a one-size-fits-all solution, a silver bullet, or a complete methodology. Instead, Scrum provides the minimal boundaries within which teams can self-organize to solve complex problems with an empirical approach. This simplicity is its greatest strength, but also the source of many misinterpretations and myths. The Scrum Mythbusters exercise helps you address the common myths and misunderstandings about Scrum and helps teams discover how Scrum is intended as a simple, yet sufficient framework for complex product delivery.

Scrum Mythbusters is one of the first exercises we start the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master II class with. It helps to get a sense of the experience of the group with Scrum in a playful manner, validates the knowledge, and triggers useful conversations. It proves to be such a valuable exercise, that we recommend every Scrum practitioner to use it within their own organization and team. When your team struggles with most of the statements, you can inspect by refreshing the purpose of the Scrum Framework together. …

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“We have no goal this Sprint, so just work as hard as you can to complete all the work”. Illustration by Thea Schukken.

Help your remote team discover what happens without clear Sprint Goals. And bring back focus together!

Want to help your Scrum Team make sense of why Sprint Goals matter? And more importantly, how you can create more focus together? We’ve got your back with this tried-and-tested string of Liberating Structures. All you need to do is run it and off you go — without coaches, facilitators, and consultants. You can also download this string as a nicely styled PDF.

Hey there, Scrum Mythbuster!

Does your Scrum Team use Sprint Goals? If not, why? Maybe it is hard for your team to identify a goal for the Sprint out of the patchwork of items on their Sprint Backlog. Or perhaps your Product Owner doesn’t know how to balance the requests from many different groups of stakeholders. Whatever the case, many Scrum Teams don’t use Sprint Goals. …

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Put your understanding of the Scrum Framework to the test!

The Scrum Framework is a lightweight framework to solve complex and adaptive problems with others. Although it looks easy on paper, it’s often much harder to do well in the messiness of the real world. Where do you make trade-offs? How can you model the Scrum values? How can you work empirically in an environment that isn’t suited for it?

To encourage Scrum practitioners to explore these questions, we created 52 real-life cases. These cases are inspired by our own experiences and those of the people we frequently work with. Use these cases for your community of Scrum Masters, as conversation starters in and around your Scrum Team, or put your own understanding of Scrum to the test. …

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Ideas and inspiration for trainers, Scrum Masters, and potential participants of online classes

If someone would have asked us one year ago to create a Live Virtual Class (online) of the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master II class, I would have responded with a: “No way! The PSM II class is designed specifically for in-person interaction, face-to-face conversations, and having dialogues in small groups while sitting knee-to-knee. The entire experience of the class will be lost when turning this into an online version!”

Three months later: our first online PSM II class is a fact and based on the feedback from the participants and our own experience it was a blast! So what happened? What made us reconsider our opinion? And what have we learned by providing the online class? …

The outcome of the Wise Crowds meetup from The Liberators Network

As part of The Liberators Network, we organize meetups that allow participants to give & get help around challenges they face with unleashing their organization’s superpowers. All meetups focus on peer-to-peer coaching, building networks, and the sharing of experiences. Last week, Simon Flossmann, one of our Patrons, took the opportunity to raise the following challenge:

“How can a Scrum Master prove its value to the organization such that (s)he isn’t considered to be the first asked to leave in a crisis?”

To explore this challenge, we used the Liberating Structure “Wise Crowds”. This structure makes it possible to tap the wisdom of the whole group to give help with tough problems, questions, and challenges. The purpose of this blog post is to share the outcome of the meetup. …

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Inspiration for fulfilling the stances of a Scrum Master, remotely

Interested in joining a virtual Scrum.org PSM II class? We organize another one in October! For more information, check the registration page.

Being an effective and successful Scrum Master requires a wide variety of skills, knowledge, and experience. This variety is captured in the stances of a Scrum Master. The Scrum Master is expected to act as a teacher, impediment remover, facilitator, coach, mentor, and change agent. The Scrum Master does so by acting on 3 levels: Scrum Team, building relationships with others, and supporting the entire organization. Everything, with servant-leadership as the foundational mindset and attitude.

These days, becoming an effective and successful Scrum Master gets a whole new dimension. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, chances are that everyone in your organization is working from home. This includes your Product Owner and Development Team. …

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Strategy Knotworking with Liberating Structures

In the upcoming months, we are hosting a series of virtual workshops (public and in-house) to help your team or organization build the skills to apply Strategy Knotworking. This initiative is a joint effort of Johannes Schartau, Fisher Qua, Anna Jackson, Christiaan Verwijs, and Barry Overeem. Sign up here to stay up-to-date with dates, pricing, and opportunities to attend.

The world is experiencing the biggest crisis in decades. As a result, many of us face fundamental challenges. Organizations wonder how they are going to survive and adapt. Scrum Teams have been completely dismantled or reshuffled because their focus and priorities shifted 180 degrees. …

Last year, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with the Portuguese speaking Scrum community in Portugal and Brazil. By contributing to Agile Portugal, Scrum Day Brazil, and by providing a workshop for Emergee, I’ve experienced their passion, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn more about Scrum.

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Pictures of my Scrum workshop at Scrum Day Brazil

Therefore, when Fabio Fioratti Azevedo and Danilo Almeida asked me if they could translate the paper “The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master” into Brazilian-Portuguese this was a no-brainer: of course! Scrum.org supported this initiative by changing this into an official Scrum.org paper and making it available via their website. …

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Including examples of how to use it with Scrum

Liberating Structures are a collection of interaction patterns that allow you to unleash and involve everyone in a group — from extroverted to introverted and from leaders to followers. In this series of posts, we show how Liberating Structures can be used with Scrum.

We often make decisions based solely on our intuition or gut feeling. But what if we would base our decisions more on data? This article is about Simple Ethnography. A Liberating Structure that is all about gathering data to drive shared sense-making. …


Barry Overeem

Unleashing Organisational Superpowers

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