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Professional Scrum Trainer Spotlight Part 2 - Yuval Yeret

February 14, 2024

In this Professional Scrum Trainer episode Guest host PST Ryan Ripley from Agile for Humans interviews Yuval Yeret, a seasoned professional Scrum trainer from and a SAFe fellow. We delve into Yeret's comprehensive journey into the world of Scrum, exploring the various facets that have shaped his career and contributions.



Ryan Ripley  0:21  
Hi, everyone. I'm Ryan Ripley with Agile for humans and professional scrum trainer with I'm stepping in as a guest host for episodes highlighting the experiences of other Professional scrum trainers. I hope you enjoy getting to know these amazing people.

Right Welcome to another episode of becoming a scrum master. I'm your host Ryan Ripley joining me today. Really good friend of mine. I love this guy. Yuval Yeret Always a pleasure to see it looks like you're sporting some tea today. I went with the coffee. Right? Wish I'd gone with the tea. It's great to see a friend.

Yuval Yeret  0:58  
Good to see you, Ryan. Yeah, I'm on a ginger day. Nice roll. So my ankle issues. So sorry, you're having issues today. You've all for those who are not familiar with the vol He is a professional scrum trainer with He is a safe fellow. And SBCT

Lindsay Velecina  0:03  
Welcome to the community podcast, a podcast from the home of Scrum. In this podcast we feature professional scrum trainers and other scrum practitioners sharing their stories and experiences to help learn from the experience of others. We hope you enjoy this episode.

Ryan Ripley  1:17  
super talented gentleman with a lot of different backgrounds and insights brings a lot of different things to the community, especially with that safe background and has brought a lot of sanity to those discussions. So always appreciate getting to talk to him. But today is about the scrum master journey. So every professional scrum trainer has been a scrum master in the past. And so you've asked the first question. Can you share the story of how you first encountered Scrum? And what motivated you to become a scrum master? Was there a particular moment or experience that sparked your interest?

Yuval Yeret  1:52  
Yeah, I think it connects to some recent conversations that we're having about the scrum master and who they should be. Yep. My first encounter with with Scrum was back in 2006. I was VP of engineering with a development group in the Storage Networking startup in Israel. We were struggling to achieve predictability to deliver valuable stuff. There were quality issues. We had multiple teams and we were starting to look at some stuff. The first thing that we'll practice we've isolated was continuous integration, which I recommend to everybody. And then we started looking at ways to organize our work and obey that in a way that's a better fit. We looked at Scrum. I actually took my CSM class from Jim complain. And one other trainer. Jim was still training to be a CST at that time. But wow, what an amazing experience. Sure, I got the secret Ted Shea and shake. And ice essentially started to be the scrum master that we talk about as a true leader for my teams helping our organization, figure out how to use figured out how to use Scrum. Not the classic scrum master. Right? We often talk about the manager shouldn't be a scrum master. The leader shouldn't be the scrum master. Should the VP engineering be a scrum master? But for carrying upon the time and what we're realizing today? I think you've made tons of sense.

Ryan Ripley  3:43  
Yeah. So that that particular that that thing that sparked your interest, like what was appealing to you where you thought, yeah, this is a path because we've dedicated significant portions of our lives to learning about this stuff. What was that initial hook that would you just haven't been able to let go of?

Yuval Yeret  4:04  
I haven't reflected on that in a while. I mean, there's one thing which is scrum in general the reason scrum what piqued my interest into scrum was to solve the problem of the complexity of work that we were facing. When it comes to the scrum master. Role accountability stance, it really resonated for me as part of the journey that I was going through on figuring out my leadership style, how to become more enabling more serving more or less. As part of scaling my leadership team Sure, creating an environment where, you know, I, I help people figure out better ways to work not necessarily make all of the decisions myself. So it was great. It was the right timing for something like Scrum. It

Ryan Ripley  5:16  
sounds a lot of a lot like a journey of empowerment. Right, empowering yourself empowering others. That's great. So was there a specific project or situation where you had this big eureka moment? Something that made you realize the true power and potential of Scrum? And if so, could you describe that was maybe an easier way of thinking about this is where there's was there just a moment where you thought, Man, the framework was the right choice this was, and that thing that kind of would spark you to say that, yeah.

Yuval Yeret  5:51  
We can stick with 2006. That experience, we actually looked at the Feature Driven Development. First, we looked at a couple of different other practices, extreme programming, but there was something about the simplicity of the scrum framework. Together with its bluntness, I would say maybe, that it just clicked, we brought it to our different teams, it wasn't easy, but it wasn't, it was relatively easy to explain what we want to achieve, it was pretty hard to get it going or non trivial to get it going. But it was pretty clear that something that reduces the amount of time we spend planning things that we don't know too much about and more time actually getting to done and closing the loop and learning from it. And, you know, having tighter integrations between development and testing and tighter integration is between the hardware team and the software firmware team and the management software team, that that was really powerful. It's great.

Ryan Ripley  7:20  
How has your perception and execution of the scrum master role or accountability, however you'd like to think about it? How has that perception or execution evolved? And are there aspects of the role or accountability that you view differently? Now compared to when you first started?

Yuval Yeret  7:38  
Yeah, so.

Ryan Ripley  7:42  
And I don't want to argue about safe scrum master and professional Oh, no, no.

Yuval Yeret  7:51  
Vote for that. No need. Yeah. Well, we'll link to that in the show notes to that. No, but I think, you know, to reflect on the journey, most of my years in the space as a scrum practitioner, I wasn't actually a scrum master, per se. Or some people would say it wasn't really being a scrum master. I was helping organizations implement Scrum or achieve agility I was providing them with true leadership, coaching, mentoring, teaching, actively doing nothing. More and more over time, it was supporting other Scrum Masters and helping organizations and leaders even figure out how should they approach the scrum master role or accountability and how that evolved? I think if I reflect it's interesting how you structure these questions, but I think it's almost been a 360. Over the years, like, I started with Scrum Master, true leader. There's been years where I've been trying to figure out what the right way to create scrum mastery that is distinct from management and leadership, what's the who are the right people to step up into this role, how to figure that apology for that in the typical organization. And there's been spots over the years but more and more recently, where I think that the real ideal place for the accountability is with whoever you consider a leader and that more and more leaders should look in the mirror and see themselves as the person that should have some level of Scrum mastery record their teams was just having a conversation about that with a client in Chicago yesterday. So it's constantly coming up that question of how do we do these things? Yeah,

Ryan Ripley  10:13  
that's amazing that over the past 20, or some odd years, there's still this evolution and confusion and discussion. And I feel the same way. It's almost some most people it's Oh, it's been a 180. I thought this and I believe that I keep coming back full circle to it, but it's taken 15 years to make the rotation. That's interesting. What advice would you give someone aspiring to become a scrum master? Is there a particular mindset skill or habit that you believe is crucial for success in this role, or accountability?

Yuval Yeret  11:01  
I guess the bottom line is

a scrum master is not a role you enter the field with or you enter the field through, you need to be first scrum practitioner, if you want to be a scrum master. And even the name kind of indicates that a scrum master should be a master of Scrum. And I think I've heard maybe even when, you know, we took our Bsmt together that that's the origin of the name 10 wanted to call it mastery of Scrum or something along those lines. And somehow that that got lost, we see people that are asking gaiwan to go into the workplace and sounds like this Grandmaster is good wavelength or no, it might be but it shouldn't be. Right. And I don't think it's gonna be over time, people are realizing, in order to provide guidance to teams, to coach organizations, to coach leaders, you need to have your chops, you need to be a team member developer, you need to be a leader, you need to do other things. Practice scrum for a while. Try some things that all scrum master should do support that scrum master, try to do this, try to do that. And over time, it might be the thing for you. Now, if you are to go back to the earlier conversation, if you are a leader, if you are a manager, if you have positional authority over people or technology, I would say that it could be very interesting for you to take a look at the stances of the scrum master the scrum framework and start to use as many or as little of these stances and techniques, as makes sense to you to evolve your leadership style to become more of an empowering, empirical, evidence based leader.

Ryan Ripley  13:33  
It's great. Yeah, I think a lot of people would agree not an entry level role, or accountability. But yeah, I'll leave it at that. I think you said it very well. Last question I got for you. So what is the one book every scrum master should read? And you do not have to say fixing your Scrum? I'd prefer you didn't. But what's the book that you think? And I'm sure there's many but what's one that comes to mind where you're just like, Yeah, this one really shifted the way I look at things. Hmm.

Yuval Yeret  14:06  
Good one. I'll go for helping. First thing that comes to mind helping by edge. Shine is a professor at either MIT or Harvard. You used to be I think he's, he's not with us anymore. But he's work on organizational culture and the consultant mindset is amazing. I've listened to helping multiple times. Just one quick vignette from the book is do you show up to a team as a doctor telling them what the what the the right treatment for their symptoms? Or do you show up more as an advisor or what are effective ways an interface effective ways to help people. It's been a while since I've read it, maybe it's time for every week. Yeah,

Ryan Ripley  15:07  
I saw I'm not even familiar with the work. So I love getting new book recommendations. So I think that's great. So you've all I appreciate you sharing your journey. appreciate your sharing your take on the scrum master accountability and how it's evolved advice, the books, it's all been wonderful. It's always great to see anything you'd like to plug or promote before we wrap this up. And by the way, you've all is he is the one person him and Eric Wilkie. But if someone says, Hey, I want to learn safe, and if I can't talk them out of it, you've always the guy that we usually send people to. And great safe trainer, great. Pst, does a lot of good work in the Kanban plus Scrum and world as well as total respect you all, but I cut you off, what would you like to would you like to promote?

Yuval Yeret  15:59  
People can help keep it simple. People can check up on what I'm thinking and what I'm doing. You That's where I'm blogging and talking about the work that I'm doing these days. As we've talked earlier, I really believe that the work that you're doing with EBM is powerful. I want to help people that are using and struggling with OKRs as well as things like safe and maybe with OKRs or using EBM. So there's some interesting stuff I'm focused on. Great in that space.

Ryan Ripley  16:37  
I'm sure it'll, I'm sure it'll lead to great things. You've all it's wonderful to see you. I hope the family is doing well. Best to your wife. Hope kids are doing great in their sports in school and I hope we talk again soon. Same here


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