Christian Antoine earns Certified Scrum Trainer from Scrum Alliance

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Christian Antoine has earned the Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) certification from the Scrum Alliance, the largest, most established and influential professional membership organization and certifying body in the Agile community.  Christian adds this exclusive certification to the Collaborative Leadership Team. Prior to achieving the CST® certification, Christian participated in the Scrum Alliance experimental Endorsed Scrum Trainer® (EST®) program which enabled him to deepen his Scrum training delivery skills.

Christian is an Agile Trainer and Transformation Coach with Collaborative Leadership Team (CoLeadTeam) based in the Twin Cities.  He is passionate about training others on Agile and Scrum.  Christian wants to help organizations and individuals learn to do work in a focused, sustainable way.  His 20+ years of experience includes experience   with Medtronic, 3M, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). 

“Christian has been working towards this goal for over 3 years” Angela Johnson, CEO of Collaborative Leadership Team, shared.  “We are very proud of him and lucky to have him as part of our team.”

“Christian’s enthusiasm for his training is palpable” Chief Operating Officer, Tom Auld added.  “Sharing his passion for agile with others is what drives him.  He is a fantastic Agile Trainer and Coach”. 

Collaborative Leadership Team is one of the only Midwest organizations that has multiple CSTs on staff.  To learn more about CoLeadTeam’s professional services, please visit:  www. CoLeadTeam.com. 

About Collaborative Leadership Team:  We believe that organizations who can quickly adapt to change will lead their industry.  To help organizations work differently, Collaborative Leadership Team provides customized training, coaching, and mentoring.  This will build self-sustaining, learning organizations the can capture any opportunity and overcome any obstacle. 

As the premier Agile Consultancy in the Twin Cities, CoLeadTeam provides the unique combination of Certified Training, Coaching, Customized Training, Assessments, and Quick Start Agile plans. Our core values are focused on optimizing Individuals and Teams, improving their ability to deliver valuable, working product. Agile and Scrum are useful for much more than software. We have experience using these frameworks for software, hardware, services, manufacturing, house flipping, and strategic decision making. For more information on our service offerings, please visit our website www.collaborativeleadershipteam.com or send an email to tom@coleadteam.com.

Collaborative Leadership Team first to bring Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® & Scrum@Scale Training to Minnesota

Register today for Scrum@Scale guaranteed to run on October 23-24 in Minneapolis, MN

Register today for Scrum@Scale guaranteed to run on October 23-24 in Minneapolis, MN

Register today for Advanced Certified ScrumMaster Program guaranteed to run on December 4-5 in Minneapolis, MN

Register today for Advanced Certified ScrumMaster Program guaranteed to run on December 4-5 in Minneapolis, MN

Agile and Scrum are management frameworks that many of the most successful companies on the planet use. By incorporating the values and principles of Agile into business decisions it will allow organizations to quickly learn and adapt to capture business opportunities. The Collaborative Leadership Team (CoLeadTeam) is the first organization certified to provide the next level of training in Minnesota.

"CoLeadTeam is committed to helping the amazing organizations in the Twin Cities and all throughout the Midwest deal with the barrage of challenges to their survival” said Angela Johnson, Founder and President of Collaborative Leadership Team. “Change is the only constant. The organizations that can learn and adapt the fastest, will be the ones that succeed. Working differently takes a combination of Training & Coaching. Organizations have smart, knowledgeable employees that need the time and the training to embrace and overcome the obstacles that this business climate will constantly throw at them."

The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM) program provides the Scrum Master with a deeper set of skills. These skills can be applied to help the Development Team, the Product Owner and the Organization become the highest possible performing team they can become. COO Tom Auld shared, “High performing teams are the currency of our Corporations. The Corporations with the highest performing teams that can quickly adjust to meet market demand are the Corporations that will win”.  This training is open to the public and scheduled for December 4-5, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN.

Scrum@Scale is an advanced management technique for Organizations that are ready to expand upon the success they have been achieving with Agile and Scrum. Angela Johnson stated, “Companies have products that impact each other.  Scrum@Scale will teach them how to optimize their investments and teams to meet their Customers most important needs”.   This training is open to the public and scheduled for October 23-24, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN.

To learn more about these programs, email Tom@CoLeadTeam.com or visit www.CoLeadTeam.com

About Collaborative Leadership Team (www.CoLeadTeam.com): Collaborative Leadership Team (CoLeadTeam) is the premier Agile Consultancy in the Twin Cities. CoLeadTeam provides the unique combination of Certified Training, Coaching, Customized Training, Assessments, and Quick Start Agile plans. Our core values are focused on optimizing Individuals and Teams, improving their ability to deliver valuable, working product. Agile & Scrum is useful for much more than software. We have experience using this for software, hardware, services, manufacturing, house flipping, and strategic decision making. For more information on our service offerings, please visit our website www.collaborativeleadershipteam.com or send an email to tom@coleadteam.com.

Scrum: Even a 5-Year Old Can Do It - What is Your Excuse?


In Certified ScrumMaster courses a common misunderstanding that new Scrum Masters have, is that they have to be the “secretary” or the administrative assistant for a team:  telling people which tasks to perform, recording status of performing them, etc.

Nothing could be further from the truth!  The ScrumMaster is a Coach. It is their job to help people improve for themselves.  When we do work for someone, they are not learning.  We then become a crutch and create a condition called “Learned Helplessness”.  Why should they bother learning?  You’re taking that opportunity away from them.

The other thing we want in our Scrum Development Team members is Accountability.  When you do not allow them to experience this accountability, how will they ever learn?

Imagine if instead of learning to put his boots on himself, Chase sat by the door when it was time to go and waited for Mom or Dad to perform this task for him. And note, Dad even let him experience putting the boots on the wrong foot!  Now he knows what the wrong way feels like so he puts them on the right foot by himself going forward.  He’s experienced learning and accountability.

And please take note that nobody moved the cards on the board for Chase.  He’s perfectly capable of doing this to manage his own work.

So why do some Scrum Masters insist on taking this opportunity away from the Development Teams?  The Scrum Guide notes the purpose of the Sprint Backlog is for the Development Team to manage their work – not for an administrative assistant to update it for them.

Chase moved on from the hat, coats, boots, etc. cards after 10 daily instances and now handles this work autonomously so the board can be repurposed for new learning.

About Collaborative Leadership Team:  Collaborative Leadership Team (CLT) is the premier Agile Consultancy in the Midwest. We believe in the Values and Principles of the Agile Manifesto. Our mission is to train and coach Individuals, Teams and Leaders. This will improve their ability to deliver valuable, consistent, working product. Companies that adopt this way of working will reduce their cost of change and keep up with the evolving demands of their Customers. CLT helps you achieve your goals through Assessments, Training, Coaching and Mentoring.

Since 2010, CLT has had a significant impact on the way people and organizations achieve higher levels of productivity:

  • Over 15,000 Students trained in Agile & Scrum
  • Over 100 Organizations (Fortune 500 to family businesses) are achieving their goals by transforming and adopting Agile & Scrum

CLT brings Agile experience from all areas of business and technology. The Executive Suite, Software Development, Hardware Development, and Team Dynamics & Optimization.

For more information including Training offerings, Coaching offerings, Client Feedback. and more, please visit us at http://collaborativeleadershipteam.com


Video Translation:

Dad:  What do we work on next?

Chase: Boots.

Dad:  Okay, so what do you do?

Chase: Boots.

Dad: Well, what do you do with the card?

Chase: Move it.

Dad:  Yep, flip it over and over. Awesome. Okay, now you're working on boots. What are you going to do?

Chase:  Do it. Yes?

Dad: Is that the right foot?

Chase: Yes.

Dad: Are you sure?

Chase: Yes.

Dad: Okay, put the other one on. Okay, come over here. We gotta check. All right, are your boots on the right feet? Are the boots on the right feet?

Chase: Yes they are.

Dad: Nope, they're not, so what do we do?

Chase: Fix them.

Dad: That's right, we fix them. Okay.

Chase: These are right feet.

Dad: Now they're on the right feet. Okay, let's check. Are they on the right feet? Great. What do we do with the card?

Chase: Move it.

Dad: All right, and what's the last one. Yep, want to work on that next. Wait, wait, what do we do with the card though?

Chase: Move it.

Dad: Come move it. All right, hat and coat time.

Speaker 3: If you're interested in learning more, please visit us at collaborativeleadershipteam.com.


Product Owner:  Why is your Team asking you “How” to do Their Work? 

Is this your Development Team's favorite question? 

Is this your Development Team's favorite question? 

Role clarity and simplicity in the Scrum Team is beautiful.  The Product Owner needs to answer the following questions for the Development Team:

  • WHAT work needs to get done
  • IN WHAT ORDER that work needs to get done based on VALUE of the feature/function
  • WHY it is important to the Organization
  • Provide just enough detail to the Development Team so they can commit to their Sprint Goal

By doing this, the Product Owner provides CLARITY.  Teams cannot fully commit to any goal without clarity.  But here is where it gets tricky:

What if the Development Team, in their quest for clarity, wants to Product Owner to tell them “HOW” to do their work?

Here is a snippet of a conversation with a Scrum Team that I have the honor of coaching currently:

  • Dev Team:  “We just want the Product Owner to tell us how to build the data mart”
  • Me:  “Does the Product Owner have that level of technical knowledge?”
  • Dev Team: “No, she is on the business side”
  • Me: “Do we know the end result of what the Product Owner wants?”
  • Dev Team:  “Yes, we need to get this data into our Stage environment so we can start building reports and dashboards”.
  • Me:  “Does the Product Owner care how we get the data into stage, understanding that we have to follow company guidelines and standards around data handling?”
  • Dev Team:  “No, probably not”
  • Me:  “So an acceptance criteria is that the data must follow data standards.  Do we (The Dev Team) understand the data standards?
  • Dev Team:  “Some, but not all.  We need the Product Owner to tell us what her data standards are.” 
  • Me:  “Why?”
  • Dev Team: “Because we don’t want to get this “wrong” and have to re-do work”
  • Me:  “What happens if we get this “wrong” and have to do re-work?”
  • Dev Team:  “Our Product Owner might get mad at us”
  • Me: “Has she gotten mad at you in the past?”
  • Dev Team: “No”
  • Me:  “What happens if we get this 80% right?”
  • Dev Team: “We have to re-do 20% of our work”
  • Me:  “20% of a 10 day sprint is 2 days of work.  Do you think our Product Owner would be happy if after one sprint, we did 2 days of re-work (refactoring) to get the work she asked us to do to “done”? 
  • Dev Team:  “Probably, we just want to get it right the first time”’
  • Me:  “The Product Owner’s definition of done is not to “get it right the first time”. We are not building reports that will last forever, we are building reports for now that will continue to evolve over time.  Let's build it in a way that will allow the PO to change her mind in the future with the lowest possible cost of change.  

This was a fantastic, transparent, vulnerable conversation. 

Product Owners – if your Development Team is asking for you to answer “HOW” they should do their work, think about saying something like:  “I trust you as experts to come up with the best way to do this work.  Do you have clarity about what I want this to do when your work is done?  I am comfortable with the fact that we will likely need to tweak this after this iteration”. 

Scrum Masters – Recognize this pattern and COACH your Dev Team and Product Owner through this situation. 

Dev Team – You get to figure out “HOW” to do the work.  Relish the opportunity.  We are going to stop treating you like robots and giving you 400 page requirements document and then never talk to you again.  Now we are going to give you clarity and just enough information in order for you to be creative and come up with the solution you have always wanted to build 

For more blogs like this, please visit: https://www.collaborativeleadershipteam.com/blog/

For Agile and Scrum Videos by CLT, please visit: https://goo.gl/6OJf3Q


About the Author:

Tom Auld, CSP is an Agile Coach, Trainer and the Product Owner for the Collaborative Leadership Team(CLT). CLT is the premier Agile Consultancy providing certified and customized non-certified training classes & Agile Coaching that will set up your organization to reap the benefits of Agile and Scrum. Connect with Tom at Tom@coleadteam.com,  Tom on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @CoLeadTeam & @tcauld.