Leland Newson: Creating commitment to the work in a Scrum team, a tale of two Product Owners

From the PO that was able to inspire the team to the PO that was only a PO on weekends. Two contrasting examples of how to help the teams commit to the outcome of their work.

The Great Product Owner: The Storytelling PO that inspired the team

Great Product Owners are able to tell great stories. Stories that engage the audience, and help the team find purpose (the “why”) for the work that they have to take on. Leland shares the story of the “three bricklayers” as a metaphor for what that Product Owner was trying to create: commitment to the outcome of the work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Overly Busy PO

This PO was so busy that their “PO work” was called by the PO themselves as “weekend work”. The stage was set for trouble. This led to the team not getting feedback from the PO. The stories were not accepted in time for the end of the sprint, it was hard to do any work on the product backlog refinement. Finally, as the situation would not get better, the company finally decided to hire someone else. 

If you are facing this situation right now, you may want to check our Sprint Checklist, a tool to help you deal with an Overly Busy PO.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.