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Eliza Gregory: Strategies for Dealing with a Misaligned Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Caring, Committed, and Capable: Traits of a Great Product Owner

In this episode, Eliza emphasizes that a great PO genuinely cares about the team, the product, and the project. They have a strong desire to perform well and ensure the success of the team. Eliza mentions the importance of reminding the PO to take breaks and rest, if they may have a tendency to shoulder too much responsibility. A great PO should be able to say “no” when necessary, demonstrating their care for the team’s workload and effectively prioritizing tasks to align with the product’s goals. Overall, a great PO is someone who combines a genuine concern for the team, a passion for the product, and the ability to make informed decisions for the project’s success.

The Bad Product Owner: Strategies for Dealing with a Misaligned Product Owner

In this episode, Eliza discusses the challenges of working with a bad Product Owner (PO) who was new to the company, and exhibited behaviors that were not in the team’s best interest, despite claiming to support change and act as a catalyst for it. In meetings, the PO constantly fought against change and advocated for the status quo. Additionally, they frequently interrupted and spoke over the team, and even asked the Scrum Master for more command and control.

Eliza found it confusing that the PO seemed to be fighting against Agile principles and stepping on the team’s autonomy. Eventually, Eliza left the company, but learned that the PO had conflicts with other Agile coaches and managers as well.

She provides tips for dealing with such situations, including having one-on-one conversations with the PO and coaching them as part of the Scrum Master’s role. Creating a safe space for the team to express themselves without interruptions is crucial, and understanding the perspective and background of the PO is also important. Eliza suggests getting training to better understand the PO’s job. Overall, the episode highlights the challenges posed by a bad Product Owner and offers strategies for managing and coaching them effectively.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

Are you having trouble helping the team work 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 Eliza Gregory

Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.

You can link with Eliza Gregory on LinkedIn and connect with Eliza Gregory on Twitter, and you can read about her novel Painting the Whiskey Blue.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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