Richard Lizama: “Just enough” Planning, the secret super power of great Product Owners

When it comes to planning, there’s plenty of opinions about how much is “just enough”. In this episode, we discuss this question from two different perspectives: the PO that wanted “just enough” planning, and the PO that wanted to over-plan everything in minute detail! 

The Great Product Owner: “Just enough” Planning, the secret superpower of great PO’s

Great Product Owners realize that they are part of the team, and focus on helping the team continuously improve in respect to how they think about customers and their role as product developers. In this segment, we also talk about how much is “just enough planning”, and the importance of feedback when helping develop the team.

The Bad Product Owner: Too much planning and its nasty consequences

In this segment, we talk about the PO that wants to plan everything, and in detail! We also discuss how to know when we are doing too much planning, or too little! Learning to hit the sweet spot in terms of planning is a critical enabler for team agility, and the Scrum Master can help the PO with that goal!

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 Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn.

Richard Lizama: Reflecting on the role of the Scrum Master with powerful questions

Scrum Masters do a lot of intangible things. It is not easy to assess the impact of all of those, but Richard shares some tips with us, like running surveys and asking some specific questions that help us reflect on our role.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well, with a twist

Richard prefers to focus on Retrospective formats that help the team start, and continue a productive conversation. Therefore, he prefers simple formats like the traditional “what went well, not so well and what we want to change. However, Richard adds a twist at the end of this format that helps us grow great teams. Listen in to learn about Richards addition to this traditional format that helps your team grow.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn

Richard Lizama: How to onboard scrum masters in your organization

In this episode, we talk about how to prepare for an Agile transformation, by preparing the Scrum Masters in the organization as they come in. The first weeks of a Scrum Master are critical for them and for the organization, so it becomes critical to learn how to onboard Scrum Masters.

About Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn.

Richard Lizama: The order-taker Scrum team anti-pattern, and what to do about it

From the many Scrum team anti-patterns, Richard highlights the “order taker” anti-pattern. When the Scrum team accepts that the Product Owner knows everything, and gives them already pre-digested features they just need to deliver. In this episode, we discuss why some teams adopt this anti-pattern, and what we can do as Scrum Masters to help them understand what they are missing.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

The book Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, gave Richard that “aha!” moment he was looking for. In the book, Geoff Watts goes over the differences between doing a good job, and being a great Scrum Master and that helped Richard grow in the role of the Scrum Master. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn

Richard Lizama: Tips on getting started with a new Scrum team

Richard’s first week on the job as a Scrum Master started with a realization that helped Richard change his stance. But not before he went through an important lesson for all newly minted Scrum Masters. Read on to learn about what you should consider in your first week, and when working with teams that have been at it for a long time!

About Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn

Mark Metze: Using Sprint Goals as a way to collaborate and communicate with Stakeholders

Sprint Goals are a tool for the PO to communicate with the team and Stakeholders. However, not all PO’s know how to use them, or even try. When PO’s aren’t able to communicate the value to the team and stakeholders, then bad things can happen as we learn in this week’s PO anti-pattern segment.

The Great Product Owner: Using Sprint Goals as a way to collaborate and communicate with Stakeholders

Sprint goals are a tool that helps teams focus and make decisions, however, those goals don’t create themselves. A great Product Owner is able to prepare those Sprint Goals in a way that speaks to the team. In This segment, we refer to a technique by a PO that brought several possible goals to the Sprint Review, and asked the stakeholders to help them choose the right goal for the Sprint. 

In this segment, we also refer to Martin Dalmijn’s work (Martin has been a guest here on the podcast).

The Bad Product Owner: Value delivery as the focus for Product Owners 

This segment starts with a sad story, that of a PO that was fired after 9 months of work with their team. The reason: they had no way to show the value of what the team had delivered in those 9 months. A critical responsibility for a Product Owner.

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 Mark Metze

Following the pattern of all good Computer Science majors, Mark began his career as a programmer and devoted the first 2 decades of his career to the craft of writing code. His next decade was spent in a managerial role for a software team. And then recently he pivoted once again to the role of Scrum Master. Mark has a heart for leading through service and has enthusiastically embraced the role of Scrum Master.

You can link with Mark Metze on LinkedIn

Mark Metze: Learning to create value as a Scrum team

Helping teams get User Stories “to Done” is Mark’s primary focus in his role as a Scrum Master. However, for that he needs to help the teams accept and adopt “empiricism” as the basis for their management of work. In this segment, we also discuss how important it is to help teams focus on “creating value”, and what that means.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The ORID Pattern

Mark wants to help teams avoid jumping into conclusions too early, and for that he’s found the ORID pattern is a great help. The ORID pattern covers: Observe, Reflect, Inspect and Decide activities, and helps team explore data and reflect on possible options before jumping into solutions.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!  

About Mark Metze

Following the pattern of all good Computer Science majors, Mark began his career as a programmer and devoted the first 2 decades of his career to the craft of writing code. His next decade was spent in a managerial role for a software team. And then recently he pivoted once again to the role of Scrum Master. Mark has a heart for leading through service and has enthusiastically embraced the role of Scrum Master.

You can link with Mark Metze on LinkedIn.

Mark Metze: When waiting for change is the right thing to do

Sometimes, it is when the change fails that the team is ready to accept and take on that change. In this episode, we discuss the story of a team that did not want to take Sprint Goals into use. Now, many would just say “the Scrum Guide says”, however, that’s not what Mark did. He stood back, and waited. At some point something happened and the team’s perspective on that change transformed. Listen in to learn about the “waiting” method of change leadership.

About Mark Metze

Following the pattern of all good Computer Science majors, Mark began his career as a programmer and devoted the first 2 decades of his career to the craft of writing code. His next decade was spent in a managerial role for a software team. And then recently he pivoted once again to the role of Scrum Master. Mark has a heart for leading through service and has enthusiastically embraced the role of Scrum Master.

You can link with Mark Metze on LinkedIn

Mark Metze: Helping a Scrum team of introverts learn how to collaborate and engage 

When working with a team, Mark noticed that the team was composed mostly of people that preferred to work in silence. They were introverts. However, their desire for privacy started to affect the team’s performance. Mark started to think about how to create more engagement and communication in the team, and designed a working agreements session to help the team understand how their distance was starting to affect their performance.

Featured Book of the Week: The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master by Barry Overeem

In the 8 Stances of a Scrum Master whitepaper, Mark found a model to help him reflect on his career, and understand that even as a manager, Mark was performing some of the Scrum Master duties. The whitepaper, authored by Barry Overeem (a previous guest on the podcast), helped Mark understand the Scrum Master role in-depth.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Mark Metze

Following the pattern of all good Computer Science majors, Mark began his career as a programmer and devoted the first 2 decades of his career to the craft of writing code. His next decade was spent in a managerial role for a software team. And then recently he pivoted once again to the role of Scrum Master. Mark has a heart for leading through service and has enthusiastically embraced the role of Scrum Master.

You can link with Mark Metze on LinkedIn.

Mark Metze: When a simple format is the right format for an Agile Retrospective

Mark reached his Scrum Master role by preparing his path from line manager to Scrum Master. He knew that Scrum Master was the position for him, and in that position, he tried to help teams get value out of their retrospectives, however… When preparing the retrospective, Mark ended up finding a format that he loved, but the team didn’t! Listen in to learn about why sometimes the easiest, most boring format is the best format for an Agile Retrospective.

About Mark Metze

Following the pattern of all good Computer Science majors, Mark began his career as a programmer and devoted the first 2 decades of his career to the craft of writing code. His next decade was spent in a managerial role for a software team. And then recently he pivoted once again to the role of Scrum Master. Mark has a heart for leading through service and has enthusiastically embraced the role of Scrum Master.

You can link with Mark Metze on LinkedIn.