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Gemma Murray: Agile Coaching for Scrum Masters and The Importance of Building Strong Relationships with Product Owners

In this episode, Gemma shares her experience with a project where she learned the importance of being comfortable with failure. One of the first projects she was involved with had a new PO role and the PO was a former project manager who did not understand the differences between the two roles. This lack of understanding caused the PO to not feel part of the team, resulting in a vacuum of decision-making on the day-to-day tasks and lack of help with backlog refinement, which led to blockers creeping in.

To resolve the issue, Gemma set up a coaching relationship with the PO and shared her observations. The PO was eager to learn and the relationship improved. However, Gemma found herself taking on some PO responsibilities, which was a sign of overstepping. She learned two important lessons from this experience: 1) prioritize the PO relationship and have a 1-on-1 relationship with the PO as they are one of the two pillars that support the team and 2) be more explicit about the coaching and support you will be providing and align expectations with the PO. Gemma emphasizes that every PO is different and it is important to adapt to what they need to be great Product Owners.

In this episode, we refer to the Coach Your PO e-course, which helps Scrum Master setup and be ready for a coaching relationship with their Product Owner.

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Gemma Murray

Gemma works as an Agile Coach for MOO, a branding company whose vision is to provide ‘Great design for everyone’. Having worked in various change roles using both waterfall and agile approaches throughout her career, Gemma believes in the diversity of teams to unlock innovation, creativity and delivering value.

You can link with Gemma Murray on LinkedIn.

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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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