Philip Rogers: Shared ownership in the Scrum Product Backlog

In this episode, we talk about how an empathic Product Owner can make a big difference when working with Scrum teams. We also discuss how Product Backlogs are really owned by the PO and the team, not only the PO.

The Great Product Owner: Empathy, and handling pressure, key PO skills

A team will quickly notice if the Product Owner has empathy, which is a critical asset for Product Owners that want to succeed. A great PO will also know how to communicate with the team, so that they can work on handling the inevitable delivery pressure that will affect both the team and the Product Owner. Finally, we discuss how great Product Owners are proactive about involving stakeholders. 

In this episode, we talk about the #NoEstimates approach to determining release dates (We’ve also discuss the #NoEstimates ideas in these episodes).


The Bad Product Owner: Sharing the ownership of the backlog

Philip shares with us why he thinks that there is widespread confusion about the Product Owner role. Many think that it is only the Product Owner that writes / maintains the backlog. However, really great teams understand that the PO is only one of the people that ensures the backlog is ready and up to the necessary level for the team. We also discuss what we can do, as Scrum Masters, to help teams and Product Owners own the backlog together. In this episode, we also talk about the idea of the “3 amigos” session to refine product backlog items (we’ve covered the 3 amigos sessions and approach in these episodes).

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 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Philip Rogers

Phil is a father of four children and a volunteer paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also an “agile whisperer” (coach) who has worked with scores of teams in the spirit of continuous learning, continuous improvement, and simply finding creative ways to collaborate and have fun in the workplace.

You can link with Philip Rogers on LinkedIn and connect with Philip Rogers on Twitter.

Matthew Heusser on how communication, positioning and expectations can be the most important job for a Scrum Master

It’s never hard to break with the status quo, and communicating the adoption process, positioning the change and managing the expectations can become the most important job for us as Scrum Masters. This was the hard-earned lesson that Matt shares with us in the podcast.
We also mention the book Agile Software Development With Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle, and refer to the 3 amigos: “The Three Amigos meeting is about the transition from user stories to scenarios. It is meant to happen before development starts, part of a good test first approach. It is meant to happen just before development starts.”

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.
You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.