This is a guest blog post by Jacopo Romei. Author of Extreme Contracts, a book about how to build trust, and deliver value without traditional contracts.
How to build trust with clients and stakeholders while getting what you deserve for your work: a story about trust
Over the last ten years, I’ve experienced the direct impact of lack of trust in vendor-buyer and even colleague-colleague relationships. I’ve come to find that it is the main reason why collaborations in knowledge work fail.
I’ve tried to fix that in my own work as an independent consultant and when working with other colleagues. That’s why I ended up experimenting with a new type of agreements which are optimized for trust building. This experimentation resulted in a set of principles that I call Extreme Contracts. Now, all my customers and I use this approach to shape our collaboration and they have started using Extreme Contracts also with their customers.
As part of our upcoming “Coach Your Product Owner” course, we’ve been hard at work creating simple and actionable tools you can use to help your Product Owner progress. But that coaching cannot happen unless we tackle the biggest problems we have when coaching Product Owners. So, last week I asked people who receive my Newsletter to help me answer this question:
When it comes to Coaching and Supporting your Product Owner(s), what is the single Biggest Challenge that you are facing right now?
The reason for this question is my belief that, as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, we must help the Product Owners as part of our duties. Sometimes those duties may be just about helping them manage/facilitate a particular session, but often we need to help the Product Owner grow their skills, knowledge, and experience with Agile product development. All aspects of it.
So what are the key challenges we face, when coaching and supporting our Product Owners?
To understand how the system behaves we must “poke” it, and Scrum is just the perfect method for that. Every sprint is an experiment that helps the team and the Scrum Master understand how the system behaves and reacts to the different experiments that we run every sprint. Jeremy has a collection of metrics he follows-up regularly to keep in aware of how the system behaves, and enable him to actual test new approaches every sprint.
For a successful Scrum Master, Scrum is just the starting point. Success starts when the team is able to own the process, and tweak it to fit their needs without losing sight of why they adopted Scrum in the first place. Jeremy explains how he defines success and the paths he takes to get there.
Passion is in the overlap between attitude and aptitude, and it is the ingredient that makes good Scrum Masters even better. Jeremy explains how he looks and tests for passion in the recruiting interview.
Incremental delivery is a buzzword in the Agile lingo. It is very often used, but seldom defined. Jeremy explains what incremental really means, and gives us an insight about the far-reaching benefits for those that take his definition to heart.
In this book we refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton.
Wayde has worked with many teams, and in this episode he describes the aspects of the system conditions that affect team’s performance. Those system conditions are not the ones you would expect to hear about. The fact is that we work with people, and people make up the system we are part of, in the end it is all much more touchy feely than we would like to accept.
Mistakes are part of the process of learning, we all know that. But Wayde goes further and challenges us to accept them as gifts, not just part of the process. Listen how Wayde tackles mistakes when they happen to help the team accept, and build on those mistakes rather than try to recover. This mental shift can have a huge impact on team’s performance.
In this episode we talk about “odd ball” questions, and games you can play in your interviews to find great Scrum Masters. Wayde also asks Vasco one of those odd ball questions. Find out what happens and learn great questions and the process for the perfect recruiting interview.