Aki Salmi: Trust, Transparency, and Vision, A Guide to Effective Product Ownership

In this episode, Aki shares insights on what makes a great product owner. He highlights the importance of close collaboration between the team and the product owner to ensure a clear understanding of the “why” behind each backlog item. Aki recounts a positive experience where the team and PM worked together every Monday to define objectives. He emphasizes the value of ensemble work or mob programming for effective communication. Aki advises building trust, maintaining a coherent product vision, and addressing any fears around transparency within the team.

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 Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

Aki Salmi: Indicators of a Thriving Agile Team When Uncertainty Rules

In this episode, Aki emphasizes the importance of growth within a team, regardless of whether the path forward is uncertain. He provides insightful tips, such as tracking the effectiveness of retrospectives and monitoring the nature of discussions. Aki prompts reflection on whether the team is delving into systemic issues or getting stuck in “but” statements. He encourages listeners to observe where the team’s focus lies and whether they exhibit curiosity towards their work, asking exploratory “what if” questions.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: The Empty Table Retrospective

In this segment, Aki shares his preferred retrospective format inspired by “Agile Retrospectives” by Larsen and Derby. He gives the tip that it’s a lot easier for Scrum Masters when we don’t run retrospectives for our own teams. Aki introduces the “Empty Table” retro, emphasizing the significance of a thorough check-in. Participants imagine an empty table to gather insights and events. He used to employ dot-voting extensively, but later decided there were better methods to select the topics for discussion. He suggests a different approach for topic selection to promote shared leadership. He stresses the importance of active listening and embraces silence as a valid contribution.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

Aki Salmi: Working With BDD To Help Agile Teams Understand And Deliver On Business Needs

In this episode, Aki shares two impactful stories of change. Firstly, he recounts a scenario as a scrum master in a team with two-week sprints. Because the team was “ok” with letting a feature slip from one sprint to the other, that feature eventually took four weeks to deliver, after which the team found out that they implementation did not align with the business. Implementing Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) with tools like Specflow facilitated better communication with the business, ensuring subsequent deliveries met business needs. Aki’s second story reflects his realization about strong opinions and conflicts. Aki learned the value of active listening and being open to others’ perspectives. In this episode, we refer to Chris Argyris’ “Knowledge for Action”nd Portuguese.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

Aki Salmi: Learning Decision-Making without Explicit Leadership, A Key Skill For Scrum Teams

In this episode, Aki reflects on a highly effective team, drawing inspiration from Google’s Project Aristotle on high-performing teams. He recounts the story of a team that operated without a designated leader, relying on consensus-based decision-making. However, this approach often hindered progress and experimentation. Aki highlights the importance of bringing up such systemic issues in retrospectives. He advises teams to step back and critically evaluate their working methods and their implications. Aki also touches on concepts like “double loop learning” and emphasizes the significance of considering core tasks, emotional climate, and effective structures in the work environment.

Featured Book For The Week: Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

In this segment, Aki talks about Brene Brown’s book “Dare to Lead,” emphasizing its transformative impact on authentic self-expression in the workplace. He highlights the value of embracing one’s humanity, including emotions, and underscores the importance of vulnerability and visibility. Aki also references books like “Agile Retrospectives” by Larsen and Derby, and “Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown. He discusses trust-building, echoing the idea that trust is built in small moments. The episode encourages listeners to prioritize trust and genuine self-presentation in professional environments.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

Aki Salmi: Agile Problem-Solving in Action, Helping Developers Take Ownership Of Their Decisions

In this episode with Aki Salmi, he emphasizes the importance of involving the most knowledgeable team members in design discussions. Aki recounts a pivotal moment when the Scrum Master introduced a coin toss method to answer design questions asked by the developers. This gave the developers a clear sign that they had the power to decide for themselves!

This episode highlights a scenario where the business set ambitious targets, leading to a massive estimation process. Despite initial setbacks, open communication with the business led to surpassing the 500 user story-point goal management had arbitrarily set. This story also emphasizes the need for Agile practices to extend beyond the team and serve the broader organizational objectives, or we risk failing to get value out of Agile.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

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 Aki Salmi

Aki is a software crafter and shares the joy of coding and the value of empathy at work. That is, Aki works on ones and zeros (code) and everything else (humans).

You can link with Aki Salmi on LinkedIn.

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
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Opens in a new tab.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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