Aria Omidvar: The Product Owner vs. Project Manager Dilemma, A Difficult Balance

The Great Product Owner: People-First Product Ownership

Aria describes an exemplary Product Owner known for his unwavering commitment to learning and professional development. This PO’s proactive approach included avid reading and active participation in workshops and seminars. He invested heavily in his own growth, and his presence within the team was palpable, emphasizing a people-first mindset. The PO’s belief in the team, coupled with his fearlessness in addressing conflicts, set him apart as a remarkable Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: PO vs. Project Manager Dilemma, A Difficult Balance

Aria delves into a common anti-pattern where a Product Owner takes on project management responsibilities, which can hinder agile software development. He highlights the mismatch between these roles, referencing insights from Marty Cagan. Aria notes the temptation for POs to become intermediaries for upper management. He shares a success story where open communication and willingness to listen enabled a positive shift in the PO’s approach. This episode provides valuable guidance on avoiding pitfalls in the Product Owner role.

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 Aria Omidvar

Aria has 4+ years of experience serving as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach (CSM, A-CSM, CSPO) from single teams to multiple teams and the whole software organization. He’s a Software Engineer turned Software Developer turned Peopleware Developer and Agilist.

You can link with Aria Omidvar on LinkedIn and connect with Aria Omidvar on Twitter.

 

Aria Omidvar: The Many Layers to Scrum Master Success

Aria explores the layers of success for Scrum Masters, highlighting the transformation of team culture. He assesses success through the lens of team self-reliance, self-organization, and ownership of work. Aria’s metric for success involves equipping teams with tools and practices that enable them to effectively carry out their responsibilities. This episode offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of success in the role of a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Making Retrospectives Clearly Different From Other Meetings and Work

Aria shares his preferred retrospective format, emphasizing the importance of a distinct mindset for this higher-order team work. He advocates for creativity and mindfulness, aiming to set retrospectives apart from regular team activities with a specific format he shares in this episode. Aria offers practical tips such as note-taking, root cause analysis, and solution brainstorming during discussions. He underscores the value of critical thinking, focusing on root causes, and showing the path to solutions. Aria’s approach promotes effective retrospectives as a catalyst for meaningful team improvement.

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 Aria Omidvar

Aria has 4+ years of experience serving as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach (CSM, A-CSM, CSPO) from single teams to multiple teams and the whole software organization. He’s a Software Engineer turned Software Developer turned Peopleware Developer and Agilist.

You can link with Aria Omidvar on LinkedIn and connect with Aria Omidvar on Twitter.

Aria Omidvar: Lessons from a Top-Down Agile Transformation Journey

Aria recounts his involvement in a top-down, multi-layered agile transformation in a company with five teams. Despite management’s drive for change, the transformation faced resistance from the teams on the ground. After six months, it became evident that morale and engagement had plummeted, and the desired outcomes were not met. Aria attempted widespread training, but this approach backfired. He learned the importance of focusing on one major change at a time, prioritizing people, and fine-tuning direction for successful transformations. The episode serves as a valuable guide for navigating complex organizational shifts.

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 Aria Omidvar

Aria has 4+ years of experience serving as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach (CSM, A-CSM, CSPO) from single teams to multiple teams and the whole software organization. He’s a Software Engineer turned Software Developer turned Peopleware Developer and Agilist.

You can link with Aria Omidvar on LinkedIn and connect with Aria Omidvar on Twitter.

Aria Omidvar: Friendship or Performance, The Hard Dilemma Scrum Teams Sometimes Face

Aria shares a common team pitfall: sacrificing trust, transparency, and courage for camaraderie. In this case, a team’s cohesion eroded as they prioritized friendliness over addressing performance issues. One underperforming developer strained the team’s efforts, despite trying to help that team member. The team’s hesitancy to confront the issue led to a painful breakdown. Aria emphasizes proactive communication and recommends ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things’ as a resource. He underscores the importance of clear warnings and transparent discussions to salvage a struggling team.

Featured Book of the Week: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by DeMarco and Lister

Aria discusses the profound impact of the book “Peopleware,” which predates the modern Agile movement. He notes its timeless relevance, emphasizing its focus not only on software but also on the crucial element of ‘peopleware.’ Despite lacking current Agile terminology, the book remains remarkably insightful. Aria also references Fred Brooks’ “Mythical Man-Month” in his exploration of timeless books that have influenced the Agile movement.

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 Aria Omidvar

Aria has 4+ years of experience serving as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach (CSM, A-CSM, CSPO) from single teams to multiple teams and the whole software organization. He’s a Software Engineer turned Software Developer turned Peopleware Developer and Agilist.

You can link with Aria Omidvar on LinkedIn and connect with Aria Omidvar on Twitter.

Aria Omidvar: Rebuilding Trust In Your Scrum Team, After A Big Disappointment

Aria, a Scrum Master, recounts a challenging situation where his team faced significant changes, including losing key members and transitioning to remote work. He attempted to address the issues through a retrospective but faced resistance in setting up follow-up sessions. This led to a team member deeming the retro “useless,” which left Aria feeling disheartened. As a developer and Scrum Master, Aria reflects on the importance of open communication and acknowledges his loss of faith in the team at that time. Ultimately, he grapples with regaining faith in his team, highlighting the complexity of his role in this critical juncture.

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 Aria Omidvar

Aria has 4+ years of experience serving as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach (CSM, A-CSM, CSPO) from single teams to multiple teams and the whole software organization. He’s a Software Engineer turned Software Developer turned Peopleware Developer and Agilist.

You can link with and connect with Aria Omidvar on Twitter.

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
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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.