Seye Kuyinu: Learning and Leading through Experiments, The Scrum Master Who Turned Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Learning and Leading through Experiments, The Scrum Master Who Turned Product Owner

In this episode, Seye highlights a remarkable product owner with a background as a Scrum Master. Her calm demeanor and willingness to experiment, even without a clear endpoint, stood out. She actively engaged in collaborative experimentation, asking “Can we try this?” and collectively defining and learning from experiments with the team. This experimental mindset contributed to her effectiveness as a Product Owner. Moreover, she adeptly interacted with all team members and had the valuable skill of calming down heated discussions.

The Bad Product Owner: Beyond To-Do Lists, Overcoming Anti-Patterns in Backlog Management

In this episode, Seye discusses the disengaged Product Owner (PO) anti-pattern. He underscores the significant impact of PO engagement on performance, highlighting the necessity for their active involvement in discussions that lead to clarity. Other anti-patterns include treating the backlog as a simple “to do list” and having insufficiently detailed backlog items (DEEP Backlog) for prioritization and estimation. These issues stem from diverse causes, such as organizational oversight of product ownership. Seye suggests assisting POs in understanding their role, offering guidance to rectify these patterns and enhance their effectiveness in Agile teams.

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 Seye Kuyinu

Seye has been a Scrum Master for about a decade now. He first connected to Agile, frustrated with the lack of adequate communication that plagues traditional complex projects. He finds People and Interactions over Processes & Tools cannot be overstated, while seeing that everything is a fractal- our individual, team, organization and societal challenges are the very same. The solution in every layer is the same- an understanding of ONENESS!

You can link with Seye Kuyinu on LinkedIn and connect with Seye Kuyinu on Twitter.

Gregory Miller: Prioritization as a Catalyst, How Prioritization Revolutionized Agile in A Scrum Team

In this episode, Greg recounts his involvement in a change process as a Business Analyst (BA). Hired for his Agile expertise, he was assigned to the manufacturing engineering section of the company, which already embraced Lean and Kaizen principles. However, in the software side, there was a lack of backlog and prioritization. Greg took initiative by introducing a clear prioritization method, emphasizing the need for a dedicated Product Owner (PO), and establishing regular meetings with managers to prioritize their work. Through his efforts, a force-ranked list of stories was created, allowing for efficient and streamlined prioritization.

Greg shares valuable tips based on his experience, including the importance of defining a simple prioritization method, fostering a collaborative mindset among managers, and ensuring stakeholder buy-in. He also highlights the significance of checking one’s ego at the door and focusing on what is best for the company’s success. Overall, this episode demonstrates the transformative impact of implementing prioritization and backlog management in an organization, even when Agile principles are already embraced in certain areas. Greg’s proactive approach and insights provide valuable guidance for achieving efficient and effective change processes.

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 Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Harri Tunturivuori: Helping Product Owners, and navigating conflicting priorities as a Scrum Master: A case study

In this episode, Harri discusses a challenging situation he faced while working as a Scrum Master on a product that had three internal customers in different countries with different needs. The biggest problem was getting an ordered backlog, which was difficult because they did not have a product owner. Instead, they agreed on a committee of product owners consisting of one representative from each country. However, it was difficult to get agreements on what was most important, so Harri ended up making the decision of what the team should work on. To shield the team from the confusion with the product owners, Harri only relayed the technical details to them. The team was happy with the work, but unfortunately, when they presented the product to stakeholders, it did not meet their expectations.

Harri’s personal failure as a Scrum Master in this situation was that he did not engage with customers and stakeholders enough. He emphasizes the importance of having a single product owner and engaging with customers and stakeholders to avoid similar issues. Harri also mentions that he loved the product, which made it easier to work with the team, but he should have focused more on meeting the stakeholders’ expectations. This episode serves as a great lesson for other Scrum Masters and product owners who may be struggling with similar situations, and Harri’s tips on engaging with stakeholders and having a single product owner can help them avoid similar failures.

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 Harri Tunturivuori

Harri is an experienced leader, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach who was introduced to the world of agile software development in 2010. Since then, Harri has had the pleasure of leading great agile teams in various forms.

Harri enjoys working in a fun environment where there is room for innovation, and Harri is driven by the challenge of growing a group of good people into a great team.

You can link with Harri Tunturivuori on LinkedIn.

Bram De Block: The case for Agile Evolution, Overcoming Dependencies, and Improving Team Collaboration through Product Domains

In this episode, Bram discusses the topic of agile evolution, a process of going beyond adoption, and adapting, and improving their agile methodologies. He explains that his organization used to work in Squads (based on the Spotify Model), each with their own backlog, but found that this resulted in a lot of dependencies and some teams had no “high value” items on their backlog, while others were too busy to deliver on the valuable items they had in their backlog.

He describes how that organization evolved to using Product Domains instead. The change team used MURAL to help visualize the changes, and invited people from every team to join and build a picture of the future with Product Domains. In that process, they went from 17 squads to 7 product domains.

Bram also provides tips on how to make the changes super clear, write down what the teams and organization will STOP/START/CONTINUE, and have follow-up sessions while timeboxing the whole work of defining the “future state”.

He highlights the importance of commitment and timeboxing as a trigger for action, and advises to avoid the anti-pattern of considering the “next change” as the final word. The episode aims to help organizations evolve their agile methodologies, to overcome common challenges and to improve the collaboration and communication within their teams.

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 Bram De Block

Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.

You can link with Bram De Block on LinkedIn, or meet Bram face-to-face at this meetup he hosts in Belgium.

Rafał Witaszek: When the Product Owner does not link stories to a specific product, they destroy the ability to deliver value

The Great Product Owner: A truly collaborative approach to the PO work

This PO was able to communicate clearly, but also step back, doing only enough research to provide options for the team to decide on. He helped the team clarify ambiguities and brought them challenges that the team could own and help resolve. It was a true collaborative approach to the PO work!

The Bad Product Owner: When the work is not linked to a specific product, it loses meaning, and destroys the ability to deliver value

This PO was not fully aware or able to communicate the products the team was working on. He did not have a clear picture of the portfolio of different products the team needed to support. This caused serious problems in prioritizing and communicating progress to stakeholders, as the team was not able to understand when they were jeopardizing certain products by working on work that was not related to that product. Rafał started a process to help the team, and the PO to list all of the products they had to support, and started to organize the backlog around the products, not just a list of tasks.

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 Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek 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
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.