Bojan Smudja: Genchi Genbutsu, how to help Scrum Product Owners go beyond the backlog to understand the real product

The Great Product Owner: Coaching the Product Owner, A Crucial Role for Scrum Masters

Bojan highlights the importance of coaching the Product Owner (PO) as a Scrum Master. He emphasizes that scrum masters should be prepared to provide coaching to the PO, focusing on their development rather than becoming product coaches themselves. Bojan notes that great POs possess the ability to multitask and actively participate in meetings. They act as focused salespeople, selling product ideas and visions to stakeholders and the team. Simply mastering tools like JIRA and stakeholder communication is not enough; the PO must also sell their ideas to the team and scrum master. By coaching the PO and helping them refine their skills, Scrum Masters contribute to the overall success of the product development process.

If you want to know more about what topics, and how you can coach your Product Owner, check out our e-course on How to Coach Your PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Genchi Genbutsu, how to help PO’s go beyond the backlog to understand the real product

In this segment, Bojan discusses a team composed of newcomers, including a newbie Product Owner (PO), working on an existing product. Bojan noticed that here was a disconnection between the work on the team’s Scrum board and the actual product. The PO struggled to bridge the gap between the technical tasks and the features used by customers. Consequently, the team lost sight of the purpose behind their work and the reasons for building the product. One prominent anti-pattern was the lack of a customer feedback loop, resulting in a missed opportunity to gather valuable insights. Bojan advises the implementation of appropriate feedback loops tailored to the specific product being developed. Additionally, he references the concept of “Genchi Genbutsu,” which encourages going and seeing the product in action with customers to gain a deeper understanding.

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 Bojan Smudja

Bojan is an Agile coach dedicated to assisting individuals, teams, and organizations in reaching their objectives. With his expertise and guidance, he empowers others to embrace Agile methodologies and maximize their potential for success.

You can link with Bojan Smudja on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Helping Scrum Teams by Establishing Trust and Shared Understanding with Product Owners

In this segment, guest Oz emphasizes that we all work in a complex environment and are change agents. Oz shares a story about a team that faced problems with its product owner, who would add stories to the sprint backlog without refinement and interrupt the team even on the last day of the iteration. As a result, the team lost trust in the PO.

To address this challenge, Oz recommends making sure the team has an agreement on how to bring new stories into an ongoing sprint and discussing the team agreement with the PO. Oz also suggests bringing up the topic in the retrospective when the PO introduces a surprise story. Oz acknowledges that these conversations can be difficult, especially when the PO is a good friend of the team’s manager, but emphasizes the importance of building trust and ensuring shared understanding.

Featured Book of the Week: Leading Change by John Kotter

In this segment, Oz recommends “Leading Change” by John Kotter, which outlines eight steps for organizational transformation and is useful for anyone looking to apply these steps to a change process. Oz also suggests “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek for its insights on inspiring others and finding the purpose behind the work. Finally, Oz recommends “Team Topologies” which provides guidance on building and managing modern teams, a key responsibility for Scrum Masters. The authors of Team Topologies, Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, have been previous guests on the podcast.

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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: Agile Coaching for Scrum Masters and The Importance of Building Strong Relationships with Product Owners

In this episode, Gemma shares her experience with a project where she learned the importance of being comfortable with failure. One of the first projects she was involved with had a new PO role and the PO was a former project manager who did not understand the differences between the two roles. This lack of understanding caused the PO to not feel part of the team, resulting in a vacuum of decision-making on the day-to-day tasks and lack of help with backlog refinement, which led to blockers creeping in.

To resolve the issue, Gemma set up a coaching relationship with the PO and shared her observations. The PO was eager to learn and the relationship improved. However, Gemma found herself taking on some PO responsibilities, which was a sign of overstepping. She learned two important lessons from this experience: 1) prioritize the PO relationship and have a 1-on-1 relationship with the PO as they are one of the two pillars that support the team and 2) be more explicit about the coaching and support you will be providing and align expectations with the PO. Gemma emphasizes that every PO is different and it is important to adapt to what they need to be great Product Owners.

In this episode, we refer to the Coach Your PO e-course, which helps Scrum Master setup and be ready for a coaching relationship with their Product Owner.

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 Gemma Murray

Gemma works as an Agile Coach for MOO, a branding company whose vision is to provide ‘Great design for everyone’. Having worked in various change roles using both waterfall and agile approaches throughout her career, Gemma believes in the diversity of teams to unlock innovation, creativity and delivering value.

You can link with Gemma Murray 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
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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.