Paul Jarvis: Key Indicators of Success for Agile Teams and Their Scrum Masters That You Can Reflect On

Investigate Paul’s perspective on what defines success for Scrum Masters, from the smooth running of refinement sessions to the collaborative maintenance of the Product Backlog. This episode provides practical tips for Scrum Masters to assess their impact, emphasizing the importance of team collaboration, effective backlog management, and the ease of sprint planning. Discover how to assess success in the Agile world through a blend of team dynamics, process efficiency, and shared responsibility.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective and Other Formats

Paul emphasizes the critical role of retrospectives in enabling relentless improvement, highlighting formats like the Sailboat retrospective, Celebration Grid, and the high-performance tree to encourage experimentation and self-assessment within teams. These retrospective formats are not just reflective exercises but strategic tools that prompt teams to align their values with their Agile practices, ensuring continuous growth and alignment with business goals.

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 Paul Jarvis

Paul is a seasoned Enterprise Lean Agile Coach, Trainer, RTE, and Scrum Master with a decade of experience in the FinTech sector, focusing on banking, payments, and e-commerce. Recently, he completed a 3.5-year tenure at a key player in investment banking.

You can link with Paul Jarvis on LinkedIn.

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.

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.

Daniel Westermayr: The problem with cluttered backlogs and how to de-clutter them, coaching Product Owners

In this episode, Daniel Westermayr discusses his belief in the importance of the Scrum Master role in helping companies achieve their product goals. He shares his experience of encountering a cluttered backlog with items that were years old and how he cleaned it up, only to face complaints from someone in support. Daniel emphasizes the need for Scrum Masters to clarify why a large backlog is a problem, and why the company wants to keep all items. He also advises that Scrum Masters should understand what they stand for and constantly question why certain practices are being implemented. Finally, he suggests that, in order to avoid fears of losing important information, the older requirements can be stored in a safe location. Daniel also mentions an article on how to declutter product backlogs.

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 Daniel Westermayr

Daniel is a Kanban Trainer with a knack for all things Lean and Theory of Constraints. He wants to help teams achieve and measure their continuous improvements.

You can link with Daniel Westermayr on LinkedIn.

Tinatin Tabidze: The key to an awesome Agile team, the hands-on and insightful Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: The key to an awesome Agile team, the hands-on and insightful Product Owner

Tinatin highlights the key traits of a good Product Owner (PO) in this segment. She emphasizes that great PO’s are knowledgeable about the product they are working on, as well as its competitors. This knowledge helps the PO to understand what the team needs in order to deliver the best possible product. The PO should be hands-on with the team, and should work closely with them on defining clear acceptance criteria. This helps the team to understand what is expected of them and enables the PO to be more effective in their role.

Tinatin also notes that a great PO is easy to work with and has a good synergy with the team. She mentions that the synergy between the PO and the team is a telling factor in the team’s success. She stresses that there’s not only one way to be a great PO, as different PO’s can have different approaches to the role, but when a PO combines knowledge about the product and its competitors with a hands-on approach to working with the team, the result is an awesome PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Unleashing the Full Potential of a Product Owner in partnership with the Scrum Master

In this segment, Tinatin starts by questioning the essence of the PO role and highlights the importance of commitment and ownership of the product for a team’s success. Tinatin emphasizes that a PO should have a clear vision and evolve it based on data and feedback. She stresses the need for a PO to have a foot in both development and business and to be hands-on with the product. As a Scrum Master, Tinatin suggests testing the product and making time to play with it to help the PO understand it better. She also suggests sitting down with the PO to build a roadmap for the product and to ask why they value certain features or deliveries. Lastly, Tinatin highlights the importance of the PO being able to sell the ideas in the backlog to the Scrum team and recommends using tools to help the PO take a more active role with the team. Tinatin also mentions the books by Roman Pichler as resources for Scrum Masters and Product Owners.

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 Tinatin Tabidze

Tinatin Tabidze is a Scrum Master currently working in Stuttgart, Germany. Originally she started out as a project manager. She has experience with multiple scrum and kanban teams, working with scaled agile frameworks.

You can link with Tinatin Tabidze 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.