Kirill Golubev: The Pitfalls of a Project Management Mindset in the Product Owner role

The Great Product Owner: Building a strong relationship between Scrum Master and PO, a critical contribution to the success of the team

Kirill talks about how important it is for Scrum Masters to build a close understanding and trusting relationship with the product owner (PO), and how that relationship is critical for the success of the team. He emphasizes that if there is no chemistry between the Scrum Master and PO, it’s better not to join that team. When there is good chemistry, the team will benefit much more from both Scrum Master’s and PO’s presence.

Kirill also stresses that the PO needs to have guts and be clear about prioritizing the backlog. He warns against the anti-pattern of conflict between the Scrum Master and PO.

The Bad Product Owner: The Pitfalls of a Project Management Mindset in the PO role

In this segment, Kirill shares why he thinks that the PO role is a cornerstone role in Scrum and without a PO, a Scrum team cannot even get started properly. We explore how POs that come from the project management field, often have a project management mindset, which hinders their ability to grasp the PO role.

Kirill shares an example of 3 POs for one team who were new to the role and to Agile. The POs did not trust the team to self-manage, and wanted to control everything by telling the team what they had to work on, and when. We discuss how we can help the PO understand that it helps the team to trust and help them self-manage. We also refer to the concepts of Theory X and Theory Y and how, knowing about that can help the PO’s understand their role as a leader.

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 Kirill Golubev

Kirill considers himself an Agile and common-sense apologist. He wants to see simple processes in place, when people self-organize and manage themselves without constant push from management.

You can link with Kirill Golubev on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: The Key to Successful Agile Product Ownership, The Value-driven Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: The Key to Successful Agile Product Ownership, The Value-driven PO

In this segment, Gemma highlights the importance of a great Product Owner (PO) in agile methodologies. A great PO is always asking “why”, and is constantly seeking to understand the value of the product and the work being done by the team. Gemma describes a PO that came into a team that was maintaining a product, but with their focus on value and constant seeking of feedback, they were able to pivot and make improvements based on data and customer feedback. The PO was able to maintain a great relationship with the team by always listening and acting on feedback from the outside.

The PO focused on collecting metrics to validate their ideas and make data-driven decisions. By being able to listen to and act on feedback, the PO was able to make quicker and better decisions that were in line with the needs and wants of the customer. This ability to listen and act on feedback is a superpower for any PO and is key to their success in agile methodologies.

The Bad Product Owner: The Destructive Effects of a Disempowered Agile Product Owner

In this segment, Gemma discussed a common anti-pattern in product ownership, where the Product Owner may not feel empowered to make decisions. This can result in the team looking for clarity from other sources and the PO not feeling like they are part of the team. Gemma recounted out a real-life scenario where a PO manager became involved in the product development process and started imposing ideas onto the backlog. The manager believed they were supporting the PO and team but this resulted in the PO becoming a silent voice in the team.

To address this issue, Gemma offered several tips. She advised sharing observations with the manager to help them reflect on their behavior, separating behavior from consequences, and avoiding assumptions about others’ thoughts. It is important to clarify the consequences of the behavior, in this case, the PO not feeling confident enough to make decisions on the product. By taking these steps, Gemma aimed to help others resolve similar challenges in product ownership.

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 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.

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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
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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
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Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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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.