Bert Heymans: The Product Owner that thought they “owned” the team, and what to do about it

The Great Product Owner: Collaborating with the Scrum Master to help the teams succeed.

This PO was able to defend the team in front of others, and also helped the team clarify their questions so that they didn’t have any doubts about their performance. He helped the team with reports and red-tape related tasks and focused on enabling the team to deliver. Finally, great PO’s know how to collaborate with the Scrum Master to help the team succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that thought they “owned” the team

When Product Owners think they “own the team”, they might change the team’s priorities according to their own personal preferences. When this happens, they might start changing priorities every sprint, micro-manage the team and even bring conflict to the team. In this section, we also talk about a PO that insisted that the team release on a Friday (a well-known anti-pattern). In this segment, we discuss how Scrum Masters can avoid these anti-patterns by deliberately building a great rapport with the PO.

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About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter.

Bert Heymans: Lean Coffee, the most versatile retrospective format for Agile teams

Have you “nudged” the system in the right direction? Bert asks us. Have people in the team, and around the team become the best version of themselves? We discuss these and other questions that Bert asks himself when evaluating his own performance as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee the most versatile retrospective format for Agile teams

Bert calls himself a “Lean Coffee Traditionalist”. He explains how the format works and why the format works so well in all kinds of contexts and teams. We discuss the origins of Lean Coffee and link to a video by Jim Benson presenting the format he created.

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About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter.

Bert Heymans: How to help a Scrum team define and implement WIP limits in their process, a Kanban starting point

Bert shares a story of a change that affected a small team, of 6 people. As this story starts, we hear that the team was working within the Scrum framework, but they had a testing column in their board what was always full/busy. Bert started to help the team figure out why that was, and what they could do to get out of that anti-pattern. They discussed Theory of Constraints, Single Piece Flow, and Work in process limits (WIP limits), and decided to try and impose a limit to the number of items in the testing column. This proved to be a huge change for the team, and Bert shares some tips on how we can help teams going through similar changes.

About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter.

Bert Heymans: What to do when one Scrum team member is “uncoachable”?

Bert was working in a team where one of the team members behaved like a bully. They evaded taking responsibility for work and were always pointing to other people’s mistakes. As Scrum Masters, we must be ready for meeting certain people that are, as Bert describes, “uncoachable”. We also learn about what happened to that team, and how to avoid having our teams “dominated” by the behavior of a bully.

In this section, we refer to the “Peter principle”.

Featured Book of the Week: Antifragile by Taleb

In Antifragile by Taleb, Bert learned concepts that he is able to apply at work, like for example: “via negativa”, the idea that taking away things and not doing what is not necessary is often better than “naïve intervention”. This becomes a key concept for Scrum Masters, as it helps us meet teams where they are, understanding their context, and looking for simpler solutions than introducing more rules and processes.

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About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter.

Bert Heymans: Finding the right level of transparency between a Scrum team and its stakeholders

When we work with teams that are under pressure of a tight deadline, it’s not so easy to find the right level of transparency with the clients and stakeholders. On one side we should protect the team, on the other side, the team needs to be open with the stakeholders to be able to find a solution when it seems the projects are going over the schedule and budget! In this episode, we explore some of the lessons Bert learned about finding the right level of transparency between the team and the clients and stakeholders.

In this episode, we refer to XP Explained by Kent Beck, and the concept of Single Piece Flow, a key part of Lean Thinking.

About Bert Heymans

Bert is a long time Lean Management aficionado and project management tool specialist, along the way he fell in love with business analysis and teaching business analysis techniques. In 2016 he founded Lean Coffee Ghent and has been at it since.

You can link with Bert Heymans on LinkedIn and connect with Bert Heymans on Twitter.

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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
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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
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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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