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.

Bojan Smudja: Reading smiles, the measure of success for Scrum Masters

In this episode, Bojan discusses the factors that contribute to the success of a scrum master. He emphasizes the importance of being recognized as a valuable part of the team and providing genuine assistance to team members. Bojan also mentions the transformative aspect of Scrum in changing the way work is approached. As an example, he shares a conversation with a product owner (PO) where he asked how the PO determines if the work being done is good. The PO responded by looking at the faces of team members and using their smiles as an indicator of success. This highlights the significance of fostering a positive and collaborative environment within the team, and measuring “smiles” as a way to evaluate our own success as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Bringing up hidden topics with the Team Mirror Retrospective

In this segment, Bojan shares his experience as a new Scrum Master for a highly technical team working with cryptocurrency. Initially, the team was hesitant to engage in open discussions during retrospectives and preferred writing post-it notes. To address this, Bojan introduces a powerful technique called the Team Mirror Retrospective. The process involves conducting individual interviews, anonymizing the responses, and then sharing them with the team as grouped reflections. This method is employed selectively for significant and sensitive topics that team members are reluctant to openly discuss. Bojan emphasizes that this retrospective format can also enhance interviewing skills when engaging with team members. He recommends this approach for remote teams and highlights its effectiveness in boosting morale and incorporating feel-good metrics.

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 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.

Bojan Smudja: Conflicts and empathy, helping Project Managers learn the Scrum Master role when adopting Agile

In this episode, Bojan discusses the challenges of change, emphasizing the need to start with personal transformation before guiding others. Scaling frameworks like SAFe add complexity to the change process, requiring numerous adjustments. Bojan shares a story of a top-down change where project managers were suddenly transitioned to be Scrum Masters. He highlights the difficulty of facilitating this shift and helping PMs adopt the new mindset. Especially because, often managers feel insecure and push PMs to exert control, creating a conflict between the change needed and the short term requests to Scrum Masters. Bojan advises bringing up these conflicts and developing empathy for managers. He suggests clarifying the role of an enabler for managers and coaching them in influencing teams positively. Understanding the safety net for managers in case of team failure and assisting with process mapping are additional tips Bojan provides.

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 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.

Bojan Smudja: How to break free from the feature factory anti-pattern, and learn to motivate Scrum teams

In this episode, Bojan reflects on a team consisting of 7-8 co-located members who were initially operating under a seemingly perfect Scrum setup. However, despite having a smooth workflow and delivering a product already in production, the team faced significant challenges. They lacked a sense of ownership and focused only on completing JIRA tasks without considering real outcomes. Bojan admits allowing this pattern to persist without interference. The team fell into the trap of becoming feature factory workers, losing sight of the purpose behind their work.

Anti-patterns such as “it’s not my job” and “I finished my part of the ticket” emerged. Even attempts to improve team dynamics, like playing sports, didn’t address the underlying issue of delivering outcomes. This situation persisted for an extended period, ultimately impacting the success of the product. Bojan’s tip for listeners is to develop empathy towards the customer, emphasizing the importance of understanding their needs and aligning efforts accordingly.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn

In this segment, Bojan discusses two influential books: “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries and “Agile Estimating and Planning” by Mike Cohn. He highlights a significant lesson he learned: the impossibility of having both fixed scope and a fixed deadline. Bojan emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between these two factors. He also mentions some practices that demonstrate how to implement agile planning effectively. Bojan also highly recommends “The Lean Startup” as a valuable resource for beginners in the field.

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 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.

Bojan Smudja: The salesmanship required of a Scrum Master, and how it supports Agile adoption at team and organizational levels

In this episode, Bojan emphasizes the importance of following established practices and processes. As Scrum Masters, we often juggle multiple responsibilities. Bojan highlights the need for Scrum Masters to adopt a sales mindset and effectively sell the agile transformation to others in the organization. He reflects on a challenging conversation he had with the CEO, and prompts listeners to consider the vision they are presenting to management and to understand their responsibility for team effectiveness. Additionally, he emphasizes the Scrum Master’s role in helping PO and team select the right tasks to work on. Bojan provides a tip to continuously question the team’s activities and encourages listeners to ask critical questions.

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 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.

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
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.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Opens in a new tab.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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