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Bram De Block: Working with great Technical Product Owners, and how they use their technical expertise to help the team

The Great Product Owner: Working with great Technical Product Owners, and how they use their technical expertise to help the team

Great Product Owners can have a technical background, and use it to the team’s and their own advantage. Bram notes that the PO’s understanding of the impact of technical debt makes it easier for them to understand the team’s struggles. Leading to productive conversations, and the team being given time to handle technical debt issues.

Bram advises that a great Product Owner should be present and available to the team, sitting down with them during lunch breaks to discuss issues and concerns. He suggests helping the PO develop their own system to keep the product backlog manageable and addresses common counter arguments he gets from PO’s when asking them to limit the size of their backlog. Bram also provides tips on how to have a conversation about the consequences of adding too many things to the backlog and how to help the PO say “no” to stakeholders.

The Bad Product Owner: Working with technical PO’s to address dictatorial behavior and improve team motivation

Sometimes, Product Owners who have a technical background tend to dictate solutions to the team without considering other options. Bram notes that these PO’s are often not open to different or better solutions and even question the team’s progress. He suggests addressing this issue by making it transparent, showing the impact it has on the team, and discussing how team members feel about the collaboration with the PO.
Bram also highlights the impact this behavior has on team motivation and provides tips on how to handle this situation, such as using real situations to help the product owner reflect and encouraging open discussion of team feelings in the retrospective.

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 Bram De Block

Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.

You can link with Bram De Block on LinkedIn, or meet Bram face-to-face at this meetup he hosts in Belgium.

Bram De Block: Aligning agile team and company goals for Scrum Master success

In this episode, Bram emphasizes the importance of understanding the goal for the company and working with teams to align their goals with the company’s vision. He believes that a Scrum Master’s own success is tied to helping teams reach their goals. Bram provides insights on how to help teams define success, by challenging them to think about the vision for their product and having conversations about success, providing data points as examples, and using readily available product data to define what better could look like. The episode aims to help Scrum Masters to understand their role in the success of the team and the company, and to provide guidance on how to align goals and work towards achieving them.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee Format for engaging retrospectives

Bram introduces the Lean Coffee format, a dynamic and engaging way to facilitate meetings and discussions. This format is designed to make sure that everyone is engaged, regardless of whether they are introverted or extroverted. In a Lean Coffee session, we discuss the most voted topic and change the format regularly to maintain engagement.

In this segment, Bram refers to a collection of recipes for agile retrospectives which he, and his team make available to everyone at DataMiner Dojo.

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 Bram De Block

Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.

You can link with Bram De Block on LinkedIn, or meet Bram face-to-face at this meetup he hosts in Belgium.

Bram De Block: The case for Agile Evolution, Overcoming Dependencies, and Improving Team Collaboration through Product Domains

In this episode, Bram discusses the topic of agile evolution, a process of going beyond adoption, and adapting, and improving their agile methodologies. He explains that his organization used to work in Squads (based on the Spotify Model), each with their own backlog, but found that this resulted in a lot of dependencies and some teams had no “high value” items on their backlog, while others were too busy to deliver on the valuable items they had in their backlog.

He describes how that organization evolved to using Product Domains instead. The change team used MURAL to help visualize the changes, and invited people from every team to join and build a picture of the future with Product Domains. In that process, they went from 17 squads to 7 product domains.

Bram also provides tips on how to make the changes super clear, write down what the teams and organization will STOP/START/CONTINUE, and have follow-up sessions while timeboxing the whole work of defining the “future state”.

He highlights the importance of commitment and timeboxing as a trigger for action, and advises to avoid the anti-pattern of considering the “next change” as the final word. The episode aims to help organizations evolve their agile methodologies, to overcome common challenges and to improve the collaboration and communication within their teams.

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 Bram De Block

Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.

You can link with Bram De Block on LinkedIn, or meet Bram face-to-face at this meetup he hosts in Belgium.

Bram De Block: Overcoming fear of failure and embracing experimentation in Agile teams

In this episode, Bram shares the story of a workshop where people participated and found that they liked it, but soon after, started to find reasons not to apply what they were excited about during the workshop. The team felt they were not allowed to make decisions, and the manager was not trusting that the team was capable. Bram highlights the common anti-pattern of a manager projecting fear onto the team and how to help the manager and team overcome that anti-pattern. He suggests considering what the worst case scenario is and to focus on celebrating successes instead. Bram also highlights that often, teams don’t feel they are allowed to experiment, and how he helps teams experiment and learn from their failures. We also talk about how to encourage managers to let teams work on safe-to-fail experiments, as they can help the team learn and grow. The episode aims to help managers and teams to overcome the fear of failure and to be more open to experimentation and learning.

Featured Book of the Week: Getting Things Done by David Allen

Bram recommends ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen, the ultimate productivity guide for anyone looking to streamline their workflow and achieve more. This book is a comprehensive guide that covers a lot of techniques to capture what is on your mind, what you need to do and get all those things out of your mind and into a system. The book offers strategies for getting calmer, being more effective and letting go of things that are holding you back. It emphasizes the importance of starting with a system and how to create one that works for you. This book will help you to achieve your goals and work smarter, not harder. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to be more productive and organized.

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 Bram De Block

Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.

You can link with Bram De Block on LinkedIn, or meet Bram face-to-face at this meetup he hosts in Belgium.

Bram De Block: Discover how to break free from the trap of thinking you know it all and bring agile success to your team

In this podcast episode, Bram discusses the topic of thinking that one knows it all, and how this attitude can negatively impact a team’s ability to effectively implement agile methodologies. Bram notes that this mindset can lead to a lack of respect from team members and a tendency to focus solely on following the sprint guide without considering the needs of the team. To combat this, Bram suggests bringing up the sprint goal without mentioning it by name, and focusing on identifying areas where team members can work together effectively. Additionally, Bram advises using curiosity to engage team members and encourage collaboration. Listen to the episode to gain a deeper understanding of how to overcome the challenges of thinking you know it all and bring agile goodness to your team.

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 Bram De Block

Bram is not an official trainer, consultant nor freelancer. He is just himself, supporting colleagues in applying and growing their own potential and getting stuff done. Bram started as a software developer for 10 years, then grew into a half-time agile coach, and finally, full-time “Global Agile Lead” at Skyline Communications. Something “special” he learned (even if he wishes it wasn’t special): the meaning and impact of “respect”.

You can link with Bram De Block on LinkedIn, or meet Bram face-to-face at this meetup he hosts in Belgium.

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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
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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
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
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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