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Jörn Hendrik Ast: Leading with Heart, Empathy and Vision for Product Owners

The Great Product Owner: Leading with Heart, Empathy and Vision for PO’s

In this segment, we explore the story of a Product Owner who exemplifies leadership, empathy, and the ability to inspire and unite a team. This episode showcases the qualities that make a Product Owner truly exceptional, from active listening and feedback to fostering a culture of openness and adaptability. It’s a narrative that illuminates the path to greatness in product ownership, setting a standard for others to follow.

The Bad Product Owner: The Facade of Busyness, And How it Burns Out Agile Teams

In this segment, Jörn shares the saga of a Product Owner whose quest for significance led to turmoil and team burnout. He tells the story of misplaced priorities and the destructive path of a PO favouring appearing busy over being effective. It’s a cautionary tale that probes into the anti-patterns plaguing product ownership and the strategies to recover from, or avoid those anti-patterns in our teams.

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 Jörn Hendrik Ask

Jörn Hendrik Ast, founded of New Work Heroes in 2018. He is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author dedicated to innovating work through team collaboration, leadership, and personal development. He is coaching teams, producing podcast episodes, and continues to create impactful learning formats and books.

You can link with Jörn Hendrik Ask on LinkedIn and connect with Jörn Hendrik Ask on Threads.

BONUS: Beyond Profit, How Happy Office Is Redefining Success in the Workplace, with Maartje Jansen and Fennande van der Meulen

Maartje and Fennande’s journey into the realm of happiness at work began with a blend of personal insight and professional evolution.

A conversation with a neighbor about the  innovative step of hiring the Netherlands’ first Chief Happiness Officer, led them to the realization that prioritizing worker happiness is not just beneficial but essential for business success.

This revelation was the cornerstone for founding Happy Office, the consultancy they work for.

Both had always valued engagement and purpose in their work, but now they were seeing the business world through a new lens: one that focuses on harnessing the full potential of employees, beyond just profit generation.

Their early skepticism from academic circles about influencing work culture was overturned by practical experiences.

The Four Pillars of Workplace Happiness

They define happiness at work simply by saying: “it’s when you find yourself whistling on the way to and from work!”

They use four ideas to help describe how to achieve that outcome, the four Ps of Purpose, People, Progress, and Positivity.

These pillars serve as the foundation for creating a work environment where employees feel energized rather than drained.

At the core of their definition lies the basic human needs for meaningful relationships and contributions, suggesting that true happiness at work is about finding the right balance that fulfills these needs.

The Critical Role of Happiness in Today’s Workplace

Continue reading BONUS: Beyond Profit, How Happy Office Is Redefining Success in the Workplace, with Maartje Jansen and Fennande van der Meulen

Chris Garvey: When Agile Alone Can’t Save the Day, Avoiding The Temptation To “Save” A Scrum Team

In this episode, Chris recounts a challenging experience as a Scrum Master in emergency services product development. Faced with exploding software development and delayed deliveries, the team turned to Agile for a solution. The immense pressure led Chris to take the role too seriously, causing a detrimental shift in focus. To top it all, three team members were experiencing burnout. Chris emphasizes the importance of coaching by invitation and avoiding the temptation to micromanage the team. Ultimately, this episode raises questions about leadership’s openness to change in such high-pressure situations.

In this episode, we refer to the book Shift From Product To People, a book that explores the need to focus on working with people first, before being able to work with the product.

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 Chris Garvey

Chris is passionate about people, and creating empowering spaces where people can thrive. He is a coach at heart having been a Life Coach before becoming an Agile Coach. For close to 10 years he has been working in the agile space as a Scrum Master, then Agile Coach, then trainer, and now as an Enterprise Agile Coach.

You can link with Chris Garvey on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: Avoiding Burnout in Agile Teams, The Importance of Seeking Outside Perspectives as a Scrum Master

In this episode, Gemma discusses a project where the team was building a database of customer data and a UI to interact with that data. The team was highly motivated and excited about the solution they had come up with, but slowly started to conflate the solution with the outcome. They became so focused on the “one big idea” that they struggled to let go, which resulted in burnout for some team members. The team was great at inspection but not at adaptation.

To avoid this type of situation, Gemma suggests seeking outside perspectives and speaking with your peers. As a Scrum Master, she fell victim to the team’s energy in the beginning, but realized something was wrong and sought insights from an Agile Coach. It is important not to get too focused on the work without thinking about the process, and seeking outside perspectives can help to prevent this. To get different perspectives, and get out of the day-to-day work focus, why not join our podcast community to network and seek additional perspectives? Join us here.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery By Geoff Watts (Geoff was a previous guest on the podcast), Gemma found a reminder that, even if the Scrum Master role can sometimes be seen as “the facilitator”, in practice it is much more than that. In this segment, we also talk about the book Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile by Mike Burrows, that helps Scrum Masters understand how they contribute to the production of value in their role.

In this segment, we also refer to the book Lean UX, whose authors were previous guests on the podcast: Jeff Gothelf, and Josh Seiden, and about Lean in general, an approach that can inspire how we implement Scrum in practice.

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 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.

Jovan Vidic on the danger of burnout for Scrum Masters

We want to improve the world, change the way we work, fix all the problems we see. And often all of the above at the same time. That’s laudable, a great mission, but it has a dark side: burnout! Jovan shares with us a story of one such moment so that we may avoid that in our own career. Stay safe dear friends!
Keep an eye on those burnout signs with these 10 signs you may be on the verge of a burnout.

About Jovan Vidic

Jovan Vidić is an Agile Practitioner who repeatedly finds passion and inspiration in his job. He calls himself a people person, and when he had an opportunity to lead a team at the age of 24, that experience transformed him into an advocate of the self-organization, which does not impose limits on the thinking, working and creative processes of the team members, but on the contrary, it drives them to jointly contribute and prosper. This is actually the goal of the group Agile Coaching Serbia he founded in Novi Sad Serbia in 2014.
You can connect with Jovan Vidic on LinkedIn and connect with Jovan Vidic on Twitter.

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
FREE QUIZ - Rate Your Coaching Skills with This Fast Quiz
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FREE QUIZ - Rate Your Coaching Skills with This Fast Quiz
(Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).