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Caterina Palmiotto: The Phantom Product Owner, How Lack of Decision-Making Impacts the Team and Kills Innovation

The Great Product Owner: The Collaboration Between PO and Team as Key to PO Success

In this segment, Caterina shares a story of a great Product Owner who worked closely with their team. The PO took the time to share the high-level vision and timeline for a new module, collected doubts and comments from the team, and presented user stories with enough information to start a discussion. The PO listened to all suggestions and was available every day to collaborate. The refinement process was done in two parts, with the second part focused on investigating technical aspects. The PO even participated in retrospectives and worked with the team to improve the product based on either technical or functional ideas by the team. Caterina emphasizes the importance of building this kind of productive collaboration between POs and their teams, with the help of Scrum Masters.

The Bad Product Owner: The Phantom PO, How Lack of Decision-Making Impacts the Team and Kills Innovation

In this segment, Caterina talks about a Product Owner who only wrote user stories but was unable to make decisions. The Product Owner always needed to report to his boss, which caused a delay in decision-making. This led to delays in the team’s work, resulting in not completing the story in the sprint. Additionally, the team lost trust in the PO, and did not have enough information or support from the PO to bring their contribution to the product through technical innovation. Eventually, the team started to make decisions on their own and stopped suggesting ideas to the PO. Caterina emphasizes the importance of Product Owners being able to make decisions and not causing delays in the team’s work.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Caterina Palmiotto: Autonomy and Accountability, Key Team Skills That Make You A Successful Scrum Master

In this segment, Caterina discusses how success for Scrum Masters depends on the team’s ability to be autonomous in defining and changing their working agreements. She suggests asking questions such as whether the team members are active when the Scrum Master isn’t there and if they are following the agreements they made together. She emphasizes the importance of the team being mature enough to trust themselves to make decisions and call out each other when they break the rules. Finally, she shares a tip on how keeping each other accountable to the work agreements is crucial to maintaining the desired team culture.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Metaphor, or simple format? Which one to use and when?

In this segment, Caterina discusses an agile retrospective format based on team maturity. For new or less mature teams, she suggests using a metaphor, such as a favorite movie or sport, to change perspective. However, for more mature teams, a simple format like MAD/SAD/GLAD works well as they want to jump into and quickly solve problems they already know about. In the end, we must always adapt the retrospective format to the level of the team, as well as the current situation they are facing.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Caterina Palmiotto: Lessons from an Agile Transformation in a Manufacturing Company

In this episode, Caterina discusses a large-scale Agile transformation she was involved in at a manufacturing company. The transformation was initiated after a successful pilot with a few software development teams. The company adopted a top-down approach, hiring many Agile coaches and implementing a model that combined the Spotify Model and a big-bang change. Despite its success, the transformation was risky due to its size, and Caterina suggests starting the Agile adoption with a single Value Stream and measuring the impact on the business. In this case, the company’s culture was also key in integrating the many different backgrounds and expectations from the different regional offices.

The success factors Caterina identified were: team coaching, focus on effective communication, and constant respect for each other.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Caterina Palmiotto: Address conflicts in your Agile Team, or else…

In this segment, Caterina Palmiotto discusses the story of a software development team that was self-destructing due to conflicts and a blame culture. When Caterina joined the team, she heard blame, resentment, and conflicts among the developers. The team struggled to resolve bugs, and one developer was causing the majority of the conflicts. Caterina tried to address the conflicts and had some success, but it took a difficult decision to remove the person causing the conflicts for the team to work better. Caterina emphasizes the importance of addressing conflicts and the impact of culture on the success of a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Legacy, by James Kerr

In this segment, Caterina Palmiotto discusses the book Legacy by James Kerr, which is a collection of leadership stories about the All Blacks rugby team from New Zealand. As a scrum master, Caterina noticed similarities in leadership between sports and software development. The book connected all the dots in her mind and emphasized the importance of a strong team culture. According to Caterina, if you focus on the team, the results will follow. The book highlights the idea that strong leadership is essential to building a strong team culture.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Caterina Palmiotto: A Scrum Master anti-pattern, introducing Agile in a “bubble”

In this episode, Caterina shares her experience as a Scrum Master in the IT department of a big company. Caterina and her colleague were responsible for two teams developing an in-house software, but no one in the company knew about Scrum. Despite initial difficulties and blaming, after 18 months, Caterina and her colleague were able to create an “agile bubble” where the teams and product owners were able to work together. They protected the teams from negative aspects happening elsewhere in the company.

However, after Caterina left the company, the agile environment fell apart since the decision-makers in the company were not aware of the agile methodology. Caterina realized that she failed to spread agile practices elsewhere in the company and suggested inviting more people into sprint reviews and demos, organizing open sessions, and creating curiosity in other departments. In this episode, Caterina emphasizes the importance of finding allies to continue agile practices even after leaving the company.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto 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
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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
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
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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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