Mher Nalbandyan: Overcoming the “only the senior team members are allowed to speak” Scrum anti-pattern

Sometimes we face teams where team members start, and then get used to making decisions on their own without involving the rest of the team, or communicating those decisions to their colleagues. In this team, the people were changing, and the new team members were not “given” the right to speak, which led to the oldest team members making all of the decisions on their own. Mher noticed that this was causing a motivation problem in the team, and started to work with the team to overcome this anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland

In Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland, Mher found a book that was easy to read and understand, which reminded him of what Agile, Scrum, and Extreme Programming are all about. The book includes stories and the “why” behind Scrum’s impact.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Mher Nalbandyan: When team members skip the retrospective, a communication problem in the Scrum team

Mher prepared a retrospective for his team, but 5 minutes past the starting time, there were only a few team members in the room. He looked around and saw that the team members that were present, were not fully engaged. “Something is wrong here, he thought… In this episode, we explore why sometimes team members don’t communicate and discuss what might be the reasons, and how to avoid it.

In this episode, we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby.

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Catherine Kraus: Helping the Product Owner understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

The Great Product Owner: The PO as a key role in customer involvement, and understanding

A good PO has a good understanding of the product, and is also able to communicate the Vision they have for the product. This particular PO was also able to delegate to the team many of the decisions that were needed, and invested their time into building and maintaining relationships with the customers of that product. Because of that, he was able to set up user testing sessions, where the team was invited, to collect direct feedback and help the team understand the product, and the customer better!

The Bad Product Owner: Helping the PO understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

This PO was amazingly organized, and great at following up with the team. This was the PO’s superpower. However, in some cases, this superpower also had a negative effect. This team, which was working remotely, was being constantly interrupted by the PO, in their attempt to follow-up on the progress by the team. The team went to Catherine, and shared what was going on. This started a process of changing how the PO worked, so that the team could be given the time and focus to finish their work.

In this segment, we talk about the concept of “maker time”, popularized in this article by Paul Graham.

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 Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Catherine Kraus: How a team of specialists became a well-rounded, T-shaped Scrum team!

When Catherine joined this team, she was told by the previous Scrum Master that she should not bother with the “fluffy stuff”, as the team only wanted to “get on with the work”. As soon as she heard that, Catherine was alarmed, but also curious. A few weeks later, she knew what was going on. The team was a group of specialists, that had very deep, but narrow experience in the area they were working. This specialty-focus affected everything in the team, from the PO who had to choose work that fit the available specialist, to the motivation of the team, who felt bored and de-motivated when they did not have work for their specialty. In this segment, we talk about how Catherine approached the elephant in the room: the silos that were not allowing the team to perform!

Featured Book of the Week: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

In The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor, Catherine found research that helped her understand the impact of a positive outlook can have on her work, and the teams she works with.

In this segment, we also refer to Essential Scrum by Ken Rubin, a book that presents Scrum for those wanting to go beyond what they can learn in their first Scrum training course.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Catherine Kraus: What leads Scrum teams to be unpredictable, and unreliable!

The team had a lot of unfinished work, and sprint-to-sprint spillovers. It started to feel that the management of the work was out of control. As Catherine investigated, she found that a lot of work was being added to the Sprint after planning. All of these new items diverted the team’s focus, and they were no longer predictable, or able to finish some of the critical user stories planned. In this episode, we explore what were the reasons the team got to that point, as well as what Catherine learned that helps, still today, avoid falling into the same trap.

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Miguel Moro: Helping a “bossy” Product Owner, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: The PO that is also a team member

Great Product Owners have the ability to make themselves part of the team. They put the team’s success on their first priority by focusing on what the team needs to succeed. They also help the team collaborate with different sides of the organization.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping a “bossy” PO, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

When the PO thinks they are “the boss”, they usually develop certain behaviors that push the team to just follow orders. Although this may seem logical for some PO’s, the problems that arise will make the team uncomfortable, and ultimately conflict may arise between team and PO.

In this segment, we also talk about how to prepare a conversation with this kind of PO, helping the team come forward and share how they feel, and resolve the problem together with PO, and team.

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 Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

Miguel Moro: Helping a Scrum team go from competing with each other, to helping each other

Miguel started observing that the team members in this Scrum team were constantly trying to establish their own ideas as the “winning ideas”. The behaviors he observed helped Miguel understand that the team members were competing with each other, instead of focusing on the shared success for their team. In this episode, we discuss how to help our teams move from competition to collaboration, through a series of deliberate, but small tweaks to the discussion, and decision making processes in the team.

Featured Book of The Week: The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Don Reinertsen

In The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Don Reinertsen, Miguel found a helpful understanding of queues, which affect the progress/flow of work in our organizations. In that book, there are also insights into how variability affects productivity of knowledge work teams, and Reinertsen also gives us concrete ways to work through these concepts with the teams we help.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

Salvatore Rinaldo: Helping an absent Product Owner, learn and improve on their role

The Great Product Owner: The Chief Clarity Officer, providing clarity and decisions when needed

Great PO’s are able to influence, without being seen as “the boss”, and they take their work very seriously, even if they don’t take themselves too seriously. As Salvatore says: great PO’s become the Chief Clarity Officers, being present, answering questions, and clarifying what is necessary for the team to function. In this segment, we talk about the “kill criteria”, a concept you can use to help PO’s decide what to remove from the product, a skill that great Product Owners also exhibit.

The Bad Product Owner: How to facilitate a conversation with an absent PO, so they understand the impact they have on the team

This PO was unavailable to the team, and that caused a number of problems for the team. In this segment, we talk about the anti-patterns that show up in the team, when the PO is too busy to be present with the team. Salvatore suggests a few things to try, to help the PO understand their impact on the team, and we refer to the Sprint Checklist, a hands-on guide that we produced to help you facilitate that conversation with the PO.

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 Salvatore Rinaldo

Salvatore is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master based in London. His background is in telecommunications and software engineering. For the past 7 years, Salvatore has been helping organizations leverage Lean, agile, Flow principles and system thinking to achieve better business agility.

You can link with Salvatore Rinaldo on LinkedIn.

Ziryan Salayi: Helping Product Owners work productively with stakeholders to maximize feedback!

The Great Product Owner: Connecting Stakeholders with the development team as a way to amplify and speed up feedback!

This PO was not only able to “own” the relationship with the stakeholders, but they were also able to involve the stakeholders with the development team. This PO strived to create a direct and productive connection between team and stakeholders.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s learn to work with and manage stakeholders and their input

This PO came to Ziryan and asked him to facilitate a User Story Mapping session with stakeholders. This was when Ziryan noticed that the team PO was not yet ready to take responsibility for one of their most important tasks: working with, and helping stakeholders make decisions. This helped Ziryan realize that the work with PO’s is a critical aspect of the Scrum Master’s work, and he decided to help this PO learn about User Story Mapping, by helping her with the facilitation, but clearly separating that facilitation from the management of stakeholders.

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.

Abou Ziryan Salayi

Ziryan is a Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Trainer, and organization coach with a passion for getting the most out of people and teams. His aim is to enable employees to be fully empowered and support self-organization in all areas within agile organizations

You can link with Ziryan Salayi on LinkedIn and connect with Ziryan Salayi on Twitter.

Rafał Witaszek: When the Product Owner does not link stories to a specific product, they destroy the ability to deliver value

The Great Product Owner: A truly collaborative approach to the PO work

This PO was able to communicate clearly, but also step back, doing only enough research to provide options for the team to decide on. He helped the team clarify ambiguities and brought them challenges that the team could own and help resolve. It was a true collaborative approach to the PO work!

The Bad Product Owner: When the work is not linked to a specific product, it loses meaning, and destroys the ability to deliver value

This PO was not fully aware or able to communicate the products the team was working on. He did not have a clear picture of the portfolio of different products the team needed to support. This caused serious problems in prioritizing and communicating progress to stakeholders, as the team was not able to understand when they were jeopardizing certain products by working on work that was not related to that product. Rafał started a process to help the team, and the PO to list all of the products they had to support, and started to organize the backlog around the products, not just a list of tasks.

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 Rafał Witaszek

Rafał believes the best things are done together. As a Scrum Master, his focus is on enabling communication within an organization. As he is also a passionate sailor, he’s learned that we need to adjust our sails to make the best use of the wind. Focus on what we can affect, and leave other things out.

You can link with Rafał Witaszek on LinkedIn.

Get The Booklet!
How to deliver on time and eliminate scope creep By scoping projects around outcomes and impacts, not requirements!
Get the Product Owner Booklet!
Avoid scope creep! And learn to scope projects around impacts and outcomes, not requirements!
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