Zach Stone: Strategies for Healing a Disrupted Team-Product Owner Connection

The Great Product Owner: The Ideal Product Owner, Balancing Strategy, Collaboration, and Care

In this episode, Zach highlights an exceptional Product Owner (PO) who showcased a unique blend of tactical and strategic prowess. This PO’s deep care for the team was evident in their collaborative and engaging approach. They fostered open dialogue, valuing team input and seeing engineers as partners in solving problems. The PO’s commitment to understanding stakeholder requests in-depth allowed them to effectively shield the team. Their transformative and protective actions were a testament to their collaborative leadership style, making them a beloved and effective bridge between stakeholders and the engineering team.

The Bad Product Owner: Restoring Harmony, Strategies for Healing a Disrupted Team-PO Connection

In this episode, Zach reflects on a challenging experience with a struggling Product Owner (PO). The PO’s performance was hindered by environmental factors and burnout, leading to breakdowns in team collaboration and psychological safety. A lack of connection with the team and berating behavior adversely affected team morale and relationships. The adversarial atmosphere hindered healthy conflict resolution and led to self-sabotage. Zach shares valuable tips for improving such situations, emphasizing the importance of gauging safety for conversations, individual validation, and creating a secure space for difficult discussions. He underscores the potential for growth through acknowledging mistakes, highlighting that the PO eventually transformed into a sought-after collaborator through positive change.

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 Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone on LinkedIn.

Zach Stone: Overcoming Vision Challenges in Agile Teams, And The Key Role Of The Product Owner

In this episode, Zach recounts a team’s struggles with a platform and component-based structure. Despite having capable members, the team faced challenges surrounding unclear priorities and vision. Frequent changes in priorities left the team uncertain about their work’s purpose after a significant launch. Communication issues arose as developers weren’t grasping the vision. The absence of direction led to disengagement, arguments during refinement, and an overwhelming workload. Introducing a Product Owner with a clear mission restored commitment. A critical incident, the Ukrainian war, catalyzed a much-needed laser focus. This episode underscores the importance of a well-defined mission and external factors in shaping team dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee

In this episode, Zach discusses some of his favorite Agile-related books. “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee is praised for its insights into conflict facilitation and fostering healthy communities. This book transformed Zach’s perspective on communities and equipped him to navigate groups with conflicts. Another book that Zach highlights is “Thinking in Systems” by Meadows explores various aspects of sociology, economy, and more, encouraging readers to view the world holistically. Zach values its ability to prompt a deeper understanding of “why” and uncover systemic factors. He emphasizes how external/systemic issues can impact team-level problems, shedding light on the interconnected nature of challenges.

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 Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone on LinkedIn.

Danielle Braun: Unlocking Team Performance By Addressing Communication Challenges

In this episode, Danielle shares potential negative effects of insufficient communication and avoidance of conflict in teams, and how important it is to maintain openness and transparency in daily interactions. We share some tips to help you detect communication gaps through cues like facial expressions and interactions. Danielle offers practical tips for addressing this issue: observing interactions, validating assumptions through questions, changing perspectives, and seeking external observations. Danielle also emphasizes the significance of active questioning and fostering an environment of open dialogue to counteract the negative consequences of communication breakdowns.

Featured Book of the Week: Night Train to Lisbon, by Pascal Mercier

In “Night Train to Lisbon” by Pascal Mercier, a teacher grapples with significant life changes and embarks on an unexpected journey. The protagonist’s quest to learn Portuguese leads to a book about a revolutionary doctor in Portugal, igniting inspiration for a trip to Lisbon. Initially paralyzed by change, the character evolves, embracing transformation. Danielle highlights the lesson of embracing change despite its difficulty and emphasizes the importance of self-reflection, a valuable tool for Scrum Masters. The story illustrates how openness to change and introspection are essential qualities for navigating challenges.

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 Danielle Braun

Danielle is a Scrum Master and systemic coach. She strongly believes in the power of teams and that we carry the solution to all challenges within us.

You can link with Danielle Braun 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.
(Opens in a new tab)