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Meena Venkataraman: Customer Feedback Loops – Key to Building the Right Product, the Agile Way!

The Great Product Owner: Customer Feedback Loops: Key to Building the Right Product, the Agile Way!

In this segment, Meena describes a great product owner who was very effective at product discovery. This PO paired hypothesis with metrics to ensure that what was being built was what the customer wanted. He focused on feedback loops, using customer interviews to learn about the flow and using that feedback to inform delivery decisions. The PO also involved the team in interpreting the numbers, which helped the team understand how to build the right thing.

The Bad Product Owner: Technical Leadership Challenges in Product Ownership, leaving the tech lead role behind

Meena shared a story about a product owner who transitioned from being a senior developer and was unable to let go of technical leadership. This resulted in the PO intimidating the team by providing specific solutions and telling them exactly what to do, creating an unhealthy dependency. Meena gave one-on-one feedback to the PO, and appealed to the PO’s human relations ability. She emphasizes the importance of coaching and giving feedback to the PO, and not just focusing on the rules.

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 Meena Venkataraman

Meena is an Agile & Lean coach who helps organizations and teams transition to Agile ways of working. She is passionate about the neuroscience behind team dynamics and is interested in organizational design and the application of Agile principles across different business domains. Meena enjoys speaking at conferences and is an avid learner.

You can link with Meena Venkataraman on LinkedIn.

Gemma Murray: The Key to Successful Agile Product Ownership, The Value-driven Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: The Key to Successful Agile Product Ownership, The Value-driven PO

In this segment, Gemma highlights the importance of a great Product Owner (PO) in agile methodologies. A great PO is always asking “why”, and is constantly seeking to understand the value of the product and the work being done by the team. Gemma describes a PO that came into a team that was maintaining a product, but with their focus on value and constant seeking of feedback, they were able to pivot and make improvements based on data and customer feedback. The PO was able to maintain a great relationship with the team by always listening and acting on feedback from the outside.

The PO focused on collecting metrics to validate their ideas and make data-driven decisions. By being able to listen to and act on feedback, the PO was able to make quicker and better decisions that were in line with the needs and wants of the customer. This ability to listen and act on feedback is a superpower for any PO and is key to their success in agile methodologies.

The Bad Product Owner: The Destructive Effects of a Disempowered Agile Product Owner

In this segment, Gemma discussed a common anti-pattern in product ownership, where the Product Owner may not feel empowered to make decisions. This can result in the team looking for clarity from other sources and the PO not feeling like they are part of the team. Gemma recounted out a real-life scenario where a PO manager became involved in the product development process and started imposing ideas onto the backlog. The manager believed they were supporting the PO and team but this resulted in the PO becoming a silent voice in the team.

To address this issue, Gemma offered several tips. She advised sharing observations with the manager to help them reflect on their behavior, separating behavior from consequences, and avoiding assumptions about others’ thoughts. It is important to clarify the consequences of the behavior, in this case, the PO not feeling confident enough to make decisions on the product. By taking these steps, Gemma aimed to help others resolve similar challenges in product ownership.

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 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.

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.

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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
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Internal Conference
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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
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