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Cynthia Kracmer: The Visionary Product Owner, learning how to keep the vision alive through coherent decision making

The Great Product Owner: Visionary Product Ownership: How to stay disciplined in your decisions

In this episode, Cynthia talks about an example of a great PO who was an expert in life sciences with over 20 years of experience. The PO was open-minded and willing to be challenged, listened well to the team, and collaborated effectively with the Scrum Master. They had a clear vision for their product/service and made disciplined decisions that aligned with that vision. The PO was proactive about sharing information and communicating risks to the clients/customers. Cynthia suggests that a great PO should share information beyond the team and keep them inspired.

The Bad Product Owner: The Role of Scrum Master in Helping Product Owners Succeed

In this episode, we learn about a PO that lacked the necessary skills and was not assertive, which affected their ability to lead and communicate effectively with clients. We also learn about the Scrum Master’s role in that PO’s poor performance, as the Scrum Master took up too much space, leaving the PO without the necessary influence. Cynthia suggest that when a new person is assigned to the PO role, they should be trained and given a clear understanding of their responsibilities. She also recommends having the new PO shadowing another PO to learn. Scrum Masters should also offer help and support (See our Coaching Your PO e-course for tips and models you can use when helping your PO). Finally, Cynthia advises paying attention to what POs expect from the Scrum master and making sure that these expectations align with the PO’s task list.

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 Cynthia Kracmer

Cynthia Kracmer is a Business Transformation & Human Capital Managing Consultant passionate about creating innovative, stimulating and ‘healthy’ organizations for people. She is Agile agnostic, and has worked as a Scrum master, agile coach and agile transformation lead in the Life Sciences area. She loves singing, traveling (she’s been to 63 countries), cycling and running.

Connect with Cynthia Kracmer on LinkedIn.

Cynthia Kracmer: When is a Scrum Master No Longer Needed? Tips for Measuring Agile Team Self-Sufficiency

In this episode, Cynthia discusses the need to assess whether a Scrum Master is still necessary for a team that has become self-sufficient. She discusses several contributing factors to determine if a team is ready to work without a Scrum Master, such as clarity of purpose and roles, the ability to articulate value delivered to clients, readiness to address risks, and the team’s commitment to reflection and learning. The importance of observing team behavior and identifying patterns of self-sufficiency is emphasized. The episode also provides tips to identify if the team is ready, such as observing how team members act during meetings and if everyone is part of the conversation.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Being mindful of people, a key skill for Scrum Masters facilitating Agile Retrospectives

In this segment, Cynthia emphasizes the importance of starting by recognizing people and their contributions to the team. Ice breakers can be especially useful for new teams. The retrospective should include a gratefulness theme, a discussion on what is working well, what is not working, and what actions the team will take moving forward. Cynthia suggests making the retrospective a ritual and helping team members disconnect from other priorities and their busy schedules.

As a scrum master, it’s important to show there is a process with several questions planned for the session, while also keeping track of time to ensure the retro finishes on time. It’s crucial to create a psychologically safe space and be mindful of what topics are appropriate to discuss with the team.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

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 Cynthia Kracmer

Cynthia Kracmer is a Business Transformation & Human Capital Managing Consultant passionate about creating innovative, stimulating and ‘healthy’ organizations for people. She is Agile agnostic, and has worked as a Scrum master, agile coach and agile transformation lead in the Life Sciences area. She loves singing, traveling (she’s been to 63 countries), cycling and running.

Connect with Cynthia Kracmer on LinkedIn.

Cynthia Kracmer: Early Adopters and Change Champions: Identifying Key Players for Agile Transformation

In this episode, Cynthia emphasizes that her work is about change and coaching teams. When trying to change people, she warns that it is important to be careful and to tell a relevant story that answers the question of “what’s in it for me?” She shares a story that highlights the need to consider different approaches for different contexts, and she advises paying attention to early adopters and change champions while avoiding the anti-pattern of not invented here syndrome (NIH). Instead, one should make the change “native” by finding someone who is already convinced on Agile adoption to help with the change by explaining why they think Agile is important for them.

Cynthia also reminds us that change takes time, and there is a cost to change in terms of time. Therefore, department leads need to be aware of that cost. She advises listening to those who ask a lot of questions since they might become the best change supporters. She recommends the Dragon Dreaming methodology as a resource. Finally, she suggests learning from the people who resist change by listening to what they say and ask about.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

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 Cynthia Kracmer

Cynthia Kracmer is a Business Transformation & Human Capital Managing Consultant passionate about creating innovative, stimulating and ‘healthy’ organizations for people. She is Agile agnostic, and has worked as a Scrum master, agile coach and agile transformation lead in the Life Sciences area. She loves singing, traveling (she’s been to 63 countries), cycling and running.

Connect with Cynthia Kracmer on LinkedIn.

Cynthia Kracmer: Lessons learned from a team of Agile Coaches that failed to work as a team

In this episode, Cynthia shares her experience as part of an agile center of excellence. The team was responsible for deploying agile coaches to help different functions achieve their objectives. However, the Agile Coaching team faced challenges in aligning and organizing themselves as everyone was convinced their way was the better way. The team had a young Scrum Master, but had high expectations and did not support that junior Scrum Master. Unfortunately, the Scrum Master failed and left the company, and the team missed an opportunity to help that Scrum Master improve, and improve themselves as a team.

Cynthia reflects on the importance of humility as a value of Agile and emphasizes the need to be open-minded and accept different ways of working. She also discusses the importance of leading by example when inspiring people through Agile principles. Additionally, they note that not all tools resonate with all team members, and it’s okay to have different preferences. Cynthia emphasizes the importance of accepting ideas from others and being receptive to help, even from juniors. This episode highlights the need for a collaborative and open-minded approach to Agile and the importance of valuing and supporting all team members, regardless of seniority or experience.

Featured Book of the Week: Design Sprint, by Banfield et al.

In this segment, Cynthia recommended the book “Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products” by Banfield et al. which helped her see that the creative process can be structured to increase creativity and help teams make decisions. Cynthia initially believed that creative work had no structure, but the book helped her understand the connection between creativity and structure. She highlighted the importance of using structure to help teams generate ideas, make decisions, and ultimately be more creative. Overall, the book provided valuable insights into how to approach creative work in a more structured way to achieve better results.

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 Cynthia Kracmer

Cynthia Kracmer is a Business Transformation & Human Capital Managing Consultant passionate about creating innovative, stimulating and ‘healthy’ organizations for people. She is Agile agnostic, and has worked as a Scrum master, agile coach and agile transformation lead in the Life Sciences area. She loves singing, traveling (she’s been to 63 countries), cycling and running.

Connect with Cynthia Kracmer on LinkedIn.

Cynthia Kracmer: The need for Scrum Masters to adapt to the reality they meet, and not force Scrum on Agile teams

In this episode, Cynthia shared her experience as a training lead for an insurance company. When she started, she quickly realized that the team was not ready and that there were people with different levels of knowledge. The team was struggling with late deliveries and a lack of communication between the Product Owner and the developer. Cynthia recognized that the team needed a Scrum Master, and she reached out to the Product Owner to suggest this. Cynthia also emphasized the importance of identifying client needs and suggesting what might be missing. She believes that in large organizations, it’s often best to jump in and help, remain open-minded, explore other frameworks, and focus on what is valuable for the company and the team.

Cynthia also discussed the importance of recognizing that every team and every client is different. She suggested looking beyond Agile and exploring other methods that might be interesting. Cynthia’s tips for success include understanding client needs, being open-minded, and exploring other frameworks. She emphasized the importance of focusing on value and finding what works best for each unique situation. Cynthia’s story highlights the need for effective communication, collaboration, and adaptability to ensure the success of a project.

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 Cynthia Kracmer

Cynthia Kracmer is a Business Transformation & Human Capital Managing Consultant passionate about creating innovative, stimulating and ‘healthy’ organizations for people. She is Agile agnostic, and has worked as a Scrum master, agile coach and agile transformation lead in the Life Sciences area. She loves singing, traveling (she’s been to 63 countries), cycling and running.

Connect with Cynthia Kracmer 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
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
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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