The Great Product Owner: Caring, Committed, and Capable: Traits of a Great Product Owner
In this episode, Eliza emphasizes that a great PO genuinely cares about the team, the product, and the project. They have a strong desire to perform well and ensure the success of the team. Eliza mentions the importance of reminding the PO to take breaks and rest, if they may have a tendency to shoulder too much responsibility. A great PO should be able to say “no” when necessary, demonstrating their care for the team’s workload and effectively prioritizing tasks to align with the product’s goals. Overall, a great PO is someone who combines a genuine concern for the team, a passion for the product, and the ability to make informed decisions for the project’s success.
The Bad Product Owner: Strategies for Dealing with a Misaligned Product Owner
In this episode, Eliza discusses the challenges of working with a bad Product Owner (PO) who was new to the company, and exhibited behaviors that were not in the team’s best interest, despite claiming to support change and act as a catalyst for it. In meetings, the PO constantly fought against change and advocated for the status quo. Additionally, they frequently interrupted and spoke over the team, and even asked the Scrum Master for more command and control.
Eliza found it confusing that the PO seemed to be fighting against Agile principles and stepping on the team’s autonomy. Eventually, Eliza left the company, but learned that the PO had conflicts with other Agile coaches and managers as well.
She provides tips for dealing with such situations, including having one-on-one conversations with the PO and coaching them as part of the Scrum Master’s role. Creating a safe space for the team to express themselves without interruptions is crucial, and understanding the perspective and background of the PO is also important. Eliza suggests getting training to better understand the PO’s job. Overall, the episode highlights the challenges posed by a bad Product Owner and offers strategies for managing and coaching them effectively.
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 Eliza Gregory
Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.