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Armin Mandara: When Product Owners Multiply, Making Decisions in a Maze of Stakeholders

The Great Product Owner: Empowering Teams, A Key PO Skill

Armin discusses the role of a great Product Owner (PO) in fostering team success. Drawing from an experience with a mixed team of internal and client-side members, he highlights the importance of clear communication and decision-making abilities in a client-driven setup. A standout PO, in his view, comprehends their role and limitations, excelling in making timely decisions and maintaining a pragmatic approach, even in challenging situations. They actively engage in discussions, emphasizing necessary trade-offs while demonstrating a keen awareness of the team’s needs.

The Bad Product Owner: When POs Multiply, Making Decisions in a Maze of Stakeholders

Armin shares his experience in a B2B ecommerce setting, where a multitude of stakeholders complicated the Product Owner (PO) role. The presence of proxy POs, business analysts, and various other figures led to a lack of clear decision-making. Armin underscores the importance of collaboration between the PO and Scrum Master and emphasizes the need for transparency and timely decisions. He advises making issues transparent to stakeholders and offering suggestions for improvement to address this common anti-pattern. Clear ownership and decisive action are essential for effective product ownership.

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 Armin Mandara

Armin is the Head of Scrum Masters at IBM iX, a leading digital agency. With a career spanning seven years as a Scrum Master, Armin has partnered with numerous teams to successfully deliver top-notch digital products. His passion lies in enabling agile teams to achieve their goals and unleash their true potential.

You can link with Armin Mandara on LinkedIn.

Anna Mbengam: Prioritizing People And Empowering Teams in the Scrum Master’s Absence

In this episode, Anna emphasizes the critical role of a Scrum Master in ensuring team happiness. She prioritizes facilitating self-organization and meaningful interactions among team members. Anna’s success criteria extend beyond metrics to encompass factors like continuous improvement, agile mindset adoption, and positive team culture. She advocates for open dialogue and hosts regular one-on-one meetings to gauge individual team members’ progress and well-being. Anna also empowers the team to take ownership of the Scrum Master role in her absence, assessing the impact upon her return.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: Start/Stop/Continue, To Help Scrum Masters Listen Better

Anna likes the ‘Start/Stop/Continue’ retrospective format, as it fosters understanding and alignment within the team. Initially driven to implement sweeping changes, Anna learned the value of stepping back to enable teams to drive their own transformations. This format allows her to actively listen and discern the team’s focal points, resulting in more effective and meaningful retrospectives.

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 Anna Mbengam

Anna, an accomplished Scrum Master and SAFe Coach since 2018, thrives in diverse industries like Personal Investments, Healthcare, Food & beverage, and Banking. She’s authored 5 self-published guides aiding aspiring Scrum Masters, and her mentoring has transformed 200+ professionals into highly effective individuals for any organization.

You can link with Anna Mbengam on LinkedIn and read Anna’s books.

Andrew Mitchell: From Facilitator to Empowerer, The Journey of an Effective Scrum Master

In this episode, Andrew shares that success is achieved when the Scrum Master can gradually step back and allow the team to navigate Agile events independently. This includes team members reminding each other of Agile values, active participation without the Scrum Master’s constant input, and the ability to carry out refinement meetings and handle customer interactions without heavy reliance on the Scrum Master. Avoiding unhealthy conflicts and not making decisions on behalf of the team are key aspects. Conducting team happiness surveys is recommended to gauge team dynamics. Overall, a successful Scrum Master empowers the team and fosters autonomous decision-making.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Survey the team to create insights ahead of the retrospective and tailor the retrospective for what the team needs

In this segment, Andrew discusses his favorite retrospective format, which is always “the one that works best for the team” at that time. He shares that a colleague started surveying the team by asking a few questions. The survey is conducted two days before the end of the sprint, allowing team members to think about their answers in advance. This approach generates great conversations during the retrospective and helps facilitate meaningful discussions. Andrew emphasizes that this format leads to valuable exchanges and contributes to the overall effectiveness of the retrospective.

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 Andrew Mitchell

Andrew prioritizes people when building products, aiming for happy and engaged employees who create great products and serve customers well. He emphasizes trust, psychological safety, servant leadership, and believes Scrum is the best framework to achieve these goals.

He was also a host of the Product Owner Summit 2023, where we collaborated.

You can link with Andrew Mitchell 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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