Erik de Bos: The Product Owner that stepped back so much, the team had no choice but to take ownership!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that stepped back so much, the team had no choice but to take ownership!

This PO was “annoyingly laissez-faire”, which at first irked Erik, but ultimately proved to be an asset for Erik and the team. The PO empowered the team in practice, by stepping back, and letting the team write their own User Stories, while at the same time being available to answer their questions.

In this segment, we talk about the movie “Master and Commander”.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that wanted to control everything about the team

This PO thought they knew better than anyone else. Even if Erik would be able to have a good conversation about Agile with the PO, when the time came, the PO would revert back to “controlling” everything the team was doing. Erik setup a retrospective with the PO about the issue they were facing, and tried to help the PO step back. They found a new way to organize the Backlog Refinement so that the PO would not be tempted to control the team. Listen in to learn about the tough conversations Erik had with the PO, and how he tried to help the team and the PO.

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About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: The difficulty of defining a metric for Scrum Master success

“We adopt Agile because the world is complex” is Erik’s statement, as he starts to define success for Scrum Masters. He describes for us the challenges of “assessing” or measuring success and suggests that we start with defining our own goals, and make small experiments that we evaluate for impact. In the end, measurement is just a tool, and we need to pay attention to the teams and to ourselves possibly “gaming” the metric we choose.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures and the movie retrospective

Although Erik does not have a single format he prefers, he often looks into Liberating Structures for inspiration, and uses some “fun” formats (like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly movie retrospective) to help the team relax and start the conversation. He also favors the use of a simple ice breaker (e.g. what’s your favorite movie?) to get the retrospective started.

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About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: Introducing Agile to a management team without causing overwhelm or eye-rolling

Sometimes, when we work with a team, we discover that the changes needed to help the team are needed outside the team. In this episode, we talk about such a situation where Erik was asked to explain Agile to a management team. He took the approach that he would use only what was needed or asked for by management. Listen in to learn about this example of how to introduce a complex topic (Agile) to management without overwhelming them.

In this episode we discuss the Ball Point Game, Lean, Kanban, Liberating Structures, the Stacey matrix, and the book Humanocracy.

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: When Self-organization does not work, the missing conditions for a critical transformation in a Scrum team

Erik was working with a team that had been started under deadline pressure to build a critical application. But that was not all! That team had gone through all kinds of transformations and failed agile adoption processes. They were overworked, and had little trust among themselves and in management. Erik himself, was thought to be a spy for management. This was not the ideal scenario for a Scrum Master/Agile Coach to be able to help the team. Listen in to learn the key lessons Erik took from this difficult assignment.

Featured Book of the Week: Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Hammel and Zanini was a book that opened Erik’s eyes to the problem Agile is trying to solve in practice. Even if the book does not mention Agile, it builds a powerful case for Agile in modern organizations.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

Erik de Bos: The magical ingredient that transformed a team member, from bad apple, to team player!

Sometimes there are team members that have an outsized impact on the progress of the team. In this episode, we talk about a team member that was holding the team back. Erik tried several approaches to help this team member, but those did not work. After a while, this team member was moved to a new team, and Erik was afraid the same anti-pattern would happen again. However, something magical happened, and this team member was able to move on from his previous anti-patterns. How did this happen? Listen in to learn what was different in the second team, and how Erik was able to support the team member and the new team in a new approach that helped both the team and the individual succeed!

About Erik de Bos

Erik is what you get when you take a trained scientist, who mastered Agile as a programmer and is now a Scrum Master. A pragmatic, analytic, systemic and critical personality who is completely focused on understanding the problem. Because once you understand the problem, the solution is easy.

You can link with Erik de Bos on LinkedIn and read Erik de Bos’ articles in Medium.

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