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Fred Deichler: From shared Product Owner responsibilities to a focused PO that could actually help the Scrum team!

The Great Product Owner: Growth Mindset in the PO role

Great PO’s have what Fred calls a “Growth Mindset”. Fred also highlights some of the key techniques Scrum Masters can use to help Product Owners in their work, such as regular 1-on-1’s, and working with the PO in defining what they want from their career. Through this work, Fred was able to help the PO work with the team in organizing a “hackathon”, which generated great ideas for the product. In Great PO fashion the PO was also able to tell the team which of those ideas would make sense “now” vs. “not yet”.

The Bad Product Owner: The 3-headed PO hydra!

In this team, the PO had left, and the company tried to fill in the PO role quickly by bringing 3 different people together to take on that role. However, that did not go so well, as Fred explains. We explore why having multiple people in the PO role can be a great “bandaid”, but it will backfire sooner or later. We also discuss how Fred was able to bring those 3 part-time PO’s together and work to define a better way to work together for those 3 people, so that the team could have the necessary support from the PO role.

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Fred Deichler: Remember the Future Agile Retrospective, prospecting for risks to prepare for

Scrum Masters are, according to the Scrum Guide, responsible for the effectiveness of the Scrum team. Fred shares his own understanding of that responsibility, and how his perspective on it has evolved over time. In this segment, we talk about Evidence Based Management (EBM), and the values that EBM suggests are the key focus for teams and organizations.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Remember the Future, prospective for risks to prepare for

Fred likes to ask the teams to, once in a while, focus on the future. Using pictures from the Back to the Future movie series, he helps the team prospect risks by imagining the future. This can be done in the form of asking questions such as: “imagine yourselves 3 months from now, what were the behaviors you had that helped you deliver, and what were the challenges you overcame?”

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Fred Deichler: Learning to communicate uncertainty in Agile planning and in SAFe

Fred joined an organization that had adopted a modified SAFe model. His job was to help the teams do joint planning with the PI (Program Increment) planning event approach from SAFe. He had been asked to help the teams because of them taking too much work into an increment. The first step Fred and the teams took was to spend a bit more time understanding and planning each increment (from 2 days to 1 week of planning time). However, this extra time did not help with the planning accuracy. Even if they planned for longer, the result was still that the teams failed to deliver what they had planned.

That’s when the challenge came from a Senior VP who asked them “how can we do things differently?”

Over the next PI, the teams and Fred came up with a different approach to help visualize and understand the impact of uncertainty over time, and its impact on the results of the PI. Listen in to learn about how to define and communicate planning uncertainty!

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Fred Deichler: A simple rule that makes Agile Retrospectives impactful, not merely helpful!

At one point in his career, Fred was both the Scrum Master and manager for the teams he supported. As he reflected on the impact of the retrospectives he facilitated, he noticed that even though the retrospectives took place, the same things kept coming up at every retrospective. The retrospectives were helpful for the teams to “vent” their frustrations and talk about what was not working well, however, there was never time to discuss the improvement actions. This anti-pattern helped Fred realize that he needed to change the way he facilitated retrospective meetings, and he put in place a simple rule that ensured the retrospectives were impactful, not just helpful for the team!

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland

The book Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland, was a critical book for Fred’s career and personal development in his understanding and practice of Scrum and Agile. One of the key lessons Fred highlights from the book is the razor sharp focus on delivering something “immediately”, by the use of questions such as “what can we deliver right away?”

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Fred Deichler: The opposite of “too dogmatic” isn’t “less dogmatic” for Scrum Masters! Lessons learned in helping teams

Fred had just started his first assignment as a Scrum Master. As he joined the team, he was told that the previous Scrum Master had been too dogmatic. Fred took that as a hint, and focused on being less strict in his Scrum training/mentoring, however as he started to work with the team, things started to unravel. The team was not really working well together, and there was tension between the team and their management/leadership. This brings us to a discussion on how to set up teams, and how to help the team members take responsibility for their participation in the distribution of work by taking on “T-Shape” skill development.

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler 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