Juan Rodriguez: What Product Owners do that disengages, and demotivates Scrum teams!

The Great Product Owner: When lack of experience becomes an asset for a PO!

This PO was new to the organization, and didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the product. However, that was not an obstacle for this Product Owner. She took that as an opportunity to ask question, and learn as much as possible from the team. Because of that learning journey, she also learned to be present, and help the team answer some critical questions. Even if she did not know the answer to those questions, she was able to find out who else to involve, and helped the team at the same time as she discovered the product herself.

In this segment, we refer to the book Fish! By Stephen Lundin, and how the PO exemplified the model described in the book: Play, Make the Day, Be There, Choose Your Attitude!

The Bad Product Owner: PO actions the disengage, and demotivate Scrum teams

This was a marketing team working with a sales tool. The Product Owner decided by themselves that the team was “not going fast enough”, and started asking some team members to “work on this project during your lunch break”. When that was found out by the rest of the team, the team felt betrayed, and started to disengage from the work! Listen in to learn how Juan helped the team overcome this disengagement, and how a different attitude completely transformed the team’s attitude!

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 Juan Rodriguez

Juan started his career as a Drafter. He then transitioned to Engineering IT support, eventually landing in software development. His first introduction to agile-like practices was in 2014, which did not go that well. A few years later, Juan was introduced to Scrum, where he now enjoys being a Scrum Master.

You can link with Juan Rodriguez on LinkedIn.

Shoaib Naik: When Product Owners don’t understand the team’s work, they actively destroy it!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that helped the Scrum Master improve their game!

A great Product Owner is able to balance the stakeholder expectations and the team expectations. In this episode, we also discuss how the Product Owner can help the Scrum Master in their job, by helping the Scrum Master step back when necessary, and help manage the pressure put on the team. Finally, we talk about how great Product Owners are able to listen to the team.

The Bad Product Owner: When PO’s don’t understand the team’s work, they actively destroy it!

One of the aspects that make Product Owners negatively affect the team, is their inability to understand the importance of some aspects of the team’s work. When the PO does not understand why, and how release planning helps the team, they might be tempted to skip that practice, or shortchange it, leading to problems for the team, and ultimately conflicts. In this episode, we explore how bad Product Owners slowly undermine the team, especially when they don’t speak up! Helping the team speak up, and working through that with the Product Owner are key responsibilities for the 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 Shoaib Naik

Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.

You can link with Shoaib Naik on LinkedIn, and follow Shoaib Naik’s blog.

Mher Nalbandyan: Coaching a Product Owner on their availability to the Scrum team!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that spoke the team’s language

This Product Owner was able to write stories with acceptance criteria, and descriptions the team members considered understandable. The PO was also able to write descriptive bugs and even did some testing. The PO also had enough technical background to help answer some more detailed questions by the team members. However, most importantly, the PO knew their limits and where to stop providing information.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching a PO on their availability to the Scrum team!

This PO was not always available, which led to a slow feedback loop. This slow feedback loop, and lack of availability can cause problems and demotivates the team. Mher describes how he raised the topic with the PO to be able to address the needs of the team. In this episode, we talk about the Sprint Checklist, a coaching tool we designed here at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to help you discuss the availability topic with the PO.

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 Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Catherine Kraus: Helping the Product Owner understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

The Great Product Owner: The PO as a key role in customer involvement, and understanding

A good PO has a good understanding of the product, and is also able to communicate the Vision they have for the product. This particular PO was also able to delegate to the team many of the decisions that were needed, and invested their time into building and maintaining relationships with the customers of that product. Because of that, he was able to set up user testing sessions, where the team was invited, to collect direct feedback and help the team understand the product, and the customer better!

The Bad Product Owner: Helping the PO understand why interruptions are disruptive for the team

This PO was amazingly organized, and great at following up with the team. This was the PO’s superpower. However, in some cases, this superpower also had a negative effect. This team, which was working remotely, was being constantly interrupted by the PO, in their attempt to follow-up on the progress by the team. The team went to Catherine, and shared what was going on. This started a process of changing how the PO worked, so that the team could be given the time and focus to finish their work.

In this segment, we talk about the concept of “maker time”, popularized in this article by Paul Graham.

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 Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

Miguel Moro: Helping a “bossy” Product Owner, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: The PO that is also a team member

Great Product Owners have the ability to make themselves part of the team. They put the team’s success on their first priority by focusing on what the team needs to succeed. They also help the team collaborate with different sides of the organization.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping a “bossy” PO, learn how to collaborate with the Scrum team

When the PO thinks they are “the boss”, they usually develop certain behaviors that push the team to just follow orders. Although this may seem logical for some PO’s, the problems that arise will make the team uncomfortable, and ultimately conflict may arise between team and PO.

In this segment, we also talk about how to prepare a conversation with this kind of PO, helping the team come forward and share how they feel, and resolve the problem together with PO, and team.

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 Miguel Moro

As an Agile practitioner, Miguel’s passion is to delight customers using Agile practices and Lean methodologies in development teams, to explore the best alternatives to deliver in an iterative and incremental way, with a continuous value of flow, as fast as possible, and with innovative solutions. He does that by focusing on high performance teams and happiness at work.

You can link with Miguel Moro on LinkedIn and connect with Miguel Moro on Twitter.

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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
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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