Moana Pledger: 8 characteristics of a Great Product Owner

From some of the characteristics that make great Product Owners to two common anti-patterns that PO’s suffer from. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the PO role and why it is so critical for the success of the team and the product.

The Great Product Owner: 8 Characteristics of a Great Product Owner

In this segment, we explore some of the characteristics that make Product Owners great contributors to the success of the team. We also discuss how teams change when teams exhibit these characteristics.

The Bad Product Owner: The Project Manager PO, and the Absent PO

It is common that some Project Managers switch over to the PO role when their organization “goes Agile”. But there are some risks when that happens. In this segment, we talk about the possible anti-patterns of the PO that used to be a project manager, as well as about what happens when the PO is not available when the team needs.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She’s pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Chelsie Raiola: When 2 Product Owners pair, and succeed!

It’s not only developers that may pair. We talk about the Product Owners that were better working as a pair, and discuss what happens when the PO “knows it all”. 

The Great Product Owner: Pairing as Product Owners

The Product Owner role is one that requires several focus points. In this segment, we talk about how two PO’s working together were able to both involve the team and do long term planning. Both are needed for the team to succeed, and the pairing of Product Owners may be a good way to handle that split focus.

The Bad Product Owner: The “Know it all” Product Owner

When the Product Owner is not able to share the knowledge they have and involve the team in the product development, we end up with a big dependency on the PO. This usually leads to the team losing ownership, and feeling demoralized. We discuss the consequences of having PO’s be the “bottleneck” for answering questions.

In this segment, we refer to the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Ellen Santamaria: Asking questions to enable and empower the Scrum team

In this episode, we explore the case of the PO who was absent, but great at asking questions, and we discuss what can be done when the PO says that “everything is a priority”.

The Great Product Owner: Asking questions to enable and empower the Scrum team

Although it can be a problem that the Product Owner is absent, sometimes that works out really well for the team. In this segment, we explore the story of the CTO that became the Product Owner for a team, and even if he was not always available, he was good at enabling and empowering the team to take ownership of their work through the questions he asked. 

The Bad Product Owner: The “Everything is a priority” anti-pattern

When everything is a priority, there are 2 ceremonies that break down. Refinement/Grooming meetings and Sprint planning start to fall apart. There’s too many stories to refine, we try to fit too much into one sprint, which leads to conflicts in Sprint planning. Ultimately teams start taking short-cuts which may lead to even bigger problems. In this segment, we discuss how to help a PO that says “everything is a priority”.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Valeria Greco: 3 critical PO skills, that great PO’s have

From the absent PO to the 3 critical skills PO’s must-have, this is an episode filled with in-depth details of how to work well with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: 3 critical PO skills, that great PO’s have

The Product Owner might be the toughest role in the Scrum framework. PO’s are often required to juggle a lot of activities when doing their job. In this segment, we talk about the 3 skills that great Product Owners have: 1) they are able to prioritize quickly; 2) they are able to speak different languages (business and tech); 3) they are able to negotiate when stakes are high. Does your PO exhibit these skills? Listen in to learn about how Valeria helps the PO’s she works with.

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent PO

When the Product Owner is not available to the team it is impossible for the collaboration to emerge. But that’s only one aspect that is hindered by the PO’s absence. In this segment, we explore how Valeria is able to talk to, and collaborate with PO’s that are absent, and get them closer to a collaborative relationship with the team. 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: “I build teams!” And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)”

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Reinald Kirchner: The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner

We review two contrasting perspectives on the role of the Product Owner. From the PO that was able to stay in the problem-domain to the PO that wanted to order developers around. Two contrasting approaches that have wildly different impacts on the teams they work with.

The Great Product Owner: Defining User Stories in the Problem-Domain

Many User Stories end up being written from the “solution” perspective. Reinald found that Product Owners that are willing to define stories from the perspective of the problem to solve are better able to communicate their ideas to the team. But there are other benefits from taking this approach. Listen in to learn about the other benefits of having your Product Owner firmly anchored in the Problem domain as opposed to the solution domain.

The Bad Product Owner: The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner

When Product Owners have a background in development it is natural that they may concentrate on the details, but the problems really start when the PO starts telling programmers how to write code, and steering development decisions. Listen in to learn how to deal with such Product Owners.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Reinald Kirchner

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchner on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchner on Twitter.

Dmytro Balaba: The key tools/documents PO’s need to master

From tools to the habits that Product Owners need to drop, in this episode, we explore practices and an anti-pattern that can derail the relationship between PO and team.

The Great Product Owner: The key tools/documents PO’s need to master

When Product Owners are able to convey a message clearly, it is natural that the work with the team improves. However, there are certain tools that help that message stick and be followed by the team. In this segment, we explore 3 tools and 1 practice that can greatly help Product Owners convey their expected results, and be sure that the team understands what that means in practice.

In this segment we refer to User Story Mapping, User Story slicing, Personas and Acceptance Test Driven Development.

 

The Bad Product Owner: The former team member who knew too much

When a former team member, a developer, takes on the role of Product Owner, there are many possible anti-patterns to look out for. In this episode, we explore the case of the PO who knew too much, and decided to tell the team not only what to do, but also how to do it. Inevitably, problems followed. Listen in to learn how Dmytro helped that Product Owner.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Andy Grosman: The Product Owner that shamed the team

There are few anti-patterns as problematic as the PO that shames the team. Here’s what Andy has learned about that, and also an example of a PO that was able to communicate the Vision clearly and was then available for the team.

The Great Product Owner: Communicate the Vision, and be available

A Product Owner that is able to communicate their Vision, and is then available for the Scrum team when they have questions might be one of the best Product Owners out there. In this segment, we talk about how those simple behaviors can help a Scrum team succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: the PO that shamed the Scrum team

When it comes to anti-patterns, there are few that could have such a devastating effect as this one. A Product Owner that does not communicate clearly, and then shames the team for not delivering what was not communicated. What is a Scrum Master to do in these cases? Listen in as we explore this anti-pattern with Andy.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Eddy Bruin: The Product Owner that didn’t collaborate with the Scrum team

From the user-centric PO to the over-planner PO that failed to collaborate with the team, this episode covers plenty of aspects to keep an eye on when collaborating with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: The user-centric Product Owner

Great Product Owners have a clear Vision for the product. But there’s a lot more to a great PO than the Vision. In this segment, we talk about the PO who was able to learn from quick releases, and validate their own assumptions about what value might mean for the end customer. Including, finding opportunities to help customers who were looking for a competitor product!

The Bad Product Owner: The non-collaborating Product Owner

Usually, a Product Owner that has a clear set of items they want the team to work on would be on the “great product owner” category. But not in this case. Listen in to learn how a PO was good at planning but then failed at the most important thing: team collaboration.

In this segment, we talk about the User Story Mapping workshop facilitator guide by Vasco Duarte. Check it out if you want to know how to prepare, and host a great User Story mapping workshop.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Jim Sammons: The Feature Owner anti-pattern in the Scrum Product Owner role

Confidence is one of the symptoms you are in the presence of a good Product Owner, when you add to that the ability to articulate the reasons for the decisions made as well as using data and analysis to support decisions, we know we have a great PO working with us.

We also talk about the consequences from creating an implicit or explicit competition between Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: The confident and articulate Product Owner

A great Product Owner will have a clear Vision of their product, but that’s not the only characteristic they exhibit. They can also clearly defend their Vision, using data, and analysis they’ve made. They intimately understand their product, business and customers. As they move away from “guessing” as a practice, they are not afraid to have difficult conversations about the product.

The Bad Product Owner: The Feature Owner anti-pattern

Let’s imagine that your company creates an internal competition among teams and Product Owners. What will happen then?

We discuss the consequences on the PO role that Jim has witnessed.

In this segment, we refer to the work by Daniel Vacanti.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Martin Lambert: The weak or lost Product Owner and their impact on the team

From a weak or lost Product Owner to one that cared deeply about the product, we explore some of the critical contrasts between good and not so good PO’s, as well as how Scrum Masters can help them improve.

The Great Product Owner: The Product Owner that cared about the product

When it happens, this Product Owner pattern can really help the team succeed. In this segment we talk about the Product Owner that cared deeply about the product. Made the Vision clear to the team and even if she did not know how to write User Stories (she got help from the Scrum Master), or about “limiting the work planned for the Sprint”, she was ready to learn. We also discuss how Scrum Masters can be really powerful allies for their Product Owners.

The Bad Product Owner: The weak or lost Product Owner

Although Martin has seen several Product Owner anti-patterns (the seagull PO, the absentee PO), the one he wants to highlight is the “weak or lost PO”. This anti-pattern is about the PO being only a mouthpiece for someone else, having little insight into what he asks from the team, and letting the team often without answers to their questions.

In this segment, we also talk about how Scrum Masters can help these Product Owners overcome their anti-pattern.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Martin Lambert

Martin’s an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: “sorry for you know what”.

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.