George Mathews: The Task Master Product Owner Anti-pattern

The Great Product Owner: The Ex-Developer with a focus on Outcomes

Great Product Owners are often good at communicating, and this example is no exception. However, there are some aspects that make good communicators even better at Product Owner: being available and able to understand the type of questions that developers and testers have when implementing their ideas.

In this segment, we talk about the ex-developer PO that was much more focused on the goals of what was being done, but was also able to speak the language of developers.

The Bad Product Owner: The Task Master

Imagine a PO that goes into a team meeting, and spends their time focused on the tasks. What was done, what was not done and why? The blame game is a sure consequence of that attitude. In this episode, we talk about the task-focus some PO’s have and how that hinders the team’s ability to deliver a valuable increment of their product.

 

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 George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn

George Mathews: Dealing with pressure and stress in Scrum teams

When the team feels pressure from the outside, the behavior of the people on the team changes. At first, it might be simple things, like being late or forgetting to get back to a team member, but later those problems may escalate to full-out conflict. In this segment, we talk about the importance of learning when the team is stressed, and work through those causes for stress as Scrum Masters.

In this episode, we refer to an #AgileOnlineMeetup with Bob Galen where he shares his perspective on how Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches can ensure that their own stress levels are not overwhelming. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simpler is better

George favors a simpler retrospective format for the retrospectives he hosts. In this segment, we explore some of the simpler formats we can use, and why their use matters for the team.

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

George Mathews: Improving collaboration between Scrum teams and their managers

There was a team where the team members and the manager did not have a good relationship. George understood this was a problem for the team, and the manger and tried to help them transform their relationship. 

In this episode, we talk about how we can help teams and their managers or stakeholders build a collaborative relationship. 

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

George Mathews: The Myth of the multi-project team member

Team members in many organizations share their time across multiple projects. That brings a lot of problems that are often ignored because “on paper”, the team members can easily share their time between projects. However, as Scrum Masters, we know the reality is very often much harder for those same team members. For example, team members start missing important ceremonies, like planning meetings or are unable to help each other (because they are working part-time in different projects). The multi-project productivity myth is a serious problem, and in this episode, we talk about the consequences and what we can do as Scrum Masters to help our teams survive those difficult situations.

In this episode, we also mention an article about the importance of having one-team, one-goal.

Featured Book of the Week: Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet

In Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet, George Mathews discovered an inspirational book about leadership.
David Marquet has been a guest on the #AgileOnlineMeetup, and you can watch his interview here.

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

George Mathews: Project-driven organizations and their impact on Scrum teams

When George joined this company, he was told that they were already “pretty agile”. This is usually a sign that somethings are not really working well, and this was no exception. When he joined, George found out this was a project manager-driven organization, where project managers tried to get the work done but wanted to reduce the budget at the same time. The anti-patterns followed, and George learned a few important lessons about being a Scrum Master in a project-driven organization.

In this episode, we refer to the episode with Bas Vodde, where we discuss organizing product development without projects, and the #AgileOnlineMeetup with Bob Galen where we talk about the self-care Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches must take to sustain their work over the long term.

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.