Greg Miller: Five Qualities of Great Product Owners

The Great Product Owner: Five Qualities of Great Product Owners

In this segment, Greg highlights a specific example of a remarkable Product Owner who would physically visit the team’s building two days a week and sit closely with them, establishing accessibility and close collaboration. What made her stand out was her deep knowledge of the product, as she had been a previous customer and actively used the product being developed.

Furthermore, the great product owner was unafraid to provide valuable insights and articulate why users needed certain features, even if they hadn’t explicitly requested them. She actively participated in every sprint review, where the team would allow her to test the product live and provide immediate feedback. Greg recalls this Product Owner as an integral part of the team, both professionally and personally, emphasizing her pleasant demeanor and strong team integration.

Overall, this segment showcases the qualities of a great product owner: accessibility, deep product knowledge, proactive involvement in sprint reviews, and a strong sense of collaboration and team integration. Such attributes contribute to effective communication, understanding user needs, and ultimately delivering a successful product.

The Bad Product Owner: Building Bridges with Product Owners, to Help Scrum Teams, and PO’s Succeed

In this segment, Greg highlights an example of a Product Owner anti-pattern, where a project manager with limited training and a negative attitude was assigned as the Product Owner for the Scrum team. This led to issues such as micromanagement and team dissatisfaction. Greg emphasizes the importance of building a personal relationship with the product owner and understanding their underlying fears and motivations. He also recommends the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie as a resource for effective communication and relationship-building. This episode sheds light on the challenges of product ownership and provides valuable tips for fostering a positive and collaborative environment.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a 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 Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Gregory Miller: Mastering the Art of Agile Leadership, The Building Blocks of a Successful Scrum Master

In this episode, Greg dives into the key elements that contribute to the success of a Scrum Master. Drawing from his experience, he highlights: Firstly, building strong relationships and establishing trust with team members is paramount. A successful Scrum Master actively listens, empathizes, and makes themselves available to support the team. They prioritize collaboration and create an environment where team members feel safe and supported.

Secondly, a successful Scrum Master demonstrates a deep understanding of the Scrum framework and ensures its effective implementation. They facilitate Scrum events, encourage adherence to Agile principles, and address any impediments that hinder the team’s progress. They act as servant leaders, advocating for the team’s needs and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Moreover, they invest in their own growth by seeking opportunities for personal development and staying connected with the Agile community.

Overall, a successful Scrum Master excels in building relationships, guiding the team through the Scrum process, and serving as a catalyst for growth and improvement. Their ability to foster collaboration, trust, and continuous learning sets the stage for a successful Agile software development journey.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Kudos/Start/Stop/Continue framework, to emphasize focus on actions from the retrospective

In this segment, Greg shares his favorite retrospective format and highlights the importance of generating actionable outcomes. He begins by evaluating the team’s readiness and chooses the appropriate retrospective format accordingly. When working with a new team, he utilizes a shared whiteboard and follows the Kudos/Start/Stop/Continue framework. However, he discovered that some teams expressed dissatisfaction with retrospectives because they lacked actionable items despite having productive conversations. Greg emphasizes the significance of combining meaningful discussions with concrete action items. He suggests voting on at least one item to prioritize for action and maintaining an action item list backlog to ensure follow-through. By incorporating these practices, teams can have engaging retrospectives that lead to tangible improvements.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

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 Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Gregory Miller: Prioritization as a Catalyst, How Prioritization Revolutionized Agile in A Scrum Team

In this episode, Greg recounts his involvement in a change process as a Business Analyst (BA). Hired for his Agile expertise, he was assigned to the manufacturing engineering section of the company, which already embraced Lean and Kaizen principles. However, in the software side, there was a lack of backlog and prioritization. Greg took initiative by introducing a clear prioritization method, emphasizing the need for a dedicated Product Owner (PO), and establishing regular meetings with managers to prioritize their work. Through his efforts, a force-ranked list of stories was created, allowing for efficient and streamlined prioritization.

Greg shares valuable tips based on his experience, including the importance of defining a simple prioritization method, fostering a collaborative mindset among managers, and ensuring stakeholder buy-in. He also highlights the significance of checking one’s ego at the door and focusing on what is best for the company’s success. Overall, this episode demonstrates the transformative impact of implementing prioritization and backlog management in an organization, even when Agile principles are already embraced in certain areas. Greg’s proactive approach and insights provide valuable guidance for achieving efficient and effective change processes.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

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 Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Gregory Miller: From High Performers to Demoralization, And How The Product Owner Role Can Destroy A Scrum Team

In this episode, Greg reflects on a team that self-destructed, causing him significant pain. The team, previously considered an exemplary high-performing unit, faced external factors and decisions that disrupted their dynamics. Leadership discussions about replacing their product, the removal of their Product Owner (PO), and a lack of support left the team directionless and demoralized. Greg recognizes the detrimental impact of removing the PO, highlighting it as an anti-pattern that ultimately led to the team’s disbandment. This episode serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of providing support, direction, and maintaining team cohesion to foster a thriving and motivated workforce.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Scrum Pocket Guide” by Gunther Verheyen

In this segment, Greg talks about his most influential book for Scrum Masters, which is “The Scrum Pocket Guide” by Gunther Verheyen, a previous guest on the podcast. He highly recommends this book, as it has been invaluable to him in his role. Greg frequently refers to it and even keeps it on his nightstand for easy access.

One aspect that stands out to Greg is Gunther’s emphasis on the values side of Agile. The book delves into why the Scrum values are significant and explores their importance in the context of Scrum. Greg appreciates this focus on values as a fundamental aspect of Agile practices.

For further exploration of the Scrum values, Greg suggests referring to the values section in the Scrum Guide. Overall, “The Scrum Pocket Guide” has had a profound impact on Greg’s understanding of Scrum and serves as a go-to resource for him as a Scrum Master.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Gregory Miller: The Importance of Relationship Building in Agile, And How To Prepare For A New Team

In this episode, Greg shares a story during a time of large company changes. He was assigned to a team that had previously struggled with a problematic Scrum Master. Greg had a conversation with the team’s manager to understand their expectations. However, he failed to address the manager’s assumption that the Scrum Master should perform the team’s work.

As a result, the team remained confused about the role of the Scrum Master, and they constantly questioned Greg’s activities. The failure, in Greg’s perspective, was his inability to establish a stronger relationship with the manager and gain a deeper understanding of their expectations. Greg emphasizes the importance of building relationships with the teams one works with, even if it means setting aside the framework of Scrum temporarily.

In this episode, we recommend the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie as a valuable resource for improving interpersonal skills. Greg also shares a couple of tips based on his experience. Firstly, he suggests sitting next to the team from day one to foster a sense of belonging. Additionally, spending quality time with the team can help in developing a better understanding of their dynamics and needs. Greg emphasizes that effective work happens through people and building relationships is crucial for success.

Greg’s failure to build a better relationship with the manager resulted in confusion within the team and a lack of clarity about the Scrum Master’s responsibilities.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

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 Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

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
Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Discover practical, real-world solutions from leading Agile practitioners. Download three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Discover practical, real-world solutions from leading Agile practitioners. Access three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Discover practical, real-world solutions from leading Agile practitioners. Download three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
FREE! Audiobook Chapters: Overcome Team Resistance and Gain Leadership Buy-In
Download three free chapters from 'Tips from the Trenches Scrum Master Edition' and start transforming your Agile practices today!
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