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Isshai Kamara: The Making of a Great Product Owner, Learning, Leading, And Succeeding With Agile Teams

The Great Product Owner: The Making of a Great Product Owner, Learning, Leading, And Succeeding

This episode with Isshai delves into the qualities of a great Product Owner (PO). Key attributes include an eagerness to learn, and their ability to craft compelling user stories. These POs are not only available to their team and the Scrum Master but are also deeply committed to the team’s success. Their popularity among developers is a testament to their effectiveness, and they regularly check in with team members. Isshai also emphasizes the importance of helping POs build trust capital within the team, highlighting how interpersonal skills and team dynamics play a crucial role in a PO’s success.

The Bad Product Owner: From Tech Expert to Team Enabler, Reframing the PO Role

In this segment, Isshai explores a Product Owner (PO) anti-pattern involving POs with a technical background. These POs often preemptively size stories, overshadowing the input from developers and testers. This behavior led to dissatisfaction among the developers. Isshai suggests effective strategies for addressing this issue, such as encouraging POs to prioritize developers’ opinions, utilizing project management principles when interacting with senior team members, referencing authoritative sources on agile practices, aligning with the team on shared goals, and maintaining a focus on supporting the team’s needs. These tips aim to foster a more collaborative and respectful dynamic within the agile team.

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 Isshai Kamara

Isshai Kamara is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience, specializing in Agile delivery roles and Scrum implementation. Initially a Technologist, he later transitioned into Project and Engineering Management. With 8 years in Agile delivery, Isshai has become an advocate for IT careers, aiding professionals in transitions and conducting bootcamps for tech roles. His extensive experience in Agile methodologies and commitment to IT career development make him a distinguished figure in the tech community.

You can link with Isshai Kamara on LinkedIn and connect with Isshai Kamara on Instagram.

Isshai Kamara: Empowering Agile Teams and Organizations, Metrics, Maturity, and Mastery

Isshai emphasizes the importance of learning about, and following organizational criteria, aiding teams in maturing within 3 to 4 months towards self-organization, and contributing to the broader organizational objectives. Isshai also underlines the value of collaboration among Scrum Masters to enhance their collective impact. Key practices include setting context-specific metrics, regular discussions about release timelines and goals, sharing team experiences, and using these insights to guide training or coaching sessions. Additionally, she suggests using tools like JIRA dashboards for effective follow-ups and progress tracking.

Featured Retrospective Format For The Week: User Story Awards

Isshai shares her enthusiasm for making retrospectives engaging and enjoyable. Among the various formats she uses, her favorite is the “User Story Awards”, which is similar to the Oscar Awards Retrospective.  This unique approach encourages developers to think critically about the user stories tackled during the sprint. Isshai highlights the importance of having an open discussion after selecting the stories, where team members can candidly talk about their experiences. She also emphasizes the use of humor as a tool to address challenging topics, making the retrospective process not only insightful but also enjoyable for everyone involved.

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 Isshai Kamara

Isshai Kamara is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience, specializing in Agile delivery roles and Scrum implementation. Initially a Technologist, he later transitioned into Project and Engineering Management. With 8 years in Agile delivery, Isshai has become an advocate for IT careers, aiding professionals in transitions and conducting bootcamps for tech roles. His extensive experience in Agile methodologies and commitment to IT career development make him a distinguished figure in the tech community.

You can link with Isshai Kamara on LinkedIn and connect with Isshai Kamara on Instagram.

Isshai Kamara: Redefining Government Projects, A Tale of Agile Empowerment

In this episode, Isshai shares the challenging transition from a waterfall to an Agile project for a U.S. government initiative. Initially, waterfall methods led to slow testing and limited team involvement in requirement gathering. Shifting to Agile drastically quickened development, reducing the time to demonstrate working software from months to weeks and enabling earlier risk identification. The project was delivered sooner than anticipated. Key to this success was a focus on team-building, close collaboration with organizational support structures, comprehensive training, and a user story writing workshop to enhance team and PO’s skills in collecting requirements.

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 Isshai Kamara

Isshai Kamara is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience, specializing in Agile delivery roles and Scrum implementation. Initially a Technologist, he later transitioned into Project and Engineering Management. With 8 years in Agile delivery, Isshai has become an advocate for IT careers, aiding professionals in transitions and conducting bootcamps for tech roles. His extensive experience in Agile methodologies and commitment to IT career development make him a distinguished figure in the tech community.

You can link with Isshai Kamara on LinkedIn and connect with Isshai Kamara on Instagram.

Isshai Kamara: Collaboration as a Cure, Helping Agile Teams Overcome The Missing Product Owner Anti-Pattern

In this segment, Isshai discusses challenges faced by her two mobile teams lacking Product Owners (POs). This led to uncertainty about requirements and a sparse backlog. Instead of hiring new POs, Isshai initiated collaboration with existing POs from other teams. She shares tips like integrating tech leads with other POs, setting up meetings for better communication, and considering tech leads as potential POs. Isshai emphasizes transparency about these issues with her teams and stresses the importance of showing them that there is ongoing work and focus on detailing tasks, marking a significant culture shift within the organization.

Featured Book of the Week: Project To Product by Mik Kersten

In this segment, Isshai discusses the transformative impact of Project To Product by Mik Kersten on her journey from a project manager to a more product-focused person. She credits the book for enhancing her understanding of team metrics and providing deeper insights into software development processes. Emphasizing the importance of motivated teams, the book also introduces a unique tool developed by the author, designed specifically for teams concentrating on product development. This tool has been instrumental in Isshai’s ability to effectively guide her development teams.

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 Isshai Kamara

Isshai Kamara is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience, specializing in Agile delivery roles and Scrum implementation. Initially a Technologist, he later transitioned into Project and Engineering Management. With 8 years in Agile delivery, Isshai has become an advocate for IT careers, aiding professionals in transitions and conducting bootcamps for tech roles. His extensive experience in Agile methodologies and commitment to IT career development make him a distinguished figure in the tech community.

You can link with Isshai Kamara on LinkedIn and connect with Isshai Kamara on Instagram.

Isshai Kamara: Agile Against the Odds, Navigating Resistance and Leading Agile Change

In this episode, we delve into the challenging world of Agile implementation with Isshai Kamara, an experienced Agilist and IT professional. Isshai shares her journey at a fintech company post-acquisition, highlighting the resistance she encountered towards Agile methodologies. With anecdotes from her time there, she sheds light on the complexities of introducing Agile in environments where traditional methods prevail and Agile roles are often dismissed. Isshai offers invaluable tips on approaching such transitions positively, initiating conversations focused on overcoming impediments, and aligning with shared goals to foster acceptance.

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 Isshai Kamara

Isshai Kamara is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience, specializing in Agile delivery roles and Scrum implementation. Initially a Technologist, he later transitioned into Project and Engineering Management. With 8 years in Agile delivery, Isshai has become an advocate for IT careers, aiding professionals in transitions and conducting bootcamps for tech roles. His extensive experience in Agile methodologies and commitment to IT career development make him a distinguished figure in the tech community.

You can link with Isshai Kamara on LinkedIn and connect with Isshai Kamara on Instagram.

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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
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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