Kaisa Martiskainen: Coaching your Product Owner transitioning from a project manager role

The Great Product Owner: How a PO Can Be a Great Coach for Your Scrum Team

In this episode, Kaisa shares their experience with a PO who was an expert in lean product development. Kaisa explains that the PO was very generous with their time and knowledge, and ended up being a coach for Kaisa and the team. The PO was able to explain critical lean product development aspects, and showed the team how they worked. Kaisa notes that a great PO can be a mentor and a teacher, and this experience helped them grow and learn more about lean.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching your Product Owner transitioning from a project manager role

In this episode, Kaisa shares her experience of working with a new Product Owner (PO) who had previously worked as a waterfall project manager. The PO was only focused on planning, executing, and delivering, which went against the principles of agile methodology. The PO struggled with defining the vision and direction of the product, and had to go back to the manager for decisions. To help the PO transition and learn the role, Kaisa recommended having a conversation with the PO and their manager, having a mentor for the PO, and having the Scrum Master support and coach the PO. Kaisa emphasizes the importance of coaching the PO to become an effective member of the agile team.

In this episode, we refer to the Coach Your PO e-course, which tackles 18 key aspects when coaching your PO.

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Kaisa Martiskainen: What are “15% solutions”? And how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa discusses her approach to measuring success in agile/scrum teams. While some people focus on metrics like sprint velocity, Kaisa prefers to survey the team to get a pulse on how they are doing. She also emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the bigger picture of the organization and using surveys to make decisions on how to improve as a scrum master. Kaisa recommends using different survey tools, such as the Scrum Culture Index (or the Squad Health Check), to assess the team’s agility and identify areas for improvement. She also highlights the importance of understanding the system in which the team operates and identifying and removing any problematic structures that may be hindering progress. Finally, Kaisa mentions the concept of “system’s intelligence,” which emphasizes the idea that structures produce behavior, and coaches the audience to identify systems and work towards removing any obstacles to team success.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What are “15% solutions”, and how they engage the team for action after an Agile Retrospective

In this episode, Kaisa shared some tips on how to switch up the retrospective format to make it more interesting. She suggested using “strings” from Liberating Structures and also talked about the “15% solutions” structure where the team comes up with small solutions that don’t require extra resources. This encourages creativity and helps counteract the need to come up with a perfect solution. Kaisa emphasized the importance of being ready to progress in small steps.

In this episode Kaisa refers to a Liberating Structure String that includes the following elements:

      1. Impromptu Networking
      2. What, So What, Now What?
      3. TRIZ with nested 15% Solutions

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Kaisa Martiskainen: Finding the right Agile process for a mixed development and DevOps Team

In this episode, Kaisa shares the experience of joining a big team that had developers and operations people working in scrum. The team was unhappy with the long meetings and the 2-week sprint cycle did not fit the repetitive operational tasks. Kaisa suggests using surveys to assess the situation, talking to the manager about the impact of scrum on operations, and seeking help from a mentor. She also emphasizes the importance of promoting a solution that is already coming out from the team instead of pushing for change. The episode highlights anti-patterns such as cramming different types of work into sprints and replacing Kanban with Scrum in an operations team without considering the impact on the team.

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Kaisa Martiskainen: The danger of thinking you know the solution before involving customers, a case study for Agile teams

In this episode, Kaisa talks about a temporary team that was formed to solve a problem in their organization. The team was using monitoring tools that sent a lot of alerts, making it difficult for customer support to determine which alerts required action. Kaisa and her colleague wanted to try out Agile practices to address this issue.

However, one individual on the team almost destroyed it with their behavior. One person, who was an expert on the monitoring tool, sent a PowerPoint presentation with all the solutions without consulting with others. This person also declined meeting invitations and eventually left the company after becoming angry.

Kaisa highlights two anti-patterns: thinking we know the solution without involving the customer and pushing one’s own solutions without consulting with others. She also emphasizes the importance of changing the culture of action and including customer feedback. Ultimately, the team reached its goal after the problematic person left, and Kaisa learned the importance of involving everyone in the problem-solving process.

Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Kaisa recommends the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Lencioni as a helpful resource for understanding common issues that can arise in a team environment.

She also discusses the concept of System’s intelligence, introduced by Esa Saarinen (PDF Download), which emphasizes the importance of connecting engineering thinking with human sensitivity.

Kaisa also recommends “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay as a book that has helped her avoid an anti-pattern where her knee-jerk reaction is to immediately help someone without allowing the person to help themselves. The book provides seven questions that every coach should ask, which help to increase precision and effectiveness and allow others to take more responsibility. By asking these questions, sometimes people realize they do not need Kaisa’s help. This allows her to avoid being overly involved and helps people become more self-sufficient.

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Kaisa Martiskainen: Product Owner collaboration, and the importance of building relationships in Scrum

In this episode of the podcast, Kaisa shares her experience as a rotating scrum master at the start of her journey. She was eager to be a good scrum master and saw every problem as an impediment she had to remove, which led her to act as a messenger between the Product Owner and the team. Also because the team was not comfortable with the Product Owner’s communication style. Kaisa provides some tips for handling such situations, such as pausing and asking questions instead of immediately rescuing the team, and asking who is in the best position to solve the issue when the team asks for help. She emphasizes that in many cases, the scrum master is not the best person to solve the issues the team is facing.

Kaisa also suggests building a relationship between the team and the Product Owner, such as by organizing a happy hour. She highlights the anti-pattern of communicating only asynchronously and recommends the use of synchronous communication methods to build better relationships within the team.

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
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
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Opens in a new tab.
NEW! Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
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