Pieter Verbaarschott: The Product Owner that created trust with the Scrum team

Trust as a productivity amplifier in the team can be hindered or boosted by the Product Owner’s attitude when interacting with the team. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting approaches that affect (differently) the team’s productivity

The Great Product Owner: The PO that created trust with the Scrum team

When Scrum Masters don’t have to “fix” the relationship between team and PO, that’s a great start. But this PO had gone beyond that, he had created instant trust with the Scrum team, and was able to bring customer feedback directly in the team’s Backlog. This all lead to Pieter being a happy observer in the PO – team relationship.

The Bad Product Owner: The Dictator/Boss PO

When PO’s want to be “the boss” and dictate what the team should be working on, it may lead to the team feeling they have no contribution to the product. That they are simply task handlers. This, in turn, may lead to the team feeling they don’t need to improve or collaborate better because the PO already tells them what to do. Listen in to learn what Pieter tried to help the PO and the team find a better way to collaborate. 

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 Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter.

Pieter Verbaarschott: Helping teams feel safe, and empowered as a success metric for Scrum Masters

There’s one phrase Pieter heard that made him understand that his work had had a positive impact on the team. The phrase was: “Psychological safety is more than a buzzword in our team”.

Pieter shares how important it is for us to focus on the dynamics between Scrum Master and team members that help create that aspect of safety, and the ability to contribute at all times.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Retrospectives for Engineering minded folks

Not every team member will appreciate having games in the retrospectives they participate in. For those folks, it is important to have some simple, to the point formats in our back pocket to help them engage without feeling awkward. 

In this episode, we talk about simpler formats that focus on triggering conversations between team members.

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 experiences: 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 Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter.

Rachel Macasek: Building trust between Product Owner and the rest of the Scrum team

The difference between a passionate and committed team might be as simple as the attitude the PO brings to work. Which of these describes your PO right now? 

The Great Product Owner: Sparking passion and commitment as a Product Owner

When PO’s are able to explain the problem that they want to solve, they enable the designers, developers, and testers to contribute their perspective and help the PO improve their possible solution ideas. When the PO focuses on the problems to solve, rather than the solutions they may also help spark passion and commitment in the team!

The Bad Product Owner: Building trust between PO and the rest of the Scrum team

When the PO does not have faith in the team’s ability to work on the problems they want to solve, they often rely on micro-management, and solutioneering (describing solutions instead of customer problems). This, in turn, prevents the team from being creative, bringing their best thinking to the product, and ultimately leads to demotivation and resignation in the team. Rachel asks us to work with the Product Owner and find ways to focus on understanding the problems and enabling the team to bring their creativity to the work. 

In this episode, we refer to the Coach your PO e-course that we’ve created at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, to help you work with the Product Owners directly and bring about the right focus to their work. 

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 Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Simon Flossmann: The Proxy PO that worked for a team of Product Owners

In this episode, we talk about collaboration with customers, and how that can help the team and PO to work well together. And we discuss what happens when the PO is only a proxy to multiple other PO’s.

The Great Product Owner: The Great Collaborator 

Great Product Owners are able to collaborate closely with the stakeholders and customers. In this segment, we talk about the PO that was able to communicate with the customers in a way that helped him bring insights and knowl3edgte to the team so that the team could understand better the problems the customers were facing, and come up with innovative solutions.

The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO that worked for a team of Product Owners

When the PO is nothing but a proxy for another decision-maker, the team will suffer. In this segment, we talk about a PO proxy that had several big obstacles in their way: there were multiple PO’s to work with (a team of PO’s), and on top of that a “chief PO”. How can a PO succeed when they are unable to make decisions? How can the Scrum Master help that PO? Listen in to learn about Simon’s approach in that situation.

 

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 Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

You can follow Simon Flossmann’s writings on this home page.

Simon Flossmann: Defining success from Scrum Masters with the customer in mind

Many of our guests start by defining their success in relation to the work they do with the team. Simon takes a different approach. In this episode, we talk about the success aspects for Scrum Masters that are not linked only to the work with the team, but focus more on the value delivered to the end customers.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simplifying the Retrospective format

Sometimes, the topics to discuss are so clear that the format can get in the way. For those times, Simon describes his approach based on a simple format that focuses on the conversation and enables self-organization at the team level.

 

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 experiences: 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 Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

You can follow Simon Flossmann’s writings on this home page.

Paddy Corry: Enabling Scrum teams to learn faster from the feedback they get

Building on feedback is one of the key aspects of Agile teams. What happens when the PO’s either help or prevent teams from learning from feedback? We explore that question in this episode.

The Great Product Owner: Enabling teams to learn faster from the feedback they get

In certain projects, it is more important than usual to build on the feedback we get from retrospectives and Sprint demos. In this segment, we talk about a different approach to refinement, enabled by the Product Owner, that allowed the team to learn quickly and delay decisions that would otherwise cause problems. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Solutions-pushing Product Owner.

Product Owners who want to help the teams move quickly can sometimes focus on delivering solution descriptions instead of problem descriptions and letting the team come up with the solution. In this segment, we talk about the PO that wanted to help the team but ended up creating more problems by pushing solutions and removing the motivation the teams have to find their own solutions.

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 Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

You can link with Paddy Corry on LinkedIn and connect with Paddy Corry on Twitter.

Paddy Corry: Reflecting and requesting feedback as a way to grow into the Scrum Master role

When developers move to a Scrum Master role, they face a completely new set of expectations. Paddy reminds us that reflecting on that change is critical, as well as regularly requesting feedback from the teams we work with.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Influence over what went well/not so well

In this segment, we talk about a classic retrospective format: “What went well, not so well”. Paddy adds a twist to that format, by adding a second dimension to each of the categories: “is this item under our control?” This raises some good conversations in the team, and helps teams that may be facing frustration from not being able to resolve some problems.

 

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 experiences: 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 Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

You can link with Paddy Corry on LinkedIn and connect with Paddy Corry on Twitter.

BONUS: Influencing management in an Agile change process with Scott Rosenblatt and Jeff Campbell

In this mega-episode on change, we have Jeff Campbell (long time contributor to the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast) and Scott Rosenblatt (engineering lead at Meltwater) share their experience with agile adoption in a large organization.

Jeff is also the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).

Why does Management resist Agile change? 

This is the first question of the episode and one that Scott and Jeff have worked together on for years. Scott shares how his past as a developer has helped him understand the role of management in an Agile organization.

We also talk about how to understand the reaction of managers when employees come to them with gripes, or ideas for changes to implement. We tend to think that when managers don’t do what we ask, they haven’t listened to us. Is that really so? 

Anger management, not change management

Continue reading BONUS: Influencing management in an Agile change process with Scott Rosenblatt and Jeff Campbell

Julio de Lima: How a QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team

Being closer to the team, and the user are two important aspects of the PO work in a Scrum team. In this episode, we also about the QA engineer role in the relationship between the team and the PO.

The Great Product Owner: The User-centered PO

A great PO will help the team focus on the user, and understand what their needs are when they use the product. The PO helps the team understand, and focus on the interactions with the product, instead of the code or the technical details. 

The Bad Product Owner: How a QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team

When PO’s work mostly on their own, and share little with the team beyond the basic specifications for User Stories, a gap emerges in the relationship and later in the understanding of the product. But in these cases, the QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team, and we explore how in this segment.

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 Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

Julio de Lima: Success for QA engineers and Scrum Masters

Julio is a Quality Assurance (QA) engineer, so we discuss what does it mean to be a successful QA engineer in a Scrum/Agile team. In this conversation, we talk about the need to help the whole team feel responsible for the quality of their deliverable. In other words, we talk about how to get the whole team to think like a QA engineer. 

We also talk about the focus on this episode: success as a Scrum Master. In this regard, Julio shares how Scrum Masters can work with QA engineers specifically, to help them improve, and work better with the rest of the team. In this segment, we also discuss some of the pitfalls of estimation.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: People, Process and Technology

Julio’s preferred formats revolve around the triad of improvement: people, processes, and technology. He describes how he usually organizes retrospectives around these three topics, and how teams reacted when he deviated from these 3 topics. 

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 experiences: 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 Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.