Franziska Moenster: How Scrum Masters can help organize and prioritize a chaotic Product Backlog

The Great Product Owner: The focused PO that asked the right questions

This Product Owner asked a lot of questions, because she focused on the value the organization wanted to achieve with the product or feature to be developed. Not having a technology background also helped her ask questions from the team, and getting them involved in the decision making process. In this segment, we also talk about one characteristic of the PO’s personality that is critical for the team: being focused!

The Bad Product Owner: Helping organize and prioritize a chaotic Product Backlog

This Product Owner was not able to focus, and that was visible in the backlog which was “chaotic”, without ranking or prioritization. Given that prioritization is a key aspect of the PO role, we discuss how Franny was able to help this PO figure out that prioritization needed to happen, and how she helped the PO get to a difficult, but very important prioritization of work!

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 Franziska Moenster

Franny (short for Franziska) loves seeing the power of building strong performing teams that build products in a customer centric way. She’s been working as a Scrum Master/Agile Coach for over 5 years. Profiting from her hands-on experience on scaling agile across teams and her joy of trying out new things she is always inspecting and adapting on an organizational level as well! On a personal note, she has recently moved to Tenerife to follow her passion of freediving.

You can link with Franziska Moenster on LinkedIn.

Juan Rodriguez: What Product Owners do that disengages, and demotivates Scrum teams!

The Great Product Owner: When lack of experience becomes an asset for a PO!

This PO was new to the organization, and didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the product. However, that was not an obstacle for this Product Owner. She took that as an opportunity to ask question, and learn as much as possible from the team. Because of that learning journey, she also learned to be present, and help the team answer some critical questions. Even if she did not know the answer to those questions, she was able to find out who else to involve, and helped the team at the same time as she discovered the product herself.

In this segment, we refer to the book Fish! By Stephen Lundin, and how the PO exemplified the model described in the book: Play, Make the Day, Be There, Choose Your Attitude!

The Bad Product Owner: PO actions the disengage, and demotivate Scrum teams

This was a marketing team working with a sales tool. The Product Owner decided by themselves that the team was “not going fast enough”, and started asking some team members to “work on this project during your lunch break”. When that was found out by the rest of the team, the team felt betrayed, and started to disengage from the work! Listen in to learn how Juan helped the team overcome this disengagement, and how a different attitude completely transformed the team’s attitude!

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 Juan Rodriguez

Juan started his career as a Drafter. He then transitioned to Engineering IT support, eventually landing in software development. His first introduction to agile-like practices was in 2014, which did not go that well. A few years later, Juan was introduced to Scrum, where he now enjoys being a Scrum Master.

You can link with Juan Rodriguez on LinkedIn.

Shoaib Naik: When Product Owners don’t understand the team’s work, they actively destroy it!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that helped the Scrum Master improve their game!

A great Product Owner is able to balance the stakeholder expectations and the team expectations. In this episode, we also discuss how the Product Owner can help the Scrum Master in their job, by helping the Scrum Master step back when necessary, and help manage the pressure put on the team. Finally, we talk about how great Product Owners are able to listen to the team.

The Bad Product Owner: When PO’s don’t understand the team’s work, they actively destroy it!

One of the aspects that make Product Owners negatively affect the team, is their inability to understand the importance of some aspects of the team’s work. When the PO does not understand why, and how release planning helps the team, they might be tempted to skip that practice, or shortchange it, leading to problems for the team, and ultimately conflicts. In this episode, we explore how bad Product Owners slowly undermine the team, especially when they don’t speak up! Helping the team speak up, and working through that with the Product Owner are key responsibilities for the 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 Shoaib Naik

Shoaib is a Scrum Master with over 11 years in Software development with experience in different roles, from IT Account Manager, Product Manager to Project Manager in product as well services-based companies.

You can link with Shoaib Naik on LinkedIn, and follow Shoaib Naik’s blog.

Mher Nalbandyan: Coaching a Product Owner on their availability to the Scrum team!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that spoke the team’s language

This Product Owner was able to write stories with acceptance criteria, and descriptions the team members considered understandable. The PO was also able to write descriptive bugs and even did some testing. The PO also had enough technical background to help answer some more detailed questions by the team members. However, most importantly, the PO knew their limits and where to stop providing information.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching a PO on their availability to the Scrum team!

This PO was not always available, which led to a slow feedback loop. This slow feedback loop, and lack of availability can cause problems and demotivates the team. Mher describes how he raised the topic with the PO to be able to address the needs of the team. In this episode, we talk about the Sprint Checklist, a coaching tool we designed here at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to help you discuss the availability topic with the PO.

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 Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

Mher Nalbandyan: When team members skip the retrospective, a communication problem in the Scrum team

Mher prepared a retrospective for his team, but 5 minutes past the starting time, there were only a few team members in the room. He looked around and saw that the team members that were present, were not fully engaged. “Something is wrong here, he thought… In this episode, we explore why sometimes team members don’t communicate and discuss what might be the reasons, and how to avoid it.

In this episode, we refer to the book Agile Retrospectives by Larsen and Derby.

About Mher Nalbandyan

Mher works at Mbition in Berlin, where they develop the next generation of information systems for Mercedes-Benz.

You can link with Mher Nalbandyan on LinkedIn and connect with Mher Nalbandyan on Twitter.

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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
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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
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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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
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