Luís Santos Silva: ​​Helping teams succeed, a key task for the Scrum Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Helping teams succeed, a key task for the PO

As Luís puts it: “We underestimate how hard it is to be a PO”, which is one more reason to be happy when we get to work with an example Product Owner. We should be highlighting, and talking a lot more about how to become a great PO, because it is so difficult! Luís shares how this PO worked with the team to tackle their biggest challenge: long time to release. The PO understood that, and helped the team remove work from each release for the team to be able to release in time. 

In this segment, we talk about the Opportunity Solution tree by Teresa Torres (check this podcast episode with Teresa), which borrows from a Theory Of Constraints tool: the current reality tree.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that was afraid to own the problems to be solved

When we look at Product Owner related anti-patterns, we should be aware that many of those are usually “systemic”, in other words, they usually originate from other areas of the company. In this segment, we talk about the PO’s that are afraid to own the problems the product is supposed to solve. They stick only to the backlog of stories, and miss the big picture. The second, critical, anti-pattern we discuss is forgetting about “outcomes”, and instead focusing on functionality. Luís suggests that we should help PO’s focus on goals first, so that outcomes are not forgotten.

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 Luís Santos Silva

Luís is not your typical Agile Coach as he doesn’t have an IT background. He worked his way from a contact center up to Lean and Agile Coach and is now a Agile Coach team lead at OutSystems.

You can link with Luís Santos Silva on LinkedIn

Luís Santos Silva: Measuring and learning from the level of morale in your Scrum team

Failure stories are an important part of our community, and as Luís puts it: “battle scars are the things that help us grow”, so we explore one of those stories in this episode. Luís was working with a team that was very low on morale. The team had been forced to adopt Scrum without being ready for it. Luís needed to find a way to make this visible. 

We discuss how we can make morale transparent to the team itself, as well as to the stakeholders. 

In this episode, we refer to the Niko Niko Board, as well as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

About Luís Santos Silva

Luís is not your typical Agile Coach as he doesn’t have an IT background. He worked his way from a contact center up to Lean and Agile Coach and is now a Agile Coach team lead at OutSystems.

You can link with Luís Santos Silva on LinkedIn.

Bevan Williams: From Absent to Awesome! A Product Owner transformation story

The Great Product Owner: From Absent to Awesome! A PO transformation story

This Product Owner was absent at first. A common anti-pattern for PO’s. The PO was spread over 5 teams. That’s when Bevan got together with the PO and asked: “how do we solve this together?” Listen in to learn how this PO went from being absent, to being a great PO with the help of Bevan! 

In this segment, we refer to intent based leadership by David Marquet, who’s been a guest on the podcast. 

The Bad Product Owner: Solving the absent PO anti-pattern.

This Product Owner was often absent, a common anti-pattern in larger organizations. To make it even harder, this PO was only assigned to the role part-time. The team was sorely missing answers that would help them progress. What can we do in these situations? Bevan shares some of the solutions he’s tried to solve the Absent PO anti-pattern. 

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 Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter.

Bevan Williams: Questions to help you reflect on your success as a Scrum Master

There are a few questions that we can ask ourselves to assess the impact of our work as Scrum Masters. Bevan shares the questions he asks himself, including: does the team own their work board? Do they share and help other teams use their progress information? Do they define and develop their own way of working? 

These questions are reflection queues that help us define where to focus our efforts. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Timeline Retrospective

Bevan likes to mix different retrospective formats, but one of his favorite formats is the Timeline Retrospective, because it takes into account the whole timeline of the Sprint, and gives the team the needed time and input they need to reflect on what happened over the whole Sprint. 

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 Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Bevan Williams: How to cope with the dual manager and Scrum Master role!

Bevan was in a dual role: a manager and a Scrum Master. He had been always striving to improve the organizations he world at, and now was his chance to do just that. He had the power, and he was in an influential position. But how did it go? Listen in to learn how to cope with the dual manager and Scrum Master role!

About Bevan Williams

Bevan is an Agile Coach & Trainer at Think Agile. His career has been driven by his passion of creating inclusive environments where people can be at their best. 

You can link with Bevan Williams on LinkedIn and connect with Bevan Williams on Twitter

Pratik Dahule: How to help a Product Owner bring the right amount of work to a Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: Present and thorough, two great PO qualities

This Product Owner had the customer and end users in mind, and was very thorough in their preparation of the stories. The PO was present at all times and helped the team during refinement. This helped the team understand the scope, and break down enough the stories and epics they had to work on. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to help a PO bring the right amount of work to a team

When Product Owners force teams to take on more work, that’s never a good sign. And this PO was no exception to that rule. Additionally, the PO seemed unaware of how much they had already asked the team to take on, leading the team to burn out, and to have quality problems. Pratik understood that this anti-pattern had to stop, and he explains how he helped the PO and the stakeholders to find a new way of working with the team. In this segment, we also refer to User Story Mapping, a technique all Scrum Masters should bring to their 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 Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn

Pratik Dahule: Helping teams define their purpose, a step towards Scrum Master success

Pratik suggests that, for us to achieve success in our role as Scrum Masters, we must focus on a single purpose. As Scrum Masters, we can help the teams we work with understand that, and define their own purpose. Pratik also suggests a few questions that we can use to help understand and define that purpose for the team.

In this segment we refer to Vince Lombardi, an American Football coach, and the lessons we can take from his approach to the game.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Exercises to improve the team’s emotional intelligence

In this segment, we start by talking about Emotional Intelligence, as one of the skills that Scrum Masters must bring to the Agile Retrospectives they host, but also help their teams understand. We discuss the Hot Air Balloon retrospective format and the Peaks and Valleys Timeline exercise using the Happiness gradient.

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 Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn

Pratik Dahule: Learning to think in questions, a critical skill for Scrum Masters

When Pratik started, he tried to help the teams by giving direct feedback during the standups. When questions would come up, he’d offer an answer. But this eagerness to help, actually created a problem for the team, and for Pratik himself. Pratik asked for help from a coach who helped him understand that the team needs to have the space to struggle, and find their own answers. Only then can the team “own” their process, and way of working. We discuss how important it is for Scrum Masters to learn to think in questions, not answers! 

In this segment, we discuss active listening, a skill all Scrum Masters must learn. We also discuss “powerful questions”, a recurring topic on the podcast. 

About Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn.

BONUS: Plan to pivot, a book and many lessons for Agile non-IT organizations with Gerry Starsia

Gerry came across Agile while working as a project manager in a construction company. Motivated by his drive to provide a great service to his customers, he started to study how to make his own business more adaptable and Agile. 

Working with new technologies, he started to improve certain aspects of his business. However, he quickly realized that the size of the projects and demands of the customers were making what once was an “easy” to manage service, into a complicated service with many moving parts. 

The use of computers helped manage that complexity, but also brought even more complexity. This was when Gerry discovered Agile and what it could bring to a non-IT business. 

Agile applied to non-IT industries

Continue reading BONUS: Plan to pivot, a book and many lessons for Agile non-IT organizations with Gerry Starsia

Daniel Lutz: The Product Owner as a Visionary, and a great team leader

The Great Product Owner: The PO as a Visionary, and a great team leader

When a Product Owner is able to define and communicate a Vision for the product, and the impact it brings to the customer, this is a Visionary Product Owner. Great PO’s look into the future, but are also able to be present with the team and help them solve day-to-day issues. In this story, we also talk about the importance of involving the team in communication with the stakeholders, and helps the team feel as responsible as the PO themselves for the success of the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: The dishonest, and absent Product Owner

This particular Product Owner was not honest with the stakeholders. They promised something to the stakeholders, even if that was not what was agreed with the team. They focused on “looking good”, but not spending time with the team. Combined with their day-to-day absence from the team, this created a failure-spiral. 

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 Daniel Lutz

Daniel is an organizational agile coach, working full time at a leading European Energy company, scaling agile with around 30 agile teams. After years in Marketing departments, he realized how much more impact he can have as a Scrum Master by empowering people and building cross-functional teams. He also works part-time as a freelance coach and business consultant helping clients on building high performing teams.

You can link with Daniel Lutz on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lutz on Twitter.