Leland Newson: Creating commitment to the work in a Scrum team, a tale of two Product Owners

From the PO that was able to inspire the team to the PO that was only a PO on weekends. Two contrasting examples of how to help the teams commit to the outcome of their work.

The Great Product Owner: The Storytelling PO that inspired the team

Great Product Owners are able to tell great stories. Stories that engage the audience, and help the team find purpose (the “why”) for the work that they have to take on. Leland shares the story of the “three bricklayers” as a metaphor for what that Product Owner was trying to create: commitment to the outcome of the work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Overly Busy PO

This PO was so busy that their “PO work” was called by the PO themselves as “weekend work”. The stage was set for trouble. This led to the team not getting feedback from the PO. The stories were not accepted in time for the end of the sprint, it was hard to do any work on the product backlog refinement. Finally, as the situation would not get better, the company finally decided to hire someone else. 

If you are facing this situation right now, you may want to check our Sprint Checklist, a tool to help you deal with an Overly Busy PO.

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 Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Leland Newson: Delivering business value as the benchmark for success in a Scrum team

Discussing the definition of Agility, we talk about how to help teams act in an agile way, by moving quickly and with grace. We discuss what that means in practice, and what aspects make a team successful at delivering business value, the ultimate focus for a Scrum Master and the team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Learning Matrix

Leland shares the Learning Matrix, and a retrospective format based on the Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

We also discuss the use of Appreciations, an approach that can help get your retrospective started with the right focus, and energy.

 

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 Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Leland Newson: Introducing change in a Scrum team with Lean and Value Stream Mapping

While trying to help a team, Leland discovered a set of tools and ideas that helped him and the team find a new way to work that improved their performance. Focusing on improving the flow in the team, became a directed change approach that helped the team improve, and at the same time became a vehicle for introducing change in the team.

In this episode, we refer to: 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Leland Newson: Skills Matrix, a tool to visualize the skill siloes in your Scrum team

In a new team, Leland noticed that the skill silo (everyone sticking only to their skill specialty) was affecting the team’s ability to deliver. The team was working as if they were doing several sequential waterfalls instead of acting like a unit. Every time one team member was absent, the team couldn’t make enough progress to deliver. 

In this episode, we talk about how to remove the skill silo, and avoid the mini-waterfalls anti-pattern.

In this episode, we also mention the Skills Matrix as a tool to visualize the skill silo. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Lean Software Agile Development Toolkit by Poppendieck

In The Lean Software Agile Development Toolkit by Poppendieck, Leland found a new perspective on what it means to improve an organization. This eye-opening book is a regular read for Leland, and reminds him of the importance of looking at the flow of work (Flow Efficiency), rather than trying to optimize activities that may ultimately be wasteful. 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Leland Newson: Focusing on increasing velocity over continuous improvement in an Agile organization

This episode starts with a story of a team that was asked to “improve their velocity”. It’s a cautionary tale about what happens when Scrum is used as a method to get the teams to “go faster” without thinking about the larger consequences of Agile adoption. 

In this episode, we talk about the Rational Unified Process, a process developed in the 90’s that ultimately re-enforced the waterfall anti-patterns in organizations.

In this episode, we also refer to the work by Dan Vacanti and Troy Magennis

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.