Marianne Erickson: Fostering collaboration between Product Owner and Scrum team

In this Product Owner episode, we focus on the closeness of collaboration and the shared direction between PO and team. We discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help bridge that gap and improve collaboration between PO and team.

The Great Product Owner: Creating the feeling of “team” between PO and Scrum team

Great Product Owners can engage the team, help them focus on the goals. But the PO’s role is not only about communicating, it is about creating a sense of a shared future. In this segment, we talk about how clear goals can help the team and the PO feel they are part of the team, and collaborate effectively.

The Bad Product Owner: The great dictator

Product Owners may try to dictate the focus and tasks to the team. When that happens, the team and PO start drifting apart. As Scrum Masters we must be aware of “how close” PO and team are so that we can tackle the distancing between them, and bring them together with techniques like shared goals, better Story writing techniques (e.g. Story Map), and other approaches.

 

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 Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter

Marianne Erickson: Innovation as a key responsibility for Scrum Masters

Scrum Masters are tasked with facilitation responsibility, to help teams achieve their goals. In other words, Scrum Masters are successful when the teams are successful. This naturally focuses our work on finding and removing blockers, but there’s a technique that is especially helpful when working with teams to resolve blockers: innovate ways of working. In this segment, we talk about the role of innovation in helping teams succeed, and therefore in the success of our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Envelope Stuffing Game

Retrospectives are the place where the team reflects, and sometimes simulations like the Envelope Stuffing Game are excellent reflection triggers for the team. In this segment, we explore how Marianne used this game to help teams reflect on WIP limits, inventory, large batches, and collaboration.

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.

Marianne Erickson: Focusing on what matters, even when Scrum teams are asked to report velocity

As Marianne worked through a long Agile transformation, she faced a very common pattern: the focus on velocity. A manager was constantly asking for the team’s velocity, and the Scrum Masters have to provide that information. That’s when the change started. Instead of augmenting against that behavior, the Scrum Masters explored why there was that need, and learned about why that manager was requesting that teams report their velocity. That understanding led to a deliberate change process that helped the teams, the organization, and that manager! 

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.

Marianne Erickson: How to help Scrum teams stuck on the “why agile?” question

Marianne joined a team that was forced to adopt Agile. That’s never an easy assignment, however, things got even worse. She started hearing comments like “Agile ruined my life!” What’s a Scrum Master to do in that situation? We explore how we can work teams that are stuck in the question “why should we adopt Agile?”. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

As part of their interaction with Product Owners and teams, Scrum Masters often have to help facilitation User Story writing sessions. This book helped Marianne learn to think about the user experience. Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things, is a seminal book on user experience and usability. 

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.

Marianne Erickson: What to do when the PO wants the Scrum Master to be a Project Manager

As Marianne joined this team, she was surprised by the separation between different skills. Working with Product Owner for that team, she then found out that the expectation was that the Scrum Master “become” a project manager and manage siloed functional teams. She learned an important lesson for Scrum Masters: what to do when the work of the Scrum Master is understood as Project Manager

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.