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Oguz Ozyurt: The Power of Partnership between Product Owner and Scrum Master in support of the Agile Team

The Great Product Owner: The Power of Partnership between PO and SM in support of the Agile Team

In this segment, we discuss the need to focus on, and develop a great partnership between a Product Owner (PO) and Scrum Master (SM). Oz shares the example of such a partnership, where the conversation between PO and SM focused on the value that the team can deliver. The PO was new to Agile but had an open mind and was an expert in the product domain. The PO was a natural leader and encouraged the team to pull stories from the backlog. He also asked the team to bring their perspective into the prioritization of the backlog. The PO acknowledged the team at every opportunity and brought an appreciation culture into the team. Oz highlights the importance of having a great partnership between the PO and SM, which is the main requirement for a successful Agile team.

The Bad Product Owner: The Importance of Empathy in Product Owner-Scrum Master Relationships

In this segment, Oz discusses the challenges of working with a product owner who lacks a product mindset and is more focused on tasks than the product vision. This can lead to them “making up” work and not prioritizing tasks effectively.

Oz suggested a few tips for dealing with bad POs. First, he recommended asking about prioritization and trying to understand the PO’s background. He also advised having a 1-on-1 coaching session with the PO to help them develop a better understanding of their role and how to prioritize tasks effectively.

Additionally, Oz emphasized the importance of focusing on empathy between the PO and the team. By fostering a positive relationship and working collaboratively, the PO and team can work together to ensure that the product is delivered effectively and meets the needs of stakeholders. Overall, Oz’s advice for dealing with this type of POs is to approach the situation with understanding and empathy, while also providing coaching and support to help the PO develop a product mindset and prioritize tasks effectively.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a 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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Checklists, and an accountability partner, the Scrum Masters’ best friends

In this episode, Oz emphasizes the importance of having a list of topics to review regularly in a self-assessment moment. He includes assessing whether the team is delivering what they committed to, taking advantage of Agile practices, and working on continuous improvement items. He notes that his list of topics consists of four dimensions, including the Value dimension which focuses on the value of the Scrum Master, and the Happiness dimension which assesses whether people around him are happy. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of having an accountability partner as a helpful tool for achieving success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Conversation Café, helping everyone to be heard

In this segment, Oz shares his favorite Agile retrospective toolbox: liberating structures. He explains that he likes to focus on the process and facilitation, leaving the content for the team to decide. Oz mentions a specific format called Conversation Cafe, which he likes to use. The Conversation Cafe format helps to promote active listening and allows everyone to be heard.

Oz emphasizes the importance of focusing on the process of the retrospective, rather than the content. By creating a safe and structured environment, everyone can share their thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment or retribution. Using the Conversation Cafe format, the team can have a productive and meaningful conversation about the sprint, identifying areas for improvement and celebrating successes. Oz believes that by focusing on the process and creating a safe space, the team can achieve better outcomes and improve continuously.

How can I, as a Scrum Masters, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Liberating Structures and Wise Crowds, Strategies for Facilitating Effective PI Planning in Agile Teams

In this episode, Oz discusses the challenges of leading change and shares some tips for Scrum Masters to enable effective planning and team participation. Oz describes a scenario where the team was struggling to commit to the goals of the next PI and how it was discovered that the teams were not self-organizing and did not understand the “why” behind their work. The planning process was already defined before the teams came into the PI planning session, which was an anti-pattern of using agile terms but applying waterfall practices.

Oz suggests that effective facilitation is critical for Scrum Masters and advises creating a planning process that involves the team in defining the plan. Oz also recommends observing the meeting first to understand what the team is trying to accomplish and encourages enabling the team to speak up. Oz shares some links to resources that can be useful in planning and facilitating team participation, such as the wise crowds liberating structure. Additionally, Oz suggests using break out rooms to help the team talk about goals/user stories in private and to find problems in the plan using the 1-2-4-all Liberating Structure.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: Helping Scrum Teams by Establishing Trust and Shared Understanding with Product Owners

In this segment, guest Oz emphasizes that we all work in a complex environment and are change agents. Oz shares a story about a team that faced problems with its product owner, who would add stories to the sprint backlog without refinement and interrupt the team even on the last day of the iteration. As a result, the team lost trust in the PO.

To address this challenge, Oz recommends making sure the team has an agreement on how to bring new stories into an ongoing sprint and discussing the team agreement with the PO. Oz also suggests bringing up the topic in the retrospective when the PO introduces a surprise story. Oz acknowledges that these conversations can be difficult, especially when the PO is a good friend of the team’s manager, but emphasizes the importance of building trust and ensuring shared understanding.

Featured Book of the Week: Leading Change by John Kotter

In this segment, Oz recommends “Leading Change” by John Kotter, which outlines eight steps for organizational transformation and is useful for anyone looking to apply these steps to a change process. Oz also suggests “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek for its insights on inspiring others and finding the purpose behind the work. Finally, Oz recommends “Team Topologies” which provides guidance on building and managing modern teams, a key responsibility for Scrum Masters. The authors of Team Topologies, Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, have been previous guests on the podcast.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

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 Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

Oguz Ozyurt: The Importance of Defining Done and Partnering with the Product Owner, to help the Scrum team deliver

In this episode, Oz (Oguz Ozyurt) shares a story of a difficult collaboration with a Product Owner. He was working with a team and Product Owner who had different levels of experience, and while the team had completed the functionality for the iteration, they were not ready to release it. The Product Owner was surprised and pressed the team to release the functionality, which led to a failure. From this experience, Oz learned the importance of defining the definition of done with the team, as well as partnering with the Product Owner to define the goal together. He also emphasizes the importance of accepting that sometimes we fail, and working together with the team and Product Owner to define a plan for how to handle failures.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Oguz Ozyurt

Oz came from a technical background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying agile practices toward the technical and non-technical areas. He is passionate about agile, he has leveraged his passion for delivery value and agile practices by coaching, teaching, mentoring many teams to transform from traditional software development life cycle to Agile principles and practices.

You can link with Oguz Ozyurt on LinkedIn.

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Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
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
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
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
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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