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Robert Briese: Beyond Requirements, Rethinking Agile Product Ownership

The Great Product Owner: Impact Mapping And Other Tools Great POs Use To Focus On Outcomes

In this episode, Robert discusses the attributes of a great Product Owner based on an energy company’s experience. The exemplary PO managed a budget, aimed to introduce new products, and emphasized impactful market presence. The PO’s coachability and commitment to improvement are highlighted, along with insights from Marty Cagan’s “Inspired.” A great PO, as outlined, prioritizes impact over outputs, maintains clarity on product goals and business vision, and employs tools like Impact Mapping for outcome-focused development.

The Bad Product Owner: Beyond Requirements, Rethinking Agile Product Ownership

In this episode, Robert identifies Product Owner (PO) anti-patterns, emphasizing that many POs don’t truly own a product. A common pitfall is when POs isolate themselves, detailing requirements independently and presenting them to the team for feedback. This approach creates a significant gap between development teams and POs, limiting the focus to “delivering requirements.” The episode recommends a shift in approach, encouraging POs to step away from detailed isolation and instead bring direct customer/end-user information to development teams.

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 Robert Briese

Robert Briese, is an Agile Coach who’s seen it all. From startup stumbles to orchestrating massive Large-Scale Scrum feats, like BMW’s level 3 autonomous driving milestone. He’s on a mission to simplify the complex and help teams build adaptable, sustainable organizations. Buckle up for a wild, Agile ride with Robert!

You can link with Robert Briese on LinkedIn and connect with Robert Briese on Twitter.

Rayyan Karim: Measuring Success in Agile, Why Story Points Don’t Always Tell the Full Agile Story

In this episode, Rayyan discusses two main categories for measuring performance in organizations: hard and fast business results and effectiveness. The first indicator for effectiveness is happy people who can be themselves, which Rayyan refers to as “Shiny Happy People.” Rayyan suggests that instead of focusing on story points, teams should focus on cycle and lead time and examine the variation in the system to determine how to remove it. He recommends conducting team surveys or squad health checks over time and paying attention to how people talk at retrospectives. Additionally, Rayyan suggests setting up one-on-one meetings with team members to get a better understanding of how they are showing up for retrospectives.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Squad Health Check retro benefits

In this episode, Rayyan discusses his favorite agile retrospective format, which is the Squad Health Check. He mentions that while the Sailboat retro is the most commonly used, he prefers the Squad Health Check as it quickly gets everyone on the same page and can be used in larger teams and teams of teams. Rayyan notes that the Health Check is short, focused, and highly adaptable, and it gives a good understanding of where the teams are. He also gives tips to adapt it to the program or team you are working with and to remove the “neutral” option.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, 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 Rayyan Karim

Rayyan is and Agile Coach & Trainer and the founder of Design Your Future with presence in the UK and the UAE. Rayyan is known for supporting leading executives of FTSE100 and NASDAQ corporations to create transformational results quickly.

You can link with Rayyan Karim on LinkedIn and connect with Rayyan Karim on Twitter.

Gemma Murray: Avoiding Burnout in Agile Teams, The Importance of Seeking Outside Perspectives as a Scrum Master

In this episode, Gemma discusses a project where the team was building a database of customer data and a UI to interact with that data. The team was highly motivated and excited about the solution they had come up with, but slowly started to conflate the solution with the outcome. They became so focused on the “one big idea” that they struggled to let go, which resulted in burnout for some team members. The team was great at inspection but not at adaptation.

To avoid this type of situation, Gemma suggests seeking outside perspectives and speaking with your peers. As a Scrum Master, she fell victim to the team’s energy in the beginning, but realized something was wrong and sought insights from an Agile Coach. It is important not to get too focused on the work without thinking about the process, and seeking outside perspectives can help to prevent this. To get different perspectives, and get out of the day-to-day work focus, why not join our podcast community to network and seek additional perspectives? Join us here.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery By Geoff Watts (Geoff was a previous guest on the podcast), Gemma found a reminder that, even if the Scrum Master role can sometimes be seen as “the facilitator”, in practice it is much more than that. In this segment, we also talk about the book Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile by Mike Burrows, that helps Scrum Masters understand how they contribute to the production of value in their role.

In this segment, we also refer to the book Lean UX, whose authors were previous guests on the podcast: Jeff Gothelf, and Josh Seiden, and about Lean in general, an approach that can inspire how we implement Scrum in practice.

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 Gemma Murray

Gemma works as an Agile Coach for MOO, a branding company whose vision is to provide ‘Great design for everyone’. Having worked in various change roles using both waterfall and agile approaches throughout her career, Gemma believes in the diversity of teams to unlock innovation, creativity and delivering value.

You can link with Gemma Murray on LinkedIn.

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

BONUS: Josh Seiden on Lean UX, a toolbox for Product Owners and Agile teams

In this episode, we explore the ideas from the book Lean UX, authored by Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf (Jeff Gothelf was on the podcast earlier to help us redefine the measure of success for software development).

Lean UX is both an approach and a set of tools that teams and Product Owners can use to help integrate the design/requirements/user research aspects into the team’s work.

The essence of Lean UX

Continue reading BONUS: Josh Seiden on Lean UX, a toolbox for Product Owners and Agile teams

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
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
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
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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