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Pino Decandia: The Product Owner committee, a serious anti-pattern

The Great Product Owner: The perfect project, with the perfect PO

The Product Owner Pino describes was intimately familiar with the product, and the problem that needed to be solved with it. Because of this, the PO did not have to seek permission or confirmation from someone else before making decisions. The PO was empowered! Also critically, the PO was “the face” of all decisions with the client, which allowed him to protect the team from unnecessary pressure. As Pino describes it: “it was the perfect project”!

The Bad Product Owner: PO by committee, a serious anti-pattern

Instead of one Product Owner, this project had a committee of people who were assigned the overall PO role. However, in this case, the committee did not work to fulfill the PO role. The conflicting needs in that group of people led to decisions that took too long, and to the alienation of the team, who was not allowed to give input after a decision because the committee was not able to process the feedback.

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 Pino Decandia

Pino started in software development but realized he was more interested in people than code. With experience, Pino came to believe that people can change; they don’t resist change but offer their own vision, which needs to be met.

Secondly, needs drive behaviors. To provide help, we must allow them to be clearly expressed. To set the example, we need to be ready to be the first to state our needs.

And thirdly, that ideological battles are meaningless.

You can link with Pino Decandia on LinkedIn.

Peter Janssens: The core value of the User Story format for Scrum teams and Product Owners

The Great Product Owner: The advantage of knowing Scrum in depth!

This Product Owner had a deep understanding of Agile and Scrum. This enabled him to focus on the core interaction with the team. Every week, he’d meet with the team for the Review and Planning meetings. Through that, he was able to guide the team, communicate the updated Vision for the product, and help the team select the stories for the Sprint without overcommitting. The knowledge the PO had of Scrum helped him focus on the right communication cadence, and topics with the team!

The Bad Product Owner: The core value of the User Story format for Scrum teams and Product Owners

Peter was a Product Owner for one of his first projects. The project was very well defined and prepared, and they decided to do it with Scrum. Peter then tried to split the requirements and work packages into stories on his own. However, he did not reformulate the requirements in a way that would convey the goal or purpose of each story, or the product itself to the team. This experience helped Peter understand why the User Story format is so important.

In this segment, we talk about Inspired, the book by Marty Cagan.

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

Gert Brits: Involving the Agile team in Product Owner decisions, the why and how!

The Great Product Owner: How to involve teams in the whole product development process

Good PO’s always include the teams in the process of making decisions, but great PO’s go much further. They include the team in the process of gathering information, and listens to the team’s feedback.

In this segment, we refer to the “Superchicken Paradox” a video with Margaret Heffernan.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s that think they need to do everything, even the Scrum team’s work!

Sometimes, the Product Owners we work with behave as if the thought there was no team to develop the product with them. In fact, they might try to do everything up to, and sometimes even including, writing code! In this segment, we explore what might be some causes of this Anti-pattern, and how we can help the Product Owner step back from the team’s domain of work, and focus on the PO’s domain of 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 Gert Brits

Gert came from a programming background, and has worked across multiple industries, applying Agile Coaching across diverse and non tech areas. He has a focus on group dynamics blended with systems thinking, and the art of balancing application vs theory.

You can link with Gert Brits on LinkedIn.

Omar Perez: Acing the Product Owner role even without Agile or Scrum background!

The Great Product Owner: Technical background is not necessary to be a great Product Owner!

This PO had never been exposed to Agile, however this person wanted the product to be successful, and understood that software development was a team’s sport! This PO, even without software development background was able to be open-minded enough to learn what was necessary, to collaborate with the team, and was open to getting help from the Scrum Master!

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s that didn’t want to be PO’s in the first place

Sometimes, we work with PO’s that did not want to be given that responsibility. When the PO is forced to take that role and work with the team, the conditions are rife for problems. There might be many reasons for this, including that PO is the next “logical” step for a technical person’s career. In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters can help do “damage control” and help the team and the PO work together.

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 Omar Perez

Omar is an Agile Coach from Barcelona who currently supports distributed teams that build data products to enable their company to be genuinely data-driven. He has had many previous lives as a design thinker, market analyst, communication consultant, project manager and startup founder. He aspires to become a “peopleware” expert.

You can link with Omar Perez on LinkedIn.

Fred Deichler: From shared Product Owner responsibilities to a focused PO that could actually help the Scrum team!

The Great Product Owner: Growth Mindset in the PO role

Great PO’s have what Fred calls a “Growth Mindset”. Fred also highlights some of the key techniques Scrum Masters can use to help Product Owners in their work, such as regular 1-on-1’s, and working with the PO in defining what they want from their career. Through this work, Fred was able to help the PO work with the team in organizing a “hackathon”, which generated great ideas for the product. In Great PO fashion the PO was also able to tell the team which of those ideas would make sense “now” vs. “not yet”.

The Bad Product Owner: The 3-headed PO hydra!

In this team, the PO had left, and the company tried to fill in the PO role quickly by bringing 3 different people together to take on that role. However, that did not go so well, as Fred explains. We explore why having multiple people in the PO role can be a great “bandaid”, but it will backfire sooner or later. We also discuss how Fred was able to bring those 3 part-time PO’s together and work to define a better way to work together for those 3 people, so that the team could have the necessary support from the PO role.

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler 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