Seye Kuyinu: Learning and Leading through Experiments, The Scrum Master Who Turned Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Learning and Leading through Experiments, The Scrum Master Who Turned Product Owner

In this episode, Seye highlights a remarkable product owner with a background as a Scrum Master. Her calm demeanor and willingness to experiment, even without a clear endpoint, stood out. She actively engaged in collaborative experimentation, asking “Can we try this?” and collectively defining and learning from experiments with the team. This experimental mindset contributed to her effectiveness as a Product Owner. Moreover, she adeptly interacted with all team members and had the valuable skill of calming down heated discussions.

The Bad Product Owner: Beyond To-Do Lists, Overcoming Anti-Patterns in Backlog Management

In this episode, Seye discusses the disengaged Product Owner (PO) anti-pattern. He underscores the significant impact of PO engagement on performance, highlighting the necessity for their active involvement in discussions that lead to clarity. Other anti-patterns include treating the backlog as a simple “to do list” and having insufficiently detailed backlog items (DEEP Backlog) for prioritization and estimation. These issues stem from diverse causes, such as organizational oversight of product ownership. Seye suggests assisting POs in understanding their role, offering guidance to rectify these patterns and enhance their effectiveness in Agile 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 Seye Kuyinu

Seye has been a Scrum Master for about a decade now. He first connected to Agile, frustrated with the lack of adequate communication that plagues traditional complex projects. He finds People and Interactions over Processes & Tools cannot be overstated, while seeing that everything is a fractal- our individual, team, organization and societal challenges are the very same. The solution in every layer is the same- an understanding of ONENESS!

You can link with Seye Kuyinu on LinkedIn and connect with Seye Kuyinu on Twitter.

Khwezi Mputa: The Product Owner that knew how to collaborate with the Agile team

The Great Product Owner: The PO that knew how to collaborate with the team

In this segment, Khwezi highlights an exceptional Product Owner (PO) she collaborated with. The PO possessed a deep understanding of the product’s market, customers, and business context, enabling her to continuously update the product effectively. She exhibited excellent teamwork despite the distributed nature of the team, showing awareness of diverse cultures. Her proficiency in user story mapping facilitated smoother processes, including onboarding new team members. Overall, the PO’s comprehensive grasp of the product’s ecosystem and her collaborative skills stood out as instrumental in driving the team’s success.

The Bad Product Owner: The Unavailable and Bossy PO

While POs typically hold respected roles with authority over the product backlog, some misuse this status, behaving as if superior to the team. Often from management, such POs pose various challenges, including not being available often enough when the teams need their presence. Scrum Masters play a role in educating POs, advising team lift-offs to define roles, and coaching the POs to be active team participants. Khwezi emphasizes the Scrum Master’s mediation role, and we discuss the “Coach Your PO e-course” which aims to help Scrum Masters have an effective PO collaboration.

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 Khwezi Mputa

Khwezi is an experienced Agile coach, trainer, and IT professional since 2008. With diverse roles like Scrum Master, Agile Project Manager, and Business Analyst, she’s active in the Agile community, promoting diversity. Passionate about teaching, she empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full potential through coaching and mentoring.

You can link with Khwezi Mputa on LinkedIn.

Khwezi Mputa: Breaking Down Dysfunctional Dynamics between a Scrum team and their Product Owner

In this episode, Khwezi discusses a challenging team scenario where great individuals struggled due to high-pressure dynamics and dysfunctional patterns. The Product Owner lacked decision-making authority, leading to delayed information and a proxy PO situation. This pressure caused scope creep and hindered technical debt management. Khwezi highlighted the importance of empowering the team to push back against excessive demands, coaching the PO to engage stakeholders effectively, and ensuring the right person fills the PO role. Addressing these issues was crucial for improving the product and fostering a healthier team dynamic.

If you need to support your Product Owner, we’ve created a course for you. You can access the Coach Your PO e-course here.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

In this segment, Khwezi shares her recommended book, “Coaching Agile Teams” by Lyssa Adkins, which played a pivotal role in her self-improvement journey as a scrum master. This book provided valuable insights into guiding teams toward high performance. Khwezi emphasized using the Agile coaching competency framework and suggested self-assessment based on it. This framework led her to discover additional paths for growth. The book also highlighted the importance of exploring diverse topics to enhance skills. She mentioned the “Periodic Table of Scrum Master’s Competencies” as a useful resource for understanding various skills enhancement facets.

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 Khwezi Mputa

Khwezi is an experienced Agile coach, trainer, and IT professional since 2008. With diverse roles like Scrum Master, Agile Project Manager, and Business Analyst, she’s active in the Agile community, promoting diversity. Passionate about teaching, she empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full potential through coaching and mentoring.

You can link with Kwhezi Mputa on LinkedIn.

Zach Stone: Strategies for Healing a Disrupted Team-Product Owner Connection

The Great Product Owner: The Ideal Product Owner, Balancing Strategy, Collaboration, and Care

In this episode, Zach highlights an exceptional Product Owner (PO) who showcased a unique blend of tactical and strategic prowess. This PO’s deep care for the team was evident in their collaborative and engaging approach. They fostered open dialogue, valuing team input and seeing engineers as partners in solving problems. The PO’s commitment to understanding stakeholder requests in-depth allowed them to effectively shield the team. Their transformative and protective actions were a testament to their collaborative leadership style, making them a beloved and effective bridge between stakeholders and the engineering team.

The Bad Product Owner: Restoring Harmony, Strategies for Healing a Disrupted Team-PO Connection

In this episode, Zach reflects on a challenging experience with a struggling Product Owner (PO). The PO’s performance was hindered by environmental factors and burnout, leading to breakdowns in team collaboration and psychological safety. A lack of connection with the team and berating behavior adversely affected team morale and relationships. The adversarial atmosphere hindered healthy conflict resolution and led to self-sabotage. Zach shares valuable tips for improving such situations, emphasizing the importance of gauging safety for conversations, individual validation, and creating a secure space for difficult discussions. He underscores the potential for growth through acknowledging mistakes, highlighting that the PO eventually transformed into a sought-after collaborator through positive change.

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 Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone on LinkedIn.

Zach Stone: Overcoming Vision Challenges in Agile Teams, And The Key Role Of The Product Owner

In this episode, Zach recounts a team’s struggles with a platform and component-based structure. Despite having capable members, the team faced challenges surrounding unclear priorities and vision. Frequent changes in priorities left the team uncertain about their work’s purpose after a significant launch. Communication issues arose as developers weren’t grasping the vision. The absence of direction led to disengagement, arguments during refinement, and an overwhelming workload. Introducing a Product Owner with a clear mission restored commitment. A critical incident, the Ukrainian war, catalyzed a much-needed laser focus. This episode underscores the importance of a well-defined mission and external factors in shaping team dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee

In this episode, Zach discusses some of his favorite Agile-related books. “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee is praised for its insights into conflict facilitation and fostering healthy communities. This book transformed Zach’s perspective on communities and equipped him to navigate groups with conflicts. Another book that Zach highlights is “Thinking in Systems” by Meadows explores various aspects of sociology, economy, and more, encouraging readers to view the world holistically. Zach values its ability to prompt a deeper understanding of “why” and uncover systemic factors. He emphasizes how external/systemic issues can impact team-level problems, shedding light on the interconnected nature of challenges.

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 Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone 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
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
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.
NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.