The Product Owner (PO) is a tough role to fill. Product Owners are torn between users, senior management, team and other stakeholders that they need to attend to.
While the team is working on completing the backlog items, the PO is probably meeting with the Director of Product to agree on a roadmap; with the CEO to hear about the latest ideas he got from visiting a client; trying to meet with the user research group to understand better the customer; reporting status to the head of Project Management; and still needs to visit the Sprint Planning, Backlog Grooming, Demo and the occasional daily meeting to answer questions from the team. And let’s not forget the email backlog! With all of these tasks one has to ask: do we believe a single person can do this all alone? What I describe here is not even rare! We seem to collectively think that the Product Owner is a super-hero!
Given all of these tasks, it is little wonder that the PO’s end up struggling to even manage the JIRA tickets the teams ask them to review, give feedback on, and prioritize.
It is very easy to give in to the temptation of creating a “shopping list” of skills and then look for the “perfect candidate”. To avoid this common anti-pattern Cliff creates a list of 3 (or so) things that he wants to see in a candidate, but then gets to work. He describes Spotify’s hiring and onboarding process, which will definitely give you some good ideas to put in practice today.
About Cliff Hazel
Cliff Hazel is a coach at Spotify who is trying to learn about how to build effective teams, and how we can create the conditions for them to thrive. His main interests are: Complexity and Systems, Visualisation and Information Radiators, Curiosity and Continuous Learning
You can link with Cliff Hazel on LinkedIn, connect with Cliff Hazel on Twitter and catch him in some conference near you.
Many will say that helping team meeting commitments is how Scrum Masters best do their work. Seann shows us another side of the job: developing teams. Helping them develop their skills, their collaboration, and focus on outcomes, not outputs.
We discuss that knowing “why” is often more important than focusing on the work at hand, and we mention the book by Simon Sinek: Start with Why.
About About Sean Dunn
Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach. Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army. In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.
That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.
You can connect with Sean Dunn on LinkedIn, check out Sean Dunn on the Scrum Alliance or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Sean Dunn’s blog on leadership.
In this Episode we explore Systems Thinking with Matthew, and describe a 3 step process to apply Systems Thinking in our Scrum Master work:
Look at “touch time” the time that the work items are actually worked on. Matt shares with us an example of what this means in practice
Find out where are the queues and where the work “stops” and waits
Make the work visual, make it transparent
This process will help you to understand the system of work and diagnose the systemic problems that you will need to address.
We mention the Quality Software Management: Systems Thinking by Gerry Weinberg and Toyota Production System by Liker, both great primers to Systems Thinking applied in practice.
About Matthew Heusser
Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.
You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.
Juha is a entrepreneur, programmer, kanbanista and a unicorn. He calls Software a garden, and says that he tries to be a gardener tending the soil as well as the specific plants.
He is active in the local agile community in Jyväskylä, Finland and also quite active on twitter.
You can link up with Juha Heimonen on LinkedIn and connect with Juha Heimonen on twitter.
You can find out more about his thoughts on Fellowship and how he applies that in his own business at Flowa’s website and blog.
Scrum is a method to help companies succeed, it is not a just a method to develop software. In this episode Luis tells us how he came to that conclusion, and how that changed what he understood about the role of the Scrum Master.
In this episode we mention Luis Gonçalves’ blog, where you can find some of the articles we mention in the episode.
In case you are interested in Agile Retrospectives we are at the moment preparing a 10 DAYS FREE AGILE RETROSPECTIVES PROGRAM. This is a complete self-study program where you will learn anything that you need to become a great Agile Retrospectives facilitator.
How to scale agile software development? is a question we hear often these days. Antti describes his experiences, how long it took him and his colleagues to get it right, and what they learned in the process. Scaling agile software development isn’t easy, and it is important we learn about what has failed in the past.
About Antti Tevanlinna
Antti is an agile practitioner, who got started with agile in my own very first Agile project way back in 2004. He’s been through all kinds of roles, from team member, to management, to customer-facing roles.
You can connect with Antti Tevanlinna on twitter, and check Antti Tevanlinna’s blog.