Leslie McCormack: The Product Owner that helped the team progress

From communication skills to the ability to step back from the day-to-day work, we review the Open-minded PO and the Micromanager PO patterns.

The Great Product Owner: The open-minded PO

Great Product Owners are not always people with lots of knowledge of Scrum. In this episode, we explore the characteristics that made this Product Owner a great PO. We discuss the need to be open-minded, able to communicate goals clearly, their attitude, their way to handle feedback and how those characteristics drive the Scrum team forward.

The Bad Product Owner: The Micromanager PO

Micromanager Product Owners are a drag on the team’s ability to perform. They usually become a bottleneck for decision making, and end-up often second-guessing the team, causing latent conflict and disengagement. In this episode, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help Product Owners that are stuck in this anti-pattern.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Darren Smith: 3 Anti-patterns PO’s should avoid

In this episode, we explore in detail some of the most common anti-patterns Darren sees in the Product Owner role, and we discuss why a PO training is not necessary for a great PO. 

The Great Product Owner: Business knowledge and outcome focus

To be a great Product Owner, it isn’t necessary to have attended a certification course. However, it is necessary to have a good connection to the business and a sharp focus on outcomes (impact) over output (more work). In this segment, we discuss what happens when you have those characteristics in your PO.

The Bad Product Owner: 3 Anti-patterns PO’s should avoid

There are many sides to a failed Product Owner role. In this episode, Darren shares with us some of the most common anti-patterns that he’s witnessed in his career as a Scrum Master.

In this segment, we refer to the remote facilitation online masterclass by Judy Rees.

For more anti-patterns, read Darren’s “How to Fail as Product Owner” infographic.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter.

Addo de Visser: The Business Centric Product Owner as a success patter for the PO role

Product Owners are also responsible for the success of their products, not just for the content (user stories, etc.) they help develop. We discuss how PO’s with a business focus have a positive impact on the teams they work with. We also discuss what happens when the PO is overbearing and pushy towards the team.

The Great Product Owner: The business-centered PO

Product Owners are responsible for the success of the products they own, but also for the business success of those products. Addo shares some of the aspects that help PO’s succeed, like being physically present with the team, or making sure the team and the PO get together on the same location regularly, when working with a distributed team.

The Bad Product Owner: The overbearing, and pushy PO

When PO’s are overbearing and patronizing, they inadvertently cause the team members to step back and not share their insights and ideas. There’s a risk that team members will do only what they are “told” because they lose motivation. In this segment, we discuss how Scrum Masters can help these PO’s learn to allow the team to participate actively in the product design.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.

Rik Pennartz: The Absent Product Owner, and how that affects your Scrum team

From the Great communicator to the Absent PO, we discuss two contrasting patterns in the PO role. Which one is your PO more like? 

The Great Product Owner: The Great Communicator

Great Product Owners are often good at communicating at all levels of the organization. They understand enough the technology and have a keen interest in how the customers and users experience the product they are in charge of. Finally, we talk about the critical role PO’s have in managing stakeholders. We also talk about the concept of BizDevOps, an approach that encourages collaboration between developers, operations staff and business teams.

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent Product Owner

In a previous survey I ran with you, the audience for this podcast, we found out that one of the most common, and most difficult PO anti-patterns was that of the Absent Product Owner.

In this segment, we explore Rik’s experience with that anti-pattern, and how Scrum Masters can help their PO’s step out of that anti-pattern.

In this segment, we also explore a possible practical solution to coach the PO: the Sprint Checklist, which is freely available here on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast website.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who’s worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter.

Moana Pledger: 8 characteristics of a Great Product Owner

From some of the characteristics that make great Product Owners to two common anti-patterns that PO’s suffer from. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the PO role and why it is so critical for the success of the team and the product.

The Great Product Owner: 8 Characteristics of a Great Product Owner

In this segment, we explore some of the characteristics that make Product Owners great contributors to the success of the team. We also discuss how teams change when teams exhibit these characteristics.

The Bad Product Owner: The Project Manager PO, and the Absent PO

It is common that some Project Managers switch over to the PO role when their organization “goes Agile”. But there are some risks when that happens. In this segment, we talk about the possible anti-patterns of the PO that used to be a project manager, as well as about what happens when the PO is not available when the team needs.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She’s pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Chelsie Raiola: When 2 Product Owners pair, and succeed!

It’s not only developers that may pair. We talk about the Product Owners that were better working as a pair, and discuss what happens when the PO “knows it all”. 

The Great Product Owner: Pairing as Product Owners

The Product Owner role is one that requires several focus points. In this segment, we talk about how two PO’s working together were able to both involve the team and do long term planning. Both are needed for the team to succeed, and the pairing of Product Owners may be a good way to handle that split focus.

The Bad Product Owner: The “Know it all” Product Owner

When the Product Owner is not able to share the knowledge they have and involve the team in the product development, we end up with a big dependency on the PO. This usually leads to the team losing ownership, and feeling demoralized. We discuss the consequences of having PO’s be the “bottleneck” for answering questions.

In this segment, we refer to the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Ellen Santamaria: Asking questions to enable and empower the Scrum team

In this episode, we explore the case of the PO who was absent, but great at asking questions, and we discuss what can be done when the PO says that “everything is a priority”.

The Great Product Owner: Asking questions to enable and empower the Scrum team

Although it can be a problem that the Product Owner is absent, sometimes that works out really well for the team. In this segment, we explore the story of the CTO that became the Product Owner for a team, and even if he was not always available, he was good at enabling and empowering the team to take ownership of their work through the questions he asked. 

The Bad Product Owner: The “Everything is a priority” anti-pattern

When everything is a priority, there are 2 ceremonies that break down. Refinement/Grooming meetings and Sprint planning start to fall apart. There’s too many stories to refine, we try to fit too much into one sprint, which leads to conflicts in Sprint planning. Ultimately teams start taking short-cuts which may lead to even bigger problems. In this segment, we discuss how to help a PO that says “everything is a priority”.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Valeria Greco: 3 critical PO skills, that great PO’s have

From the absent PO to the 3 critical skills PO’s must-have, this is an episode filled with in-depth details of how to work well with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: 3 critical PO skills, that great PO’s have

The Product Owner might be the toughest role in the Scrum framework. PO’s are often required to juggle a lot of activities when doing their job. In this segment, we talk about the 3 skills that great Product Owners have: 1) they are able to prioritize quickly; 2) they are able to speak different languages (business and tech); 3) they are able to negotiate when stakes are high. Does your PO exhibit these skills? Listen in to learn about how Valeria helps the PO’s she works with.

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent PO

When the Product Owner is not available to the team it is impossible for the collaboration to emerge. But that’s only one aspect that is hindered by the PO’s absence. In this segment, we explore how Valeria is able to talk to, and collaborate with PO’s that are absent, and get them closer to a collaborative relationship with the team. 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: “I build teams!” And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)”

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Reinald Kirchner: The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner

We review two contrasting perspectives on the role of the Product Owner. From the PO that was able to stay in the problem-domain to the PO that wanted to order developers around. Two contrasting approaches that have wildly different impacts on the teams they work with.

The Great Product Owner: Defining User Stories in the Problem-Domain

Many User Stories end up being written from the “solution” perspective. Reinald found that Product Owners that are willing to define stories from the perspective of the problem to solve are better able to communicate their ideas to the team. But there are other benefits from taking this approach. Listen in to learn about the other benefits of having your Product Owner firmly anchored in the Problem domain as opposed to the solution domain.

The Bad Product Owner: The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner

When Product Owners have a background in development it is natural that they may concentrate on the details, but the problems really start when the PO starts telling programmers how to write code, and steering development decisions. Listen in to learn how to deal with such Product Owners.

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Reinald Kirchner

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchner on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchner on Twitter.

Dmytro Balaba: The key tools/documents PO’s need to master

From tools to the habits that Product Owners need to drop, in this episode, we explore practices and an anti-pattern that can derail the relationship between PO and team.

The Great Product Owner: The key tools/documents PO’s need to master

When Product Owners are able to convey a message clearly, it is natural that the work with the team improves. However, there are certain tools that help that message stick and be followed by the team. In this segment, we explore 3 tools and 1 practice that can greatly help Product Owners convey their expected results, and be sure that the team understands what that means in practice.

In this segment we refer to User Story Mapping, User Story slicing, Personas and Acceptance Test Driven Development.

 

The Bad Product Owner: The former team member who knew too much

When a former team member, a developer, takes on the role of Product Owner, there are many possible anti-patterns to look out for. In this episode, we explore the case of the PO who knew too much, and decided to tell the team not only what to do, but also how to do it. Inevitably, problems followed. Listen in to learn how Dmytro helped that Product Owner.

 

Are you having trouble helping the team working 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 Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world 🙂 On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.