Olsen Turan: The Caring Product Owner, building trust is also the PO’s job!

From the PO who cared about the people to the PO who wanted to own the process. We explore two PO patterns that can help or hinder the team’s performance.

The Great Product Owner: The Caring Product Owner

Great Product Owners will care about the team, not only the product. In this segment, we explore the story of a Product Owner who wanted to get to know the team members, and was able to build a trustful and warm personal relationship with team members. And all of that with a simple trick. Listen in to learn more about the Caring Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who wants to own the process

When Product Owner help with process adoption, that’s sometimes a good thing. However, in this segment, we explore the situation when PO’s go too far and their help effectively demotivates and interferes with the team performance. Is your PO trying to help with Agile? Listen to this segment to learn if your PO is going too far.

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 Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Sami Prentice: How to help Product Owners that don’t want help

From the PO who is too busy to ask for help, to the PO that works hard to get the team and the stakeholders to interact. We explore two contrasting patterns of the PO role and discuss how Scrum Masters can help the PO’s succeed, and accept help from others.

The Great Product Owner: Involving stakeholders that can help the team

Great Product Owners often focus on helping the team benefit from the knowledge and experience that stakeholders can bring to the team. In this episode, we learn about a PO that was focused on creating collaboration between team and stakeholders, as well taking the time to work together with the team to create a shared understanding of the product and the Vision for the team. 

In this segment, we refer to the User Story Mapping technique popularized by Jeff Patton. Here is the User Story Mapping hands-on facilitator guide if you want to start using that technique at work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who didn’t want any help

Sometimes we work with Product Owners that don’t want any help but are too busy to fully fulfill the requirements of the role. That’s never an easy situation for the team or the Scrum Master. Sami reminds us that we can take advantage of the PO being busy, and start offering help in certain tasks. Building trust with the PO is then a critical focus for Scrum Masters, and Sami shares her tips on how to build that relationship.

In this segment, we refer to Module 02 (How Scrum Masters can onboard a new or beginner Product Owner) of the Coach Your Product Owner course, and how that can help you start a positive collaboration with your Product Owner. The course is available here: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

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 Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Tom Suter: The Caretaker Product Owner

From saying “no”, to not saying “no”. Two contrasting patterns by Product Owners and their impact on the team’s and product’s success.

In this episode, we talk about People OS, a product that Tom is involved in

The Great Product Owner: Saying “no” with a smile

One of the most impactful activities a Product Owner can perform is to decide what NOT to develop. In this segment, we talk about a PO pattern that helps them, and their team succeed: knowing how to say “no”, and still keep the support from stakeholders!

The Bad Product Owner: The Caretaker Product Owner

When Product Owners don’t have a clear goal for their products, they run the risk of becoming simply “caretakers” for their product. In this segment, we explore the “caretaker” PO anti-pattern and what that means for their teams and products.

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 Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Help Tom understand how you interact with your colleagues by filling in this survey.

Thomas von Busse: Bridging communication gaps between Scrum teams and stakeholders

Communication to remove misunderstandings is perhaps one of the most important roles of a Product Owner. In this episode, we talk about enabling communication between the team and stakeholders. We also explore what happens when PO’s try to manipulate teams through estimation discussions.

In this episode, we refer to Thomas’ article on retrospectives based on the Slow Thinking Manifest.

The Great Product Owner: Bridging the communication gap

Great Product Owners worry about helping the team to understand what the goals are, and how the business can benefit from the work being discussed. In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner that enabled communication between the team and stakeholders directly. Avoiding miscommunication may be one of the major concerns for the Product Owner role, and the pattern we discuss in this segment may be the right answer for you.

The Bad Product Owner: The estimation manipulator

Product Owners that have a background in software development may have the temptation to second-guess the teams they work with. However, the situation gets even worse when they try to second-guess their estimates. There are many reasons why this anti-pattern has a negative impact on the team, and that’s why we need to be ready to tackle it as Scrum Masters. 

 

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 Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

BONUS: Maarten Dalmijn on scaling the Product Owner role in Scrum organizations

Maarten Dalmijn joins us on this special episode on the role of the Product Owner to talk about how Product Owners can adapt to the increasing demands placed upon them. It could be working with more teams, or supporting the development of multiple products, the PO role (when successfully executed) will eventually expand to cover more aspects and support more teams.

The struggling and un-happy Product Owner

As Product Owners take on the responsibility to work with more teams, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and overworked. That will likely lead to an un-happy PO, which will, in turn, have a big impact on the teams and their performance.

In this segment, we talk about why PO’s end up taking on too much work and discuss some of the tools we can apply to help scale the Product Owner role. We talk about Sprint Goals (an often forgotten aspect of Scrum), and other techniques that Maarten learned in his career that helped him scale up his role and impact. 

In this segment, we refer to a blog post on setting Sprint Goals and the Coach Your Product Owner e-course and the modules on Sprint Goals and Scaling up the PO role. The modules are: 

  • Coach Your PO v2.0 – Module 04 – How to scale up the Product Owner role to serve multiple teams; and
  • Coach Your PO v1.0 – Module 08 – How to define the perfect Sprint Goal – and why that matters!

The Coach Your PO course (v1.0 and v2.0) is available here: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

Collaboration with the Scrum Master

The Product Owner does not need to work alone when scaling their role to a few more teams or products. We discuss the importance of creating a collaborative relationship with the Scrum Master and how Scrum Masters can help Product Owners. 

In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters are sometimes an obstacle for their Product Owners to perform, and we refer to a blog post by Marten on what Scrum Masters can do to help Product Owners

Resources for Product Owners and Scrum Masters on the PO role

Reading about the role, and understanding the role of PO is a critical aspect for Scrum Masters that need and want to help their Product Owners. In this segment, we refer to Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan and Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value by Melissa Perri.

About Maarten Dalmijn

Maarten is a Product Manager and Scrum practitioner who believes in ‘less, but better’. By blending the world of Product Management and Scrum, Maarten helps teams beat the Feature Factory and uncover better ways of delivering value together.

He has over 10 years of experience building products and helped rebuild products as well as Agile Transformations as a leader and participant.

He says: “Product management is about getting the right things done. It is easy to come up with a list of things to add to make something better. It is much harder to decide which things to leave out to make something better.”

You can link with Maarten Dalmijn on LinkedIn and connect with Maarten Dalmijn on Twitter

Follow Maarten Dalmijn’s blog posts on Medium.

 

Bola Adesope: 3 patterns that make great Product Owners!

Lists are useful because they help us mentally review where we might need to pay attention as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we have 2 lists. We present 4 PO anti-patterns and 3 patterns that you can help your PO with and make sure they excel at their job!

The Great Product Owner: 3 patterns that make great PO’s

Just as there are many ways for a Product Owner to enter a negative spiral, there are also some things that are the hallmark of good Product owners. In this segment, we discuss 3 different patterns that, if you can help your PO follow them, will improve greatly the collaboration between team and PO, and will help the PO excel at their job!

The Bad Product Owner: 4 different, and critical PO anti-patterns

In this segment, we discuss 4 different Product Owners anti-patterns and dive into possible solutions that we can implement as Scrum Masters. We talk about defining working agreements with the team and the PO (not only the team) and discuss why it is critical for Scrum Masters to create a productive collaborative relationship with the Product Owner.

In this segment, we refer to the Coach Your Product Owner course produced by Vasco Duarte, the host of the podcast

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 Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter

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.