As part of our “Coach Your Product Owner” course, we’ve been hard at work creating simple and actionable tools you can use to help your Product Owner progress. But that coaching cannot happen unless we tackle the biggest problems we have when coaching Product Owners. So, last week I asked people who receive my Newsletter to help me answer this question:
When it comes to Coaching and Supporting your Product Owner(s), what is the single Biggest Challenge that you are facing right now?
The reason for this question is my belief that, as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, we must help the Product Owners as part of our duties. Sometimes those duties may be just about helping them manage/facilitate a particular session, but often we need to help the Product Owner grow their skills, knowledge, and experience with Agile product development. All aspects of it.
So what are the key challenges we face, when coaching and supporting our Product Owners?
Would you want to have a simple, collected, set of solutions (techniques and strategies) to solve the most common challenges Product Owners face? So would I! But before we can collect the solutions, we must understand the problem!
That’s what I did in 2018.
I asked the listeners of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast and the readers of the blog what were their most common challenges when working with Product Owners. So, if you are a Scrum Master, an Agile Coach or a team member who wants to help the Product Owner, the list below is for you! (NOTE: there are links to solutions as well! ?)
As Scrum Masters we don’t just work with the team, we also work directly with the Product Owners that support the team. In this story, Paulo shares the case of the Product Owner that had a Business Analysis background and thought the job was about writing specifications in isolation. Listen in to learn how Paulo handled that and helped the Product Owner transition to User Stories and more team interaction.
Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Paulo found a management model that better suited his goal to become a Scrum Master. By reading this book he learned about how he could become a better servant leader. A key aspect of the Scrum Master role.
About Paulo Rebelo
Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.
Many things can fail when we work with teams. But one critical anti-pattern that leads to problems is the lack of a good Product Owner. In this episode, we explore what are the consequences for our teams of having a Product Owner that is unable to filter input from many stakeholders or even to politely say “No!”. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that can come from a poor Product Owner.
Featured Book of the Week: any book by Gerry Weinberg
What happens when the Product Owner and the team can’t collaborate? When the team just takes orders from the Product Owner and stops contributing to the planning and content of the User Stories? This was the situation that Peter had to face. Listen in to learn how he tackled this relationship problem.
Featured Book of the Week: Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan
In this book, Peter found an approach that helps him as a Scrum Master. In Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng tries to offers a method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.
About Peter Zylka
Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.
Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.
He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.
We often work within environments where the “vanilla” Agile approaches are insufficient. In this episode we explore what happens when more traditional organizations are adopting Agile. We talk about the role of the Product Owner in traditional organizations and the critical role that the Scrum Master plays in supporting the Product Owner.
In this episode we discuss the importance of Pilot projects in traditional organizations and what we can do to make sure they succeed.
About Darryl Sherborne
Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.
There are many learnings we collect along our journey as Scrum Masters. However, transformative lessons are not that common, except for Jeff in this particular job. Listen how he learned 2 lessons that totally changed how he looks at his job as a Scrum Master.
About Jeff Campbell
Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life, and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large. He is one of the founding members of www.scrumbeers.com and an organiser of www.brewingagile.org in his spare time. He is also the author of an open source book called Actionable Agile Tools, where he explains how he uses 15 of the tools he uses in his daily work as a scrum master and agile coach.
You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn, and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.
We don’t ask questions often enough, and in this episode Neil explains why that is so important. Neil tells us a story of a project that started well, continued well, everything seemed to work well, until…
He discusses how one small detail derailed the whole project, and how to avoid that in the future.
About Neil Killick
Neil has been a software professional for over 18 years, mostly as a developer, before moving to management. He spent the last 5 years being a passionate Agile, Lean and Scrum coach, trainer and practitioner. Neil cares deeply about creating enjoyable, authentic workplaces in which human potential can thrive.
You can connect with Neil Killick on twitter. Neil Killick’s blog.