Lucia Alarcon: Great Product Owners consistently create conversations with stakeholders and Agile teams

The Great Product Owner: Consistently creating positive conversations with stakeholders and Agile teams

A great Product Owner is consistent in their approach. Lucia shares with us how this particular PO was able to be consistent in their communication and support for the team, but also in looking outside, getting ideas and inspiration from competitors and the market at large. As the PO consistently communicated with the team and stakeholders, they were creating regular and productive invitations for a conversation with stakeholders and team members. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to help your PO shine even when they are super-busy!

When the Product Owner is overloaded, they lose focus, and are unable to serve the teams at the right time, and in the right amount. In this segment, we hear the story of the PO that was so busy that they could only be a scatter-shot PO. Randomly giving ideas and demands to the team, who was lost with the lack of support from the PO. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to help the PO focus, and work within the limited time they might have to help the team. As Scrum Master, this is one of our major tasks: help the PO shine, even when they are super busy! 

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 Lucia Alarcon

Lucia is a Delivery Lead and a coach working in Wellington NZ, leading an amazing development squad to achieve the delivery of multiple digital initiatives using Agile, creating a culture of empowerment, collaboration and communication. With 15+ years of experience, her professional (and personal!) journey has taken her through a variety of organizations and halfway around the world from Argentina. Lucia loves all things Agile, facilitation and coaching. 

You can link with Lucia Alarcon on LinkedIn and connect with Lucia Alarcon on Instagram

Madhuri Korapati: The PO as a manager anti-pattern and its impact on Agile teams

The Great Product Owner: PO as the great motivator, a simple approach to motivating Agile teams

Great PO’s are able to share the vision they have for the product. But how do they do it? In this segment, we talk about the approaches that help great Product Owners be clear about, and share the vision of the product in a way that motivates the team!

The Bad Product Owner: The PO as a manager anti-pattern and its impact on Agile teams

When PO’s take control and start acting like a manager, the team needs to stand back. This creates a series of anti-patterns that we explore in this segment. From the team being silent, to the PO starting to assign tasks to individual team members. Listen in to learn how Madhuri was able to help the PO and the team get out of this PO-as-a-manager anti-pattern.

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 Madhuri Korapati

Madhuri a self-motivated servant leader with 14 years of software industry experience across Payments and Banking sectors. She is a Scrum Master at Mastercard, and enjoys helping teams in their agile transformation and showcasing their improvements. 

You can link with Madhuri Korapati on LinkedIn and connect with Madhuri Korapati on Twitter.

Kevin Pedersen: The PO that went beyond the call of duty to help the Scrum Master and the team!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that went beyond the call of duty to help the Scrum Master and the team!

This Product Owner came from the business side of the organization. But she had an intuitive understanding of the practices that a PO needs. She went through the PO training and learned quickly how to help the team break down work. However, there was a challenge for the team that she was able to help with that goes far beyond the default PO responsibilities. Listen in to learn how this PO stepped up and helped the team deal with a critical problem.

The Bad Product Owner: The Know-it-all PO, and how to handle that anti-pattern

When PO’s think they know everything there is to know, they are less likely to listen to the team and help them with concrete issues they face. When PO’s think they can tell the team how to do the work, things get complicated. In this segment, we explore the anti-patterns that emerge in a team that has to work with such a PO, and discuss how Scrum Masters can help those teams and the PO get to a more collaborative way of working. 

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 Kevin Pedersen

Kevin is a Managing Director, agile coach and international trainer for Growing Agile in South Africa. He is passionate about helping people connect to their purpose. This is best described in Growing Agile’s vision ‘to grow people and inspire ideas so that they can be the best version of themselves and we do that by changing the way people think about work’.

You can link with Kevin Pedersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kevin Pedersen on Twitter.

Mariana Trigo: How to help a pushy, technical Product Owner step back and let the Scrum team lead the implementation, an Agile story

The Great Product Owner: The PO that is ready for Plans A, B, C or more, and helps the team deliver

One of the great Product Owner markers for Mariana is the ability the PO has to be organized and bring all the stories ready, as well Plans A, B, C or more to the planning meeting. Great PO’s are ready for whatever the team needs is best. They are also able to explain the benefits and the impact of the product to the team. 

In this segment, we talk about how important it is to have a clear Vision, that motivates the team. To help PO’s prepare that, we discuss the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast’s “Create a Compelling Product Vision” e-course, which is available for FREE here.

The Bad Product Owner: How to help a pushy, technical PO step back and let the team lead the implementation

In this team, the PO was very technical and wanted to have in depth conversations with the team about the code. Not only that, but the PO was also very pushy in planning and challenged the team on every estimate they gave. It was then that Mariana understood that she needed to help the PO to step back. But how to do it without causing more problems? Listen in to learn how she was able to help this very technical PO step back, and let the team lead more!

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 Mariana Trigo

Mariana’s path from Biology to Retail to IT, is a unique path in the search for purpose and the feeling of belonging. Helping development teams to reach their full potential by improving processes and people. Her favorite time is retrospective time, probably connected with her need to constantly get out of her comfort zone. 

You can link with Mariana Trigo on LinkedIn.

Tanzil Choudhury: The Scrum Master and Product Owner partnership as a key enabler for Agile teams

The Great Product Owner: A great engagement tactic for Product Owners

This PO was just a beginner, a young PO but she was able to set the right expectations, and constantly worked with the team to get feedback on what should be done (or not). She gave the team space to negotiate and come up with better ideas. Tanzil also shares a great tactic that this PO used to better engage the stakeholders in the Sprint Review. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to build a product partnership with your Product Owner

The PO was both a tech lead and an architect for the team, on top of being the Product Owner. His understanding of the success in the role of the PO was very different from what the team needed. Thanks to the deep domain knowledge, this PO took on the role of the controller/project manager, which was only amplified by the team who did not know any other way of working. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to build a partnership with the Product Owner. 

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 Tanzil Choudhury

Tanzil is a passionate Agilist focused on coaching individuals, teams and organizations towards the Agile transformation journey. Specialized in working with teams and organizations to help them overcome cultural hangovers. 

You can link with Tanzil Choudhury on LinkedIn.

BONUS: The 4 (+1) key skills for Product Owners with David Pereira

We start this episode by discussing what are some of the key skills for Product Owners. David shares that – as the Head of Product Management – he tries to help his people with the following skills: 

  • Value-driven mindset: solving problems instead of delivering solutions
  • Communication: adapting to the different scenarios and knowing how to navigate common situations for software projects 
  • Empathy: being able to put themselves in the users, as well as stakeholder, and development team’s shoes
  • Decision making: Sometimes we don’t have data, but we can’t stop making decisions or the team will be paralysed. 
  • If you listen to the end of the episode, we share one more (BONUS! 🙂 skill that David helps Product Owners with

The process to help Product Owners develop these skills

Continue reading BONUS: The 4 (+1) key skills for Product Owners with David Pereira

Alex Gbaguidi: The Bossy and Absent Product Owner, the perfect storm for the Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: The Visionary PO that involved the users

This Product Owner was new to the job, and just fresh out of University. However, the skills she displayed made her a great Product Owner. She was able to listen and understand what was going on, share the Vision and do so through great storytelling. She also helped the team to learn from the users. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Bossy and Absent PO, the perfect storm for the team

When the Product Owner thinks they are “the boss” things can go terribly wrong, and this was the case in a PO that just wanted the teams to “deliver this feature”. On top of that, the PO was too busy to answer questions by the team, making it even harder for the team to deliver. Finally, we talk about the consequences for the team of such a PO.

Are you having trouble helping the teamwork 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 Alex Gbaguidi

Alex is an experienced agile practitioner, coach and trainer with twenty years of experience in IT consulting. He is passionate about helping teams discover the best ways of working adapted to their context. He’s worked in many different types of industries (Telecoms, Energy, Finance or Aeronautics) and provides training on many agile frameworks and practices all around the world in French & English.

You can link with Alex Gbaguidi on LinkedIn and connect with Alex Gbaguidi on Twitter

You can join Alex Gbaguidi’s Agile Africa community.

Gonçalo Valverde: The “doer” Scrum Product Owner and its anti-patterns

The Great Product Owner: Key behaviors great PO’s exhibit

Great Product Owners are able to help the teams focus on the impact (and outcomes) of their work. Gonçalo shares a tip to define outcomes in a way that is easy to understand for the team and the stakeholders. We also talk about some specific behaviors that great PO’s have in relation to the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The “doer” PO and its anti-patterns

This particular PO had a background as a Project Manager. That led him to focus on controlling the team’s work and tasks, rather than the evolution and impact of the product. When PO’s focus more on “delivering” and less on “impact”, this may lead to the team losing sight of the customer and their needs. 

Are you having trouble helping the teamwork 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 Gonçalo Valverde

Gonçalo is an Agile Coach from Portugal working with teams and organizations in their continuous improvement journey. As a keen amateur photographer, he learned that less is more and how constraints help one focus on the outcomes. He’s also a co-organizer of Agile Coach Camp Portugal. 

You can link with Gonçalo Valverde on LinkedIn and connect with Gonçalo Valverde on Twitter

Kim Hinsch: How to help a PO step down from the “clouds”, and help the Scrum team make decisions

The Great Product Owner: Trust your Scrum team

Great Product Owners are able to trust the teams they work with. They help the team establish, and gain self-confidence in their actions and decisions. This does not mean the PO resigns, but rather that they first trust the team, and pull rank only rarely – even if they are very experienced in the product. Great PO’s often say “go ahead, I trust you”, even if they have another idea of what the solution could be. 

The Bad Product Owner: The “in the clouds” PO 

There are several PO anti-patterns that detract from the PO’s performance. One such anti-pattern is when the PO is constantly in “the clouds”, and is unable to bring their vision to the reality of everyday decision making. The PO isn’t invested in the “now”, but the team can only make immediate decisions, and they need the PO to help them make those decisions. 

Are you having trouble helping the teamwork 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 Kim Hinsch

Kim is an agile enthusiast, that has been stung by the power of games, communication, and psychology. Kim practices every day the fine art of making magic happen the agile way. And what makes her heart beat faster is supporting teams and organizations on their magical journey across the hills of excellence and effectiveness.

You can link with Kim Hinsch on LinkedIn.

Priyanka Keswani: Helping busy PO’s collaborate better with their Scrum teams

The Great Product Owner: Communication and negotiation as key skills for great PO’s

Great Product Owners focus on communicating their Vision, and helping the team understand where they want to take the product. But that’s only one perspective on communication. We discuss how the ability to communicate and negotiate with the team and stakeholders become a key contributor to a great PO.

In this segment, we refer to WSJF prioritization or Weighted Shortest Job First

The Bad Product Owner: Helping busy PO’s collaborate better with their Scrum teams

When PO’s have several hats, it becomes difficult to give teams the time they need to clarify questions and receive feedback. This lack of availability can quickly become a blocker for the team if we – as Scrum Masters – don’t help the team and PO define clearly how they will collaborate. We explore how to help busy PO’s collaborate better (and in many cases more!) with the team. 

In this segment, we refer to the PO’s Sprint Checklist, a tool we created at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to help Scrum Masters guide and support their PO’s. 

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 Priyanka Keswani

Priyanka is a seasoned Agile Coach with a firm belief in innovation, continuous improvement, and a focus on Agile transformation in the organization. With 14+ years of experience, she has worked across various domains- Content Delivery Network, Travel, CRM, and Storage. She started as a QA Manager, then became Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music, dancing, traveling, and networking with people.

You can link with Priyanka Keswani on LinkedIn and connect with Priyanka Keswani on Twitter.