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.

Lena Löfdahl: How pressure destroys the trust between PO and Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: How to simply explain a very complex functionality

This Product Owner worked with an Offshore team that had the mission to completely overhaul the search function in a major company’s website. The PO could have worked in detail, and written down many ideas of how that search function could work, however, the PO simply conveyed what was needed with a high-level vision, and the team worked through a clickable wireframe to collect feedback and deliver a great experience!

The Bad Product Owner: How pressure destroys the trust between PO and Scrum team

This PO was new to the team, and the organization had already put lots of pressure on the team and PO. The PO, unable to cope with the pressure pushed the team, and made them nervous. This ended up disrupting the relationship between PO and team, created a lot of interruptions and conflict. Lena understood that, before working on the methods/processes, the key was to start working on the relationship between PO and team.

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 Lena Löfdahl

Lena is a senior agile coach with a specialty in learning and psychological safety. Successfully coached over 200+ teams and taught courses for 8000+ hours, mostly in agile but also project management. She gets a lot of energy from building teams and colleagues, watching people grow is rewarding work. 

You can link with Lena Löfdahl on LinkedIn.

Inderdip Vraich: Great Product Owner translate “fuzzy ideas” into concrete asks for the Scrum team 

The Great Product Owner: How to translate “fuzzy ideas” into concrete asks for the Scrum team 

Great Product Owners ask about, and translate their ideas into business value. They ask about it from the stakeholders, and translate it for the team, so that the team may understand why their work is important. They also put significant effort in communicating (e.g. through feature kick-offs) with the team about what is expected. They act as a constant and solid bridge between the outside, and the inside of the team.

The Bad Product Owner: Recovering from conflict between team and PO

One of the characteristic PO anti-patterns is putting unreasonable expectations on the team, and using pressure as a tool to get the team to work “harder”. This kind of anti-pattern can lead to serious problems in the team and the relationship between PO and team. We discuss what a Scrum Master can do to recover from this kind of negative spiral

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 Inderdip Vraich

Inderdip is an Agile Coach and a Scrum Master based in New Zealand. She has been working in the agile space with IT teams since 2007. She believes in lifelong learning and derives deep satisfaction from working with teams & individuals and see them grow in their journey.

You can link with Inderdip Vraich on LinkedIn and connect with Inderdip Vraich on Twitter

David Wallace: Is your PO behaving like a Project Manager?

Great Product Owners know how to involve team members in the definition and decision-making processes. However, the contrast is a PO that thinks they were given the mission to be a Project Manager. Is your PO behaving like a Project Manager? Listen in to learn about the signs that the PO might have taken the Project Management role.

The Great Product Owner:  Building collaboration by involving team members across disciplines

Great Product Owners are amazing that getting people to buy in to the Vision for the product/project. But they also know how to help the team put in practice continuous discovery, involving both engineering and the design team. As the POs starts to involve team and stakeholders, they make their job both more effective, and easier! A win-win!

The Bad Product Owner: Is your PO behaving like a Project Manager?

When Product Owners think they are Project Managers – maybe because they had that role in the past – they forget about the product vision and start focusing too much on topics that the team should focus on. They dictate dates, scope and force the teams to follow the plan without questioning it. When this happens, a lot is lost in the team. Is your Product Owner behaving like a Project Manager? 

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 David Wallace

David Wallace is an agile coach with 25 years of experience in the IT industry. He’s a passionate Agilist and the cohost of the Heart of Agile – Boulder meetup group. He’s currently based in Denver as a Product Delivery Coach at Xero, a New Zealand based cloud accounting software company. 

You can link with David Wallace on LinkedIn and connect with David Wallace on Twitter.

Richard Lizama: “Just enough” Planning, the secret super power of great Product Owners

When it comes to planning, there’s plenty of opinions about how much is “just enough”. In this episode, we discuss this question from two different perspectives: the PO that wanted “just enough” planning, and the PO that wanted to over-plan everything in minute detail! 

The Great Product Owner: “Just enough” Planning, the secret superpower of great PO’s

Great Product Owners realize that they are part of the team, and focus on helping the team continuously improve in respect to how they think about customers and their role as product developers. In this segment, we also talk about how much is “just enough planning”, and the importance of feedback when helping develop the team.

The Bad Product Owner: Too much planning and its nasty consequences

In this segment, we talk about the PO that wants to plan everything, and in detail! We also discuss how to know when we are doing too much planning, or too little! Learning to hit the sweet spot in terms of planning is a critical enabler for team agility, and the Scrum Master can help the PO with that goal!

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 Richard Lizama

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Richard spent time as a college counselor, then a small business owner, then a tech support rep. Once he found Scrum and Agile, he knew it was where he needed to be.

You can link with Richard Lizama on LinkedIn.