Adrienne Rinaldi: From Scrum Team Member to Product Owner, a difficult transition

Learning to be a Product Owner is not easy. In this episode, we talk about two types of learning stances by newly minted Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: The Learning Product Owner can be a huge boost to your team!

When Product Owners take on the role, they probably have a very steep learning curve to climb. It’s not only the product they must immerse themselves in, they must also learn to work with a new team, a new set of stakeholders, and the hard job of being a Product Owner itself. In this segment, we talk labout a PO that was ready for that challenge and focused on learning while taking on the role. The Learning Product Owner can be a huge boost to your team!

The Bad Product Owner: From Scrum Team Member to Product Owner, a difficult transition

When a team member takes on the PO role, they might think they know the product well enough (and they probably do), but knowing the product is only one aspect of the Product Owner role. The big challenge is that the person taking on the role is now in a different position, and what worked before while being a team member, may no longer work! In this segment, we talk about the challenges of being a PO after being a team member. 

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 Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn

Arjay Hinek: The 4 Product Owners of the Apocalypse

The balance between Vision and detailed guidance can make or break a PO. We also discuss the 4 PO’s of the Apocalypse. A tale about some of the worst PO anti-patterns.

The Great Product Owner: Balancing Vision and detailed guidance.

We talk about the careful balance between Vision and details that describes a great Product Owner’s ability to keep the team focused on the Vision while helping define the necessary details that teams need guidance on. A great PO is also able to communicate the Vision in the form of a definition of success through storytelling and the use of metaphors.

In this segment, we also refer to The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning.

The Bad Product Owner: The 4 Product Owners of the Apocalypse

In this episode, Arjay walks us through what he describes as the 4 Product Owners you meet in hell. He then explains how those patterns happen in reality with the help of a real-life story of a PO he worked with. From this conversation, it becomes clear how critical it is to help Product Owners through our work 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 Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/

Leland Newson: Creating commitment to the work in a Scrum team, a tale of two Product Owners

From the PO that was able to inspire the team to the PO that was only a PO on weekends. Two contrasting examples of how to help the teams commit to the outcome of their work.

The Great Product Owner: The Storytelling PO that inspired the team

Great Product Owners are able to tell great stories. Stories that engage the audience, and help the team find purpose (the “why”) for the work that they have to take on. Leland shares the story of the “three bricklayers” as a metaphor for what that Product Owner was trying to create: commitment to the outcome of the work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Overly Busy PO

This PO was so busy that their “PO work” was called by the PO themselves as “weekend work”. The stage was set for trouble. This led to the team not getting feedback from the PO. The stories were not accepted in time for the end of the sprint, it was hard to do any work on the product backlog refinement. Finally, as the situation would not get better, the company finally decided to hire someone else. 

If you are facing this situation right now, you may want to check our Sprint Checklist, a tool to help you deal with an Overly Busy PO.

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 Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Ronny Deicke: The Decision Delays Product Owner, an anti-pattern that makes Scrum teams slower

From the stories PO’s tell, the team can get a much better understanding of what they are being asked to do. Great PO’s will help the team through their storytelling, and User Story writing skills. We also discuss the critical role PO’s play in the decision-making process, and how that directly affects the team’s success

The Great Product Owner: The Story Teller PO

Great Product Owners learn to tell great stories. First while talking to the team, and then on their own. In this segment, we talk about a PO that started by learning the craft of telling stories, and then translated that to the User Stories he wrote with the team. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Decision Delayer PO

In some teams, the PO is unable to make decisions. When that happens, we have the stage set for the team to struggle, and be constantly delayed by the lack of decisions. In this segment, we talk about the consequences for the team of a PO that can’t make decisions on their own, and we discuss possible steps to take with that PO and that organization.

 

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 Ronny Deicke

Ronny is a Scrum Master and Agile coach with a developer and team lead background. Currently working as a part-time Scrum Master and in the rest of the time giving (agile) workshops, supporting people as a coach and Agile Coach. Video game enthusiast and Indie developer on the side.

You can link with Ronny Deicke on LinkedIn and connect with Ronny Deicke on Twitter.

Pieter Verbaarschott: The Product Owner that created trust with the Scrum team

Trust as a productivity amplifier in the team can be hindered or boosted by the Product Owner’s attitude when interacting with the team. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting approaches that affect (differently) the team’s productivity

The Great Product Owner: The PO that created trust with the Scrum team

When Scrum Masters don’t have to “fix” the relationship between team and PO, that’s a great start. But this PO had gone beyond that, he had created instant trust with the Scrum team, and was able to bring customer feedback directly in the team’s Backlog. This all lead to Pieter being a happy observer in the PO – team relationship.

The Bad Product Owner: The Dictator/Boss PO

When PO’s want to be “the boss” and dictate what the team should be working on, it may lead to the team feeling they have no contribution to the product. That they are simply task handlers. This, in turn, may lead to the team feeling they don’t need to improve or collaborate better because the PO already tells them what to do. Listen in to learn what Pieter tried to help the PO and the team find a better way to collaborate. 

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 Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter.

Rachel Macasek: Building trust between Product Owner and the rest of the Scrum team

The difference between a passionate and committed team might be as simple as the attitude the PO brings to work. Which of these describes your PO right now? 

The Great Product Owner: Sparking passion and commitment as a Product Owner

When PO’s are able to explain the problem that they want to solve, they enable the designers, developers, and testers to contribute their perspective and help the PO improve their possible solution ideas. When the PO focuses on the problems to solve, rather than the solutions they may also help spark passion and commitment in the team!

The Bad Product Owner: Building trust between PO and the rest of the Scrum team

When the PO does not have faith in the team’s ability to work on the problems they want to solve, they often rely on micro-management, and solutioneering (describing solutions instead of customer problems). This, in turn, prevents the team from being creative, bringing their best thinking to the product, and ultimately leads to demotivation and resignation in the team. Rachel asks us to work with the Product Owner and find ways to focus on understanding the problems and enabling the team to bring their creativity to the work. 

In this episode, we refer to the Coach your PO e-course that we’ve created at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, to help you work with the Product Owners directly and bring about the right focus to their work. 

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 Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Simon Flossmann: The Proxy PO that worked for a team of Product Owners

In this episode, we talk about collaboration with customers, and how that can help the team and PO to work well together. And we discuss what happens when the PO is only a proxy to multiple other PO’s.

The Great Product Owner: The Great Collaborator 

Great Product Owners are able to collaborate closely with the stakeholders and customers. In this segment, we talk about the PO that was able to communicate with the customers in a way that helped him bring insights and knowl3edgte to the team so that the team could understand better the problems the customers were facing, and come up with innovative solutions.

The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO that worked for a team of Product Owners

When the PO is nothing but a proxy for another decision-maker, the team will suffer. In this segment, we talk about a PO proxy that had several big obstacles in their way: there were multiple PO’s to work with (a team of PO’s), and on top of that a “chief PO”. How can a PO succeed when they are unable to make decisions? How can the Scrum Master help that PO? Listen in to learn about Simon’s approach in that situation.

 

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 Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

You can follow Simon Flossmann’s writings on this home page.

Paddy Corry: Enabling Scrum teams to learn faster from the feedback they get

Building on feedback is one of the key aspects of Agile teams. What happens when the PO’s either help or prevent teams from learning from feedback? We explore that question in this episode.

The Great Product Owner: Enabling teams to learn faster from the feedback they get

In certain projects, it is more important than usual to build on the feedback we get from retrospectives and Sprint demos. In this segment, we talk about a different approach to refinement, enabled by the Product Owner, that allowed the team to learn quickly and delay decisions that would otherwise cause problems. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Solutions-pushing Product Owner.

Product Owners who want to help the teams move quickly can sometimes focus on delivering solution descriptions instead of problem descriptions and letting the team come up with the solution. In this segment, we talk about the PO that wanted to help the team but ended up creating more problems by pushing solutions and removing the motivation the teams have to find their own solutions.

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 Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

You can link with Paddy Corry on LinkedIn and connect with Paddy Corry on Twitter.

Julio de Lima: How a QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team

Being closer to the team, and the user are two important aspects of the PO work in a Scrum team. In this episode, we also about the QA engineer role in the relationship between the team and the PO.

The Great Product Owner: The User-centered PO

A great PO will help the team focus on the user, and understand what their needs are when they use the product. The PO helps the team understand, and focus on the interactions with the product, instead of the code or the technical details. 

The Bad Product Owner: How a QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team

When PO’s work mostly on their own, and share little with the team beyond the basic specifications for User Stories, a gap emerges in the relationship and later in the understanding of the product. But in these cases, the QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team, and we explore how in this segment.

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 Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

Sjoerd Nijland: The PO that lives and breathes Product Vision

From estimation to Vision, the contrasting performance of PO’s that focus on those two different items in their work.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that lives and breathes Product Vision

As Sjoerd describes it, the great PO lives and breathes the Product Vision. With that Product Vision in mind, the PO is able to make decisions as the product emerges thanks to the actions by the team. In this segment, we also talk about how Roadmaps can sometimes negatively impact the team’s ability to execute and the PO’s ability to make decisions.

In this segment, we refer to the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast episodes with Maarten Dalmijn.

The Bad Product Owner: The Estimation-driven PO

PO’s that focus on estimation, are often trying to cover their own backs and managing expectations with stakeholders at the expense of the Scrum team’s work. In this segment, we also talk about how the estimation focus by PO’s is more of a “scarcity mindset” perspective that drives teams to be afraid and always lacking in time to do the right things. 

For more on how to work without estimates as a Product Owner, check out the NoEstimates Book.

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 Sjoerd Nijland

Sjoerd is a founder of Serious Scrum, and creator of the Road to Mastery co-creative online training. Previously E-commerce manager at Bugaboo, and then Manager of Operations at Digital Agency Triggerfish.

You can link with Sjoerd Nijland on LinkedIn and connect with Sjoerd Nijland on Twitter.