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Lee Beckett: Using NoEstimates to Help Agile Teams Focus On Value, And Create Transparency – NoEstimates Unplugged Week

This is one of a series of episodes where Product Owners explain how they used, and benefited from #NoEstimates in their work with teams.

To know more about #NoEstimates, sign-up to get the first 3 chapters of the book here.

Exploring #NoEstimates

Lee Beckett shares his journey from coder to Product Owner (PO), and how his diverse experience led him to question the effectiveness of traditional estimation techniques in agile environments. He discusses the adoption of a #NoEstimates approach, highlighting its benefits in simplifying processes and focusing on delivering value.

Lee illustrates how abandoning estimates, except for significant items, streamlined project workflows and improved team dynamics. This approach fostered a culture of trust and transparency, crucial for managing stakeholder expectations and focusing on product delivery.

Challenges and Solutions

Implementing #NoEstimates was surprisingly straightforward for Lee’s team, emphasizing the importance of establishing trust and transparency with stakeholders from the outset.

Lee stresses honesty in forecasting and advises giving stakeholders meaningful insights rather than fixed dates to help manage expectations effectively.

After adopting #NoEstimates, the team’s planning focused on work discussion rather than assigning numerical values, allowing for more flexible and goal-oriented sprint planning.

Measuring Success

Without traditional estimates, the team measures progress through product delivery and stakeholder feedback, ensuring a focus on value creation.

Lee advises teams to ensure open communication and clear prioritization with stakeholders before moving to #NoEstimates, ensuring a foundation for success.

Recommended Resource

For those interested in exploring #NoEstimates further, Lee recommends the “Agile for Humans” podcast, particularly the interview with Josh Anderson and Ryan Ripley.

About Lee Beckett

Lee Beckett, has over 17 years of experience in digital product development, and is a certified Product Owner and Lean Practitioner. Skilled in setting product goals and managing backlogs, Lee excels in guiding teams through the product lifecycle and fostering a culture of empiricism and learning in agile environments.

You can link with Lee Beckett on LinkedIn.

Johannes Andersen: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

The Great Scrum Master: Beyond the Backlog, How a Great Scrum Master Helps Product Owners

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes shares what an ideal Scrum Master looks like. This Scrum Master not only introduced him to Scrum but also focused on the underlying purpose beyond mere processes. His patience, clarity, and pragmatic approach in defining priorities and solving conflicts greatly facilitated the PO’s understanding of product development challenges. This Scrum Master’s ability to foster meaningful conversations significantly helped Johannes in the PO role, highlighting the importance of a Scrum Master’s soft skills in guiding and supporting the product vision.

The Bad Scrum Master: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes highlights an anti-pattern where the Scrum Master becomes overly focused on ceremonies and strict adherence to Scrum guidelines, losing sight of the actual outcomes. This approach mistakenly centralizes process ownership with the Scrum Master, rather than distributing it among the entire team. Johannes advises addressing this issue by realigning the Scrum Master’s role towards shared goals and understanding, using tools like Team Topologies for discussion. The key is moving beyond the “servant” aspect of “servant leader” to foster a team environment where understanding and self-direction are prioritized.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Johannes Andersen: Collaboration Over Isolated Performance, Lessons Learned as a Scrum Product Owner

In this episode, Johannes shares a personal story of his struggles as a Product Owner (PO). In his early career, Johannes believed he needed to have all the answers and provide detailed requirements alone; but he quickly found that it was not so easy to define all the features by himself. This experience taught him the importance of involving the entire team in writing user stories, highlighting that collaboration, not individual effort, leads to success. Johannes emphasizes focusing on outcomes, encouraging POs to ask goal-oriented questions and to view technical solutions through the lens of their importance. He recommends resources like Mike Burrows’ list of questions to foster effective communication and collaboration.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Freddie Brown Jr: Inspiring Excellence, How the Commitment and Clarity Transforms the Performance of the Scrum Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Inspiring Excellence, How the Commitment and Clarity Transforms the Performance of the Scrum PO

In this segment, Freddie highlights the exceptional qualities of a great Product Owner (PO), Sara. She exhibited visionary leadership, with a clear and effectively communicated product vision. Her ability to inspire the team and her commitment to the product’s success were some of the most important qualities highlighted by Freddie. Sara’s enthusiasm for the work, skill in defining and explaining requirements, and prompt feedback to the development team set her apart as an exemplary PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Collaboration Over Dictation, Tackling the Micro-Manager Scrum PO Challenge

In this segment, Freddie discusses the challenges of dealing with a micro-managing Product Owner (PO) who dictates team processes and avoids accountability. This PO type often over-commits work, ignoring team capacity. Freddie suggests that Scrum Masters should foster a collaborative environment, seek to understand the team’s feelings towards the PO’s behavior, and communicate with the PO to get to the root cause of their behavior’s. He emphasizes the importance of helping the PO explain their goals to the team, to create alignment and avoid misunderstandings.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Freddie Brown Jr.

Meet Freddie Brown Jr, the Agile Genie! With a magic brain that grants your corporate wishes faster than Aladdin’s lamp, he transforms chaos into strategic brilliance. He’s the genie you never knew you needed, making agile dreams come true – all with a sprinkle of humor that’s truly magical! 🪔🚀😄

You can link with Freddie Brown Jr. on LinkedIn and connect with Freddie Brown Jr. on Twitter.

Freddie Brown Jr: From Chaos to Clarity, How A Process To Manage The Inflow Of Work to an Agile Team Transformed Their Performance

In this episode with Freddie, we explore the story of a team that was grappling with conflicting priorities. Freddie stepped in to shield the team and initiated a dialogue with the leadership, who were familiar with agile methodologies. The root cause of the problem seemed to be the absence of a structured process to integrate and prioritize new work that led to shifting priorities. Freddie worked with the stakeholders to create a clear process for leaders to introduce and manage new priorities effectively, without disrupting the team. This story highlights the need for clear processes that manage the “inflow” of work to the team.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Freddie Brown Jr.

Meet Freddie Brown Jr, the Agile Genie! With a magic brain that grants your corporate wishes faster than Aladdin’s lamp, he transforms chaos into strategic brilliance. He’s the genie you never knew you needed, making agile dreams come true – all with a sprinkle of humor that’s truly magical! 🪔🚀😄

You can link with Freddie Brown Jr. on LinkedIn and connect with Freddie Brown Jr. on Twitter.

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This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
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Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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