Laurens Bonnema: Resolving the “everything is a priority” Scrum Product Owner anti-pattern 

Sharing the passion for the product with the team is a great way to energize the team while sharing the Vision for the product. 

In this episode, we also about how to solve the “everything is a priority” anti-pattern, even if the PO does not want to!

The Great Product Owner: Sharing the passion and energizing the team

This Product Owner was “an energizer bunny” for teamwork. The PO worked with the team when needed, was decisive in decision making, included the team as much as possible and had a real passion for the product. All of this brought great energy to the team.

The Bad Product Owner: Resolving the “everything is a priority” anti-pattern

The Product Queen, is a PO anti-pattern, where the PO wants everything, and they want it now, just like that famous Queen song. However, this anti-pattern does not stop there. This particular PO also wanted everything to be “high-priority”. You may think it is impossible for a Scrum Master to help this PO, but you are wrong. Laurens shares with us an approach that helped this PO change their approach and be very clear on priorities! 

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 Laurens Bonnema

Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in.” 

You can link with Laurens Bonnema on LinkedIn and connect with Laurens Bonnema on Twitter.

Nikoletta Tatár: The “Everything is a priority” Product Owner anti-pattern

In this episode, we talk about the focus destroyer and the 5 characteristics that successful PO’s share. 

The Great Product Owner: 5 characteristics of successful PO’s

We talk about  5 characteristics that great Product Owners have. From the ability to listen to the team and customers to their focus on measuring the impact of their ideas/product on the customer.

The Bad Product Owner: “Everything is a priority” anti-pattern

“Everything is a priority” is a phrase that points to a PO that can’t make decisions, or is unaware of the priorities that matter for their customers. However, there’s where the anti-pattern starts. There are many more consequences from that perspective/attitude like the team losing focus and not being able to finish the things they started. 

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 Nikoletta Tatár

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tatár on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tatár on Twitter

Lakshmi Ramaseshan: 4 critical aspects that great Product Owners bring to the team

In this episode, we talk about the consequences of having overly-detailed Product Owners, and we discuss 4 critical aspects that great Product Owners bring to the team.

The Great Product Owner: The 4 key aspects of great Product Owners.

A new PO joined the team that Lakshmi was working with, and brought a different perspective. One that helped the team feel their views were listened to and respected. This PO was excellent at four different aspects necessary for the PO role: being a Product Manager, a Project Manager, a Business Analyst, and a leader for the team. 

The Bad Product Owner: From prescriptive to collaborative, a PO transformation

“The Product Owner is the toughest role in the team” Lakshmi starts when introducing this story, in which we explore the anti-pattern of a PO that was super detail-oriented, and prescriptive. The team was feeling demoralized by that attitude, and here is where Lakshmi introduced a different perspective. She introduced the idea of running an experiment on the way the team and PO collaborated. Listen in to learn what that experiment was, and how it can help PO’s learn to trust and listen to the team.

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 Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

You can link with Lakshmi Ramaseshan on LinkedIn and connect with Lakshmi Ramaseshan on Twitter.

Daniel Lenhart: Turning Product Owner fears into better collaboration tools

PO’s can be overly prescriptive when they feel unsure about certain aspects of the product. In this episode, we share tips about how to turn those fears into collaboration boosters.

The Great Product Owner: Setting boundaries to encourage the teams to make decisions on their own

Good PO’s are able to communicate the vision and ideas behind the stories in a way that the teams will even repeat their words when discussing how to implement the stories they work on. But great PO’s are also available to the team then the team needs and is able to say “no, that’s your decision, not mine” to the teams that feel insecure and try to get the PO to make all the decisions, even implementation technical details. 

The Bad Product Owner: Turning PO fears into better collaboration tools

A Product Owner with technical knowledge can be a blessing for a team that requires more support when creating their User Stories, however, that’s not always the case. In this segment, we talk about the Technical PO that could not stop telling the team “how” they should work and develop the solutions the PO had in mind. In this segment, we talk about how we can work with those Technical PO’s and help them turn their fears and anxieties into tools for better collaboration with their teams.

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 Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Steve Silbert: Helping the Scrum team “speak” the PO language

The collaboration between team and PO is one of the aspects we focus on as Scrum Masters, and in this episode, we talk about 2 major perspectives that can help the collaboration emerge.

The Great Product Owner: When even the code “speaks” the PO’s language

In this episode, we learn about a PO that was able (with Steve’s help) to start creating a mental universe with the team that helped them understand the customer at such a deep level that the team even started naming their Java classes based on the personas they were trying to serve. A great example of bringing the PO perspective to the whole team.

The Bad Product Owner: Multiple PO’s for one team, an impossible prioritization challenge

When a PO wants to control everything the team does, the collaboration with the team is hampered. Not only does the PO not get the team’s support (the PO might not even want it), but there’s a lot of other anti-patterns that develop. In this episode, we also talk about the Technical Product Owner as a “wrinkle in the process towards Agile”. In this segment, we focus on techniques to help stakeholders get to an agreement on priorities. 

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 Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

You can link with Steve Silbert on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Silbert on Twitter.

Jesse Houwing: Working with multiple Product Owners and other Scrum Master challenges

The collaboration with the Product Owner is a key aspect of the Scrum Master work, but there’s also the collaboration between Product Owners that work on the same product. We discuss these different aspects of collaboration and how they affect the PO role.

The Great Product Owner: Open to coaching, and much more

A great PO is open to and seeks support and coaching from the Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about one such PO, that was open to learning and being coached. But there was a lot more to this PO. Listen in to learn what were the key characteristics of this great Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: What destroys collaboration between PO’s

When a PO is not able to make decisions, we know we are in trouble. In this episode, we talk about a specific problem: when multiple PO’s need to work together, but don’t have the tools and experience to work well together. Listen in to learn about what can destroy the collaboration between Product Owners.

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 Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Ludmila Reyter: The key difference between communicating, and telling others what to do

Two contrasting examples of a PO that was in a split role of PO and Team Manager. Their different approaches had a completely different impact on the team, and the collaboration between team and PO.

The Great Product Owner: Communicating with stakeholders and team

This PO was the direct manager for the team, but that was not a problem. Additionally, this PO was able to keep everyone informed of the progress, as well as feeling involved in the decision making. This was a PO that understood that the PO role is all about communicating with stakeholders and team.

The Bad Product Owner: The all knowing, all telling PO

This PO was the direct manager for the team, and that was a challenge. The PO had a split role, which took up time, and made it hard to focus on the PO responsibilities. As the PO was pressured for time, the natural solution was to tell the team exactly what to do. This lead to a lack of collaboration and engagement between managers and team. In this segment, we also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to create a working partnership with the Product Owner.

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 Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now – but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Mahesh Jade: Going beyond Scrum ceremonies to solve a team-PO conflict

Allowing and even promoting the team’s questions are signs of a PO that is ready to collaborate with the team. However, when the collaboration does not work, we as Scrum Masters must try to go beyond Scrum, and address the collaboration issues. 

The Great Product Owner: Promoting and answering Scrum team’s questions as a PO

A great PO is ready to discuss ideas with the team, collect their input and foster an environment where the team feels they can ask questions without being put down, or ignored. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of creating a productive partnership between the Scrum Master and the PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Going beyond Scrum ceremonies to solve a team-PO conflict

When the PO comes in only to complain about the team not delivering a story at the end of the Sprint, instead of working with the team to prevent that from happening in the future, a gap emerges between PO and team. Mahesh helped the PO and team come together by looking beyond Scrum and the ceremonies that it defines. 

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 Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

BONUS: Peter Oliver-Krueger and Michael Dougherty on shifting from “product” to “people” centric practices in your Agile adoption

Download the first chapters of the book Shift: From Product to People at: https://bit.ly/shift_book

If you have already accessed the book, you can log back in at: https://www.oikosofyseries.net/login

Peter and Michael just finished the first half of a book they are writing together on the topic of shifting our attention, and focus from the “product” focused techniques to “people” focused techniques in order to achieve superior performance. 

The first four chapters of the book are freely available here. Sign-up to get the first four chapters today.

Listen to the podcast with Peter and Michael in the player below, and check out the show notes with the details of the topics discussed.

The third wave of Agile adoption: People focus

As Peter and Michael describe it, we went through different phases of Agile adoption in the industry. The first phase was a move away from projects and into a “product” thinking approach to software development. The move to focus on people is according to Peter and Michael, the third major shift in our industry.  Continue reading BONUS: Peter Oliver-Krueger and Michael Dougherty on shifting from “product” to “people” centric practices in your Agile adoption

Leigh Griffin: The part-time PO that starved the Scrum team, and other anti-patterns

From the “starving the team” anti-pattern to the PO that was able to talk to, and be understood by both the technology and the business teams. 

The Great Product Owner: The PO that spoke the business and technology language

This PO was a very experienced PO, who had worked as an analyst before and had a technology background. This gave the PO the ability to speak both business and technology language as serve as a bridge between the two sides. On top of that, this PO was able to keep the team informed, and help them think from a customer perspective.

The Bad Product Owner: The part-time PO that starved the team

This was a part-time PO that ended up letting the team starve by not feeding them enough content for their work. This kind of PO can stop the Agile transformation and affect the overall adoption in the organization. 

We also talk about other anti-patterns in the PO role that Scrum Masters should keep an eye out for. 

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 Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter