Steve Jaccaud: The PO who threw the team under the bus

In this episode, we discuss a particularly negative side of some PO’s approach, and how to help them get out of that negative spiral.

The Great Product Owner: Working on all sides of the PO role

When it comes to a great Product Owner, Steve shares the story of a PO that worked all the angles of the PO job and understood that PO’s are not only Backlog managers, but there are a lot more sides to that role which will, in the end, help the team and the product succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who threw the team under the bus

The company had a great product, that helped the company succeed in the market. To try and make it even better, the company hired one of their most vocal customers to drive the product forward. This customer became the PO, but the change they hoped for wasn’t going to happen. This PO would throw the team under the bus at Sprint Reviews. This was when Steve decided to intervene, but very quickly he found out that the best way to work with this PO was to meet him where he was and connect on a personal level. Listen in to learn how Steve helped this PO change his approach, without forcing any change.

 

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 Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he’s not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he’s probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter

Willem-Jan Ageling: The task-centric, command-and-control PO and its consequences on the Scrum team

The amount of time a Product Owner spends thinking and working on the details is one of the aspects that has the biggest impact on the team. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting PO approaches: from the high-level focus of the Sprint Goal to the task-centric, command-and-control PO.

The Great Product Owner: Crystalizing the Sprint Goal

When we help teams, and Product Owners focus on the User Stories, we are helping them understand, and follow-up on the items they should work on. However, when we help the Product Owner and the team focus on the Sprint Goal, we are helping them focus on impact and outcomes over the tasks and stories they need to work on. This enables many positive behaviors, and when you find a PO that is able to crystalize a Sprint in a Sprint Goal, you know you’ve got gold in your hands, you’ve got a great Product Owner!

The Bad Product Owner: The task-centric, command-and-control PO

Sometimes, Product Owners behave as if they were Project Managers. When that happens, there’s many patterns that emerge in the team, and int he PO-team collaboration which Scrum Masters must actively manage, or mitigate. In this episode, we talk about the task-centric, command-and-control PO, and what you can do to help the PO and 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 Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

Justin Chapman: How to help the Product Owner learn to collaborate with the Scrum Team

Market focus by PO’s is always a great start, however, when they take that focus to mean “ignoring the team’s needs”, the PO role rapidly turns into an anti-pattern. In this episode, we discuss the two sides from that “market focus” coin, when it comes to the PO role.

The Great Product Owner: Deliberate assumption validation

Great Product Owners are deliberate about how and what do when trying to validate their assumptions about the product they own. If we add to this the ability to learn from and listen to the Scrum Master’s perspective on the role, we might be close to the perfect PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Lack of collaboration with the team

Often, Product Owners have a Product Manager background, and therefore bring in that perspective. One of the biggest problems with those PO’s is that they don’t carve out the time to work with, and understand what the teams need. This presents a big challenge for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we talk about how to work with PO’s that come from the PM background, and how to use “powerful questions” to help the PO understand their role when it comes to collaborating with 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 Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

BONUS: #NoEstimates in practice, interview with the Runtastic app team

In this episode, we interview Andre, Fabian and Aleksandar, team members at one of the Runtastic App teams. At the time of recording, they had 5 months of experience with #NoEstimates at the team level, and that led us to explore how they applied #NoEstimates; what prompted them to change their way of working; and many other practical questions related to the use of #NoEstimates approaches in their product development work.

The path to #NoEstimates

Continue reading BONUS: #NoEstimates in practice, interview with the Runtastic app team

Dimitri Favre: Product Ownership in Scrum is teamwork!

An often missed aspect of Product Ownership is the fact that it is mostly teamwork. That a team can bring a lot of input to the solution definition if they are able to interact with the Product Owner. But there is a dark side to this realization: when the PO is absent, or unable to justify the requirements… We discuss these anti-patterns, and why teamwork is so important when it comes to Product Ownership.

The Great Product Owner: Product Ownership is teamwork

In this segment, we talk about how the Product Owner role is not really only the Product Owner’s responsibility, but that the nest Product Owners are able to work together with the team to answer the question: “What is the minimum solution that fulfills this need?”

The Bad Product Owner: The Pass-through Product Owner

Sometimes, Product Owners act as mere channels for requirements. These “pass-through PO’s” convey the information they collect elsewhere but are often unable to share the reasoning for their ideas with the team, which leads to poor quality requirements, poor quality implementations, and a lack of collaboration with the teams.

In this segment we also refer to the “ghost PO”, a Product Owner that is present only in planning and in the review but is mostly absent, not being able to interact with the team to clarify questions and help the team fine-tune the implementation with early feedback.

 

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 Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.

Saritha Rai: A critical skills for Scrum PO’s, getting decisions made quickly

This episode is all about making decisions or getting decisions made. Decisions are the fuel for the team’s ability to deliver. Great Product Owners work to get those decisions made.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that got decisions taken quickly

In this segment, we talk about a Product Owner that had been a Project Manager previously, and learn about what traits transfer well from the Project Manager role to the Product Owner role. We hear about how removing blockers, and getting decisions taken become a critical asset for Product Owners that want to help their teams.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that couldn’t answer the team’s questions

Sometimes, PO’s are busy with several teams, and even several products. When that happens, there’s a natural anti-pattern that emerges. The team does not get their questions answered, and many decisions are left unmade.

In this segment, we also discuss the PO that wants to design the solutions for the team and the PO that doesn’t trust the team. Finally, we discuss a team anti-pattern: the team that wants to please the PO.

In this episode, we refer to the Product Owner Sprint Checklist, a how-to by the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to help Scrum Masters agree on the right level of engagement with the PO and 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 Saritha Rai

Saritha has been working in the IT industry for 13+ years and is an adaptable and constant learner. She has over a decade of experience in software development and is passionate about training, guiding and coaching people to have a good working environment which will result in high-quality deliverables.

You can link with Saritha Rai on LinkedIn.

George Mathews: The Task Master Product Owner Anti-pattern

The Great Product Owner: The Ex-Developer with a focus on Outcomes

Great Product Owners are often good at communicating, and this example is no exception. However, there are some aspects that make good communicators even better at Product Owner: being available and able to understand the type of questions that developers and testers have when implementing their ideas.

In this segment, we talk about the ex-developer PO that was much more focused on the goals of what was being done, but was also able to speak the language of developers.

The Bad Product Owner: The Task Master

Imagine a PO that goes into a team meeting, and spends their time focused on the tasks. What was done, what was not done and why? The blame game is a sure consequence of that attitude. In this episode, we talk about the task-focus some PO’s have and how that hinders the team’s ability to deliver a valuable increment of their product.

 

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 George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn

George Mathews: Project-driven organizations and their impact on Scrum teams

When George joined this company, he was told that they were already “pretty agile”. This is usually a sign that somethings are not really working well, and this was no exception. When he joined, George found out this was a project manager-driven organization, where project managers tried to get the work done but wanted to reduce the budget at the same time. The anti-patterns followed, and George learned a few important lessons about being a Scrum Master in a project-driven organization.

In this episode, we refer to the episode with Bas Vodde, where we discuss organizing product development without projects, and the #AgileOnlineMeetup with Bob Galen where we talk about the self-care Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches must take to sustain their work over the long term.

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

Mandy Sunner: Trust as a productivity amplifier for Scrum teams

Using trust as a productivity amplifier, Product Owners can have a huge impact on the team’s performance. We also talk about the missing-in-action Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: Trust as a productivity amplifier

When Product Owners lack trust for the team, there are many anti-patterns that emerge and lead to problems. In this episode, we talk about the reverse phenomenon: what happens when the PO trusts the team. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent PO

The Product Owner role is a key role in Scrum, which in turn means that not having a PO, or having a PO that is often absent is a problem when your team works with Scrum. In this episode, we talk about the Absent PO anti-pattern, as well as what happens when the PO is not up to the task.

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 Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Mandy Sunner: How to handle the loss of a great Product Owner in a Scrum team

Teams need a great Product Owner to be able to exploit their potential. When Scrum Masters work with teams that have a great PO, they learn the impact that the PO role can have. However, when a great PO leaves the team, what should the Scrum Master do? In this episode, we learn about Mandy’s attempt to help the team by replacing the PO, and why it is so critical to avoid that anti-pattern. Listen in to learn what to do when a great PO leaves.

About Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.