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.

​​Tanzil Choudhury: A great Scrum team that went bad because they were so good at following Agile

Tanzil had just kickstarted a new team that he helped hire. The start of the assignment went as well as could be expected. The team picked up the practices, and learned how to apply them as described by Tanzil. However, later on that became part of the problem. The team, sure of their practices, was unwilling to move beyond the original practices they had learned. 

In this segment, we talk about The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni.

Featured Book of the Week: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell et al.

This week’s book, is also an audiobook: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell et al. In this book Tanzil learned several practices he could directly apply to his work, and go beyond the “process” aspects that a Scrum Master often works with. The book helped Tanzil move from thinking about product, to thinking and act with people. 

In this segment, we also refer to Shift From Product To People, a book that helps Scrum Masters understand and apply that shift to focus on people and their behaviors, instead of sticking only to process and product. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

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.

Alex Gbaguidi: Overcoming the skill silos in backend Scrum teams

When you are the Scrum Master in the backend team, and you understand that your team cannot deliver anything without other teams, what do you do? In this episode, we explore Alex’s story, and learn what he applied to align different teams that were organized around skill silos. 

Featured Book of the Week: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni

Alex shares with us a new edition of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, this is the Manga version of the book. As Alex puts it: the perfect edition for the visual learners among us. 

In this segment, we also refer to the Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley et al.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

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

Gonçalo Valverde: How to deal with a disruptive team member (before it is too late)

Gonçalo was working with two teams that were busy migrating to a new system. However, in one of these teams there was a disruptive team member. The management tried to put this team member aside by pushing him into test management. But this only made the situation worse. Listen in to learn what Gonçalo tried to help this team member, and what he learned from this story that he carries with him ever since.

Featured Book of the Week: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al.

While reading Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al., Gonçalo realized that it’s possible and there’s a method to having conversations on very difficult topics, yet be constructive. This book shares some critical tools that all Scrum Masters should be aware of. 

In this segment, we also refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton, and to the Oikosofy’s User Story Mapping facilitator’s guide, available for free. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

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.

Kim Hinsch: Going beyond “best practice” a must for Scrum teams that want to learn and improve

Kim was working with a new team, with a new PO. However, this team had a history in that organization, and their culture was already established. A lot of people came in with their own beliefs, and the inevitable culture clash happened between the “new” PO and Scrum Master, and the “old” team members. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to bring these issues up with the team and have them process/learn from the conflicts that are happening. This led Kim to understand that when teams (think they) “know the best practices”, they are not motivated to learn and improve. 

Featured Book of the Week: Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun by Joost Minaar et al.

In Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun, by Joost Minaar et al., Kim found examples of how different companies have taken decisions to the teams, and empowered them to take responsibility for their own work and success. She found those stories inspiring. 

In this segment, we also talk about Turn The Ship Around! By David L. Marquet, a book we’ve reviewed with the author here on the podcast

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

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.