Jeremia Riedel: The Visionary Product Owner that was able to help the team own their Backlog

The Great Product Owner: The Visionary PO that was able to help the team own their Backlog

Great PO’s are often visionary. They have an idea of what they want to deliver and focus on conveying that to the team. They set the context for the Vision, and work from that Vision to explain the direction to the Scrum team. They don’t necessarily spend much time working on the backlog, because the teams are able to translate the Vision into the detailed stories to implement. Great PO’s focus on “what problem we should solve in the next iteration”!

In this segment, we talk about the Product Vision Canvas, and the Story Map tool.

The Bad Product Owner: The Requirements Manager

This particular PO acted like a requirements manager, focusing on collecting requirements from stakeholders, and doing whatever the customer had explained they wanted. However, for teams to be able to succeed, the PO role needs to be much more than a mere requirements collector and manager. In this segment, we discuss the role of Vision and the PO’s responsibility to go beyond merely writing down requirements.

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 Jeremia Riedel

Jeremia is an Agile Coach that describes himself as an Explorer, Enthusiast and Challenger.

You can link with Jeremia Riedel on LinkedIn, and read Jeremia Riedel’s blog on Medium.

Jeremia Riedel: Helping a Scrum team that was lacking direction, and feedback

Jeremia was working with a new team that was dedicated to collecting and analyzing data. As he started working with the team, he noticed the team lacked direction. Even if they were using Scrum, they did not understand the need to collect/gather feedback early. In this episode, we talk about the lack-of-feedback anti-pattern and how the Product Owner is a critical role to help the team define a direction / goal for their work.

Featured Book of the Week: Momo by Michael Ende

In Momo by Michael Ende (a German language novel), we learn about the power of listening, and how it can transform our outlook on things. Jeremia shares how this novel helped him understand the Scrum Master role better.

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 Jeremia Riedel

Jeremia is an Agile Coach that describes himself as an Explorer, Enthusiast and Challenger.

You can link with Jeremia Riedel on LinkedIn, and read Jeremia Riedel’s blog on Medium.

Gurucharan Padki: Customer-centric Product Owners that destroy the team because of that

The Great Product Owner: Great PO’s are committed to the success of the team, not only their personal success

Great Product Owners are able to relate to the team members, and share their perspective on the future of the product. This particular PO, was able to talk to the team about the roadmap, and communicated the Vision for the product. Even if the team was distributed among several timezones, the PO was able to be in contact and available to the team. Great PO’s are committed to the success of the team, not only their own success.

The Bad Product Owner: Customer-centric PO’s that destroy the team because of that

This PO thought they were the boss of everyone, and tended to micro-manage the team. This particular PO was more focused on sales, and pushed all customer ideas to the team without concern for their feasibility or applicability to the product Vision. The PO heard the customers, but was unable to filter out the bad ideas from the good ones.

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 Gurucharan Padki

Gurucharan Padki comes with 18 years of experience in the IT industry, of which he has spent more than a decade in the Agile world delivering products, programs and projects with focus on engineering and quality . He has played the role of product owner, scrum master and agile coach in multiple organizations across India and the world driving transformations.

You can link with Gurucharan Padki on LinkedIn.

Bent Myllerup: Communicating the Vision as a tool to help the Scrum team perform

The Great Product Owner: Communicating the Vision to help the Scrum team perform

Bent starts by explaining how great Product Owners are able to communicate with all stakeholders, and share the Vision they have for the product they own. It helps if a PO also understands the domain well, even if we’ve seen in other episodes, that this is not always a must-have skill. This particular PO was also able to listen, and collaborate well with both the team and the stakeholders.

The Bad Product Owner: The proxy PO anti-pattern

This Product Owner did not have the mandate to be the PO. The PO was merely a proxy to other stakeholders that did not show up, or interact with the team. Great teams need the PO to be free to make decisions and be ready to negotiate with the team when certain things are not possible, or very costly.

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 Bent Myllerup

Bent Myllerup is a management consultant, organisational change agent and agile transformation coach with 20 years of personal experience in management and leadership. He holds a Master in Management Development (MMD) from Copenhagen Business School and a Bachelor in Science of Electronic Engineering. He was the first European Certified Scrum Coach and he is also a Certified Scrum Trainer.

You can link with Bent Myllerup on LinkedIn and connect with Bent Myllerup on Twitter.

Yousef T. Fahoum: Explaining the value of Agile ceremonies to the Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Explaining the value of ceremonies to the PO

Sometimes, the Product Owner does not understand why we have certain ceremonies. In that case, great Product Owners don’t try to change things immediately, but rather work with the Scrum Master to learn, and improve the situation. In this episode, we learn the story of the PO that did not want the team to “spend time” in a PI Planning Increment session (from SAFe), but as she worked with the Scrum Master her views changed drastically. Listen in to learn how Yousef helped the PO learn the value of the PI Planning session.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping the PO’s be more focused, and less disruptive to the Scrum team.

When the PO’s start to act as “the boss”, and ordering teams around, that’s never a good sign. But it can get a lot worse if the PO is also unfocused. In this episode, we learn about the “hair on fire” culture that some Product Owners bring to their teams, and how to recover from that.

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 Yousef T. Fahoum

When starting out as a ScrumMaster and BA years ago Yousef passionately followed the ScrumMaster Podcast. Yousef is a SAFe Enterprise Coach at Elabor8 with experience implementing Agile and SAFe at some of the largest and most recognized brand leaders across industry domains in the U.S. and Australia.

You can link with Yousef T. Fahoum on LinkedIn and connect with Yousef T. Fahoum on Twitter.

Julie Wyman: How to help unempowered Product Owners step up, and start to make decisions

The Great Product Owner: Two characteristics that make a great PO

This Product owner had two characteristics that made her a great Product Owner for the team. She had: a) domain expertise, and b) availability to work with the team. She also knew that it was important to involve others in making decisions and actively asked help from other experts when needed. She was also great at collecting feedback. 

The Bad Product Owner: Helping unempowered PO’s step up, and start to make decisions

This Product Owner was missing empowerment to make decisions. This was further complicated by the fact that the PO was part of a larger program, where there were multiple PO’s that also did not feel empowered. We discuss how to help these Product Owners slowly start to gain ownership, and assert their ability to make decisions.

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 Julie Wyman

Julie Wyman has been working with Agile teams for over a decade and is continuously learning with and from them. She’s based just outside Washington, D.C., but has had the pleasure of supporting teams distributed across the globe and even experienced her own Agile takeaways all the way in Antarctica.

You can link with Julie Wyman on LinkedIn.

Jeroen de Jong: The Product Owner that “knows it all”, an anti-pattern to be aware of 

The Great Product Owner: Organized, and able to communicate the value and “why” for the stories in the backlog

Great Product Owners are able to keep everyone in the loop and engaged with the product development process. They share the “why” for the product ideas they want to move forward, they share the value of what is being done, and what was delivered in the previous sprint, but they are also organized and structured about their work, including the use of the Getting Things Done method which we talked about on the Tuesday episode. 

In this segment, we also refer to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course that we produced here at the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast, to help you work with the Product Owner. 

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that “knows it all” 

This PO thought they had nothing to learn. They acted as if they knew everything, even better than the team! This type of PO’s are more likely to want to “replace” the team and do things themselves, effectively killing collaboration in the process. 

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 Jeroen de Jong

Jeroen started his career as a self-employed jack-of-all-trades in IT and is passionate about Agile. He is determined to keep learning and to share his knowledge with others.

You can link with Jeroen de Jong on LinkedIn and connect with Jeroen de Jong on Twitter.

Steen Villumsen: Without a product strategy, the Product Owner brings only confusion

The Great Product Owner: Quick decisions, and excellent at collaboration

A great Product Owner knows the value they bring to the team and the stakeholders. They work with stakeholders and the team to make decisions, and  are not afraid to challenge some decisions. Finally, we talk about the PO’s as critical success enablers for the team, and how Scrum Masters can work with the PO’s to define success for the team and the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: Without a strategy, the PO brings only confusion

When Product Owners lack a strategy for their product, they create more than confusion for the team. In some cases, they become mere list managers, and don’t bring the insight the teams need to the work. In this segment, we discuss how important it is to help Product Owners that are stuck in these anti-patterns, as their performance directly affects the teams we work with. 

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 Steen Villumsen

Steen is an Agile Coach, who calls himself a conceptualiser and a communicator. His focus is on moving people and supporting change through coaching.

You can link with Steen Villumsen on LinkedIn.

Steen Villumsen: Coaching the Product Owner, a key strategy to help teams succeed

The team Steen was working with, wanted to do Scrum by the book, which, in their mind, meant attending to every request the Product Owner would bring to them. However, Steen started to see a loss of focus, and messy Sprint planning sessions. The team was not able to help the PO focus, and create a coherent Vision. This story illustrates why it is so important to be ready to help our Product Owners. In this episode, we refer to the Coaching Your PO e-course that we put together to help Scrum Masters that want to help their Product Owners

Featured Book of the Week: Getting Things Done, by David Allen

The book Getting Things Done by David Allen resonated with Steen, and helped him understand that, as professionals, we must have a system that we can trust. As Scrum Masters, we are very often attending to many burning platforms, and being able to manage with that diverse focus of attention is a key skill that GTD (Getting Things Done) helps with.

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 Steen Villumsen

Steen is an Agile Coach, who calls himself a conceptualiser and a communicator. His focus is on moving people and supporting change through coaching.

You can link with Steen Villumsen on LinkedIn

Luís Santos Silva: ​​Helping teams succeed, a key task for the Scrum Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Helping teams succeed, a key task for the PO

As Luís puts it: “We underestimate how hard it is to be a PO”, which is one more reason to be happy when we get to work with an example Product Owner. We should be highlighting, and talking a lot more about how to become a great PO, because it is so difficult! Luís shares how this PO worked with the team to tackle their biggest challenge: long time to release. The PO understood that, and helped the team remove work from each release for the team to be able to release in time. 

In this segment, we talk about the Opportunity Solution tree by Teresa Torres (check this podcast episode with Teresa), which borrows from a Theory Of Constraints tool: the current reality tree.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that was afraid to own the problems to be solved

When we look at Product Owner related anti-patterns, we should be aware that many of those are usually “systemic”, in other words, they usually originate from other areas of the company. In this segment, we talk about the PO’s that are afraid to own the problems the product is supposed to solve. They stick only to the backlog of stories, and miss the big picture. The second, critical, anti-pattern we discuss is forgetting about “outcomes”, and instead focusing on functionality. Luís suggests that we should help PO’s focus on goals first, so that outcomes are not forgotten.

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 Luís Santos Silva

Luís is not your typical Agile Coach as he doesn’t have an IT background. He worked his way from a contact center up to Lean and Agile Coach and is now a Agile Coach team lead at OutSystems.

You can link with Luís Santos Silva on LinkedIn

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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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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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