Matthew Green: The “knows-all, decides-all” Product Owner anti-pattern

The Great Product Owner: The protector of the team

Great Product Owners are catalysts, they help the team deliver and protect them from interference and chaos. Great PO’s look at the team’s performance as the product of their ability to set them up for success by focusing on the problem, and letting the team contribute to designing the solution.

The Bad Product Owner: The “knows-all, decides-all” Product Owner anti-pattern

Sometimes, Product Owners think their role is to be heroes. Even if that’s a well intended anti-pattern, it creates significant problems for the teams they work with. In these cases, PO’s become easily bottlenecks for the team, as they want to be involved in everything, and every decision. Why does this anti-pattern emerge, and what can we do about it? Matthew helps us explore some tips and tools for Scrum Masters working with this type of Product Owners.

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 Matthew Green

Before becoming a Scrum Master, Matthew worked in a variety of roles both inside and outside of IT. This eclectic background has served him well in working with teams and individuals to help them on their own journey to a more humane way of working. 

You can link with Matthew Green on LinkedIn and connect with Matthew Green on Twitter

Kathryn Tancos: The Product Owner anti-pattern that destroys collaboration

The Great Product Owner: Working with the team to make decisions

Great Product Owners understand that they are part of the team, and try to setup collaborative decision making through active conversations with team and stakeholders. This develops the relationship between PO and team, and setups up a powerful partnership. 

The Bad Product Owner: When the PO stands back and does not drive the product or the collaboration between teams

When product organizations are separated into different silos, and the Product Owner stands back, problems emerge quickly. On top of that, when the PO does not feel, or want to be accountable for the product, things get even worse. We also discuss the anti-pattern of missing, losing the customer voice in the work of 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 Kathryn Tancos

Kathryn is a certified Scrum Master focused on Agile transformations and helping teams build a better way of working. How did this Emmy Award-winning news producer become an avid Agilist? Through communication, curiosity, and collaboration, the pillars of successful Agile teams. Her goal is to inspire teams and organizational cultures to foster a sense of self-leadership throughout the transformation journey.

You can link with Kathryn Tancos on LinkedIn and connect with Kathryn Tancos on Twitter.

Rasmus Lund-Jensen: Can developers be great Product Owners? Two contrasting Agile stories

The Great Product Owner: The developer that became a great PO!

This Product Owner had been a very skilled developer (just like the Bad PO story), however the reason why this skilled developer had moved to the PO position was because he wanted to have a higher impact, and saw that the PO position helped achieve that impact. This PO was able to communicate with stakeholders, and represent the product as well as the technical perspective of the team. The PO was able to listen to, and respect the team’s perspective in a way that made the team feel trusted. 

In this segment, we refer to situational leadership.

The Bad Product Owner: The developers that became a bad PO!

Rasmus shares with us the story of a developer that, being motivated by the prestige and salary, wanted to move to the PO position. The developer saw that as the only way to progress in the career, and that’s when the problems started. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that developed because of this career move that was motivated by all the wrong reasons.

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 Rasmus Lund-Jensen

Rasmus is an agile coach and Scrum Master from Denmark. He is passionate about finding pragmatic ways for teams to reach their potential. He previously spent six years at the LEGO Group where he learned the power of bad jokes. If people are laughing, it means they are listening. 

You can link with Rasmus Lund-Jensen on LinkedIn and connect with Rasmus Lund-Jensen his website.

Maximilian Dazer: The Agile anti-patterns that emerge when the PO tells the team what to do

The Great Product Owner: Great tools that PO’s use to help Agile teams shine

Great Product Owners help the team take responsibility by giving them more ownership. They are also able to challenge the team, yet respect their decisions. We also talk about the tools and practices that great PO’s have which help the team deliver, and contribute to the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Agile anti-patterns that emerge when the PO tells the team what to do

Who is the real Product Owner for your team? That’s a great question that Max asks us at the start of the episode, and we explore further. Not knowing who is the real PO is only one of the anti-patterns we discuss, as we also explore the Bossy PO who wants to tell people exactly what to do. We discuss what that looks like as well as the problems that happen when the PO tries to tell the team what to do. 

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 Maximilian Dazer

Maximilian’s goal is to drive change from the bottom. For every team he creates a vision and tries to get them on board to pursue the change together. Maximilian wants to free people from the micromanagement-hell version of “scrum”.

You can link with Maximilian Dazer on LinkedIn

Lucia Alarcon: Great Product Owners consistently create conversations with stakeholders and Agile teams

The Great Product Owner: Consistently creating positive conversations with stakeholders and Agile teams

A great Product Owner is consistent in their approach. Lucia shares with us how this particular PO was able to be consistent in their communication and support for the team, but also in looking outside, getting ideas and inspiration from competitors and the market at large. As the PO consistently communicated with the team and stakeholders, they were creating regular and productive invitations for a conversation with stakeholders and team members. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to help your PO shine even when they are super-busy!

When the Product Owner is overloaded, they lose focus, and are unable to serve the teams at the right time, and in the right amount. In this segment, we hear the story of the PO that was so busy that they could only be a scatter-shot PO. Randomly giving ideas and demands to the team, who was lost with the lack of support from the PO. In this segment, we talk about how important it is to help the PO focus, and work within the limited time they might have to help the team. As Scrum Master, this is one of our major tasks: help the PO shine, even when they are super busy! 

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 Lucia Alarcon

Lucia is a Delivery Lead and a coach working in Wellington NZ, leading an amazing development squad to achieve the delivery of multiple digital initiatives using Agile, creating a culture of empowerment, collaboration and communication. With 15+ years of experience, her professional (and personal!) journey has taken her through a variety of organizations and halfway around the world from Argentina. Lucia loves all things Agile, facilitation and coaching. 

You can link with Lucia Alarcon on LinkedIn and connect with Lucia Alarcon on Instagram

Madhuri Korapati: The PO as a manager anti-pattern and its impact on Agile teams

The Great Product Owner: PO as the great motivator, a simple approach to motivating Agile teams

Great PO’s are able to share the vision they have for the product. But how do they do it? In this segment, we talk about the approaches that help great Product Owners be clear about, and share the vision of the product in a way that motivates the team!

The Bad Product Owner: The PO as a manager anti-pattern and its impact on Agile teams

When PO’s take control and start acting like a manager, the team needs to stand back. This creates a series of anti-patterns that we explore in this segment. From the team being silent, to the PO starting to assign tasks to individual team members. Listen in to learn how Madhuri was able to help the PO and the team get out of this PO-as-a-manager anti-pattern.

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 Madhuri Korapati

Madhuri a self-motivated servant leader with 14 years of software industry experience across Payments and Banking sectors. She is a Scrum Master at Mastercard, and enjoys helping teams in their agile transformation and showcasing their improvements. 

You can link with Madhuri Korapati on LinkedIn and connect with Madhuri Korapati on Twitter.

Kevin Pedersen: The PO that went beyond the call of duty to help the Scrum Master and the team!

The Great Product Owner: The PO that went beyond the call of duty to help the Scrum Master and the team!

This Product Owner came from the business side of the organization. But she had an intuitive understanding of the practices that a PO needs. She went through the PO training and learned quickly how to help the team break down work. However, there was a challenge for the team that she was able to help with that goes far beyond the default PO responsibilities. Listen in to learn how this PO stepped up and helped the team deal with a critical problem.

The Bad Product Owner: The Know-it-all PO, and how to handle that anti-pattern

When PO’s think they know everything there is to know, they are less likely to listen to the team and help them with concrete issues they face. When PO’s think they can tell the team how to do the work, things get complicated. In this segment, we explore the anti-patterns that emerge in a team that has to work with such a PO, and discuss how Scrum Masters can help those teams and the PO get to a more collaborative way of working. 

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 Kevin Pedersen

Kevin is a Managing Director, agile coach and international trainer for Growing Agile in South Africa. He is passionate about helping people connect to their purpose. This is best described in Growing Agile’s vision ‘to grow people and inspire ideas so that they can be the best version of themselves and we do that by changing the way people think about work’.

You can link with Kevin Pedersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kevin Pedersen on Twitter.

Mariana Trigo: How to help a pushy, technical Product Owner step back and let the Scrum team lead the implementation, an Agile story

The Great Product Owner: The PO that is ready for Plans A, B, C or more, and helps the team deliver

One of the great Product Owner markers for Mariana is the ability the PO has to be organized and bring all the stories ready, as well Plans A, B, C or more to the planning meeting. Great PO’s are ready for whatever the team needs is best. They are also able to explain the benefits and the impact of the product to the team. 

In this segment, we talk about how important it is to have a clear Vision, that motivates the team. To help PO’s prepare that, we discuss the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast’s “Create a Compelling Product Vision” e-course, which is available for FREE here.

The Bad Product Owner: How to help a pushy, technical PO step back and let the team lead the implementation

In this team, the PO was very technical and wanted to have in depth conversations with the team about the code. Not only that, but the PO was also very pushy in planning and challenged the team on every estimate they gave. It was then that Mariana understood that she needed to help the PO to step back. But how to do it without causing more problems? Listen in to learn how she was able to help this very technical PO step back, and let the team lead more!

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 Mariana Trigo

Mariana’s path from Biology to Retail to IT, is a unique path in the search for purpose and the feeling of belonging. Helping development teams to reach their full potential by improving processes and people. Her favorite time is retrospective time, probably connected with her need to constantly get out of her comfort zone. 

You can link with Mariana Trigo on LinkedIn.

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.