Stanislava Potupchik: The importance of listening to the team, a key skill for the Product Owner role

Stanislava has shown a keen focus on people, and their interactions this week, and to finish off the week we talk about how to apply that focus in the Product Owner role. First as a learning process, and helping a team member gain trust in their abilities. Later we talk about the great Product Owner, one that was ready to listen to the team, and answer their questions.

The Great Product Owner: Listening to the team

As an example of a great Product Owner, Stanislava mentions the ability to listen. To pay attention to what the team needs, and to be available to answer questions when they arise in the team.

We also talk about how important it is for teams to ask questions, and how Scrum Masters can coach teams to learn how to ask questions from the Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: Learning to be a Product Owner from scratch

Sometimes the “bad” Product Owner, is a temporary situation for a team member that wants to take on a new role. In this segment, we talk about how we can help shy, and inexperienced team members learn a new role.

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 Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter.

Stanislava Potupchik on meeting the Scrum teams where they are, before they are ready to adopt Scrum

When helping teams adopt Scrum, it is important to start with the concrete situation the team is in. In this episode, we discuss how you can help the team decide on their own improvements as a starting point to adopt Scrum and Agile.

In this episode, we refer to the Complexity Framework Cynefin, the Agile Manifesto, Clean Language and the week of episodes with Susanne Taylor, a previous guest on the podcast.

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter.

Susanne Taylor: The micro-manager Product Owner and how that affects the Scrum team

It’s not only how the Product Owners act at work that matters when it comes to great Product Owner examples. In this episode, we discuss how the private life of a Product Owner affects the team, and how the Product Owner’s private life is also affected by their approach to the role.

The Great Product Owner: Product Owner role boundaries to help the PO and the team

When we think about the Product Owner role, we often get stuck in the responsibilities of the role. However, it is important to understand what are the work-ethics, and work-life boundaries that great Product Owners have. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner role from a human, personal perspective, and learn how this Product Owner setup his life to be a great product owner. Listen in to learn the approach at work, and how he separated work from personal life.

The Bad Product Owner: The email micro-manager Product Owner

Email management is one of the anti-patterns we often see. In this segment, we talk about the micro-managing email-driven Product Owner, and how that pattern of behavior created conflict and problems in the relationship 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 Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Susanne Taylor: The dangers and the losses from over-planning and how to overcome those

When organizations bring people together in a team and then add a “planning” factor on top of them to “steer” them in the right direction, they might be losing the most powerful contribution of a team.

In this episode, we discuss what Susanne learned from a situation where she overplanned things, and did not give the team enough freedom and space to bring in their skills and knowledge. A brilliant reminder that we, as Scrum Masters, must focus on the team, not the work! Let the team focus on the work, while you focus on the team.

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Izis Filipaldi: What makes the Proxy Product Owner as a success pattern?

Although Proxy Product Owners may be an anti-pattern, there are cases in which that ability to be a bridge and translate the customer requirements will help the team. 

We also talk about the case of the PO that needed to learn to speak the team’s language.

The Great Product Owner: The translator Product Owner Proxy

It’s easy to be tempted to hire a very experienced Product Owner. However, in some situations, what the team needs is a hard-working Product Owner with a good understanding of technology, to help translate user/customer requirements into small enough stories. In this segment, we talk about the newbie PO, that was technical-minded and was able to translate the customer requirements in a way that helped the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The business PO, who did not speak User Story-language

When a Product Owner joins a team, and has little knowledge of the product, the team may need to step in and help the Product Owner. However, that help can detract from the PO’s need and ability to learn the product. In this segment, we discuss such a case, and how Izis was able to help that Product Owner step up and take on more responsibility.

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 Izis Filipaldi

Izis’ mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter.

Izis Filipaldi: The signs that your Agile Transformation is about to fail

Some Agile transformations are doomed to failure. In this episode, we talk about the signs that indicate when Agile is not likely to be adopted in an organization.

We also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to work at different levels of the organization, not only at the team level.

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis’ mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter.

Nick Stewart: The Inexperienced PO and what to do to help them

From an inexperienced PO to a PO with a clear Vision, in this episode, we explore two totally different types of Product Owners, and we learn from Nick what worked in those cases.

The Great Product Owner: The Clear Vision PO

This Product Owner behaved like a great PO from the start of the project. The PO had a clear vision for the end result and was able to filter all the requests and requirements. From the team’s perspective, the process felt seamless. 

If it was only like this for all teams we work with. Listen in to learn what made this PO so productive and his approach motivating for the team

The Bad Product Owner: The Inexperienced PO

At one point Nick was working with a new and inexperienced Product Owner. This did not make things easy, and the anti-patterns quickly started to surface. 

It was a coaching challenge for Nick. In this segment, we explore the techniques and approaches that Nick used to try and help this inexperienced PO.

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 Nick Stewart

Nick has worked in the “Projects Space” for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter

Nick Stewart: What to do about the Product Owner that was changing priorities mid-sprint?

Nick was working with a team that had just lost their Product Owner. The new Product Owner had a conflict of interest and was changing priorities mid-sprint. This is a common anti-pattern that many teams face. 

In this episode, we talk through Nick’s efforts to help the Product Owner understand the consequences of his behavior. It’s never an easy situation to be in, but we must be ready. 

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 Nick Stewart

Nick has worked in the “Projects Space” for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through the pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter.

Sebastian Reverso: The PO who as able to be the Voice of the Customer

In this episode, we discuss two very different Product Owner patterns. We talk about a PO that felt their role was to be the voice of the customer, and the PO who felt the team was merely a “service provider” and they were the “outsider” who would demand service.

The Great Product Owner: The voice of the customer

This Product Owner had faced real customers. The PO worked previously in customer services and had to face the customer regularly. As she started working with the team, she was able to convey her ideas clearly, and from the customer’s point of view. At the same time, she did not interfere with the team’s technical discussion, letting them decide how the team would implement those ideas in practice.

The Bad Product Owner: The “outsider” PO

This particular Product Owner was stuck with the idea that the PO is not part of the team. That led to several problems. For example, the team would end up reporting “status” to the PO in the dailies and ended up trying to push more stories into the sprints. In this segment, we discuss how we can help PO’s that have that “outsider” perspective and how to get to a point when the PO feels like they are part of 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 Sebastian Reverso

Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017. 

Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer).

You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.

Jaime Bartol: from micro-managing Product Owners to confident, but enabling PO’s

From a confident Product Owner, the team can get a feeling that they are working on the right things, and use that to ask the right questions from the PO. However, sometimes that PO confidence can morph into an autocratic, micro-managing approach. We discuss how to identify when that happens and what to out for when working with confident Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: Confident enough to be vulnerable

When a Product Owner understands well the product they are managing, it becomes easier for them to interact with the team. But that’s just the start. A great Product Owner is also able to say what they don’t know, and invite the team to bring their own knowledge and contribution to the process of defining what to work on. 

The Bad Product Owner: Second-guessing the team

Product Owners benefit from having technical knowledge of the product they manage. However, when they use that technical knowledge to second-guess the team, it’s easy for conflict to emerge. In this episode, we talk about how to work with PO’s that start by trying to micro-manage the team and second-guess their decisions. It’s not easy, but there are certain techniques we can use to help those PO’s

 

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 Jaime Bartol

Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime’s passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy!

You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.