Olsen Turan: Healing the Product Owner – Team relationship

In this episode, we explore the dynamics that may happen between the Product Owner and the team. And how, sometimes, those dynamics can spiral and affect the team’s ability to perform. We also discuss how to approach the topic with the team and the Product Owner. How we choose to tackle the situation, and our communication approach may help or destroy that relationship.

The relationship between Product Owner and Team is critical for our success as Scrum Masters. Learn how to coach your product owner in our Coach Your Product Owner course. The Coach Your PO e-course includes 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Featured Book for the Week: Crucial Conversations, Patterson et al. 

In Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by Patterson et al., Olsen learned about the key conversation skills we need to help teams build trust and improve communication among team members.

About Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Sami Prentice: How to help Product Owners that don’t want help

From the PO who is too busy to ask for help, to the PO that works hard to get the team and the stakeholders to interact. We explore two contrasting patterns of the PO role and discuss how Scrum Masters can help the PO’s succeed, and accept help from others.

The Great Product Owner: Involving stakeholders that can help the team

Great Product Owners often focus on helping the team benefit from the knowledge and experience that stakeholders can bring to the team. In this episode, we learn about a PO that was focused on creating collaboration between team and stakeholders, as well taking the time to work together with the team to create a shared understanding of the product and the Vision for the team. 

In this segment, we refer to the User Story Mapping technique popularized by Jeff Patton. Here is the User Story Mapping hands-on facilitator guide if you want to start using that technique at work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who didn’t want any help

Sometimes we work with Product Owners that don’t want any help but are too busy to fully fulfill the requirements of the role. That’s never an easy situation for the team or the Scrum Master. Sami reminds us that we can take advantage of the PO being busy, and start offering help in certain tasks. Building trust with the PO is then a critical focus for Scrum Masters, and Sami shares her tips on how to build that relationship.

In this segment, we refer to Module 02 (How Scrum Masters can onboard a new or beginner Product Owner) of the Coach Your Product Owner course, and how that can help you start a positive collaboration with your Product Owner. The course is available here: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

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 Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Sami Prentice: Self-organization and collective ownership in Scrum teams

Looking into how teams organize themselves is often a good indicator that our work is having an impact. In this episode, we talk about the need to help teams self-organize, and find ways to sustain their own progress and improvement. Finally, we discuss the key ingredient for success in Scrum teams: having collective ownership for the work they need to.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures, TRIZ

Sometimes the best way to help teams focus on what they can improve is to talk about what is the worst that could possibly happen. In this Liberating Structure called TRIZ, the goal is to reflect on what can go wrong, so that the team is then ready to focus on how to avoid that negative outcome.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Sami Prentice: Helping Scrum teams accept and fix their anti-patterns

As Scrum Masters, focusing on helping teams succeed and collaborate, we will often notice certain negative patterns before the team members realize what is going on. It is then our responsibility to help the team understand what is going on. However, that’s not always an easy process. In this episode, Sami explains how she introduced an anti-pattern to the team, how they reacted, and especially how her own calm persistence (she calls it “gentle pressure”) helped the team realize what was going on, and improve the situation.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Sami Prentice: When consensus destroys Scrum teams

Sometimes teams need to focus on consensus building, but at other points in their journey, their need to seek consensus is a sign that the team is avoiding conflict. In this episode, we talk about the case of a team that was undermining itself by trying to always establish consensus before taking action.

In this segment, we refer to the book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

Featured Book for the Week: Radical Candor, Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Sami learned about the importance of building relationships and being in compassionate mode with fellow co-workers. She also found invaluable tips on how to get and give feedback to her co-workers. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey, which includes a lot of ideas on how to handle the challenges that Scrum Masters typically face.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Sami Prentice: Scrum Masters are also responsible for process development in their organizations

When leadership in an organization changes, they bring their own practices and habits with them. In this episode, we explore what happened in an organization when new leadership stopped some of the practices that were working for that organization. A good reminder that the role of the Scrum Master also includes developing the process for the organization. Listen in to learn how Sami took responsibility and helped the organization improve.

In this episode, we also talk about how we can improve as Scrum Masters by participating in our local communities. We refer to meetup.com as a place to find your local community and start taking part in their events.

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.