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Johannes Andersen: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

The Great Scrum Master: Beyond the Backlog, How a Great Scrum Master Helps Product Owners

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes shares what an ideal Scrum Master looks like. This Scrum Master not only introduced him to Scrum but also focused on the underlying purpose beyond mere processes. His patience, clarity, and pragmatic approach in defining priorities and solving conflicts greatly facilitated the PO’s understanding of product development challenges. This Scrum Master’s ability to foster meaningful conversations significantly helped Johannes in the PO role, highlighting the importance of a Scrum Master’s soft skills in guiding and supporting the product vision.

The Bad Scrum Master: Ceremony Over Substance, The Scrum Master Trap, And How It Affects Teams And The Product Owner

From a Product Owner’s perspective, Johannes highlights an anti-pattern where the Scrum Master becomes overly focused on ceremonies and strict adherence to Scrum guidelines, losing sight of the actual outcomes. This approach mistakenly centralizes process ownership with the Scrum Master, rather than distributing it among the entire team. Johannes advises addressing this issue by realigning the Scrum Master’s role towards shared goals and understanding, using tools like Team Topologies for discussion. The key is moving beyond the “servant” aspect of “servant leader” to foster a team environment where understanding and self-direction are prioritized.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Johannes Andersen

Johannes comes from a finance and fintech background, and is now an enterprise agility maestro at a leading telco in Copenhagen! He focuses on optimizing the flow from strategy to execution, championing portfolio management with a keen eye on doing the right things, even if imperfectly. Johannes is an international speaker on product development topics.

You can link with Johannes Andersen on LinkedIn.

Thorben Pantring: The Micro-Manager PO, And The Impact It Has On Agile Teams

The Great Product Owner: Empowering Teams, The Art of Servant Leadership in Product Ownership

A greatProduct Owner, as described by Thorben, is an outward-facing individual who actively engages with customers, bringing their challenges to the team for collaborative problem-solving. This PO allows the team autonomy, offering ideas without being directive, fostering a collaborative atmosphere in refinement sessions. Engaged in large-scale adoption, this PO excelled as a master collaborator and embraced the servant leadership role. Thorben emphasizes the development team’s centrality in software, debunking the notion of working for the team. This Product Owner embodied customer focus, collaboration, and servant leadership.

The Bad Product Owner: The Micro-Manager PO, And The Impact It Has On Agile Teams

In this segment, Thorben discusses Product Owner (PO) anti-patterns, highlighting issues like focusing on overly detailed feature specs leading to micro-management. This approach stifles openness to feedback and fosters a “just do what I tell you” mentality, making developers passive and hindering communication. This mode of collaboration leads to having pre-defined, upfront designed features with minimal room for adjustments even when problems are found! This pattern ultimately results in deadline-driven development and disengaged developers.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Thorben Pantring

Thorben is an experienced Scrum Master & Team Lead in the eCommerce space, showcasing expertise in leadership, LeSS, Scrum, team management, and engineering. With an insatiable desire for learning and a relentless pursuit of progress, Thorben embodies a fervent passion for leadership, agility, and technology.

You can link with Thorben Pantring on LinkedIn.

Annu Paganus: How to Recognize and Address Product Owner Accountability Issues

The Great Product Owner: Recognizing and Addressing PO Accountability Issues

Annu highlights several Product Owner (PO) anti-patterns, including lack of accountability and detachment from the team’s efforts. She shares a warning about POs who take undue credit for the team’s work, undermining motivation. Annu advises clarifying the servant leader role, setting clear expectations, and providing subtle suggestions for improvement. She emphasizes modeling the desired behavior and delineating PO responsibilities clearly. By addressing these anti-patterns, teams can foster a more productive and collaborative environment with their Product Owners.

The Bad Product Owner: Feedback-Driven Excellence In Product Owners

Annu defines a great Product Owner as one who welcomes and acts upon feedback, a fundamental skill. They excel in communicating the product’s future, ensuring everyone is informed. Empathy towards the team’s varying levels of engagement with the vision is vital. Annu advises making the vision visible to all team members, promoting a shared understanding. Encouraging regular interaction between the PO and the team to examine the product’s future together is beneficial. Additionally, a great PO acknowledges the value of receiving ideas and feedback from the team, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Annu Paganus

Annu is a passionate software team Scrum Master who wants to help her team to create an environment where different kind of people can find a smooth way to work together and enjoy their work and private life. Also worked as teacher, software developer, chapter lead and Product Owner.

You can link with Annu Paganus on LinkedIn.

Chris Garvey: A Great Collaboration Between PO and Scrum Master, The Enabler For Agile Greatness

The Great Product Owner: A Great Collaboration Between PO and Scrum Master, The Enabler For Agile Greatness

Chris reflects on a remarkable Product Owner who previously served as a Scrum Master. Their collaboration was marked by mutual support and a keen understanding of when to lead and when to step back. The Product Owner fostered team involvement in story definition and ownership of implementation. This environment allowed for reciprocal coaching, accountability, and a harmonious working dynamic. Chris emphasizes the delicate balance of knowing when to be present and when to provide space for others in Agile teams.

The Bad Product Owner: Overcoming PO Micromanagement Challenges

Chris discusses anti-patterns related to Product Owners (POs) who become excessively involved. He highlights a case where a PO, with a project management background, sought to micromanage and act as the team’s coordinator, hindering self-organization. This approach stemmed from the PO’s need to constantly be busy, akin to a helicopter parent. Chris also points out the danger of a PO viewing themselves as the team’s savior, even attempting to assist with testing. This situation led Chris to adopt a protective stance, resulting in conflict with the PO. He identifies these behaviors as anti-patterns and acknowledges his own attachment to problem-solving in the process.

The Ultimate Guide to Supporting Product Owners as a Scrum Master

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 Chris Garvey

Chris is passionate about people, and creating empowering spaces where people can thrive. He is a coach at heart having been a Life Coach before becoming an Agile Coach. For close to 10 years he has been working in the agile space as a Scrum Master, then Agile Coach, then trainer, and now as an Enterprise Agile Coach.

You can link with Chris Garvey on LinkedIn.

Gregory Miller: Mastering the Art of Agile Leadership, The Building Blocks of a Successful Scrum Master

In this episode, Greg dives into the key elements that contribute to the success of a Scrum Master. Drawing from his experience, he highlights: Firstly, building strong relationships and establishing trust with team members is paramount. A successful Scrum Master actively listens, empathizes, and makes themselves available to support the team. They prioritize collaboration and create an environment where team members feel safe and supported.

Secondly, a successful Scrum Master demonstrates a deep understanding of the Scrum framework and ensures its effective implementation. They facilitate Scrum events, encourage adherence to Agile principles, and address any impediments that hinder the team’s progress. They act as servant leaders, advocating for the team’s needs and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Moreover, they invest in their own growth by seeking opportunities for personal development and staying connected with the Agile community.

Overall, a successful Scrum Master excels in building relationships, guiding the team through the Scrum process, and serving as a catalyst for growth and improvement. Their ability to foster collaboration, trust, and continuous learning sets the stage for a successful Agile software development journey.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Kudos/Start/Stop/Continue framework, to emphasize focus on actions from the retrospective

In this segment, Greg shares his favorite retrospective format and highlights the importance of generating actionable outcomes. He begins by evaluating the team’s readiness and chooses the appropriate retrospective format accordingly. When working with a new team, he utilizes a shared whiteboard and follows the Kudos/Start/Stop/Continue framework. However, he discovered that some teams expressed dissatisfaction with retrospectives because they lacked actionable items despite having productive conversations. Greg emphasizes the significance of combining meaningful discussions with concrete action items. He suggests voting on at least one item to prioritize for action and maintaining an action item list backlog to ensure follow-through. By incorporating these practices, teams can have engaging retrospectives that lead to tangible improvements.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
FREE QUIZ - What's Your Scrum Master Superpower:
(Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).
Unlock Your Leadership Potential & Help Your Team Reach Their Potential
FREE QUIZ - What's Your Scrum Master Superpower:
Unlock Your Leadership Potential & Help Your Team Reach Their Potential (Please join the waitlist to be notified first when this quiz is ready for you).