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Sónia Won: The Helicopter PO anti-pattern explained

The Great Product Owner: Empathy and Vision, Two Signs of a Great Product Owner

In this segment, Sónia discusses the characteristics of a great Product Owner (PO) who had a programming background, which proved advantageous. The PO had a strong connection with the team and displayed empathy for their work. Focusing on the Vision space, the PO inspired the team by communicating the desired outcome and trusting them to find the solutions. Encouraging them to think creatively and go beyond the obvious, the PO also had a keen sense of what the team needed. Striking a balance, the PO pushed the team while providing them with sufficient time to accomplish their tasks. Overall, the PO’s ability to inspire, communicate, and understand the team’s needs contributed to their effectiveness in the role.

The Bad Product Owner: The Helicopter PO anti-pattern

In this segment, the discussion revolves around a bad Product Owner pattern known as “The Helicopter PO.” The PO is frequently absent, only occasionally attending planning sessions and providing a barrage of sprint goals. The lack of consistent presence and participation in retrospectives led to a lack of vision, making it difficult for the team to focus and make decisions. The team functioned more as a “simple provider” for the PO, resulting in frequent failures, excessive work in progress, and numerous unfinished tasks. The episode highlights the critical role of communication and the importance of the PO being present and engaged with the team for successful outcomes.

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 Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

Sónia Won: From Guide to Coach, How to Nurture Team Autonomy as a Scrum Master

In this episode, Sónia discusses success as a Scrum Master, emphasizing the goal of becoming unnecessary for the team. Similar to parenting, the Scrum Master’s role evolves over the team’s life cycle. Initially, the Scrum Master guides the team, but over time, the stance changes to that of a mentor and coach. Sónia looks for signs of team autonomy, such as not depending on the Scrum Master for daily activities or resolving impediments. Adapting to the team’s growth is crucial for the Scrum Master’s effectiveness. The ultimate measure of success is when the team can function independently and no longer relies heavily on the Scrum Master’s interventions.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 4 L’s retrospective

Sónia’s favorite retrospective format is the 4 L’s: Learned, Lacked, Liked, and Longed for. This format helps teams consider four important aspects often overlooked in retrospectives, especially the “learned” part. It encourages a more nuanced understanding of positive outcomes and avoids binary thinking. By reflecting on what they learned, lacked, liked, and longed for, the team gains valuable insights and can set mid-term development goals for continuous improvement.

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 Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

Sónia Won: Establishing an Agile Competence Center as a Solutions for a Successful Transformation

In this episode, Sónia, as a Scrum Master, discusses her experience with a company undergoing an IT transformation to become more product-focused. The goal was to establish feature teams and product teams with a business Product Owner. Challenges arose due to the transition from a waterfall approach with long projects to Agile methodologies. Sónia’s team had external developers from consulting companies, making the adaptation even more complex. To facilitate the change, an Agile competence center was created. A process was implemented to set up new teams according to the new Agile development model, emphasizing the importance of a Product Vision workshop for success.

If you want to know how you can help your PO facilitate a Product Vision workshop, get this FREE Create a Compelling Product Vision workshop we created for you.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

Sónia Won: How to Overcome The Pressure in a Small Feature Team Serving Multiple Products

In this episode, Sónia shares her experience with a small feature team consisting of 3-4 members responsible for delivering 3 products, each with separate calendars. The team constantly faced pressure, and the knowledge of the products was concentrated in just 2 team members. This knowledge imbalance led to overwork and complaints from those 2 members. In retrospectives, the team decided to address the issue and brainstormed solutions. They chose not to assign any work to the 2 overloaded members, leading to the knowledge spreading across the team over a few sprints. Sónia highlights the importance of discussing such challenges in retrospectives and emphasizes that team-driven solutions are key to addressing knowledge transfer issues during team growth.

Featured Book of the Week: Transforming Nokia, by Risto Siilasmaa

In this segment, Sónia discusses her favorite book, “Transforming Nokia” by Siilasmaa. The book explores how to handle tragedy scenarios while maintaining inspiration and optimism. It shares radical stories of optimism and serves as a valuable lesson for large companies, emphasizing that the market dictates the direction. The book’s concepts are linked to VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). Sónia highlights that Scrum’s essential aspect is the ability to swiftly adapt to new requirements, making it a crucial tool for coping with changing circumstances in the business world.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

Sónia Won: Improving Focus and Collaboration in Agile Teams

In this episode, Sónia discusses a mistake she made while working on a large-scale agile project. The team struggled with a lack of focus due to working on numerous topics, and being a feature team serving multiple products. The Product Owner (PO) was not engaged with the team, leading to difficulty in setting sprint goals and prioritizing tasks. The team found it challenging to decide what to tackle first as everything seemed equally important. Sónia suggests dividing the team into two for improved focus and recommends having the PO actively collaborate with the team. A complete Scrum team requires all accountabilities in place to function effectively.

The inspiring story of how a failing hospital turned things around with Agile and Lean

Recovering from failure, or difficult moments is a critical skill for Scrum Masters. Not only because of us, but also because the teams, and stakeholders we work with will also face these moments! We need inspiring stories to help them, and ourselves! The Bungsu Story, is an inspiring story by Marcus Hammarberg which shows how a Coach can help organizations recover even from the most disastrous situations! Learn how Marcus helped The Bungsu, a hospital in Indonesia, recover from near-bankruptcy, twice! Using Lean and Agile methods to rebuild an organization and a team! An inspiring story you need to know about! Buy the book on Amazon: The Bungsu Story – How Lean and Kanban Saved a Small Hospital in Indonesia. Twice. and Can Help You Reshape Work in Your Company.

About Sónia Won

Sónia is an experienced professional with 17 years in Software Engineering. She has held roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for a decade. Currently, as a Product Owner, she values teamwork and recognizes the significance of prioritizing people in any endeavor.

The big lesson she’s learned so far: no matter how complex a subject can be, the most important thing is to take care of people. Because teams, companies, and communities are made of those!

You can link with Sónia Won on LinkedIn and connect with Sónia Won on Twitter.

 

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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
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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