Kaisa Martiskainen: Product Owner collaboration, and the importance of building relationships in Scrum

In this episode of the podcast, Kaisa shares her experience as a rotating scrum master at the start of her journey. She was eager to be a good scrum master and saw every problem as an impediment she had to remove, which led her to act as a messenger between the Product Owner and the team. Also because the team was not comfortable with the Product Owner’s communication style. Kaisa provides some tips for handling such situations, such as pausing and asking questions instead of immediately rescuing the team, and asking who is in the best position to solve the issue when the team asks for help. She emphasizes that in many cases, the scrum master is not the best person to solve the issues the team is facing.

Kaisa also suggests building a relationship between the team and the Product Owner, such as by organizing a happy hour. She highlights the anti-pattern of communicating only asynchronously and recommends the use of synchronous communication methods to build better relationships within the team.

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 Kaisa Martiskainen

Kaisa is an Agile coach working for a large multinational software company. Originally from Finland, her thirst for learning new things and passion for languages led her to live in Sweden, and Scotland before settling in Montreal, Canada. She is an avid Redditor who spends her free time reading, knitting, investing and playing with her two daughters.

You can link with Kaisa Martiskainen on LinkedIn.

Johannes Lindman: Owning the Business, and being ambitious, key skills for great Product Owners

The Great Product Owner: The Power of Ambition in a Great Product Owner

According to Johannes, a great Product Owner is someone who is ambitious on the business side, knows what they want, and is able to make decisions, and are given the mandate to do so. They show up to team stand-ups, have skills in the business, and are goal-oriented. We also discuss why it is so important for the team to have a great Product Owner as it’s a set of skills they rarely can master themselves. Johannes also shares a story about a Product Owner who was annoyed that she didn’t get what she wanted, but was able to be assertive and communicate her priorities effectively.

The Bad Product Owner: Overcoming The Proxy PO Anti-Pattern

In this segment, Johannes the PO anti-pattern that occurs when someone is put in the wrong position. The problem is not the person, but rather the fact that they might not understand critical aspects of the job. One such anti-pattern is having a proxy PO. To resolve this, Johannes advises supporting the product owner and giving them the basics. Scrum Masters should work to find the actual business owners and bring them into contact with the team and the proxy PO. It’s important to be careful and aware of expectations and not to step on people’s toes.

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 Lindman

Despite many years of experience Johannes still learns new things every day in order to stay relevant. This aligns with his curiosity on life and people.

You can link with Johannes Lindman on LinkedIn.

Johannes Lindman: Failing Safely, Tips for Successfully Implementing Extreme Programming in a Team Environment

In this podcast episode, Johannes shares his experience with extreme programming and test-driven development. Johannes recounts his experience working with a team where he assumed a lot of things about their needs and desires. He quickly realized that his eagerness to bring his own value to the table was getting in the way of the team’s success. Johannes learned that it is essential to listen and watch the team and to ensure that they are asking for help rather than assuming that he knew what they needed. He advises that it is essential to slow down, be humble, and not be pushy.

Johannes also shares several tips for helping teams to fail safely, turning up the volume on transparency, and showing small failures. He notes that it is important to reflect on what is happening and to determine if the possible failure is catastrophic or not. If it is not catastrophic, then it is best to let it go and be patient for the right moment.

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 Johannes Lindman

Despite many years of experience Johannes still learns new things every day in order to stay relevant. This aligns with his curiosity on life and people.

You can link with Johannes Lindman on LinkedIn.

Caterina Palmiotto: The Phantom Product Owner, How Lack of Decision-Making Impacts the Team and Kills Innovation

The Great Product Owner: The Collaboration Between PO and Team as Key to PO Success

In this segment, Caterina shares a story of a great Product Owner who worked closely with their team. The PO took the time to share the high-level vision and timeline for a new module, collected doubts and comments from the team, and presented user stories with enough information to start a discussion. The PO listened to all suggestions and was available every day to collaborate. The refinement process was done in two parts, with the second part focused on investigating technical aspects. The PO even participated in retrospectives and worked with the team to improve the product based on either technical or functional ideas by the team. Caterina emphasizes the importance of building this kind of productive collaboration between POs and their teams, with the help of Scrum Masters.

The Bad Product Owner: The Phantom PO, How Lack of Decision-Making Impacts the Team and Kills Innovation

In this segment, Caterina talks about a Product Owner who only wrote user stories but was unable to make decisions. The Product Owner always needed to report to his boss, which caused a delay in decision-making. This led to delays in the team’s work, resulting in not completing the story in the sprint. Additionally, the team lost trust in the PO, and did not have enough information or support from the PO to bring their contribution to the product through technical innovation. Eventually, the team started to make decisions on their own and stopped suggesting ideas to the PO. Caterina emphasizes the importance of Product Owners being able to make decisions and not causing delays in the team’s work.

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 Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Kirill Golubev: The Challenges with Scaling and Product Ownership for a Growing Scrum Team

In the podcast episode, Kirill Golubev shares a story of a team he was working with, which had grown larger. As they grew larger, they added a second and a third product manager. However, this led to constant fighting for priorities among the product managers. What was worse, the product managers were organized around components, rather than features, which caused even more conflicts, and delays in delivery for the team.

In this episode, we talk about the importance of having only one Product Owner working on the backlog. In that situation, the team adopted the Nexus framework to scale their approach to Scrum and created three different teams for the three different components. This was not optimal, but helped to avoid the biggest PO anti-patterns.

Finally, Kirill emphasizes the importance of building agreements between teams and Product Owners to ensure a successful outcome. Overall, Kirill’s story highlights the challenges that can arise when a team grows too large and the importance of effective communication and collaboration between Product Owners, Scrum Master, and teams.

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 Kirill Golubev

Kirill considers himself an Agile and common-sense apologist. He wants to see simple processes in place, when people self-organize and manage themselves without constant push from management.

You can link with Kirill Golubev on LinkedIn.

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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
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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
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
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Internal Conference
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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