Tony Richards: From “distant” to “team member”, a Scrum PO transformation story

From a distant PO to the PO that makes everybody feel part of the same team. A great transformation, and a great PO pattern to share with your favorite PO!

The Great Product Owner: The Great Facilitator

Great Product Owners focus on the Sprint Review as a ceremony that can help them, as well as the team and stakeholders understand the product better. In this segment, we talk about how great PO’s focus on their facilitation and approaches to get the most out of the Sprint Review sessions.

The Bad Product Owner: The Corner-office PO

You know that something is wrong when the PO actually has to say out loud that they have an “open-door policy”. There’s an implicit message that they are different, even superior to the team. In this “corner-office anti-pattern” segment we discuss how PO’s may alienate their teams, and what we – Scrum Masters – can do to help team members and PO learn to collaborate without the negative impact of hierarchy. Learn how to help the corner-office PO become a great, and productive team member!

 

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 Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Tony Richards: Helping Scrum teams be aware of their anti-patterns (and patterns)

When Scrum Masters start working with a team, they might feel the need to intervene often. It might be just to get the team to start talking, or for the team members to respect each other’s turn to speak. However, when we evolve our practice and start seeing some success is when we are able to step back and use “mirroring” to let the team understand their own behavior. Just like us, team members are also often blind to their own behavior patterns, a successful Scrum Masters will help team members be less blind to their own behavior patterns.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Powerful Questions Walk

Tony found an approach that helps teams dive deeper into their experience and find improvement opportunities they would otherwise ignore. In this episode, he describes the Powerful Questions Walk exercise and how it improves the team’s ability to learn and reflect.

In this episode, we refer to the Coaching Cards by Deborah Preuss (PDF Download).

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Tony Richards: Learning Sets, an approach to support large organization change 

When Tony joined this organization, the mandate was to help the organization change. There were about 4000 people involved in that change. There’s no Scrum Master/Agile Coach team big enough to take on that responsibility, so they took a different approach.

The organization invested in a way to scale up their ability to coach teams, using a “Learning Sets” approach and the “Challenging Coaching” approach to coaching. 

In this episode, we refer to the whitepaper by Scrum.org on the 8 stances of a Scrum Master, and the pain-relief cycle as a way to improve performance in teams.

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Tony Richards: Metrics for Agile teams, and how to avoid the velocity metric trap

Stop me if you have heard this before. There was once upon a time a company that was working well, and leadership, wanting to make it even better started following up team velocity… Already? Well, that’s expected, this is a very common anti-pattern (the velocity tunnel vision). But this episode goes into a deeper discussion of what anti-pattern, and most importantly, what Scrum Masters can do to get out of that. We discuss metrics, their impact, and which to use when working with Agile teams.

Featured Book for the Week: An Everyone Culture by Kegan et al.

In An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Kegan et al., Tony found an insightful description of a leadership model that focuses on the potential of an organization, on how to improve the chances for success in any organization.

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Tony Richards: When Scrum Masters get carried away with something they find useful

When Tony heard he would be facilitating a large event (250 people) he thought immediately about using an approach that he had good results with. But as we learn in this episode, that’s not always a good idea. Learn about what Tony failed to consider, and get some critical tips on how to prepare for such events. 

In this episode, we refer to the Clean Language technique and to Judy Rees, Caitlin Walker, and David Groves as active developers of the Clean Language technique.

 

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Tony Richards on tools to use Retrospectives as a Systems Thinking tool

Tony shares with us a huge toolbox and many tips on how to use Retrospectives as a tool to understand the system conditions that affect the teams we work with. Listen how these tools helped one team member understand the negative consequences his success had in other teams.

About Tony Richards
tony-richards-scrum-master-toolbox-podcast-1
Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn, and see Tony Richards’ posts on Front Row Agile.

Tony Richards on how he discovered the power of trust

Tontony-richards-scrum-master-toolbox-podcast-1y quotes Basketball legend on trust: “good teams become great ones when members trust each other to surrender the me to the we”. Tony also shares how he chooses to work with teams, and it is not what most of us do today.

About Tony Richards
Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn, and see Tony Richards’ posts on Front Row Agile.

Tony Richards on why big changes require a leap of faith

How would you go, as a CEO, from asking people to report their vacation to allowing them to take as much vacation as they want, whenever they want? With a leap of faith! Listen in as Tony describes how one CEO did just that and what happened next.

About Tony Richards

Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn, and see Tony Richards’ posts on Front Row Agile.

Tony Richards on one of the most common failure modes in Scrum

There are many ways to fail, but there are some ways that are just way too common. Tony shares what is probably the most common way to fail at Scrum. In this episode we also share 7 other tools and tips for Scrum Masters.

In the episode we also mention Samantha and Karen and their work in the Scrum community. We refer to the Moving Motivators game in Management 3.0 and quote Lyssa Adkins: “you need to be one half step ahead of your team!”

About Tony Richards

Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn, and see Tony Richards’ posts on Front Row Agile.

Tony Richards explains why you can’t explain Lean, you have to FEEL lean

Tony shares a great story about how to get people to enter the Agile/Lean mindset, and a story about how we, as Scrum Masters can easily forget the capital rule of Scrum: involve the team.

About Tony Richards

Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn, and see Tony Richards’ posts on Front Row Agile.