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Johannes Andersen: Collaboration Over Isolated Performance, Lessons Learned as a Scrum Product Owner

In this episode, Johannes shares a personal story of his struggles as a Product Owner (PO). In his early career, Johannes believed he needed to have all the answers and provide detailed requirements alone; but he quickly found that it was not so easy to define all the features by himself. This experience taught him the importance of involving the entire team in writing user stories, highlighting that collaboration, not individual effort, leads to success. Johannes emphasizes focusing on outcomes, encouraging POs to ask goal-oriented questions and to view technical solutions through the lens of their importance. He recommends resources like Mike Burrows’ list of questions to foster effective communication and collaboration.

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 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.

BONUS: The Art Of Crafting User Stories with Christopher Lee

In this episode, we talk with Christopher Lee about his latest book, “The Art Of Crafting User Stories” (available on Amazon). Christopher shares the fascinating origin story of his book and how principles of product management were applied to its creation.

Product Development Insights

Christopher draws intriguing parallels between software development and book creation, highlighting two key concepts that apply to both realms. He introduces the concept of “debugging for books” and shares essential tips, like the importance of having multiple content reviewers and utilizing the technique of “Rubber Duck Debugging” for authors. The examples he uses also clarify how his approach to Product Management can help you with software products.

Learning To Empathize With The User

Continue reading BONUS: The Art Of Crafting User Stories with Christopher Lee

Andrew Mitchell: Communication, and Empowering Engineers, Two Product Owner Superpowers

The Great Product Owner: Marty Cagan’s Influence, Inspiring Excellence in Product Ownership

In this segment, Andrew emphasizes the importance of moving POs out of engineering and into the business to better understand business needs. Inspired by Marty Cagan’s book “Inspired”, this great PO excelled in writing effective stories and facilitated closer collaboration between developers and customers. They viewed the engineers’ involvement with customers as a helpful aid rather than a threat. This shift toward self-management empowered the team and enabled faster delivery of products. A great PO plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration, understanding business requirements, and driving successful outcomes.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that could not communicate requirements effectively, and what to do about it

In this segment, Andrew discusses the challenges that arise from having a bad Product Owner (PO). These POs excel in discovery but struggle to communicate effectively with the team, leading to frustration and a lack of trust. Andrew suggests coaching the POs in writing clear stories and focusing on value and prioritization. Interrupting the team’s work is another issue to avoid. He emphasizes the importance of well-defined acceptance criteria in stories. Andrew also notes that problems with bad POs often stem from organizational issues rather than individual skills. Bringing the team closer to the discovery work can help address these challenges effectively.

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 Andrew Mitchell

Andrew prioritizes people when building products, aiming for happy and engaged employees who create great products and serve customers well. He emphasizes trust, psychological safety, servant leadership, and believes Scrum is the best framework to achieve these goals.

He was also a host of the Product Owner Summit 2023, where we collaborated.

You can link with Andrew Mitchell 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.

Peter Janssens: The core value of the User Story format for Scrum teams and Product Owners

The Great Product Owner: The advantage of knowing Scrum in depth!

This Product Owner had a deep understanding of Agile and Scrum. This enabled him to focus on the core interaction with the team. Every week, he’d meet with the team for the Review and Planning meetings. Through that, he was able to guide the team, communicate the updated Vision for the product, and help the team select the stories for the Sprint without overcommitting. The knowledge the PO had of Scrum helped him focus on the right communication cadence, and topics with the team!

The Bad Product Owner: The core value of the User Story format for Scrum teams and Product Owners

Peter was a Product Owner for one of his first projects. The project was very well defined and prepared, and they decided to do it with Scrum. Peter then tried to split the requirements and work packages into stories on his own. However, he did not reformulate the requirements in a way that would convey the goal or purpose of each story, or the product itself to the team. This experience helped Peter understand why the User Story format is so important.

In this segment, we talk about Inspired, the book by Marty Cagan.

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 Peter Janssens

Peter built a long career in agile coaching and training, and worked in leadership positions leading a PO team, and recently became CTO in a SAAS product company. Peter loves all conversations on effectiveness of team decisions, but he quickly realized that being responsible is different from being a coach. As a leader there is the challenge of sticking to the same foundations when dealing with delivery pressure.

You can link with Peter Janssens on LinkedIn.

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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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