Jeremia Riedel: The Visionary Product Owner that was able to help the team own their Backlog

The Great Product Owner: The Visionary PO that was able to help the team own their Backlog

Great PO’s are often visionary. They have an idea of what they want to deliver and focus on conveying that to the team. They set the context for the Vision, and work from that Vision to explain the direction to the Scrum team. They don’t necessarily spend much time working on the backlog, because the teams are able to translate the Vision into the detailed stories to implement. Great PO’s focus on “what problem we should solve in the next iteration”!

In this segment, we talk about the Product Vision Canvas, and the Story Map tool.

The Bad Product Owner: The Requirements Manager

This particular PO acted like a requirements manager, focusing on collecting requirements from stakeholders, and doing whatever the customer had explained they wanted. However, for teams to be able to succeed, the PO role needs to be much more than a mere requirements collector and manager. In this segment, we discuss the role of Vision and the PO’s responsibility to go beyond merely writing down requirements.

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 Jeremia Riedel

Jeremia is an Agile Coach that describes himself as an Explorer, Enthusiast and Challenger.

You can link with Jeremia Riedel on LinkedIn, and read Jeremia Riedel’s blog on Medium.

Pratik Dahule: How to help a Product Owner bring the right amount of work to a Scrum team

The Great Product Owner: Present and thorough, two great PO qualities

This Product Owner had the customer and end users in mind, and was very thorough in their preparation of the stories. The PO was present at all times and helped the team during refinement. This helped the team understand the scope, and break down enough the stories and epics they had to work on. 

The Bad Product Owner: How to help a PO bring the right amount of work to a team

When Product Owners force teams to take on more work, that’s never a good sign. And this PO was no exception to that rule. Additionally, the PO seemed unaware of how much they had already asked the team to take on, leading the team to burn out, and to have quality problems. Pratik understood that this anti-pattern had to stop, and he explains how he helped the PO and the stakeholders to find a new way of working with the team. In this segment, we also refer to User Story Mapping, a technique all Scrum Masters should bring to their 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 Pratik Dahule

Pratik is an Agile Project Manager and Agile enthusiast working in the USA. He leads teams and creates a culture of lifelong learning, constant collaboration and continuous improvement. Pratik has 12 years of experience and is passionate about helping teams in their agile transformation. Outside of work, he has a blogging site ClassactLifestyle.com where he shares insights on books and exotic places to travel.

You can link with Pratik Dahule on LinkedIn

Samet Ulutas: The many anti-patterns that develop when people are forced to take on the PO role

The Great Product Owner: Developing great networks with stakeholders

Great Product Owners know their product backlog back and forth, and develop great networks within the organization that help solve the critical problems, and answer questions for themselves and the teams they work with. This particular PO also made a point of being available for the team when the teams needed them, and met regularly with stakeholders 1-on-1. 

In this segment, we talk about User Story Mapping, and Impact Mapping

The Bad Product Owner: The many anti-patterns that develop when people are forced to take on the PO role

This Product Owner did not want to take on that role, they were forced to take it, and acted mostly like a Backlog secretary. By stepping back due to other responsibilities, this PO left the team to their own devices, and was mostly absent when the team needed them. 

And this was just the start, listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that develop when people are forced to take on the PO role. 

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 Samet Ulutas

Samet has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 3 years and coached 35+ different teams until now. Samet has plenty of experience dealing with difficulties of an Agile Transformation, including being to witness the Agile Transformation of the largest private bank in Turkey from the beginning. Samet is also the co-owner of “Be Agile Stay Agile” YouTube channel. 

You can link with Samet Ulutas on LinkedIn and connect with Samet Ulutas on Twitter.

Maximilian Dazer: Fighting Conway’s law, an Agile story we all should learn

Max worked with a team that was composed of team members from two previous teams. As he joined in the role of the Scrum Master, he started noticing that the team members did not focus on collaboration, but rather on single, individually assigned tasks (listen in to learn about how you can detect if your team is falling prey to the same anti-pattern). This way of working was causing delays, and slowing down the team because of the many handovers necessary. In this episode, the Scrum Master can help the team understand the anti-pattern, and help teams get out of the silo-thinking. In this episode we refer to Conway’s Law, an empirical observation and statement by Mel Conway that helps us understand why organizations and software end up mirroring each other: “if you have a 3 team compiler organization, you end up with a 3-pass compiler”.

Featured Book of the Week: User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton

User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton helped Max understand many critical aspects of applying Agile to the requirements/definition of the product. He learned about how the Backlog could be different than a simple list of requirements/user stories, and how User Stories are meant to be used. 

Jeff Patton has been a previous guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Maximilian Dazer

Maximilian’s goal is to drive change from the bottom. For every team he creates a vision and tries to get them on board to pursue the change together. Maximilian wants to free people from the micromanagement-hell version of “scrum”.

You can link with Maximilian Dazer on LinkedIn.

Gonçalo Valverde: How to deal with a disruptive team member (before it is too late)

Gonçalo was working with two teams that were busy migrating to a new system. However, in one of these teams there was a disruptive team member. The management tried to put this team member aside by pushing him into test management. But this only made the situation worse. Listen in to learn what Gonçalo tried to help this team member, and what he learned from this story that he carries with him ever since.

Featured Book of the Week: Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al.

While reading Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone et al., Gonçalo realized that it’s possible and there’s a method to having conversations on very difficult topics, yet be constructive. This book shares some critical tools that all Scrum Masters should be aware of. 

In this segment, we also refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton, and to the Oikosofy’s User Story Mapping facilitator’s guide, available for free. 

How can Angela (the Agile Coach) quickly build healthy relationships with the teams she’s supposed to help? What were the steps she followed to help the Breeze App team fight off the competition? Find out how Angela helped Naomi and the team go from “behind” to being ahead of Intuition Bank, by focusing on the people! Download the first 4 chapters of the BOOK for FREE while it is in Beta!

About Gonçalo Valverde

Gonçalo is an Agile Coach from Portugal working with teams and organizations in their continuous improvement journey. As a keen amateur photographer, he learned that less is more and how constraints help one focus on the outcomes. He’s also a co-organizer of Agile Coach Camp Portugal. 

You can link with Gonçalo Valverde on LinkedIn and connect with Gonçalo Valverde on Twitter

Med Marouane Ajraoui: From collaborator to bossy, the Product Owner attitude spectrum to look out for

The attitude that the PO exhibits will fundamentally affect their effectiveness in the role, and in this episode, we explore 2 contrasting attitudes in the PO role.

The Great Product Owner: The great Collaborator

A great Product Owner is able to collaborate with the teams and the stakeholders, through their listening skills and ability to communicate ideas and why they matter for the product and the customer. Another great asset for a Product Owner is to be able to understand and evaluate technical debt together with the team. Finally, we talk about how great teams have the PO inside, and as a key part of the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The bossy PO

In this segment, we talk about how PO’s sometimes take a “bossy” perspective and are not able to understand their role. They might think they are “the boss”, and can just give orders to the team. In this segment, we also discuss the concept of the “product team”, as opposed to having the product focus only in the PO role.

We refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton.

Are you having trouble helping the teamwork 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 Med Marouane Ajraoui

Med Marouane Ajraoui enjoys practicing AIKIDO while helping individuals, teams, and organizations embrace the agile mindset. He is from Morocco but has lived in several countries, and he enjoys being a “citizen of the world”. He is the founder of Agile Africa, an NGO for disseminating Agile culture in Africa. He is also the CEO and founder of JediSquad, an international firm that supports developing Eco Agile businesses and meaningful digital products.

You can link with Med Marouane Ajraoui on LinkedIn

BONUS: #NoEstimates in practice, interview with the Runtastic app team

In this episode, we interview Andre, Fabian and Aleksandar, team members at one of the Runtastic App teams. At the time of recording, they had 5 months of experience with #NoEstimates at the team level, and that led us to explore how they applied #NoEstimates; what prompted them to change their way of working; and many other practical questions related to the use of #NoEstimates approaches in their product development work.

The path to #NoEstimates

Continue reading BONUS: #NoEstimates in practice, interview with the Runtastic app team

Sami Prentice: How to help Product Owners that don’t want help

From the PO who is too busy to ask for help, to the PO that works hard to get the team and the stakeholders to interact. We explore two contrasting patterns of the PO role and discuss how Scrum Masters can help the PO’s succeed, and accept help from others.

The Great Product Owner: Involving stakeholders that can help the team

Great Product Owners often focus on helping the team benefit from the knowledge and experience that stakeholders can bring to the team. In this episode, we learn about a PO that was focused on creating collaboration between team and stakeholders, as well taking the time to work together with the team to create a shared understanding of the product and the Vision for the team. 

In this segment, we refer to the User Story Mapping technique popularized by Jeff Patton. Here is the User Story Mapping hands-on facilitator guide if you want to start using that technique at work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who didn’t want any help

Sometimes we work with Product Owners that don’t want any help but are too busy to fully fulfill the requirements of the role. That’s never an easy situation for the team or the Scrum Master. Sami reminds us that we can take advantage of the PO being busy, and start offering help in certain tasks. Building trust with the PO is then a critical focus for Scrum Masters, and Sami shares her tips on how to build that relationship.

In this segment, we refer to Module 02 (How Scrum Masters can onboard a new or beginner Product Owner) of the Coach Your Product Owner course, and how that can help you start a positive collaboration with your Product Owner. The course is available here: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

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 Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don’t suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Kathy Andersen on mapping how a Story gets developed and what we can learn from that

In retrospectives with the team we are looking for improvement opportunities. And often the team members will already have ideas about how to improve the ways of working. But sometimes we need to look for improvement opportunities, and the “The Story of a User Story” retrospective we talk about in this episode may help you find the things that need to change.

Listen in to learn what gaps the team uncovered, and how Kathy and the team recovered from a painful story delivery.

About Kathy Andersen

Kathy works as a Scrum Master with a team implementing a billing management system for a company called Hudl. Hudl is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska and provides video review and performance analysis tools for coaches and athletes to review game footage and improve team play. Kathy took an uncommon route to the software world, and since then she has had the luck of working on a diverse set of projects and teams. You’ll find her speaking at conferences and participating in the agile community.

You can link with Kathy Andersen on LinkedIn and connect with Kathy Andersen on Twitter.

 

Jeremy Jarrell explains the true meaning of incremental delivery

Incremental delivery is a buzzword in the Agile lingo. It is very often used, but seldom defined. Jeremy explains what incremental really means, and gives us an insight about the far-reaching benefits for those that take his definition to heart.
In this book we refer to the book User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton.

About Jeremy Jarrell

Jeremy Jarrell is an agile coach and author who helps teams get better at doing what they love. He is heavily involved in the technology community, both as a highly rated speaker as well as a syndicated author whose articles and videos have appeared on numerous popular websites.
You can connect with Jeremy Jarrell on twitter, and link with Jeremy Jarrell on LinkedIn. Jeremy’s web-site is at www.jeremyjarrell.com.
Jeremy’s latest video course, Agile Release Planning, is available now from FrontRowAgile.com.

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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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