Willem-Jan Ageling: The task-centric, command-and-control PO and its consequences on the Scrum team

The amount of time a Product Owner spends thinking and working on the details is one of the aspects that has the biggest impact on the team. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting PO approaches: from the high-level focus of the Sprint Goal to the task-centric, command-and-control PO.

The Great Product Owner: Crystalizing the Sprint Goal

When we help teams, and Product Owners focus on the User Stories, we are helping them understand, and follow-up on the items they should work on. However, when we help the Product Owner and the team focus on the Sprint Goal, we are helping them focus on impact and outcomes over the tasks and stories they need to work on. This enables many positive behaviors, and when you find a PO that is able to crystalize a Sprint in a Sprint Goal, you know you’ve got gold in your hands, you’ve got a great Product Owner!

The Bad Product Owner: The task-centric, command-and-control PO

Sometimes, Product Owners behave as if they were Project Managers. When that happens, there’s many patterns that emerge in the team, and int he PO-team collaboration which Scrum Masters must actively manage, or mitigate. In this episode, we talk about the task-centric, command-and-control PO, and what you can do to help the PO and team find a better way to collaborate.

 

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 Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

Willem-Jan Ageling: Liberating Structures as an amplifier for the impact of Agile Retrospectives 

There are many aspects in the team’s behavior that point to a successful outcome of the Scrum Master’s work. However, there’s something that goes beyond process that will tell you the team is able to drive the work forward, and achieve a successful outcome. We discuss that specific topic: focus on progress. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures

In this episode, we discuss several Liberating Structures for retrospectives, and how Willem-Jan adapts them to his retrospectives. We focus on the benefits of using those approaches and focusing on solutions with the whole team. We refer to the 1-2-4-all structure and the episodes with two top proponents of Liberating Structures for Scrum Masters: Christiaan Verwijs and Barry Overeem.

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

Willem-Jan Ageling: Organizational change with Scrum in a regulated environment

This story starts with a goal. The company wanted teams to “build and run” their own applications. How could they put that change into practice? Willem-Jan started by suggesting a full, cross-functional Scrum team for a product. That got accepted, but what came next was bold, unexpected, and kick-started the cultural change needed to bring the company to the next step in their transformation. 

In this episode, we discuss the success conditions for a culture of “you build it, you run it”. For those interested in Continuous Delivery and DevOps, we have a 7-part series on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast podcast

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter

Willem-Jan Ageling: Getting Scrum teams off the “velocity” addiction

Willem-Jan has a background in Project Management, and in his company, the leadership asked the teams to move away from Project Management and embrace Agile. That led Willem-Jan on a learning journey, to understand and apply Agile ideas in his work. In the process, as it usually happens, a team got fixated on the “velocity” metric. In this episode, we explore what can happen when teams get fixated on “velocity”, and what Willem-Jan learned to avoid that anti-pattern in the future.

In this episode, we refer to W. Edwards Deming, a precursor to Lean, and later Agile through his work. 

Featured Book for the Week: The Scrum Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen

In The Scrum Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, Willem-Jan found an explanation for Scrum that made things click. This led him to explore the ideas behind “complexity” and to start to understand why “the plan” wasn’t always the thing to follow. 

The Scrum Pocket Guide is authored by Gunther Verheyen who’s been on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast before.

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

Willem-Jan Ageling: Responding to change as if you really meant to be Agile

In the middle of a big change, Willem-Jan was faced with the fact that the project plan wasn’t going to hold anymore. What should a Scrum Master do? In this episode, we discuss how we can tackle surprises to the plan the Agile way. We discuss how to get stakeholders involved and on board with the Agile value of “responding to change”. 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter