16TH AGILE MONTH Agile Month Spring 2023

Certified Agile Courses

See the dates
Menu

Scrum Master & Product Owner: Friends or foes? (Part 1)

,,Success it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.ʻʻ

 

Imagine this situation: you’re working for a company where there’s a need for a change. Easy, refreshing with a whole new approach. The change in your business environment is inevitable and depends on different factors. And, in that position preparing yourself for every modification in career is desirable.

 

Scrum as a secret spice

 

And for that reason, Agile world is a place for all who are seeking for a change. Under this Agile umbrella, Scrum is the most used framework (even 81% companies in the world are using Scrum, according to 2019 Scrum Master Trends Report). Impressive?

 

Scrum is a widely used, agile product development strategy – a set of values, team roles, and procedures used in combination to create work products. Today Scrum is mostly used in the software industry and has expanded to universities, military, and beyond. Actually, the term comes from rugby and refers to the way a team works together when moving the ball across the court. Let’s face it that…

 

…all comes to what moves and motivates people

 

Scrum is based on a simple idea: whenever you start a project, you always check if it is going in the right direction and is that really what clients want. In order to accomplish that, you need this – the Team with gigantic THE. What Scrum does is to unite teams to create great things and this means that everyone progressively contributes to its achievement. Exactly like in this picture below:

Scrum asks the team for assortment – in skills, thoughts, and experiences. It wants the teams to be altruistic and self-reliant, but also multifunctional. Teams that can complete the whole project. With support from Scrum Master and Product Owner, this will be a successful and quite inspirational job.

 

”Scrum is not just about the meetings and schedule. It’s not about Sprints, meetings and having different roles named to fit Scrum roles. It’s not about just being able to say Scrum, ‘cause it’s not a magic word to be used when you need it. Scrum is belonging, trust, commitment and lots of hard and high-quality work…”, Milica Lubinić, Scrum Master

 

As the main headline suggests, we’re going to look back on two important roles – Scrum Master and Product Owner. And just to be clear – they’re designed to work together on the same project which means that they need each other, not excluding their mutual knowledge, expertise, and experience.

Source: KnowledgeHut

 

 

As you can see, they’re completely connected. Both roles have the same objective of adding value to the main project. But, these two are defined very differently from each other. While the Product Owner looks at the project from the customer’s point of view, the Scrum Master focuses on the team and its activities. A Scrum Master’s role is to motivate the team in various ways.

 

,,Scrum Master and Product Owner roles can relate with Shu Ha Ri, a concept from Japan that explains Scrum as a way of life. Shu state means that you know all rules and forms. By repeating them, you become better. Ha state means after you adopted rules, now you can make innovations, respecting each human being around yourself. After all, Ri state says that you’re your own master with inspiration and motivation ready to accomplish the goal.ʻʻ, Jeff Sutherland: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

Friends or foes?

 

They complement each other in current projects. Scrum Master should support the Product Owner in decision and empowerment issues and also help with tools and techniques.  Experienced professionals say that Scrum Master is a mix of the HR manager and Process manager, but on the other hand, Product Owner’s guiding about the business value of the product is priceless. Also, Product Owner should have a global perception of the client’s demand. For these reasons, the Scrum Master needs the Product Owner. And this is one long, unbreakable circle.

 

Potayto, potatho?

 

There are crucial differences between their skills and responsibilities, which we’ll present to you through this serial. There’s a thin line between these performances that allow Scrum Masters and Product Owners to be unbreakable buddies. It’s crucial to remember that both roles are important in one project, without any animosity between them.

 

Let your journey through Scrum roles begins. 😊 

 

Read more: Scrum Master & Product Owner: Friends or foes? (Part 2)

Did you ever think of these unusual things in Scrum?

„If you focus on the strength of the team, you will begin to find work as a positive challenge.“ – Salil Jha

 

Imagine this situation: you came to the office and started your working day. Tasks are coming, meetings are (in most cases) boring, you have a weekly or monthly schedule and reports, but still something is missing.

Having Scrum in your organization is a fresh and currently a very interesting change. Or you don’t think that? But, if your organization finds a lot of benefits of the Scrum, you’ll be definitely surprised by these interesting facts about Scrum:

 

 

#1 Why standups? Really standing or…?

 

Someone would say those daily standup meetings are pointless. But, besides the fact you’re standing during this 15-minute meeting, there’s a good reason for that: researches show that standing between people (and in front of Scrum board) increases productivity by 15%. All team members are moving and trying to give their best in order to accomplish the goals.

 

#2 Who is grooming in Scrum?

 

There are hairy things in Scrum, but not with real hair.  😊
Backlog Grooming is an important session where backlog items are reviewed and prioritized by Product Owners, and the rest of the team in order to keep the backlog up-to-date. This step is necessary to ensure that next sprints will contain valuable user stories. Also, by grooming we’re getting a proper Sprint Backlog with important updates and activities.

 

#3 Review and Retrospective, wait what?

 

These meetings can sometimes be painful (not that pain!). They’re similar, but with meaningful differences. Sprint review is a meeting at the end of the Sprint where team members are discussing what they did the best, good or terrible (yeah, terrible). Immediately after the Review comes the Retrospective – the long meeting about what went well and wrong during the Sprint and what can be improved in the next one. And yes – both events are crucial in understanding why Scrum helps teams and organizations across the globe.

 

#4 You’re confused with self-organizing and cross-functional moments?

 

This actually isn’t so confusing because cross-functional teams must be self-organizing during the whole Sprint. Cross-functional teams are group of people from different areas of the company – we have for example specialists in sales, customer care, marketing and IT. On the other hand, self-organizing team doesn’t wait for the managers to organize, identify and manage all tasks that are required. They’re doing that on their own.


And look for these amazing guys, how they handle their Daily meetings:

So tell us: what can you improve while you’re doing Scrum? Are you interested enough in understanding why things are functioning in this way? Higher productivity and higher quality are just small parts of the benefits that this framework includes and we hope that Scrum gives you the best performances for you and your teamsters.

What also makes perfect sense in Scrum?

What are the Top Skills of an outstanding Certified Product Owner?

„We practice improvement through work, work through improvement, one sprint at a time!“ – Jon Ker, co-author of Agile Manifesto

 

It’s inevitable that these turbulent times inspect our ability to adapt to a certain situation. Agile is quite a logical answer in these circumstances. Let’s say that you’re searching for an ideal solution and ideal vocation that has become more and more valuable in almost every business. Have you considered becoming a Product Owner? In the previous article, we talked about what skills are needed in order to be a fantastic Scrum Master.

But, what about Product Owners? Here is the most frequently asked question:

 

What skills do I need to have in order to become a Product Owner?

 

Well, before that, let’s talk about some of the myths about this role: Anybody can become a Product Owner. Doesn’t it? According to Scrum.org, a Product Owner is responsible for maintaining the entire Product Backlog. Is this really true? The keyword here is “responsible”. Ask yourself this – can a Product Owner maximize the value of work done by the Scrum Team if they are not involved in what goes on in the Product Backlog and in what order? From this perspective, it makes no sense to treat the Product Owner as the only person who can create items for the Product Backlog and prioritize them. Product Owners should work closely with the Development Team to create items for the Product Backlog and prioritize them to maximize the value of work done by them.

 

To become a real Product Owner Sensei you need to consider Scrum certification that is nowadays mandatory by many companies. In our ten years of experience in Product Owner courses and certification, in cooperation with Scrum Alliance as a world-leading organization, we have educated more than 1500 participants.

Imagine two different persons. Two individuals, ready to invest in their Product Owner careers. But, wait, what’s the difference between them? Answer: their skills.

 

#1 Always in high demand for Hard Skills

 

Through proper Certification, it’s easy to find out what skills are mandatory for your career as a Product Owner. But, it is truly challenging to adopt them. So, technical skills are really essential. According to Scrum Guide, Product Owners aren’t a part of the Development Team. So, if and which technical skills a Product Owner requires depend on how the role is applied, right? Actually, they will pick up an understanding of how products are made and be familiar with architectures, languages, and build cycles. Remember, they’re not building the product, they’re just collaborating with the people who are. On the other hand, organizational skills are inevitable for this role. For example, for Product Owner being a decision-maker is correlated with having analytical and negotiation skills. Many conflict situations may occur during work on creating a product. But remember, Product Owner is not only a „messenger” who does everything that the stakeholders intend to say. He/she must also have the ability to process information – discover hidden needs that even the customer or user could not imagine.

 

#2 Soft Skills are mandatory

 

These skills are somehow coming before gaining hard skills, right? Communication, as well as being an amazing storyteller is something that is nowadays mandatory for each position, not only Product Owner. Enthusiastic, assertive and excellent planner are something that you naturally adopt and also learn through Certification with your Trainer and the rest of the group.

 

#3 Conflict and Problem Resolver

 

We had to single out these skills because they’re essential for successful collaboration with Scrum Master. Remember – Scrum Masters and Product Owners are friends. They complement each other in current projects. Scrum Master should support the Product Owner in decision and empowerment issues and also help with tools and techniques. Also, Product Owner should have a global perception of the clients’ demands. For these reasons, the Scrum Master needs the Product Owner. And this is one long, unbreakable circle. As a Product Owner, you have to have the courage and the capability to engage when things get difficult. And know this: you generally have to go through conflict to get to a solution. You’ll need to be collaborative to minimize the negative, and you’ll need to mediate.

 

#4 And, what about the Product Leadership?

 

Leadership is the key to 99% of all successful efforts, right? Product Leadership is something you’ll learn continuously. But, here are some great tips that great leaders say every day:

a) “What do you need?”

This is crucial for two reasons. First, people need to know that you care about them on personal and professional levels and that you want them to succeed. Second, if you put together a great plan, you need to leverage every person’s abilities to the maximum extent possible.

b) “I trust you.”

If you can’t trust the people on your team, then they shouldn’t be in your team. You need to trust their integrity, judgment, confidence and their passion – and you need to ensure that they understand how much you depend on them.

c) “You can count on me.”

If your team can’t trust you, they shouldn’t do you the great honor of letting you lead them. So tell them you’ve got their back, and then work like hell to fulfill the promises you make.

And these are just small pieces of a great puzzle called Product Owners’ skills. Organization, empathy and a sense of community are also crucial, and we assure you that through certification, especially working with different people and their mindset, you’ll notice these significant aspects faster and smarter. ☺️


 

Don’t be shy and join us on this unusual journey. 🎯 

 

Product Owner skills are easy to find but very challenging to learn. If you’re at the beginning, maybe you are looking for Certified Scrum Product Owner Course (15th – 16th April 2021) with Petri Heiramo. He will be your trainer, teacher, coach and true support during this important journey.

Are you with us?

 

 

Photo sources:

www.romanpichler.com

www.uxdesign.cc

 

 

 

Seven Tips on how to get your first job as a Product Owner

This article is inspired and published on two blogs: Medium.com and Scrum.org Thank you for your inspirational content and guidelines.

 

Hello, future Product Owners! And all who are now seeking new enthusiastic ideas about PO’s responsibilities and duties.

But, very often it’s hard to find really satisfying job as a freshly new Product Owner. And this adventure can be fun, exciting and very rewarding. Being able to look back on a successful project and think, „Look at what I helped the team create“ is very satisfying. But, how do you get the first job as a Product Owner if you don’t yet have experience?

 

 

 

Try with these tips:

 

#1 Look for opportunities with your current employer first

 

In many cases, an excellent first step is to find opportunities to practice at least small parts of agility within your current employer. For example, on a project that isn’t fully ready for agile or isn’t interested in such a big change, try some of the following:

  • Introduce the idea of iterations or sprints;
  • Begin conducting daily scrums;
  • Periodically demonstrate finished functionality to stakeholders;
  • Conduct periodic meetings (retrospectives) to find ways to improve collaboration and teamwork.

Introducing small changes like these benefits the projects and give you the opportunity to call out those experiences on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

 

#2 Boost your skills

 

Think of this, what skills do you have and find challenging for your PO’s career? Do you have a good knowledge of foreign languages? Technical skills? Do you have any extra informal education? Any Course in time and stress management? Or assertive communication? Those are extra points in your resume and there will be someone who’ll appreciate that.

 

#3 Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

 

While sprinting, and while regularly delivering done product increments, the most important thing for you to do as a Product Owner is to keep collaborating with your Scrum Team and your stakeholders. Support the Development Team by hosting refinement sessions, explaining the product vision, goals, roadmap and Product Backlog items. Support them by making items small, clear and valuable. Support them in gathering feedback from customers and users.

 

#4 Get Certified

 

Earning a credential that is recognized indicates two things: a certain base level of knowledge and, more importantly, a willingness to learn and invest in oneself. Carefully choose certifying bodies – many could actually harm your chances of getting a job. You need to have in mind that not all certificates are globally recognized, so wisely choose the right one. Knocking on the right door is half business done.

 

 

 

#5 Don’t forget to Network!

 

It’s often said that most jobs are found through one’s personal networking. And certainly, part of a successful job search (especially when moving into a new field) requires a good dose of luck — being in the right place at the right time.

If networking is necessary when searching for a job like the one you already have, it’s even more important when changing into a completely new role like that of a Product Owner. Be sure all your friends and former colleagues know the type of position you’re looking for. But also, do as much networking as you can in local interests or user groups.

 

#6 Look for Volunteer opportunities

 

If you can’t find opportunities to introduce small bits of agility within your current employer, consider looking for volunteer opportunities to do so.

This could be a regional, national or international non-profit whose cause you care about. Or it could be as close by as a child’s school, youth sports team, or your church. Get creative and find ways to gain experience anywhere in any way you can. We believe you know at least a handful of people who struggled to get that first position who sought out volunteer opportunities and then leveraged that experience into a full-time Product Owner position.

 

…and the most important

 

#7 Be patient

 

What’s helped you land a position as a Product Owner? Please share your thoughts, especially if you were once an inexperienced Product Owner seeking the right position. Also, if you’ve decided to be an exceptional

 

 


It’s never too late for proper education. Especially in Scrum. As we said, choose wisely, because amazing Zuzana Sochova will hold a Certified Scrum Product Owner Course on 20th and 21st December during this Agile Month.

Are you excited as we are?

Five Benefits of being fantastic Advanced Scrum Product Owner

Being fantastic in the job you do is a piece of art, right? Especially if you’re an Agile wizard, ready to transform the world with your invisible wand. Actually, being an amazing Product Owner is more challenging in practice, than what we are reading or learning about in theory, right?

Product Owner works in specific and quite interesting surroundings. You are asking yourself – what does it mean specific? A typical day of a Product Owner is one rollercoaster with lots of adventures. And if you’re Product Owner or want to be one and you’re right now reading this, remember: you’re a truly modern Sensei. Don’t be shy. You’re a Product Master: you know why a particular product should exist, how it should be made, and how to make the product grow to its maximum.

 

„Great products are engineered when Product Owners truly understands the desired outcomes by actively listening to people, not users.“ – Michael Fountain, Apptentive

 

But, what if you’re thirsty for more?

 

As we previously said – don’t be shy and admit it’s fantastic thing to upgrade yourself in professional way. It’s the role of the Product Owner to take a strategic, high-level overview while understanding and being able to take detailed decisions. We all agree in one – there’s always going to be some obstacles, drawbacks and temptations working as a fully employed Product Owner. Being progressive is always an advantage, especially if you wanna boost your willingness to learn something new. Being an Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner is the next logical step.

 

What are the benefits of being an Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner?

 

#1 Product Owner is the face, heart, and brain of the product, but on an advanced level

Product Owner now deeply understands the whole structure of the product, and he’s more experienced with various problems and disadvantages. Through years of practice, Product Owners have learned almost every visible and invisible details about the product.

 

#2 Product Owners will collaborate better with other Scrum roles committed to uninterrupted development

And in one project or business, collaboration is everything, right? Now, on this upgraded level, Product Owner has learned great tactics, guidelines and tips & tricks for better communication and symbiotic relationships. Also, advanced Experts will work with Stakeholders to iteratively build and release fantastic products.

 

#3 Product Owners will learn how to refine the backlog more fluidly and easily

Well planned is half done, right? Being advanced in something means that you adopt some new rules (based on previous experiences) and be an Agile Enchanter in order to create a magnificent backlog.

 

#4 Product Owners will explore large scope case studies of business-driven Agile transformations

Practice, practice and practice, right? With more practical examples, everything is going to be more clear and explained especially in tough situations when Product Owners need crystal minds and good strategies for each issue.

 

 

#5 Product Owners will better understand and use Agile engineering practices

And those practices are often too wide and not specified. Advanced training helps PO’s to really focus on segments that will help them to implement different solutions.

 

*** Agile in numbers ***

 

According to 14th Annual State of Agile Report 55% say their company plans to increase the use of Agile in the next 14 months. Also, 43% of organizations say their momentum for Agile adoption has increased over the past 90 days. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an emergency worldwide, especially in Agile vocations and a high demand for future Product Owners and Scrum Masters.

 

 

 


Hustle for more, and more, and more

 

Many more benefits that you didn’t read here you’ll experience in practice. Remember: don’t be afraid to invest in yourself! It’s always the right time to master and enroll in so many valuable studies and practical examples. And of course – to contribute to the business as the next Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner. Agile Serbia proudly stands as certified and the largest Agile community in the SEE region that provides quality and professionalism.

Spring is the ideal time for awakening. A big step into something new and valuable. In this 12th Edition, we are organizing a whole new A-CSPO Course (9th – 29th April) with our extraordinary Certified Scrum Trainer and Certified Enterprise Coach Miljan Bajić and according to early applications, this is going to be one exciting journey!

Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the amazing flight!

5 reasons to attend Agile Serbia Conference 2020! Well, there are even 6 and 7… and more

There’s no doubt that this 2020 has been reeeeally challenging. And still is. So, what have you done for your personal growth? Have you trained, watched movies or read books? Or have you educated yourself in fields that are mandatory for your business? We’re sure of one thing – education isn’t on the break. Yes, you heard about this a million times, but it’s necessary to mention the importance of this conclusion.

 

Big, bigger, the biggest

 

Agile Serbia continues to fly above the clouds trying to give a lot of reasons why education is crucial and meaningful. We don’t give up this fact. For the last 10 years, we have been carefully building our community and making worthwhile friendships. Agile Serbia Conferences are our ways to say thank you to all of you who are constantly learning and improving your own careers and personal goals.

But this Edition is quite specific. And not only for obvious reasons. All-Stars release is quite amusing because it gathers fantastic aspects in one place:

 

 

#1 Yes, it’s online

…and no, that’s not a flaw, that’s even a great possibility for your education. First, attending this Conference is (at this moment) safer. Also, it’s easier to track your own activities and save your energy. If you have lecture in the morning, and a workshop in the afternoon, you can make a pause and take a breath. Maybe a little nap or chit-chat with your friends and family. Online is the new normality.

 

#2 Yes, you can really talk with the greatest Agile Stars

Well, from where can we start? Alistair Cockburn, Sander Hoogendoorn, Jurgen Appelo, Angel Medinilla, Andrea Goulet, Mark Loffler, Miljan Bajić, Petri Heiramo, Olaf Lewitz, Almudena Rodriguez Pardo, Aino Vonge Corry, Alex Sloley, Predrag Rajković, Marko Majkić and Luka Aničin are absolutely Stars. Each is an expert. Also, our workshops have special value.

For example, if you wanna improve your communications skills and ways to manage product – Workshop Product Owner in practice is right choice for you. On the other side, Scrum Master workshop is for all SM Supermen who are handling processes, teams and PO’s. But, if you’re a mastermind in TDT or Artificial Intelligence, well – we have ready for you two workshops about Test-Driven Development and Machine Learning. And, this isn’t all – panels are our specialty where you can join and give your opinions about the current topic.

 

#3 This isn’t just another online meeting

A completely different online experience – yes!
Moving from one to another live stage – yes!
Interactive workshops and practical conversations with all Agile Superstars – yes!
Continual networking – yes!

MatchAbout is a unique platform. It allows you plenty of creative opportunities and it’s quite amusing to see these multiple options. Switch from All-Stars Stage to Big-League Stage or join the panels at the same time. You can also chit-chat with other participants, share your experience and more importantly – all material from Conference you’ll find on MatchAbout. Isn’t that cool?

 

#4 It’s valuable and countable for your career

By attending Agile Serbia Conference, you don’t only get great insights and contacts. Scrum Education Units® (SEUs points) are very important, especially if you wanna validate your participation and continued proficiency in the fundamental principles and practices of Scrum. On All-Stars Edition you’ll get SEU points depending if you’re attending only on lectures and panels or the whole Conference – including workshops. More details about this valuation find here.

 

#5 Affordability and commodity in one place

The best value for money when we talk about Agile Serbia Conference is completely true. Taking into account that you get really, really excellent knowledge, guidelines and tips & tricks from the best Professionals in Agile universe. And you’ll do that from your home or office. Isn’t that great?

 

Life according to Agile

 

If you want to survive nowadays, think about how flexible and adaptable you or your organization is – could you continue with the present or even better with the next big market change(s)?

Learning while listening is more productive when you adopt new useful insights. So, what are your plans for 7th & 8th December 2020? The upcoming Agile Serbia Conference: All-Stars Edition 2020 has plenty of possibilities for personal growth. Thanks to app MatchAbout, you’ll really enjoy multiple content on this platform.

 

The choice is yours – you can wait to see what will happen or you can be prepared and welcome the change! So, don‘t think too much and register for this December edition. It will pay off!

More useful information find here: http://www.agile-serbia.rs/conference/online-agile-serbia-conference-2020/

Model Sensei: Final conclusions

“The effective leader recognizes that they are more dependent on their people than they are on them. Walk softly” – Brian Tracy, worldwide Coach and Consultant

 

We reached the last segment of our destination called Modern Sensei: Leadership. But, basically, it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning of one amazing (very often challenging) adventure. And listen – everybody can be a leader. We don’t exaggerate in this claim. But, it takes time, will and belief that you can make great things for you and your team. Being a complete leader is art.

Evolution of a leader, what defines a great leader, why leadership principles are important, what are the main leadership qualities and how you can distinguish a leader and a manager are basic topics for understanding this mindset, right? So, let’s focus on some essential conclusions:

 

Leadership as a secret spice

 

Let’s remind that there are various opinions about who or what is a leader. According to our Linkedin survey, 35% of respondents said that a leader is a creative visionary and designer of good working culture. Then 18% said that leaders are agents of change and in the end, 12% said that leader is one bold and careful teacher. Generally speaking – a leader is someone who is thirsty for knowledge, experiences and good working people with a sense of fellowship.

 

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or conclude you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” – Collin Powell

 

Great leaders have a growth mindset and project it onto their teams. Also, great leaders leverage team diversity by creating safe environments where everyone feels comfortable. The latest statistics tell us that only 5% of businesses have implemented leadership development at all levels. Also, did you hear the phrase – the more women in leadership, the better the shareholder ROI? Yes, these statistics said that we need to do more to get women on the executive floor, and why hiring women into an organization that promotes leadership development and growth is essential for success. Do you remember our flawless description of one leader? Let’s summarize:

In order to be a good (and when the times goes by – a fantastic) leader you have to have the enthusiasm of the child; communication of the journalist; the eloquence of the priest; prudence of the diplomat; courtesy of the king; definitely courage of a mountain guide; sometimes discretion of the lawyer; in each situation manners of a gentleman; always the curiosity of the researcher and patience of Japanese zen Buddhist.

In the sense of Scrum Leadership, we can all agree on one – this is a thrilling and never-ending ride. Logically, there are three types of leadership. As the product owner, you lead the product and you are responsible for its overall success. The cross-functional development team makes the design and technology decisions; and the Scrum Master guides process and organizational change, as the following picture shows.

Source: Roman Pichler

 

To be a great leader, you must deeply understand your team

 

And this is one of the greatest facts when we talk about leadership. In order to call (in the first place) yourself a true and valuable leader, you must understand the needs of your team. Of course, Scrum Masters are focusing on processes and does the team fulfill all necessary aspects and Product Owners on communication and clients’ demands.

Don’t doubt yourself, the leader is you. And for that reason, you maybe need guidance – CAL 1 Course with Olaf Lewitz that re exceptional each time in our Agile Months. Olaf is an Agile Leadership Guru, a guy who lives leadership in practice and masters the foundation of leadership.

So, what did you decide?

 

Inspiration for this article was pieces of art written art by Meredith Wailes published on Bloom Leadership and Roman Picher, published on Roman Picher.

 

 

Modern Sensei: Leadership qualities

,,Become the kind of the leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy

 

Leadership is always trendy. We’re sure that you heard that great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. And that’s the fact. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. Because of that, we need to make a distinction between leadership principles and leadership qualities. Can you make it this?

 

Leadership is the key to 99% of all successful efforts

 

Principle is basically a kind of doctrine or proposition that is a guide for our behavior. Principles help us to orient ourselves in complex environments. They are an external scope of individuals, something that we’re learning working in different surroundings. On the other side, quality is personal and equated with behavioral pattern of a person. This is actually internal and humanistic perspective of the person. But, how about leaders?

,,Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – General Dwight Eisenhower


Humility, clarity and courage

 

As a Scrum Master or a Product Owner you naturally have some qualities, and in order to be fantastic leader – don’t hesitate to use them and be the greatest. There are lots of distinctive leadership qualities, and these are our choices:

 

#1 Empathy

 

This is the first thing that each leader must have in mind – an ability to relate and understand your team and be able to put yourself in the soul of your people. As a Scrum Master you need to deeply understand commitments and efforts that Development team puts into the project. On the other side, Product Owner must learn to grasp what is really important for Stakeholders and what is crucial for Scrum Master.

 

#2 Integrity

 

Everybody knows – integrity is a foundation for each leader. Be honest an open-minded as well as dedicated to each aspect of work. Especially when you have 15 days to accomplish tasks and at the same time be at service to your team in Sprint.

 

#3 Listening

 

And by listening, we’re thinking about active listening. There’s a well-said truth: people have two ears and one mouth. Leaders must carefully listen in order to make trust, respect and confidence. They’re focused on people and details that matter in every task.

 

#4 Caring

 

Appreciate others and really, really take into account their feelings and needs. Especially if you have some of Scrum roles. People are not robots. Also, leaders inspire their team members, clients and customers feel trusted. Easy to accomplish, right?

 

#5 Motivation

 

It’s not easy to motivate each member of the team. As a Scrum Master you need to give good reasons to Development team why their job is great opportunity to learn something new and be unique. On the other side, Product Owner motivates clients not to lose trust and high expectations from project. Motivation is challenging and boosting morale needs leaders’ self-motivation.

 

#6 Transparency

 

Being transparent is worthy of respect. Be open to each team member and don’t hide important information, the trust is key especially in turbulent times. How do you nurture transparency as a leader?


 

Whatever you are, be a good one

 

And this is a completely true. Don’t doubt yourself, you can and you are a fantastic leader. Numerous participants said that CAL 1 Course helps them to find really useful guidelines in order to be better and better each day. Certified Agile Leadership classes with Olaf Lewitz are something that we’re expecting for a long time. Olaf is an Agile Leadership Guru, a guy who lives leadership in practice and stands for qualities that one person makes a good leader. Just like in video below:

 

 

Photo source:

www.techsgreat.com

 

Product Owner: Advanced Superhero at your service

Tick-tock, tick-tock…

 

It’s September 2020, early morning, and a new challenging working day. The annoying alarm is there to remind him of the productive upcoming day. John is someone who believes that every success comes with faith, commitment and hard-working. Especially in turbulent environments and with demanding clients.

He works in specific and quite interesting surroundings. You asked what does it mean specific? John is a Product Owner. This vocation is really challenging and yes – it’s part of the Scrum Team. A typical day of a Product Owner is one rollercoaster with lots of adventures. ‘’What did I do yesterday?’’, What will I do today?’’ and ‘’What is impeding me?’’ are questions that John asks each day in order to check his improvements. Product Owner is a truly modern Sensei – he is a person who knows why a particular product should existhow it should be made, and how to make that product grow to its maximum. That’s why it’s very important that there are a good understanding and cooperation between the Product Owner and the development team. As a leader, he must manage the product from start to finish.

 

But, what if John is thirsty for more?

 

By now, John had at least one year of working experience as a Product Owner and depending on the nature of the product – a great understanding of clients’ needs, users, the competition, market and future trends. Certified and aware of this Scrum role, he thinks, actually – he knows and wants to improve himself.

It’s the role of the Product Owner to take a strategic, high-level overview while understanding and being able to take detailed decisions like product design. But still, John has a desire for developing his career. Besides this, he wants to learn how to better interact with the Development team, Scrum Master or with stakeholders. Also, learning different ways how to scale product or implement product strategies are crucial in upgrading his career. Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner Course is a logical step.

 

 

 

Never stop chasing your dreams!

 

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. And this is well said. We all agree in one – there’s always going to be some obstacles, drawbacks and temptations working as a fully employed Product Owner. Each day for John represents real entertainment in order to execute every demand. He finds out that Agile Serbia is going to organize a whole new Course full of real-world examples from the experiences of Product Owners in different businesses. Practical examples, tips & tricks, as well as concrete guidelines, will be detailed explained here. Also, he saw that class:

  • Explains Agile and Lean Values and Principles, so he can on practical examples implement everything he learned and adopt in Course;
  • Explores ways to identify stakeholders and their needs, because each day is a new challenge and recognizing what Stakeholder particularly needs from John’s team;
  • Helps to understand the different ways by which John can scale his product in order to maximize value for his Stakeholders;
  • Explores product discovery and helps to understand better Product Strategy and with a better understanding of each decision and paragraph in Strategy, John will improve his determination to respect and realize every task;
  • Helps to understand Technical Debt and provide John a deeper view of this problematic – finding easy solutions is an everyday challenge for John;
  • Maintains the perspectives of areas that John’s organization may struggle with, so he can brainstorm solutions with the class.

 

Trust is Key

 

In this equation we can’t forget that having fun as the benefit contributes to John’s determination to attend this upcoming Course. Learning while not being bored is one of the desirable requirements and a nice side of this educational Training. In his career, John has figured out that trust is a key because he should not be afraid to rely on his team and he should have a good relationship with a Scrum Master.

 

Hustle for more

 

…and don’t be afraid to invest in yourself! John knows that. He doesn’t want to miss the chance to learn from the best and contribute to the business as the next Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner. Agile Serbia proudly stands as certified and the largest Agile community in the SEE region that provides quality and professionalism.

This Autumn we’ll organize a whole new A-CSPO Course (12th – 16th October) with our extraordinary Certified Scrum Trainer and Certified Enterprise Coach Miljan Bajić and according to early applications, this is going to be one exciting journey!

Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the flight!

 

 

10 frequent mistakes that Product Owners make

Does Product Owner make mistakes? But of course!

Published (and inspired) on Agile and Scrum Blog by Zuzi Sochova (an independent Agile coach and trainer and a Certified Scrum Master Trainer with more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry).

 

Common mistakesWe all agree in one – being an efficient Product Owner isn’t a simple thing. Especially in crisis. Maybe the lack of an Agile mindset, lack of authority to decide or something third, Product Owners are human beings and yes – Product Owner makes mistakes. In the text below, we’ll show you some common mistakes of a Product Owner from practice:

 

 

 

#1 Product Owners can’t say no

The Product Owner who says yes to all wishes from the customers will fail as the quantity will burn out the organization. There is no way you can do everything. There are so many options in a complex world. So much functionality customers can ask for. Instead, Product Owners are prioritizing based on the business value, and as 80% of the value is hidden in only 20% of the functionality, they need to say no quite often during their prioritization.

 

#2 Product Owners can’t prioritize

Product Owner who believes everything needs to be done is not a Product Owner but a customer or stakeholder. Prioritization is key in Scrum, at any time you must know what is more important than the rest and what are we going to invest our energy (effort and money) into next and the rest later or never, depending on the feedback and impact we achieved by the value delivered.

 

#3 Product Owners don’t have the business knowledge

Business knowledge is wider than just a product understanding. It covers the understanding of customers, the market, and the competitive landscape. Without such deeper understanding, Product Owners can’t make a decision and are drafted by different stakeholder groups into their political fights.

 

#4 Product Owners don’t have a vision

Without a clear vision, there is no direction, no way Product Owner can prioritize, and no Scrum. It’s just a mess where all we can do is to say “everything needs to be done”. The key responsibility of the Product Owner is to have a vision and be able to share it with everybody.

 

#5 Product Owners don’t have negotiation skills

And this is maybe at the nearest top of the list when it comes to business. The Product Owners without negotiation skills are very weak Product Owners. They often end us accepting everything customers ask for and are struggling to say no. Negotiation skills help Product Owners to understand not only what the users want but also what they need. And that’s the key part of the prioritization.

 

#6 Product Owners don’t experiment

Product Owners who believe they can create a plan and then step by step execute it with the development teams during Sprints are not real Product Owners. Backlog can’t be farther from a plan and an iterative approach of delivery is here to inspect and adapt and learn from experiments.

 

#7 Estimates are the Key

Product owners who focus too much on estimates are mentally tight to the functionality, not the business value. In the traditional world, the estimates are important as all we care about is delivery, and we need to deliver more. In the Agile world, it’s not about delivering features.

 

#8 Losing focus on multiple products

Product Owners taking care of multiple products don’t have focus, and often don’t have time. Considering Product Owner is the person responsible for the overall product success including the return of investment, it’s quite useful to have the focus for making the product successful and don’t switch the context all the time.

 

#9 Product Owners don’t make an impact

Every backlog item is an experiment where you expect something will happen as a result. That’s the impact. Without knowing why you invest team time and energy into it, why to do it in the first place? Running an experiment without knowing how are you going to evaluate it is silly. That’s not an experiment but functionality you plan to deliver no matter what

 

#10 Product Owners often feel they aren’t part of the team

Instead, they act as Backlog managers, telling the team what to do, and then waiting to get results/blaming at the end of Sprint. Instead of that, Product Owners are part of the Scrum team, they are team members, they must collaborate with the team on delivering the value and achieving the Sprint Goal.

 

Product Owner

In the end, we’re all human beings. With different flaws and virtues. Throughout whole of our life we’re learning and adopting new knowledge and it’s normal to make some mistakes. In this process, it’s important to accomplish a goal and remain professional in each aspect of the business.

If you wanna be a truly fantastic Product Owner, never doubt in your capability to make great things especially in your career.

Tell us your experience and some common mistakes in your team. Share good practices.☺️ 

 

Inspiration: 

www.grok-interactive.com

www.beckyjanderson.com