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Personal Kanban as a Coaching Tool for Product Owners and Others

A while ago I wrote about Personal Kanban at Snapper. Personal Kanban, or KanbanFor1 as we call it, has supported Snapper’s Agile adoption and has proven an excellent training ground for the team to develop good habits and behaviours.

As in all Agile adoptions the delivery team aren’t the only ones affected by the change and in this post I describe how I have used personal Kanban as a co-coaching tool to help a Product Owner adapt to the challenges of his new job.

A template for the sprint review

Conducting an interesting and engaging end-of-sprint review is an often overlooked art: Not only do we want to show what we have built during the last sprint and collect feedback and good ideas for what to build next; we also want to give our audience a good experience. 

At my workplace we always invite the entire company and often have more than 30 people in the room. As they claim to be happy and to enjoy the fortnightly experience I thought it might be useful to share our template and some guidelines for what is working for us.

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A Scrum Product Owner checklist

After my last post on the role of the Scrum Master I have been asked if I could write a similar role description for the Scrum Product Owner. 

Here’s my view of the role: 

The Product Owner

The product owner is a visionary who can envision the final product and communicate the vision. 

The product owner is also the person who sees the vision through to completion. This includes describing features, collaborating and communicating with the delivery team, accepting or rejecting work results, and steering the project by tracking and forecasting its progress. 

The Product Owner points the team at the right target, the Scrum Master helps the team get to the target as efficiently as possible. In other words: The product owner is the what-person, the Scrum team are the how-people.
 

In general the Product Owner …

 

  • is responsible for that the team builds the right product
  • manages ROI and makes sure to deliver business benefits

Agile undercover – when customers don’t collaborate

The other night I attended Rashina Hoda’s totally awesome presentation “Agile Undercover: When Customers don’t collaborate” at the Wellington Agile Professionals Network.

Rashina presented the research she had conducted on the basis of interviewing 30 people across 16 organisations in New Zealand and India. Having delivered a steady supply of Agile teams and individuals over the years I was excited to see the results of Rashina’s research.

Her chosen method of research was grounded theory which basically means that instead of testing a pre-conceived theory the researcher gathers data and generates a theory based on the data collected. A bit like Google Flu Trends …