OMG They made me Product Owner!!

The face of guy in the hallway expressed a mixture of euphoria and terror when I passed him in the hallway. We had met at the coffee machine before and we discussed how the company was moving to a more Scrum based way of developing their products.

Between euphoria and terror

Between euphoria and terror

“You sort of know how this PO thing works right?” was his first question. When I nodded he confined in me that they had made him Product Owner of a new team, without prior training. In general, not the best start, but I can see why the guys were anxious to start: their Product would address a pain experienced by many of their clients, promising start!

Over coffee and a whiteboard we came up with four steps you can take to kickstart a team that is new to Scrum and the Product Owner role.

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Robots bring business and IT together

Maybe you’ve already read the diary of one of our mBots, if not I encourage you to do so first! So, what was this day all about? How did we come to organise this and what did the participants learn?

Changing teams

As companies decide to adopt a more agile way of working, they also start to form multidisciplinary scrum teams. However, there still is a big challenge. When you work with several disciplines in your scrum team, you are exposed to the risk that you still create mini-handovers. First the business analyst will make the design, the developer(s) will build it, the testers will test it and if you’re lucky the business is happy in the end. Team members tend to keep doing what they’ve always been doing. Nothing really changed! Of course, we cannot realistically expect that the business suddenly starts programming, but it would be great if they know the difficulties that developers cope with. It works the same the other way around. We need to learn from each other and bring our work closer together.Read more →

Guest blog: in response to "The Five Belts of the Product Owner

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This is a response to Chris Lukassen's excellent post titled, "The Five Belts of the Product Owner." If you haven't read it, my post won't make much sense, so go read it before you delve further into my post.

Chris's post brought up many thoughts and feelings because it hit the intersection of two of the things that are taking up much of my focus as of late, Judo and Product Management.
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Being An Agile Security Officer

Whenever I give a presentation, training, or just talk to security teams, it becomes clear that over the years a gap has been created between application security and development. A gap we created consciously and with intent and that became painfully visible with the introduction of Agile and DevOps. Suddenly exhaustive information security policies with checklists and penetration tests became serious impediments. The challenge we are facing now is how to bridge this gap again.

Fortunately this challenge is easier to solve as it appears to be. The key to success is to split the security officer function more Agile minded roles with different responsibilities and duties. In the coming blogs I will dive deeper into the different aspects of these roles and the differences in the responsibilities and duties. But first we need to take a little trip down to memory lane to understand how we ended up in this situation.

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Improve Team Collaboration by Co-creating a Team Poster

Do you have a scrum team consisting of individual players? Does your team know why it exists in the first place? Do the team members know eachother's personal preferences for doing the things they do? Are they aware of what they find important as a team? A Team Poster crafted by the team itself will improve collaboration and contributes to a performance increase.

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The Five Belts Of The Product Owner

What is your level?

What is your level?

One of the cool things that Europeans added to Judo is the belt system. Japanese are patient by nature, they either do or don't. In fact they distinguish only the black belt, you either have it or are progressing towards it.

We need a bit more guidance to know we are on the right way, hence we have the different belts (which actually originate from the game of pool.) So what are five distinct levels of Product Ownership that we can observe and what must change before we move on to the next level?

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More Effective Team With Less Efficient Workers!

Methods based on Agile and the Kanban Method both stimulate collaboration to achieve focus and flow. In practice this is often challenged by teams with specialists who have a tendency to maximize the utilization of the specialists.

So, is a team with a focus to finish work more effective than a team with focus on efficiently using expertise?Read more →

Help Me Create a Better Way to Prioritise Features

Do you remember the legendary PID? the Project Initiation Document. The famous big binder that we used to create in the beginning of a project to satisfy governance and then bury in a drawer so we could get started. Then agile came and we broke things down. We learned story maps, customer journeys, vision statements, business model canvases. For me it works for the big picture, but when it comes to feature development or epics, it's not perfect.

Product Samurai use elegant weapons for a clear and effective battle. So what is our weapon of choice? I have not yet seen te ultimate tool. But I'm close and I need your help to complete it.

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