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Product Owners FAQ’s

Welcome to our Product Owner FAQs library, check out our frequently asked questions on Product Ownership to support you with your journey.

How much of an impact does a great Agile leader have and why?

How much of an impact does a great Agile leader have and why? I think it’s important to start by def…

What is the most impressive turnaround you have seen a scrum adoption achieve?

What is the most impressive turnaround you have seen a scrum adoption achieve? It depends on what th…

Which do you prefer for product development, Kanban or Scrum?

Which do you prefer for product development, Kanban or Scrum? Why do we keep putting these agile fra…

If your organization has less than 50 people, how hard is it to adopt and succeed with Scrum?

If your organization has less than 50 people, how hard is it to adopt and succeed with Scrum? The nu…

Did following a certification path change the game for you, if so, how?

Did following a certification path change the game for you, if so, how? I have never followed a stru…

What is the major difference between executive and team coaching?

What is the major difference between executive and team coaching? An executive coach works with exec…

What is the most powerful coaching session you have been a part of?

What is the most powerful coaching session you have been a part of? I’m not going to go into details…

How did mentorship change your career trajectory and why?

How did mentorship change your career trajectory and why? Mentorship changed my entire career trajec…

How important is a solid apprenticeship for scrum masters?

How important is a solid apprenticeship for scrum masters? It would be useful to start by defining w…

How are user stories, epics, and tasks different from one another?

How are user stories, epics, and tasks different from one another? Welcome to part 59 in our scrum m…

What does timeboxing mean? When can a sprint be cancelled and by whom?

What does timeboxing mean? When can a sprint be cancelled and by whom? Welcome to part 58 in our scr…

How would you deal with a difficult or disruptive product stakeholder?

How would you deal with a difficult or disruptive product stakeholder? Welcome to part 57 of our scr…

How is definition of done defined and why does it matter?

How is definition of done defined and why does it matter? Welcome to part 56 of our scrum master int…

What is MVP and MMP?

What is MVP and MMP? Welcome to part 55 of our scrum master interview questions series where John Mc…

How does a scrum master deal with scope creep?

How does a scrum master deal with scope creep? Welcome to part 54 of our scrum master interview ques…

How should a scrum master track sprint progress?

How should a scrum master track sprint progress? Welcome to part 53 in our scrum master interview qu…

What are the primary risks in scrum and how are they dealt with?

What are the primary risks in scrum and how are they dealt with? Welcome to part 52 of our scrum mas…

What are the key skills of a scrum master?

What are the key skills of a scrum master? Welcome to part 51 of our scrum master interview question…

What are some of the disadvantages or drawbacks of using Scrum?

What are some of the disadvantages or drawbacks of using Scrum? Welcome to part 50 of our scrum mast…

What is user story mapping and how do you go about doing that effectively?

What is user story mapping and how do you go about doing that effectively? Welcome to part 48 in our…

Agile Top Tip – How to set personal goals that align with organisational goals

The start of the year feels like a natural point to set goals, both personally and at a team or orga…

Agile Top Tip – How to make goals specific

How do you make goals specific? In this video, John McFadyen shares his recommendation for making go…

Agile Top Tip – How to make sure goals are realistic

It can be easy to be over-optimistic when setting goals, leading to targets that aren’t attain…

Agile Top Tip – How to manage (and set) goals in a volatile world

Goals can be great to give us direction and keep us accountable. But in such a volatile world, you m…

Agile Top Tip – What do you do when a goal becomes obsolete?

What do you do when a goal becomes obsolete? The nature of today’s business climate means that…

Agile Top Tip – Conducting a Sprint Review when not all stakeholders can attend

The Sprint Review is an important event in Scrum, a chance for the Scrum Team to gain feedback on th…

Agile Top Tip – How to support your team after receiving negative feedback in a Sprint Review

How do you support your Scrum Team after receiving negative feedback in the Sprint Review? John McFa…

Agile Top Tip – Conducting a Sprint Review when the Product Owner is not present

This week’s top tip is how to conduct a Sprint Review when the Product Owner can’t make …

Agile Top Tip – How to give (and receive) constructive criticism in the Sprint Review

The purpose of the Sprint Review is to gain feedback. Sometimes it’s positive. Other times it&…

Agile Top Tip – How to foster openness from everyone in the Sprint Review

The Agile Top Tips theme for December 2022 is the Sprint Review, so we started by asking John his to…

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach?

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach? I’m not somebody that believes in regret. Professiona…

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective?

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective? It used to be ‘Mad | Sad | Glad’. Many moon…

What are the 3 things that trip you up as an Agile coach?

What are the 3 things that generally trip you up as an Agile coach? This is an interesting one. Ther…

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach?

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach? Your first step is to stop think…

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach?

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach? It’s contract. I…

The Definitive Guide to Scrum Training

Why take Scrum training? Scrum may appear simple at first, but it is deceptively difficult to do wel…

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning?

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning? This answer may be a bit different to how a scru…

What is one of the most important traits of an Agile coach
What is one of the most important traits of an agile coach?

What is one of the most important traits of an agile coach? Patience. Without a doubt, patience is o…

When did you realise that you had transitioned from scrum master to agile coach?

When did you realise that you had transitioned from scrum master to agile coach? I will be honest, I…

What is the most common mistake made by newbie Agile coaches?

What is the most common mistake made by newbie Agile coaches? I would be hard pressed to pick a sing…

How does an Agile coach learn to work at the executive level?

How does an Agile coach learn to work at the executive level? There are many ways that agile coaches…

What is the one book you would recommend to aspiring Agile coaches?

What is the one book you would recommend to aspiring Agile coaches? That gets tricky. I’ll be honest…

How do you prioritise team coaching over individual coaching as an agile coach?

How do you prioritise team coaching over individual coaching as an agile coach? I would question whe…

What is one of the toughest lessons you learned as an agile coach?

What is one of the toughest lessons you learned as an agile coach? The toughest lesson, without a do…

How do I deal with sabotage from an individual in the scrum team?

How do I deal with sabotage from an individual in the scrum team? My first piece of advice to you is…

What is the most valuable communication tip you have for Scrum Masters?

What is the most valuable communication tip you have for Scrum Masters? In a nutshell, simply be cur…

I can’t get senior leadership to buy into a proposal. What am I doing wrong?

I can’t get senior leadership to buy into a proposal. What am I doing wrong? Possibly, you’re doing …

scrum project success
We have set up a scrum pilot project. How do I make sure it is a success?

We have set up a scrum pilot project. How do I make sure it’s a success? That is an interesting ques…

Not everyone on the team supports the decision to do scrum. How do I resolve that conflict?

Not everyone on the team supports the decision to do scrum. How do I resolve that conflict? That is …

Our scrum team are battling to self-organise . How do I help them?

Our scrum team are battling to self-organise. How do I help them? What you need to do is understand …

How do I help developers work closer with customers?

How do I help our developers work closer with customers? A part of me wants to say that scrum master…

I am a scrum master and we have just hired an agile coach. How do I help them?

I’m a scrum master and we’ve just hired an agile coach. How do I work with them? It depends. First a…

I’ve just qualified as a scrum master and our team are going to do scrum. What do I do?

I’ve just qualified as a scrum master and our team are going to do scrum. What do I do? Congra…

What does a scrum master do if the team simply can’t get the job done?

What does a scrum master do if the team simply can’t get the job done? It depends on what we m…

How does a scrum master create and nurture motivation in a scrum team?

How does a scrum master create and nurture motivation in a scrum team? I’m not sure if scrum masters…

What is your favourite scrum event and why?

What is your favourite scrum event and why? If you know me at all, it’s the sprint retrospective. I …

Can you walk us through the 2nd Agile principle and why it is so important?

Can you walk us through the 2nd Agile principle and why it is so important? Let’s start off by expla…

How does a Scrum Master heal a toxic team environment?

How does a Scrum Master heal a toxic team environment? The short answer is that they don’t. Yes, the…

Does a scrum master help identify what skills are needed and if so, how?

Does a scrum master help identify what skills are needed and if so, how? That’s a bit of a tricky qu…

What is an increment in Scrum and how do you measure its success?

What is an increment in Scrum and how do you measure its success? The increment is the thing you are…

Is the scrum master active during the sprint?

Is the scrum master active during the sprint? That’s put a smile on my face. I’ve got an image of a …

Why is there no project manager in Scrum?

Why is there no project manager in Scrum? The short answer is that it simply isn’t needed. Project m…

What soft skills does a Scrum Master need?

What soft skills does a Scrum Master need? Soft skills are an interesting one. I remember going thro…

What are good OKRs for a Scrum Master?

What are good OKRs for a Scrum Master? So, OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a goal …

What is the difference between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective?

What is the difference between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective? In the scrum framework, a…

What are your top tips for facilitating a great sprint retrospective and why?

What are your top tips for facilitating a great sprint retrospective and why? A sprint retrospective…

Who does a scrum master usually report to or answer to?

Who does a scrum master usually report to or answer to? There is a big difference between where scru…

How does a Scrum Master help instil Agile values and principles in a Scrum Team?

How does a Scrum Master help instil Agile values and principles in a Scrum Team? That’s a huge quest…

What does a seasoned and experienced scrum master do differently to a newbie scrum master?

What does a seasoned and experienced scrum master do differently to a newbie scrum master? That’s an…

What are some of the most useful metrics for a scrum master to measure and why?

What are some of the most useful metrics for a scrum master to measure and why? When I’m asked this …

How does a scrum master help with continuous excellence in a scrum team?

How does a scrum master help with continuous excellence in a scrum team? Contributing to continuing …

What are the scrum values and why do they matter?

What are the scrum values and why do they matter? In addition to the Agile values and principles as …

What would be an example of a poorly performing team and why?

What would be an example of a poorly performing team and why? If you look at a lot of textbooks or a…

What was one of your most rewarding days as a scrum master and why?

I could speak to the teams I’ve worked with, the individuals I’ve worked with and the aspiring Agile…

What does a great team look like and what sets it apart from average teams?

If you’ve got homogenous teams where everybody looks the same, sounds the same, and thinks the same,…

Why is a product vision so important and how do you help a product owner craft one?

In a scrum team, a product owner is responsible for crafting a product vision that inspires the deve…

What 3 books would you recommend to help me understand product ownership?

As a scrum master, you work in service of the development team and the product owner. To do so effec…

How do I nurture and develop coaching skills?

In an agile environment such as a scrum team, a scrum master acts as both the glue that binds the te…

What are some of the challenges I will face when working with a project manager?

In most cases, adopting scrum or a large scale scrum framework involves an integration of the old wa…

How do I earn the development team’s trust?

In a scrum team, you have 3 roles. The scrum master, the product owner and the developers or develop…

What are some of the challenges I will face in facilitation and how do I overcome them?

There are many challenges that you will face when it comes to facilitating meetings and scrum events…

What are 3 things I should do on day one as a scrum master?

In my experience, there’s a great formula you can follow regardless of whether it’s your first day a…

Why is it so difficult to estimate time in product development?

In traditional waterfall style project management, a project manager will work with project stakehol…

Is it a good idea to swap scrum masters and teams occasionally?

Yes, it is a good idea. Responding to Change or Loss We don’t want to make those kinds of changes to…

What was your personal definition of success as a scrum master?

It’s something that evolved over time. In the beginning, my definition of success was that the team …

What are 3 great tools for a scrum master and why?

Any craftsman needs a great set of tools and resources to get the job done well. A scrum master is n…

How does a scrum master facilitate backlog refinement?

Ideally, a scrum master doesn’t need to be in a backlog refinement meeting at all. In a mature scrum…

What was your worst day as a Scrum Master and why?

I don’t generally have bad days, nor do I take things personally enough to consider certain days har…

What are 3 key responsibilities of a scrum master?

If you look at the scrum guide, it’s very clear. They are there to coach the organisation in the ado…

Who coaches and mentors the scrum master?

In my experience, most scrum masters don’t have coaches, agile coaches, or mentors. It’s a pity. It’…

How do you develop influence and have an impact outside of the scrum team?

A scrum team consists of the scrum master, the product owner, and the development team. Usually a sm…

What are your 3 most recommended books for Scrum Masters and why?

At the end of each of my Certified Scrum Master, Advanced Certified Scrum Master, and Certified Scru…

Do product owners generally understand the value of a scrum master?

In my experience, the majority of product owners have received no formal training as a product owner…

What are common mistakes you see in daily scrums?

There are a few common mistakes that you find with daily scrums, either because the team are relativ…

How does a Scrum Master manage conflict within a scrum team?

One of the things that you have to get used to as a Scrum Master is conflict. Many people think it’s…

How does a scrum master help a development team effectively estimate work?

The first thing to remember when it comes to estimating work is that it isn’t on a scrum master to c…

What are some of the most common challenges a scrum master faces from product owners?

This is always an interesting question to deal with. Generally speaking, there are 3 primary challen…

What does a Scrum Master do if a team is underperforming?

The first place to start is to assess what is meant by ‘performance’ and how you evaluate whether th…

What does Servant Leadership mean and how do you do it effectively?

It’s an interesting one. Many people are familiar with the term servant leadership but aren’t necess…

What is sprint planning and how do you facilitate it like a pro?

Let’s start with Sprint planning. It’s the first event in scrum, the first meeting inside that sprin…