Scrum Master & Product Owner- An Overview
Scrum is infamous and widely used responsive software development structure. This method recognizes three different roles: the product owner who has the vision for the product; the scrum master who helps the team to build the product in the best way possible; and the team of engineers who create the product.
There are a lot of issues with the creation and development of the product, and at the top hierarchies, it gets difficult if the roles and responsibilities are not properly defined. That is why it is very important to classify the job of the product owner and the scrum master.
She/he is the person responsible for making a group live by qualities and practices of Scrum. He is regularly viewed as a trainer for the group, helping the group to reach its targets and do the job efficiently and effectively. He is also seen as a process owner for the group, creating a balance with the project's key stakeholders.
Responsibilities of a Scrum Master
His job responsibilities include the following:
Removing any obstructions that hinder the growth or development of the project,
Effectively working alongside with the product owner to ensure the product backlog is in good shape and ready for the next sprint.
To strike a good balance between the team and the product owner.
Ensuring that the team of developers/engineers don't over-commit themselves to what they can’t achieve if the product owner is over achieving or has unachievable targets.
Make sure the group is fully productive and improving on quality and functionality.
Responsible for helping the group deliver the required work to the Product Owner on time and within the given parameters and instructions
Make sure the group has achievable targets and simultaneously the work doesn’t get delayed or off track.
Oversee that the team can meet its commitments and helps removes any impediments they are facing, any blockers that they cannot remove themselves, including Managing dependencies
Facilitates process and meetings (e.g., Stand Ups, Planning, Reviews, Estimation, Scheduling, and Prioritization)
Responsible for reporting progress, including delivering standard outward- facing artifacts
Manages Product Owners desires of the product and from the team
Shields group from distractions and interferences (including or against the Product Owner)
Enables close cooperation between overall roles and functions
He usually is an experienced person either a former project manager or a technical team leader with a strong background of relevant work exposure. He can also be seen as a defender of the group.
Scrum Master’s Role
A Scrum master’s role is not an easy task; one should know where to draw the line at the same time not forgetting the work expected from them. Many new appointees at the Scrum Master role struggle to know and oblige with the roles the job entails. They get confused as to who is a scrum master, a leader or a worker. Actually to be precise he is none, he is a manager in a lay man’s term. His job responsibilities are many but to simplify the role he is a manager of the work force and supervise their work. He does not own the team and cannot assign roles to them as it falls out of his work rights, but then again he can act as a trainer to the group and make them achieve their highest potential.
A good scrum master makes a good balance of casual and professional bond with the taskforces much so that he can advice and strictly be heard by the team for their good. A mutual trust between the scrum master and his subordinates is a must for good working. He/ She can inspire and motivate them to be better at their job and give them guidelines and tricks of the trade to be better at their job.
Their authority is many times limited by the product owner to ensuring that group takes action after the procedure, the ScrumMaster's role can be more troublesome than that of a typical project manager. Project manager often has the last resort of saying "do it because I say so." But there are times when a Scrum Master cannot or is not allowed to have such a command of the team.
Then again, a person who is dedicated and cares for his team and is good at his work knows how to get his work done within the given means one can always develop a strong bond of trust where his juniors respect and listen to his advice as they know it is for their benefit and there are no ego clashes at the workplace.
A Scrum product Owner is typically a project's key functionary. It is the vision of the product owner which creates this bubble. It is the duty of the owner to pass on his dream and mission in its entirety to the Scrum Manager and the team. This is one of the keys to effectively begin any agile software development project. Product Owner is usually the lead user of the system or somebody from marketing, anyone with a solid understanding of users, product management, the marketplace, competition and of future trends for domain or type of system being developed.
This differs tremendously based on whether the group is creating business Software, or software for inside utilizing, or equipment or any other kind of product. The fact is that the individual in the product owner’s role needs to be a visionary with a viable dream and a few management skills, rest can be managed and supported by a Scrum Manager, and the work floor activities are done by the team. In spite of the fact that the agile PO organizes the product build-up amid the sprint arranging meeting, the group chooses the measure of work they trust they can do amid every sprint, and what number of sprints will be required.
The product owner's job is to provide the group with a reasonable and elevating goal which is within their means and is achievable. Team members know best what they can do. Thus they select which client stories from the highest point of the product excess they can focus on conveying amid any sprint.
A good product owner knows what he wants and is very clear from the beginning. It is expected from a product owner to not throw new tasks and changes while the work is in progress. He should be well versed with what he has to ask from the team and does not alter his requirements and hinder the working of the taskforce.
The product owner role requires a person with specific abilities and characteristics, including availability, business sense and communication skills. To begin with, the Scrum product owner should be accessible to his or her group. The best product owners show duty by doing whatever is important to build an ideal product – and that implies being actively engaged in with their groups. An agile PO should understand market, the client and the business keeping making sound decisions. At last, communication is a vast part of the product owner obligations. The product owner role requires working intimately with key stakeholder all through the organization and beyond, so he or she should have the capacity to communicate different messages to different people about projects at any given time.
Product Owner's Responsibilities
A product owner’s responsibilities are no less. He has to overlook not just the working of the Scrum Master and the team but also has to keep a check on the developments of the product. He simultaneously has to be aware as to the developments in the economy and the market and if his product will receive acceptance or criticism. He should be quick to analyze the situation and make necessary changes well before it is too late. His responsibilities include:
Accountable for the vision, extension and size of the product
Voice of the Stakeholders and represents the business to the world
Manages stakeholder relationships and expectations
Defines key elements of the product and success criteria to the team and scrum master
Sets the delivery schedule by managing backlog – creates and updates release plan, including prioritization
Takes advice from the group on Backlog Dependencies
Single point of contact for product ( New requirements Prioritizing backlog items)
Accountable for project achievement
Decides on the release date, budget, and contents
Accepts and Rejects work in sprint reviews
So, it is evident to say that no work can go smoothly without the clear demarcation of work between the two. It is not like the work can be managed by one individual. The job responsibilities and tasks are huge and require the skill set of two very professional people who know their work well. It is just the fact that there should be a clear and defined line between the two roles that they do not merge and create blockages for the development of the product. Creation takes the immense knowledge and good spirits of all the people involved, and if the top executives are clear and at good terms it can work wonders and that is the mark of a good organization.
When I give talks about the twelve emotional intelligence competencies, I'm often asked, "Can I get better at these competencies?"
The good news? Yes, you can improve them at any point in life. However, you need to use a different style of learning than what you used in school. To develop competency, you activate the part of the brain used for skill building, like getting better at golf or another sport. You need to have a good model, to practice, and to keep practicing.
Five Steps to Develop Emotional Intelligence Competencies
First, are you motivated? Do you really want to put in the time and effort? This matters because the brain’s emotional and social circuitry develops through the first 20 or 25 years of life. During that time, you developed habits and practiced them over and over. For example, perhaps you're not a good listener. You’ve practiced being a bad listener your whole life. To change that, first ask yourself, "Do I really care?"
Where do you want to be in five years? Will changing this help you get there? That's often very motivational. Richard Boyatzis, my colleague at Case Western University, helps his business school students improve by having them consider their vision for their life, and then work back from that vision to what can help them get there.
If you want to change, you can take the second step: get very honest feedback about your strengths and growth opportunities. Ask people whose opinions you trust, who know you well, for their input. It’s best to use a 360-degree instrument, a systematic assessment of how you act in this domain.
Richard Boyatzis and I co-designed with Korn Ferry Hay Group the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory. With the ESCI 360, you rate yourself on the twelve emotional intelligence competencies and other people rate you. You don't know who said what, but you get honest information about how others see you. Then, ask yourself, “Where would I improve the most if I could enhance one competency?” We recommend starting with one at a time.
The third step is to develop a learning plan and start practicing. If you want to become a better listener, the core of the empathy competency, your learning plan might be: whenever I have the opportunity to listen well, I'm going to put aside distractions, tech devices, other thoughts, and pay full attention to this person, listen to them fully. Then, I’ll say what I think they intended, and then say what I think.
That’s not easy. You’ve practiced being a poor listener for a lifetime. Try this. Cross your arms. It's comfortable. That's what a habit feels like. Now, cross your arms the other way, with the other arm on top. That feels a little strange. That's what it feels like at first to change a habit. You have to make an intentional effort. You need to be mindful of the opportunity to improve your listening. Follow the steps in your plan to be sure you're executing listening in a new, better way.
The fourth step is to have someone who can support you, who can help you think about how you can do it better next time. When we're under stress, time pressured, we tend to fall back on our habits. With a learning partner, coach, or support team, you can say “I was feeling time-pressed, couldn't bother listening. What could I do next time?” They can help you figure it out and see it as a learning opportunity, not a failure.
The final step is to practice at every naturally occurring opportunity. It may be at work, or at home, or somewhere else. Whenever there’s a chance to practice listening in a better way, you go through those steps. The more often you do it, the easier it gets. If you practice this way for three to six months, something will happen which is a neurological landmark. You'll perform the new habit, the basis of a better competence, as though it were second nature. You'll do it without having to think about it twice. That means the new way of doing it has become the preferred neurological pathway in your brain.
The dispute is rooted in Uber's refusal to seek a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which would allow it to test autonomous vehicles under certain conditions. Companies like Google, Tesla Motors and Mercedes-Benz have all gotten such permits.
Uber officials contend that under the letter of California law, the company does not need a permit because the motor vehicles department defines autonomous vehicles as those that drive "without the active physical control or monitoring of a natural person." Uber said its modified, self-driving Volvo XC90s require human oversight, and therefore do not fit California's definition of an autonomous vehicle.
In an official statement provided via Uber's website, Anthony Levandowski, vice president of Uber's advanced technologies group, explains in detail why the requirement to obtain a permit doesn’t apply in Uber’s case.
“It’s hard to understand why the DMV would seek to require self-driving Ubers to get permits when it accepts that Tesla’s autopilot technology does not need them,” writes Levandowski. “We asked for clarification as to specifically what is different about our tech from the DMV, but have not received it.”
Of course, this isn't the first time Uber's decided to flout laws that it felt didn't apply.
In fact, I'd argue that Uber’s actually looking for these kind of fights.
Because the company is confident that current regulations aren't only outdated, they're harmful.
For example, take a brief look at Travis Kalanick's TED talk from earlier this year. Kalanick makes a convincing argument for the value Uber provides, and it goes beyond offering convenience to those who don’t own cars.
For example, according to Kalanick:
“If you own a car,” says Kalanick, “that means 96 percent of the time your car is sitting idle. And so, up to 30 percent of our land and our space is used storing these hunks of steel. We even have skyscrapers built for cars. That's the world we live in today.”
Uber was built on the premise of convenience (“to push a button and get a ride,” in Kalanick’s words). But Uber claims that as the company has evolved, it’s already taken millions of miles off the roads, removed thousands of metric tons of CO2 from the air, and reduced the need for millions to own a car.
Regulators argue that "innovators" must still play by the rules; otherwise, safety and order are compromised. But in flouting those rules, Uber just brings more attention to its cause--or, at least, more interest from customers and investors.
It seems to be working for now, with the ride-sharing company recently valued at over $60 billion.
But is Uber moving too fast for its own good? Will regulators succeed in popping Uber’s bubble, possibly paving the way for competitors?
Or will the momentum behind Uber’s tsunami of change prove unstoppable?
Great bosses change us for the better. They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish.
Great leadership can be a difficult thing to pin down and understand. You know a great leader when you’re working for one, but even they can have a hard time explaining the specifics of what they do that makes their leadership so effective. Great leadership is dynamic; it melds a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole.
One thing is certain—a leader’s actions are driven by his beliefs. It’s through a leader’s actions—and ultimately her beliefs—that the essence of great leadership becomes apparent.
“I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs.” – John WoodenGreat leaders inspire trust and admiration through their actions, not just their words. Many leaders say that integrity is important to them, but only those leaders who truly believe it walk their talk by demonstrating integrity every day. Harping on people all day long about the behavior you want to see has only a tiny fraction of the impact that you achieve by believing so deeply in the behavior that you demonstrate it yourself.
Great bosses believe in their people, and this belief drives them to create an environment where people thrive. Let’s explore some of the driving beliefs that set great bosses apart from the rest of the pack.
Growth should be encouraged, not feared. Average bossesfear their smartest, hardest-working employees, believing that these individuals will surpass them or make them look bad. They hesitate to share information or to enable authority. Exceptional bosses, on the other hand,love to see their employees grow. They are always grooming their replacements and doing whatever they can to create leaders. Research shows that the number-one thing job seekers look for in a position is growth opportunity and that 80% of all job growth occurs informally, such as in conversations with managers. Exceptional bosses want their best employees to maximize their potential, and they know that good feedback and guidance are invaluable.
Employees are individuals, not clones. Average bosseslump people together, trying to motivate, reward, and teach everyone in the same way. Exceptional bossestreat people as individuals, respecting the fact that everyone has their own motivation and style of learning. Something different makes each employee tick, and the best bosses will stop at nothing to figure out what that is.
Employees are equals, not subordinates. Ordinary bosses treat their employees like children; they believe that they need constant oversight. These bosses think that their role is to enforce rules, make sure things run their way, and watch over people’s shoulders for mistakes. Exceptional bosses see employees as peers who are perfectly capable of making decisions for themselves. Rather than constantly stepping in, exceptional bosses make it clear that they value and trust their employees’ work and only intervene when it’s absolutely necessary.
Work can and should be enjoyable. Ordinary bossessee work as something that everyone has to do, whether they want to or not. They believe that their role is to make sure that their employees don’t slack off or grow lazy. They say things like, “If it weren’t for me, nothing would ever get done around here.” However, exceptional bosseslove their jobs and believe that everyone else can too. They give people assignments that align with their strengths, passions, and talents. They celebrate accomplishments and douse people with positive feedback when they do good work.
Diversity, not like-mindedness, bears fruit, Average bosseswant their employees’ ideas to align with their own, and because of this, they try to hire like-minded individuals. They encourage their employees to think similarly and reward those who “just put their heads down and work.” Exceptional bossesactively seek out a diverse range of individuals and ideas. They expose themselves and their companies to new ways of thinking.
Motivation comes from inspiration, not agony. Ordinary bossesthink that strict rules and rule enforcement drive employees to work effectively. They believe that people need to fear layoffs, explosions of anger, and punishment in order to operate at 100%. People then find themselves in survival mode, where they don’t care about the product, the company, or the customer experience; they only care about keeping their jobs and appeasing their boss. Exceptional bossesmotivate through inspiration—they know that people will respond to their infectious energy, vision, and passion, more than anything else.
Change is an opportunity, not a curse. Ordinary bossesoperate by the motto, “This is the way we’ve always done it.” They believe that change is unnecessary and that it causes more harm than good. Exceptional bossessee change as an opportunity for improvement. They constantly adapt their approach and embrace change to stay ahead of the curve.
Bringing It All TogetherIf you’re currently a boss, is this how your employees would describe your beliefs? If not, you’re leaving money, effort, and productivity lying on the table. You’re also probably losing some good employees, if not to other jobs, then at least to disengagement and lack of interest.
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CAN YOU BELIEVE IT: TRUMP
"Can you believe that? You get laid off and then they won't give you your severance pay unless you train the people that are replacing you.
I mean, that's actually demeaning maybe more than anything else," he said.
Disney World and two outsourcing companies have been slapped with a federal lawsuit by two of its former technology staff, alleging that they conspired to displace American workers with cheaper foreign labour brought to the US on H-1B visas, mostly from India.
The two employees - Leo Perrero and Dena Moore - were among 250 Disney tech workers laid off from their jobs at Walt Disney World in Orlando in January 2015. They have also dragged two IT companies HCL Inc and Cognizent Technologies into this class action lawsuit.
Lower courts give judgements. Higher courts change them. Higher courts give judgements, other benches change them. Government fights with courts. All of them work less than 8 hours (few exceptions) & have sumptuous vacations. Judges without medical training decide about medico-legal cases. But none of them require exams to improve performance or to deliver better in spite of huge backlogs. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
In almost every govt. office, in most departments controlled by them, bribery is a rule rather than exception. Piles of files do not move, pensioners die without pension & farmers commit suicides. But the concerned authorities who work 8 hours per day do not need any corrective courses or exams to assess their performance, to compare where the developed world is today.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
In most healthcare facilities run by governments, there are severe deficiencies: no appointments of doctors, no proper salaries, no facilities or backups, no security & worst of all, no vision. But the people who are responsible for making these policies do not need any training, assessment or exams. The very people who want youngest generations of doctors to provide world class medical services to rural India do not want to change their decade old failing policies.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
The 1000s of practicing Babas, Gurus, quacks who are officially seen tied up with the highest of the land & bash the allopathic & scientific medicines spreading poison in the society do not need any exams to preach or practice.
The lawmakers who don't ban tobacco, alcohol, helmetless driving, the people who eat unhealthy & mistreat themselves or family do not need any exams.
The transport offices that issue driving licences to unfit drivers do not need training or exams.
We see many military men & out of respect treat them free. They are so patriotic that they seldom expect anything in return from the country. But they often relate how bad the conditions are for them & their families. There is a crop of people who quote the military sacrifices as if it was their own credit! Those who are responsible for the upgradations in facilities for the military personnel do not still need any exams.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
There are deaths due to hunger & malnourishment. But the ones who are in a position to change this by making right laws do not need any exams. Illegal buildings are erected, labourers die when they collapse, but the concerned professionals do not need exams or assessment.
547 extremely responsible & respected representatives who waste the public money daily in crores over a month due to ego issues, not being able to come together in the interest of the nation to resolve issues, blaming it all upon each other do not need any exams to assess their performance.
But the actual allopathic doctor, who has stood highest merits in all exams, stayed on the top of the competition to earn his / her degree late in life, all of whose exams had 50 percent as passing limit as opposed to 35 percent in all other professions, who has sacrificed family life, sleep & food for over 10-15 years just for learning, who works almost 24/365 & solves health problems on a daily basis, updates his / her knowledge with CMEs, stays in touch with the latest & delivers it to the poorest of the poor with equal affection, carries the country’s failed healthcare upon his / her shoulder is not good enough for them!
Now they want the allopath to appear for exams lifelong, suspecting that his / her knowledge is still not enough good for them, even after the CMEs.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
If the millions of doctors are forced to give exams repeatedly all their life, they will happily do so (for they are not afraid of exams). But this will take away billions of doctor-hours out of service (exam leaves) in an already failing healthcare system, will tax the patient more, will open up new channels of corruption & another universe of chaos will add itself to India.
Who cares? The ruling mood seems to be ”Patients will die, patients will pay”.
The current CMEs are world standard, do not tax patients & effective enough. But our system seems to want “better than the developed-world class of doctors”.
This is like the stone-age naked cavemen asking Einstein & Calvin Klein to appear for yearly exams to stay updated for serving them.