#productownership #scrum #agile “Product Ownership Persona”


” Here are some peacock feathers just for you”  and I gave them to her.  She snorted and punched me with a friendly grin. “Yeah right!”

“No, seriously” and then I gave these. Her looks said it all!Image



Then I brought these out for her.  “Now thats’ my gal” she said and took them to examine the beautiful eyes made of blue, green and brown feathers.


Obviously, she is an end user with no level of expertise on how the product came into being or the lead time (delay) or iterations or even the diet of the peacock. She was happy to receive the feathers.

But what if she was someone who was interested in the health of the peacock from the beginning?  She could have found clues embedded in the first or the second set of feathers and would have been engaged from the beginning.

Does the first few sets of feathers show good health? Good nurturing?  Are the feathers falling too quickly?

That is exactly how we want our product ownership to be.

An amazing product ownership team is engaged from early on. Their eyes and ears listen. They feel. They are in love with the product.  Their passion runs deep.  They are the product persona.   They know the earliest possible moment when a products’ health can be identified.  They need not wait for the demo or an iteration.
They develop an innate sense of “product smell”.

They have a raging passion for the product, but they are like air and water. Everywhere and nowhere.  They should be able to come and go as they please, and cause as little damage as possible.


#agile #coaching #leadership : Is your leadership a butterfly garden?

After a spectacular view of the butterfly garden my curiosity to see more of the butterflies grew. I wanted to see eggs and caterpillars and if possible a pupa safely tucked away somewhere.

But when I found out that the butterfly eggs are imported and the butterflies are released after making them sterile my spirits were dampened.  Eggs were imported regularly, incubated and then released.. so that we could  enjoy viewing the rarest of rare butterflies which we might not get to see in one place or see all of them in our lifetime. I immersed in deep thought.


A delicate and vulnerable creature has trusted itself completely in human hands. And we did our magic ?

Such should not be the qualities of leaders. Great leaders. Good leaders. Volunteer leader. Any type of leader.

Leaders are trusted by those around them. Trust creates vulnerability. When people are vulnerable they expose their innocence. They are childlike (not childish!)  This is a gift for the leader, and they have to use this gift with great care, faithfulness, devotion and love.

A leader should not want to grow a butterfly garden with sterile butterflies for the joy of ownership and possession. A leader should allow a garden to evolve.  Take shape. Have its own form.  That signals growth and true leadership





#community #leadership #Agile: A homage to redwoods’ “community root system”!

Wanting to hug and tug its leaves has so far not happened, and I may not add it to my bucket list, but the redwood ecosystem will continue to exist, with or without me. And I am fine with that!

The lessons we learn from their root system is amazing, especially in this age of social media and information highway rush, where we make-up for a wide body of knowledge vs a very small group of deeply knowledgeable aristocrats.

Why is that important?

The shallow 5 feet deep roots support a huge mass of 250 feet high tree.  And this is possible because of the their “community of roots”.  Instead of each tree having a long tap root and a supporting root system.. that lets one tree live, thrive and die on its own..


 These short roots tend to bind, hold hands, interlock fingers, exchange energy  + data, through these interlocked nodes…  thus allowing the tree to grow tall and support another completely separate ecosystem that thrives for centuries. When death to a tree occurs, it did not die alone.

This is the type of Leadership I need. We need. Our ecosystem needs.

Not one man. Not one woman. Not one ego. But all of us, leading from within.  Egoless, Formless. United.

There is no one leader. There is no “giver”. There is no “receiver”. There is just sharing.  And when we share we are equal.  And then we become leaders. 




#value #leadership: Intrinsic value of a penny

Have you wondered how you could always make your penny worth more than one cent? Some people “figuratively speaking” have figured it out, and they have become voracious coin collectors.

But how do we make ourselves be valuable more than our facevalue = 1 penny?

What is your value? How do you extract value from your own self?

Do you say:  I come. I Do. We are done. I go.

Or are you: They hear me. I hear them. We discover. We do. We are never done. But I still go. We meet again.

Or you could also be the rarest of rare penny:  Too rare. Pray to me. Sing my song. Then you go. It never got started.


#change : Movement is not change, Change can become a movement

In this context we were discussing about “movement” and how it relates to change.

Change of address is movement.

Change of car is movement.

Changing locations or job is movement.

Not cooking but deciding to order in or stock up in the freezer is another form of movement.

But these are not real changes.  They are “movements”

We should not falsely believe that such movements are changes.

Change happens internally.  Change is subtle.

Sometimes giving up one cup of coffee may seem small but it is actually a big shift.


Giving up coffee, and then craving for coffee, and then internalizing the craving, and then lying down in your couch with a headache for a few days, internalizing and swallowing the craving,  overcoming the headache, being suspended, then feeling lighter and good, then getting up and drinking water, and not grabbing that cup of coffee is beginning of CHANGE. 

Trying to drink a decaf, or gulping coffee candies is not accepting the change, but creating a persona of feels good change!

Not drinking that coffee for ever is Permanance of Change. Then change has arrived.






#kaizen #change #transformation: What non-IT , non-agilists share with us

This afternoon we had an interesting discussion about  #kaizen.  The only thing that was new for my group was the word #kaizen. 

Here are some thoughts that were discussed:


1. Change is inevitable – flow with it, not against it

2. Change is nothing more than creating new habits

3. Change is the ability to adapt

4. Change can cause physical stress and irritability. Be aware of why it occurs.

5. Change is not always a choice, but is a necessity

6. Change is never complete

7. Change is the opportunity for personal growth

8. Change is instinctive and intutive

9. Change is very subtle

10. Movement is not change

11. Change is survival

12. Change is never done

13. Internalized change cannot be seen

14. Change is developing new patterns

15. Why does change need patience? -Relearning, New learning



#agile #scrum #understandingpatterns : Map vs Terrain

During a introduction session for Scrum Masters,  they were given many quotes / phrases and oneliners  (mostly from  #gapingvoid,  some by me, some from earlier participants). 

Invariably people attending a Scrum Master training session are a mixed bag. They represent various groups in an organization, would have been curious to know about Scrum, or have practiced Scrum in an earlier engagement and so on…. and understanding their thinking and interpretation of Scrum is a beautiful discovery process.

Here is the interpretation for the words “Map vs Terrain”


One group had used roles and other related verbiage in scrum while the other two groups used their own interpretation. 

Group 1 had a huge problem with Agile coaches!!!!. They were a large organization with endless constraints.  And now here were coaches bringing in theories and past experiences, some wanting to be treated as gurus or create a cult like following within the organization.  Teams could not cope with it.  More often, coaches see the organization that they coach through their own lens, their own expectations of themselves and the skills they bring, their need to be visible, and their theories being implemented.

As coaches we should aim at not falling into such traps

Their take away from the specifics of Map vs Terrain was “someone please listen to us and our problems!”

The second and third groups were much younger  and looked at “map vs terrain” more humorously than the first group

My purpose of facilitating this exercise was met and the coaching intent, coaching approach to these teams  was revealed and taking shape in my mind in this quick intensive exercise.