🖖 My name is Maarten Dalmijn. I help teams beat the Feature Factory and discover better ways of delivering value together. I currently work as a Head of Product at Rodeo.
✔️I introduced Scrum at the fastest-growing start-up in the Netherlands. I helped the start-up to scale up its Product Management and delivery process across multiple tech offices around the globe after the company secured a 22$m series A funding round.
🎤 I regularly speak at events and on podcasts. For all recordings of my speaking engagements and podcast episodes I was featured on see the list below 👇.
I was in the fifth and final round for a Product Owner position. I remember being tired of responding to all kinds of questions, often the same I had answered before.
Especially considering I already jumped through quite a few hoops— I had completed a personality test and an intelligence assessment. Didn’t they have enough information to decide if I’m good enough (or not) by now?
Apathy about landing the job was starting to kick in. By the third round, it felt like we’re all wasting our time by beating a dead horse. …
If you’ve seen Scrum being introduced at a company, then you probably have seen this before. The company is starting with Scrum and a Scrum Master is suddenly needed.
The company asks a team who wants to be a Scrum Master. A brave member of the development team steps forward and says:”I will do it”.
Having the courage to pick up the glove is one thing, being prepared to take on the role is another.
Often this person does not know what he or she is getting in to. At best, the volunteer is up for a bumpy ride…
Nussi Einhorn posted the following picture on LinkedIn:
The left-hand side of the image portrays a confusing mess of User Stories. Try scanning them and getting the gist — you won’t.
The right-hand side of the picture showcases a crisp and clear alternative by using descriptive titles that summarize the features. Easy to read and understand.
The image brilliantly illustrates how you can apply User Stories in the wrong way, making them convoluted and difficult to understand. Unfortunately, in my experience, most people apply User Stories exactly as conveyed in the picture.
However, when you’re employing User Stories in this…
Boxer Mike Tyson once said:
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” — Mike Tyson
In military warfare a similar saying exists:
“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” — Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
No matter how much time you spend planning, you can never make a plan that covers everything. A plan that covers all scenarios and every (re)action of the enemy. Reality is too complicated and unpredictable to fit in a plan.
Unless you are the A-Team of course.
To address the complexity and uncertainty of reality, the army accompanies all…
I’ve been a Product Owner for more than 5 years, but I’ve never been the Product Owner — that single illustrious person with complete and final say over the whole product.
As a Product Owner, I’ve had to navigate complex stakeholder landscapes. This means often being at the whims of people with way more power in the organizational chart.
Even while ‘Product Owner’ is in your job title and the Scrum Guide bestows you with full authority over the product, you are rarely afforded this luxury in the real world. A title of ‘Product Whisperer’ would often be more apt…
In the movie 50 First Dates, Adam Sandler falls in love with Drew Barrymore. There’s just a slight hitch — she has amnesia and loses all the new memories she forms when the day ends. This prevents her from falling in love with Adam Sandler for longer than 24 hours.
As a result, every day, Adam Sandler has to start over from scratch and try to win her over again and again, hence the title.
In my experience, many Scrum Teams suffer from the same phenomenon as in that movie — what I’d like to call Goldfish Memory*.
I was sitting alone in a meeting room and anxiously waiting for my manager to enter.
I had been summoned for a sudden meeting by our Chief Product Officer (CPO). He told me the meeting was urgent and important, and I should drop whatever I was doing to make it.
I was five months into my first job as a product owner. My seven-month contract was nearly expired, so I was sitting there worried and contemplating my future at the company.
Finally, the door opened, and he arrived with a beaming smile. Immediately my nerves disappeared. I still remember his…
As a Product Owner, I don’t build products.
Read that sentence again. It probably sounds wrong, but on reflection, I hope you’ll realize it is a simple and inevitable truth of the job.
The Scrum Team works on our product, I’m there to support every step of the way to ensure we make the lives of our customers better and are able to capture that value for the business.
An essential part of the Product Owner's role…
I had trouble sleeping during the weekend because I was anxious to experience that most terrible day of the quarter again — the roadmap show and tell.
On that glorious date, all Product Owners are summoned and condemned to sit in a meeting room a whole day to discuss the roadmaps of all teams with a time horizon of nine months — including precise dates for every high-level feature and mapping all dependencies with other teams.
That’s one long sentence, but trust me, by experiencing the length of that sentence, you now have a better understanding of how I felt…