Skipping Retrospectives? — Making Your Scrum Work #17

TL; DR: Skipping Retrospectives?

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. One area where Scrum’s nature of being intentionally incomplete causes issues regularly is whether Scrum teams shall stick to the event schedule even if the team’s life is uneventful? For example, is skipping Retrospectives okay?

Join me and delve into the consequences of skipping Retrospectives in less than 90 seconds.

Skipping Retrospectives — Making Your Scrum Work #17 – Age-of-Product.com
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Linking Strategy to Everyday Work — John Cutler at the Agile Camp Berlin 2021

TL; DR: Linking Strategy to Everyday Work w/ John Cutler — ACB21

In this highly engaging speaker session from the Agile Camp Berlin 2021, John Cutler delves into the advantages of linking strategy to everyday work: Motivation, inspiration, seeing the big picture despite working on a small iteration.

Linking Strategy to Everyday Work — John Cutler at the Agile Camp Berlin 2021 — Age-of-Product.com
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When the Management Ignores Self-Management — Making Your Scrum Work #16

TL; DR: Ignoring Self-Management — Undermining Scrum from the Start

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. One of Scrum’s first principles is self-management. It is based on the idea that the people closest to a problem are best suited to find a solution. Therefore, the task of the management is not to tell people what to do when and how. Instead, its job is to provide the guardrails, the constraints within which a Scrum team identifies the best possible solution. Join me and explore the consequences of management ignoring self-management and what you can do about it.

Ignoring Self-Management — Making Your Scrum Work #16 — Age-of-Product.com
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Free Ebook: 51 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Identify Suitable Candidates

Scrum Master Interview: Demand Creates Supply and the Job Market for Agile Practitioners is No Exception

Scrum has proven time and again to be the most popular framework for software development. Given that software is eating the world, a seasoned Scrum Master is nowadays in high demand. And that demand causes the market-entry of new professionals from other project management branches, probably believing that reading one or two Scrum books will be sufficient. Which makes any Scrum Master interview a challenging task.

If you are looking to fill a position for a Scrum Master (or agile coach) in your organization, you may find the following 51 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my fourteen years of practical experience with XP as well as Scrum, serving both as Product Owner and Scrum Master as well as interviewing dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.

I added four new questions on Scrum success principles and indicators, ranging from when to use Scrum, Scrum first principles, to signs of successful Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and Developers. So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 20,000 times.

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Hiring: 71 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

TL; DR: 71 Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Imposters

If you are looking to fill a position for a Product Owner in your organization, you may find the following 71 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my fourteen years of practical experience with XP and Scrum, serving both as Product Owner and Scrum Master and interviewing dozens of Product Owner candidates on behalf of my clients.

So far, this Product Owner interview guide has been downloaded more than 8,000 times.

Product Owner Interview Questions — Sprint Planning, Sprint, Sprint Review, and Retrospective — Age-of-Product.com
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Scrum Guide 2020 — The Development Team Is Dead; Long Live the Scrum Team!

TL; DR: The Scrum Guide 2020

The Scrum Guide 2020 is available now: Change is coming to make Scrum more accessible and inclusive beyond software development. Learn more about the changes, download the brand new and free Scrum Guide 2020 Reordered to spot patterns quickly, and join the Scrum community discussion.

Scrum Guide 2020 — The new edition of the Scrum Guide Reordered — Age-of-Product.com
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Cargo Cult Agile — A Checklist to Open the Discussion

TL; DR: The Cargo Cult Agile Checklist for Download

Do you want to know the state of agility in your organization? Here we go: Download the checklist, distribute it generously among your colleagues, and run a quick poll. It will only take 5 minutes of their time–and then analyze their feedback. If the average number of checkboxes marked is higher than nine, then you are probably practicing cargo cult agile in one form or another.

If running the cargo cult agile survey is the ‘inspection,’ then consider adapting your approach to being agile by kicking-off a discussion among the stakeholders of your organization’s endeavor.

The State of Agile: the cargo cult agile checklist for your organization by Age of Product
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📅 Upcoming Scrum Training Classes, Liberating Structures Workshops, and Events

TL; DR: Scrum Training Classes, Liberating Structures Workshops, and Events

Age-of-Product.com’s parent company — Berlin Product People GmbH — offers Scrum training classes authorized by Scrum.org, Liberating Structures workshops, and hybrid training of Professional Scrum and Liberating Structures. The training classes are offered both in English and German.

Check out the upcoming timetable of training classes, workshops, meetups, and other events below and join your peers.

Upcoming Scrum and Liberating Stuctures training classes and workshops — Berlin Product People GmbH
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28 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

TL; DR: 28 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

Scrum is a practical framework to build products, provided you identify in advance what to build. But even after a successful product discovery phase, you may struggle to make the right thing in the right way if your product backlog is not up to the job. Garbage in, garbage out – as the saying goes. The following article points at 28 of the most common product backlog anti-patterns – including the product backlog refinement process – that limit your Scrum team’s success.

Product Backlog Anti-Patterns — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #303: The Failed Agile Rebellion, Prioritizing Hypotheses for Testing, Start Transformations with Finance, Estimating Complexity

TL; DR: Failed Agile Rebellion, Prioritizing Hypotheses — Food for Agile Thought #303

Welcome to the 303rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 32,688 peers. This week, we delve into the failed agile rebellion. Moreover, we aggregate a list of 26 patterns for creating new software successfully, and we point at the root cause of transformation-related cultural problems. Also, we share new ideas on how to ‘bring about cultural shifts and mindset changes’ so you can abandon the idea to simply replicate the approach from a case study in your organization.

We then dive into determining which hypotheses you should test, build, or discard; we detail how to replicate a legacy system’s functionality on a new technology stack, and we point to a playbook that focuses on the essential elements for running a Product Discovery, a good primer for teams starting in this field.

Lastly, we get into estimation, estimates, crazy deadlines, and how not to lose your head when a lot is at stake.

Food for Agile Thought #303: The Failed Agile Rebellion, Prioritizing Hypotheses for Testing, Start Transformations with Finance, Estimating Complexity — Age-of-Product.com
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Abandoning Scrum: Can a Scrum Team Decide to Quit Scrum?

TL; DR: Abandoning Scrum

Can a Scrum team simply decide to abandon Scrum? After all, the Scrum team is self-managing, according to the Scrum manual, also known as the Scrum Guide. So, let’s explore this question at the very heart of team autonomy.

Abandoning Scrum: Can a Scrum Team Decide to Quit Scrum? Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #302: Agile Lies, 15. State of Agile Survey, Marketing vs. Engineering, Product Operations: From Zero to One

TL; DR: Agile Lies, 15. State of Agile Survey — Food for Agile Thought #302

Welcome to the 302nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 32,531 peers. This week, we lament the state of agile in the industry today, from its perception to agile lies to what people experience in the trenches. Also, we refer to a recent article by Jeff Patton that claims that the Agile Manifesto lacks a value statement, and we reflect on the benefits of creating situations for personal growth where failure will be safe.

We then summarize why the relationship between the marketing and engineering has been tense and filled with frustration for a long time. Moreover, we delve into how to set up ProductOps for the first time, and we provide a detailed guide on how to get going with the mystical minimum viable product.

Lastly, we download the latest version of the ‘State of Agile Survey,’ and we suggest planning and estimating a massive software project, requiring several teams, across several quarters of effort.

Food for Agile Thought #302: Agile Lies, 15. State of Agile Survey, Marketing vs. Engineering, Product Operations: From Zero to One — Age-of-Product.com
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