TL; DR: The Minimum Viable Library for Agile Leaders
A new edition of the Minimum Viable Library on Agile Leadership is available! Explore a series of carefully curated collections of essential books, newsletters, podcasts, and tools to elevate your agile expertise.
Read on and learn how the recommendations for agile leaders cover a wide range of topics, from the importance of self-managing teams and trust-based environments to the crucial roles of accountability and resilience. While “servant leadership” as a term may be fading, its principles of empowerment and collaboration endure. Stories of transformation in traditional settings underscore the value of decentralized leadership and quick communication.
TL;DR: Scrum Master Salary Report 2024 — An Anonymous Poll by the Community for the Community
The purpose of this anonymous Scrum Master salary report is to create a clear, data-backed benchmark that allows everyone in the Agile community to understand whether their compensation is adequate. The report will cover Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, both employed and freelancing.
The goal is to have at least 1,000 replies by the end of November 2023 to create the report in time for January 2024. Of course, the report will be available for free.
TL; DR: 60 ChatGPT Prompts for Agile Practitioners
ChatGPT can be an excellent tool for those who know how to create prompts. The simplest form of prompting ChatGPT is to feed it the task and ask for results. However, this approach is unlikely to trigger the best response from the model.
Instead, invest more time in prompt engineering, and provide ChatGPT with a better context of the situation, desired outcomes, data, constraints, etc. The following article offers a primer to creating ChatGPT prompts for Scrum practitioners to get you started running. You will learn:
- Prompt engineering basics
- Prompt engineering with services like PromptPerfect
- Using ChatGPT for prompt engineering. (Yub, that works, too.)
TL; DR: The Scrum Master Salary Report 2023 — How Do You Compare?
The Scrum Master Salary Report 2023 is the fourth edition of the industry survey after 2017, 2019, and 2022. This free report is based on the answers of 1,143 participants globally. If you are considering a career decision this year, maybe, whether you should join the industry as a junior Scrum Master or move to a new organization or go independent, you will find the report’s information beneficial.
By the way, the average salary of the participants in the survey is US-$80,995, with a standard deviation of about US-$53,700. In the complete report, you will find more detailed information; download your copy below.
TL; DR: ChatGPT Prompts for Scrum Practitioners
Last week, I ran an “interview” with ChatGPT as an applicant for a fictitious Scrum Master position based on questions from Scrum Master Interview Guide. (See below.) While the overall results were broadly acceptable, I thought that changing the ChatGPT prompts might deliver better results. So, this time, I chose to present ChatGPT with three everyday scenarios based on more comprehensive prompts. Lo and behold, it worked very well.
Think twice if you still believe this technology is a fad or a toy. Instead, grab a cup of coffee and read for yourself.
TL; DR: A ChatGPT Job Interview for a Scrum Master Position
Can a large language model, not specializing in anything “agile,” pass a screening interview for a Scrum Master position? In this ChatGPT job interview, I put OpenAI’s latest generative AI to the test. I took several questions from the 73 Scrum Master Interview Questions guide, see below, covering the whole spectrum from the broad picture to more specific questions, only answerable with hands-on experience on the interviewee’s side.
So, read on and learn whether Scrum Masters will soon be replaced with a chatbot.
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.
Suppose you are looking to fill a Scrum Master position in your organization. In that case, you may find the following Scrum Master interview questions helpful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my sixteen years of practical experience with XP and Scrum, serving both as Product Owner and Scrum Master, and my training experience as a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org. Also, I have interviewed dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.
So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 25,000 times.
TL; DR: 82 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 82 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my sixteen 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 10,000 times.
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.
TL; DR: Agile Metrics
Suitable agile metrics reflect either a team’s progress in becoming agile or your organization’s progress in becoming a learning organization.
At the team level, qualitative agile metrics often work better than quantitative metrics. At the organizational level, this is reversed: quantitative agile metrics provide better insights than qualitative ones.
TL; DR: The Dark Age of Waterfall — Food for Agile Thought #412
Welcome to the 412th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,218 peers. This week, Henrik Mårtensson criticizes the re-emergence of the Waterfall method in software development; Ken Schwaber discusses refining the 2020 Scrum Guide to better serve as a reflective framework, inviting community feedback. Also, Emily Webber highlights three collaboration anti-patterns that create power imbalances and hinder problem-solving, while Burcu A. Şengün offers ten valuable tips for budding Scrum Masters, emphasizing patience, continuous learning, and effective communication. Moreover, the Lemon introduces “time-mapped Estimation” to simplify Scrum estimations by mapping story points to person-hours. (Yub, you read this correctly.)
Then, Saeed Khan introduces four Product Management Axioms to guide and communicate fundamental principles in product management, and Rich Mironov discusses the organizational transformation from a services-centric to a product-centric model, stressing the distinct business models and the need for a clear stance to improve alignment and efficiency.. Anthony Murphy showcases the value of structured storytelling in product management, a skill transitioned from his military training. He asserts that a well-constructed narrative greatly enhances clarity and influence in professional communication.
Finally, Kimberly Hendrick celebrates user stories as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue rather than mere task descriptors. At the same time, Ari Tikka critiques the unscientific “Team Performance Curve” in “The Wisdom of Teams” by Katzenbach and Smith, advocating for emphasizing organizational conditions over “teamyness” for enhanced team performance. Johanna Rothman proposes reducing Work in Progress (WIP) and increasing team size to improve collaboration and efficiency, evolving them into small-world networks for better results. Lastly, Marc Randolph reflects on Netflix’s trust-centric approach during its DVD-by-mail era, illustrating how trust, balanced with verification, fortified customer relations.
TL; DR: Lost in Communication and Collaboration
Lost in Communication and Collaboration addresses two categories from the Scrum anti-patterns taxonomy that are closely aligned: ineffective collaboration at the stakeholder level, often resulting in an unsuited reporting system based on misaligned metrics.
Learn how these Scrum anti-patterns categories manifest themselves and how they affect value creation for customers and the organization’s long-term sustainability.
This is the second of three articles analyzing the 183 anti-patterns from the upcoming Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book. The third article will address failures and breakdowns in planning, process, collaboration, and alignment within the Scrum framework.
TL; DR: Team Diversity Problems — Food for Agile Thought #411
Welcome to the 411th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,134 peers. This week, Christiaan Verwijs and Daniel Russo scrutinize the complex relationship between team diversity and performance, pointing to team diversity problems. Emily Webber identifies three collaboration anti-patterns sabotaging teamwork in organizations, and Jason Little takes us back to the foundational Agile principles that we should remember. Also, Jason Evanish dispels myths around introverted leadership, highlighting its unique strengths and benefits, and we enjoy a great interview with Jim Highsmith.
Then, Ivan Vendrov critiques the sacrifice of user experience for metrics in consumer software, while David Pereira distinguishes between genuine product management and its hollow counterpart, urging us to develop a “bullshit radar.” Leah Tharin cautions Airtable on its enterprise focus, potentially jeopardizing product-led growth for smaller clients. Moreover, Jenny Wanger showcases a food delivery company that has successfully integrated customer-centricity through operational choices.
Finally, Benji Huser-Berta underscores the importance of feature forecasting for effective planning in organizations with long release cycles. Chris Meyer delves into the Dunning-Kruger Effect, spotlighting its impact on self-awareness. Kai Hellström critiques superficial approaches to ‘Shared Understanding,’ advocating a more profound commitment to solving customer problems.
TL; DR: Hands-on Agile #52: Jim Highsmith & the Agile Manifesto
On August 17, 2023, we had the opportunity to interview Jim Highsmith about his path to agile product development: From Wild West to the co-authoring the Agile Manifesto.
📺 Watch the video now: Jim Highsmith & the Agile Manifesto — Hands-on Agile 52.
TL; DR: Best Product Teams — Food for Agile Thought #410
Welcome to the 410th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,013 peers. This week, Shane Parrish discusses with Shreyas Doshi the nuances of best product teams and product development; Charity Majors touches upon communication dynamics in strained relationships, emphasizing the role of trust; Jason Cohen advocates for redefining the narrative around business setbacks, championing terms like “experiment” over “fail,” and Ryan Holiday dissects the art of leadership, reminding us that leadership roles manifest in diverse ways throughout life. Also, we shed a light on unspoken reasons to resist Agile transformations.
Then, Andrew Quan delves into the self-doubt that plagues many Product Leaders, shedding light on their challenges and offering guidance. Assaph Mehr sets an intriguing take on the potential value of altering favorite product features, elucidating its long-term benefits for the product and business. Meanwhile, Roman Pichler examines the intricate process of assembling product teams in organizations unfamiliar with the digital product’s true essence.
Finally, Jason Yip debunks common productivity myths, urging a deeper understanding of effectiveness. Jeff Gothelf emphasizes the value of consistent customer interactions to gain insights without hefty investments. Stephen Puiszis highlights the intricacies of evaluating product roadmaps, providing tools for those outside product management. Lastly, Łukasz Korecki offers a candid reflection on the challenges of implementing OKRs within software engineering teams.