I ran a poll on the question “Would You Recommend SAFe® as a Scaling Framework?” from May 3rd, 2017 to May 17th, 2017 to identify the Net Promoter Score® SAFe®.
In total, 212 participants replied during that period. Based on the Net Promoter Score® concept, 142 of those votes identified detractors, 31 promoters, and 39 passives. The resulting Net Promoter Score® of SAFe® as a scaling framework is – 52.
(Disclosure: I participated in the poll, and I belong to the group of the detractors.)
TL;DR: 28 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns
Scrum is a practical framework to build products, provided you identified 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.
TL;DR: 42 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions That Will Benefit Your Organization
This second publication in the Hands-on Agile Fieldnotes series provides 42 questions and answers for the Scrum Product Owner interview.
Co-authored with Andreea Tomoiaga, 42 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Agile Imposters represents the most important learnings of our more than 20 years combined hands-on experience with Kanban, Scrum, XP, and several product discovery frameworks. We have worked as Scrum Product Owners, Scrum Masters, agile coaches, and developers in agile teams and organizations of all sizes and levels of maturity.
We have each participated in interviewing dozens of Scrum Product Owner candidates on behalf of our clients or employers. The questions and answers herein are what we have learned.
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 typically work better than quantitative metrics. At the organizational level, this is reversed: quantitative agile metrics provide better insights than qualitative ones.
TL;DR: The Cargo Cult Agile Checklist for Download
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 run an analysis on their feedback. If the average number of checkboxes marked is higher than nine, then you are probably practicing cargo cult agile. Consider changing it. Or abandon your agile experiment all together. But don’t refer to it as “agile” any longer.
Everyday Failures in Applying Agile
Agile methodologies, like Scrum, have been on the rise across organizations of all kind and sizes for some years by now. Many consultants responded to the increasing demand for agile practitioners, particularly from corporate organizations, with rebranding themselves.
Scrum Master Hiring: Demand Creates Supply and the Job Market for Agile Practitioners is No Exception
Maybe, “Agile” in general is a management fad and not trend at the moment. But what we can say for sure is that Scrum has become very popular for software development purposes. 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.
If you are looking to fill a position for a Scrum master (or agile coach) in your organization, you may find the following 38 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my ten 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.
Age of Product’s Food for Thought of May 21st, 2017—shared with 8,724 peers—focuses on team building. We learn how to build a team for success and how to preserve its health by fighting criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. We understand that teams do not disrupt industry when they are kept in functional silos and that providing too much support as a coach can be harmful.
On the product side, we dive deep into the delicate balance between product discovery and product delivery. Also, we have to overcome a long-time bias that engineers want to code and nothing but to code.
Lastly: You are interested in Jeff Bezos’ secret sauce? Read on and find out what the best transformational leaders do according to this brand-new study.
Age of Product’s Food for Thought of May 14th, 2017 is shared with 8,493 peers. Again, we ask the heretic questions: (Why) Do engineers hate agile? Or, does “agile” need refactoring because of warring factions of the community? And is there indeed a schizophrenic dichotomy noticeable?
On the product side, we dive deep into continuous everything, from dual track development, to cost of delay and mental models of successful product creators. (If causal loop or Pareto efficiency are all Greek to you, maybe you should cancel lunch? #justsaying)
Lastly: We learn from Mr. Business Model Canvas—Alex Osterwalder—how to recognize a problem of a target market and address it with a product.
Please note that both SAFe®, as well as the Net Promoter Score®, are registered trademarks of their respective holders, see below.
“SAFe® is registered marks of Scaled Agile, Inc.” For further information click here.
Net Promoter Score®
“Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.” For further information click here.