Cargo Cult Agile — A Checklist to Open the Discussion

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 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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Why Agile Turns into Micromanagement

TL;DR: Why Agile Turns into Micromanagement

Agile turns into micromanagement as a result of the middle management’s resistance to change. Despite better knowledge, changing an organization into a learning one that embraces experimentation and failure is not in everybody’s best interest. Self-organizing, empowered teams often conflict with the middle management’s drive to execute personal agendas, self-preservation being one of them.

You guessed right: it is time for a rant and short “checklist” to get the discussion going in your organization.

Agile micromanagement: autonomy, mastery and purpose
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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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Free Ebook: 47 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 47 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.

So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 17,000 times.

47 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Identify Suitable Candidates — Age-of-Product.com
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Hiring: 42 + 5 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

TL; DR: 42+5 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions That Will Benefit Your Organization

This second publication in the Hands-on Agile Fieldnotes series provides 42+5 questions and answers for the Scrum Product Owner interview.

Scrum Product Owner Interview: this free ebook provides 42+5 questions w/ answers to help you to avoid hiring Imposters.

Co-authored with Andreea Tomoiaga, 42+5 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.

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27 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

TL; DR: 27 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

Welcome to the Sprint anti-patterns article from our series on Scrum anti-patterns, covering not just the three Scrum roles, but also the stakeholders as well as the IT management.

Sprint Anti-Patterns — Age-of-Product.com
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Scrum: 20 Sprint Planning Anti-Patterns

TL; DR: 20 Sprint Planning Anti-Patterns

Sprint Planning is a core event, defining how your customers’ lives will improve with the next Product Increment. Learn more on how to improve its effectiveness by avoiding 20 common Sprint Planning anti-patterns.

20 Sprint Planning Anti-Patterns — Berlin Product People GmbH
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Scrum Master Trends Report 2019 — Free Download

TL; DR: Scrum Master Trends Report 2019

Back in 2017, we started the Scrum Master Salary Report 2017—the first industry report that covered in-depth the educational background, working experience, industries, and organizational details of the companies Scrum Masters or agile coaches work for. For its 2019 edition—the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019—, we partnered with Scrum.org—the leading Scrum training and certification institution founded by Scrum co-founder Ken Schwaber—to improve the underlying data set.

Learn more about the state of the industry and download for free the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019. (Scroll down for the sign-up form.)

Download the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019 by Scrum.org and Age-of-Product.com
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Download the Cargo Cult Agile Checklist

Welcome to the Cargo Cult Agile Checklist Download Page

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
Continue reading Download the Cargo Cult Agile Checklist

Food for Agile Thought #265: Predictability, Team Alignment & Self-Organization, Futures Wheel Planning, Alternative Futures Analysis

TL; DR: Predictability, Team Alignment — Food for Agile Thought #265

Welcome to the 265th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 27,728 peers. This week, we delve into why large organizations undertake agile transitions; it’s predictability, stupid! We also embrace the importance of team alignment, and we apply the concept of critical core components to self-organization.

We then come back to (strategic) planning with two helpful tools: the Futures Wheel and the ‘alternative futures analysis.’ Also, we support the idea that our main objective should be solving problems instead of focusing on adhering to previously defined processes if those distract from the solutions.

Lastly, we applaud Dolly Chugh for pointing at 15 ways to make our virtual meetings better and more inclusive.

Food for Agile Thought #265: Predictability, Team Alignment & Self-Organization, Futures Wheel Planning, Alternative Futures Analysis — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #264: PM-PO Delta, Lead-Squad Protocol, User Stories 101, Evidence-Based Backlogs

TL; DR: PM-PO Delta, Lead-Squad Protocol — Food for Agile Thought #264

Welcome to the 264th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 27,603 peers. This week, we delve into the PM-PO delta, the difference between product managers and Product Owners. We also revisit the Agile Manifesto’s notion that working software is the primary measure of progress, and we learn how to avoid becoming a lonesome servant leader.

We then come back to critical issues of the practical use of user stories; we create an evidence-based Product Backlog, and we consider quitting saying ’no‘ but asking a question instead when it comes to prioritizing the Product Backlog.

Lastly, we applaud Crisp for sharing the Lead-Squad Protocol, a lightweight attempt to align several teams collaborating on joint projects, products, or initiatives.

Food for Agile Thought #264: PM-PO Delta, Lead-Squad Protocol, User Stories 101, Evidence-Based Backlogs — Age-of-Product.com
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