15 Sprint Review Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

TL; DR: 15 Sprint Review Anti-Patterns

Are we still on track to accomplish the Product Goal? Moreover, how did the previous Sprint contribute to our Scrum team’s mission? Answering these questions and adapting the Product Backlog in a collaborative effort of the Scrum Team with internal and external stakeholders is the purpose of the Sprint Review. Given its importance, it is worthwhile to tackle the most common Sprint Review anti-patterns.

Sprint Review Anti-Patterns — Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading 15 Sprint Review Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

27 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

TL; DR: 27 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

Scrum is a tactical framework to build products, provided you identify what is worth making in advance. But even after a successful product discovery phase, you may struggle to create the right thing in the right way if your Product Backlog is not up to the job—garbage in, garbage out. The following article points to 27 common Product Backlog anti-patterns – including the Product Backlog refinement process – limiting your Scrum team’s success.

Scrum Product Backlog Anti-Patterns from the Scrum Anti-Patterns-Guide — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading 27 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

The Scrum Master Salary Report 2022

TL; DR: The Scrum Master Salary Report 2022 — How Do You Compare?

The Scrum Master Salary Report 2022 is the third edition of the industry survey after 2017 and 2019. This free report is based on the answers of 1,113 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 $83,687, with a standard deviation of about $48,700. In the complete report, you will find more detailed information; download your copy below.

Moreover, we are considering creating a statistical model to suggest further career steps: The “Scrum Master Salary Toolkit.”

Scrum Master Salary Report 2022 — Free Download from Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading The Scrum Master Salary Report 2022

Free Ebook: 60 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.

Suppose you are looking to fill a Scrum Master (or agile coach) position in your organization. In that case, you may find the following 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 22,000 times.

„60
Continue reading Free Ebook: 60 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Identify Suitable Candidates

Hiring: 82 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

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.

82 Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Imposters — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Hiring: 82 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

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
Continue reading Cargo Cult Agile — A Checklist to Open the Discussion

📅 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
Continue reading 📅 Upcoming Scrum Training Classes, Liberating Structures Workshops, and Events

Agile Metrics — The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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.

Agile Metrics — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Agile Metrics — The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Meta-Retrospective — How To Get Customers and Stakeholders Onboard

TL; DR: The Meta-Retrospective

A meta-retrospective is an excellent exercise to foster collaboration within the extended team, create a shared understanding of the big picture, and immediately create valuable action-items. It comprises of the team members of one or several product teams—or a representative from those—and stakeholders. Participants from the stakeholder side are people from the business as well as customers.

Meta-retrospectives are useful both as a regular event, say once a quarter, or after achieving a particular milestone, for example, a specific release of the product. Read more on how to organize such a meta-retrospective.

Meta-Retrospective — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading The Meta-Retrospective — How To Get Customers and Stakeholders Onboard

Food for Agile Thought #343: Why Teams Estimate, Sales Team Prevents Customer Contact, How to Provide Critical Feedback, The HiPPO Effect

TL; DR: Why Teams Estimate, the HiPPO Effect — Food for Agile Thought #343

Welcome to the 343rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,304 peers. This week, we point to good reasons why teams estimate: ‘credibility, deeper thinking, prioritization, and insight.’ Also, we explore six ways of avoiding the 💩 sandwich when providing critical feedback, and we watch a classic: Henrik Kniberg visualizes the cost and consequences of moving from single-piece flow to simultaneously working on multiple work items.

Then, we suggest dealing with resistance from stakeholders, such as the sales folks, who fear meeting their quotas, and we highlight some of the ‘dysfunctions around decision making and offer ways to overcome them.’ Moreover, we delve into the strange effects of the highest-paid person’s opinion, from manifestations to impact to suggestions on how to deal with them. (High impact release notes may be one helpful tactic; learn how to author them.)

Also, we enjoy Sachin Rekhi’s take on Jeff Bezos’ June 2004 instruction: ‘From now on, your presentation software is Microsoft Word, not PowerPoint. Get used to it.’ Finally, ‘Programmers are also human’ celebrates McBoston’s Josh Doe, formerly Agile Consulting, Inc.

Food for Agile Thought #343: Why Teams Estimate, Sales Team Prevents Customer Contact, How to Provide Critical Feedback, The HiPPO Effect — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Food for Agile Thought #343: Why Teams Estimate, Sales Team Prevents Customer Contact, How to Provide Critical Feedback, The HiPPO Effect

21 Sprint Retrospective Anti-Patterns Impeding Scrum Teams

TL; DR: Sprint Retrospective Anti-Patterns

What event could better embody Scrum’s principle of empiricism than the Sprint Retrospective? I assume all peers agree that even the simplest form of a Retrospective—if only held regularly—is far more helpful than having a fancy one once in a while, not to mention having none. Moreover, I am convinced there is always room for improvement; just avoid dogmatism. Hence, learn more about 21 common Sprint Retrospective anti-patterns that will hold back your Scrum team.

Sprint Retrospective Anti-Patterns —  Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide – Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading 21 Sprint Retrospective Anti-Patterns Impeding Scrum Teams

Food for Agile Thought #342: Agile Laggards, Fireside Chat with Marty Cagan, Stakeholder Trust, How to (Really) Measure NPS

TL; DR: Agile Laggards, Fireside Chat with Marty Cagan — Food for Agile Thought #342

Welcome to the 342nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,264 peers. This week, we point to Geoffrey Moore’s ‘Technology Adoption Life Cycle,’ and that ‘Agile’ has entered the laggards segment. We also delve into an essential team success factor — stakeholder trust — and reflect on ‘balancing long-lived teams with short term coordination and alignment.’

Then, we learn how to determine best whether an idea is worth pursuing and define six ‘first principles’ for product leaders to deal with team topology, from ownership to alignment to autonomy. Moreover, we follow Behzod Sirjani, who believes that NPS has been turned into a useless vanity metric while it has actual value for measuring ‘word-of-mouth loops.’

Also, we advocate not focusing on productivity but, for example, on value, quality, speed, and flexibility, as they may lead to higher productivity later on. Lastly, we enjoy a fireside chat with Marty Cagan, where he addresses empowerment, adopting a product-led mindset, and why project-oriented companies should consider becoming product-oriented.

Food for Agile Thought #342: Agile Laggards, Fireside Chat with Marty Cagan, Stakeholder Trust, How to (Really) Measure NPS — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Food for Agile Thought #342: Agile Laggards, Fireside Chat with Marty Cagan, Stakeholder Trust, How to (Really) Measure NPS

How to Pass the Product Owner Certification — PSPO I, PSPO II, and PSPO III

TL; DR: How to Pass the Product Owner Certification — Scrum.org’s PSPO I to III

The first article of this mini-series established that you do not need a certificate to become good at what you do, for example, working as a Scrum Master or Product Owner. However, getting certified may be a piece of sound investment advice. If you want to take advantage of the signaling power that Scrum certificates seem to have, the question is how to pass the Product Owner certification?

How to Pass the Product Owner Certification — PSPO I, PSPO II, and PSPO III — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading How to Pass the Product Owner Certification — PSPO I, PSPO II, and PSPO III

Food for Agile Thought #341: Adopting Agility, Failure to Scale Ideas, Measuring Success, ‘Great’ Product Manager

TL; DR: Adopting Agility, Failure to Scale Ideas — Food for Agile Thought #341

Welcome to the 341st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,206 peers. This week, we learn about adopting agility with a research initiative of Thinkers 50 and Capgemini Invent, and we delve into the difficulties of answering a typical question: ‘What are the pros and cons of Agile?’ Moreover, we analyze the challenges of collaboration after switching to product-based funding, pointing at Conway and Brooks, and end with observations on how the subtleties of an organization influence the effectiveness of internal and external agile coaches, respectively.

We then identify five causes why some products peter out when they grow, from false positives to biased representation to cost traps, and outline three tactics for stakeholder collaboration and inclusion. Additionally, we share Jason Cohen’s framework for Product Management that defines what ‘great’ concerning product managers means in practical terms. We also shed light on the nature of the Scrum team regarding its product capabilities, namely its lack of stakeholder inclusion.

Then, we listen to Jeff Gothelf regarding his advice on adopting the goal-setting OKR framework to measure success, and we learn how Pendo practices continuous discovery, from recruiting interviewees to designing and running experiments. Finally, we are closing this edition with Tim Ferriss interviewing Tony Fadell, covering “Steve Jobs on ‘Vacation,’ Product Design and Team Building, Good Assholes vs. Bad Assholes, Investing in Trends Before They Become Trends, The Hydrogen Economy, [and] The Future of Batteries.”

Food for Agile Thought #341: 📖 Adopting Agility, Failure to Scale Ideas, Measuring Success, ‘Great’ Product Manager — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Food for Agile Thought #341: Adopting Agility, Failure to Scale Ideas, Measuring Success, ‘Great’ Product Manager