TL, DR: The Scrum Trap
Scrum is a purposefully incomplete framework. Consequently, it needs to be augmented with tools and practices to apply its theoretical foundation to an organization’s business reality: what problems shall be solved for whom in which market? Moreover, there is an organization’s culture to take into account. However, the intentional “gap” is not a free-for-all to accept whatever comes to mind or is convenient. Some tools and practices have proven highly effective in supporting Scrum’s application and reaping its benefits. And then there are others — the Scrum trap.
Let’s look at what practices and tools for collaboration and team building are not helpful when used with Scrum.
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.
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: Triple Track Development, Building Trust — Food for Agile Thought #420
Welcome to the 420th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,687 peers. This week, Paulo Caroli introduces Triple Track Development, blending Business Strategy, Discovery, and Delivery for digital product evolution. Jacob Kaplan-Moss discusses trust-building in management, emphasizing the need for consistency and transparency. We delve into Wharton research by Peter Cappelli, revealing how excessive comfort impacts workplace performance, and Gergely Orosz examines the evolution of software backend development with insights from Joshua Burgin. Plus, we tackle the feature factory dilemma in large organizations, exploring its effects on Agile principles and strategies to overcome it.
Then, Itamar Gilad proposes a blended roadmap approach for adaptability in planning. Lenny Rachitsky interviews Melissa Perri and Denise Tilles, highlighting the significance of product operations. At the same time, Teresa Torres and Hope Gurion discuss balancing product discovery with delivery, while Marc Abraham emphasizes the importance of prioritization and saying “no” in decision-making.
Lastly, John Cutler explores systems thinking and business efficiency with Leah Tharin, and Jeff Gothelf presents a guide on designing lightweight experiments. Moreover, Christoph Roser examines the impact of overburden in manufacturing on employees and machinery. Finally, Dennis Hambeukers highlights the role of good design in fostering agility and collaboration.
TL; DR: Escaping the Feature Factory — Refocussing From Output to Outcome
The feature factory fate is not inevitable; there is hope to avoid becoming a mere cog in the machinery. Learn how!
In many large organizations, Scrum teams fall into the ‘feature factory’ trap, focusing more on churning out features than creating real value. It’s too bad that this shift undermines Agile principles and hampers long-term success and innovation. Let’s discuss how and why this happens and what we can do to break the chains of the feature factory.
TL; DR: Waterfall vs. Agile — Food for Agile Thought #419
Welcome to the 419th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,633 peers. This week, Henrik Mårtensson challenges the supposed conflict of Waterfall vs. Agile, advocating for a fresh understanding of software methodology. Heidi Musser urges reevaluating and expanding Agile principles to better align with evolving business landscapes. Joost Minnaar presents Elon Musk’s pragmatic, five-step strategy to cut through bureaucracy effectively. Lastly, Ivar Jacobson and Alistair Cockburn reaffirm the enduring significance of use cases in software development, highlighting their benefits across various stakeholder groups.
Then, we delve into pivotal insights from tech giants. Lenny Rachitsky’s interview with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky reveals insights into Airbnb’s product management and innovative culture. John Cutler and Melissa Perri analyze Airbnb’s strategic evolution from a startup to a market leader. Moreover, Cedric Chin’s discussion with former Amazon executive Colin Bryar uncovers Amazon’s distinct “Weekly Business Review” management style. Finally, Rich Mironov navigates the AI hype, advocating for thoughtful integration of AI into products, distinguishing genuine value from mere ‘AI-washing.’
Lastly, Jeff Patton identifies five prevalent mistakes in story mapping, advising on maintaining narrative and outcome focus. Ideo presents a comparison between Systems Thinking and Design Thinking, highlighting their distinct approaches to problem-solving. Also, Jason Yip critiques McKinsey’s perspective on measuring developer productivity, advocating for direct observation and multifaceted metrics. Finally, Teri Musick champions the inclusion of neurodiversity in Agile teams, emphasizing recognizing and accommodating diverse thought processes and communication methods.
TL; DR: Overcoming Common Product Backlog Management Traps w/ David Pereira
How teams manage their Product Backlog often makes or breaks their value creation chances. Poor backlog management leads to a feature factory trap, while a mindful strategy enables the team to drive value steadily. During the 54th Hands-on Agile meetup, David Pereira shared tried and tested practices to avoid the feature factory fate.
📺 Watch the video now: Overcoming Common Product Backlog Management Traps — David Pereira at the 54. Hands-on Agile.
TL; DR: Spotify Product Model — Food for Agile Thought #418
Welcome to the 418th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,581 peers. This week, we traverse the landscape of agility in leadership: from Joakim Sundén’s ‘Autonomous Squads’ in the Spotify Product Model to Takeshi Yoshida’s facilitative leadership model. Moreover, Pim de Morree discusses Krisos’s transformational investments, while Daniele Davi offers a cautionary tale on agile adoption. We also dissect the ‘Illusion of Velocity’ in agile metrics, advocating for servant leadership and pushing past conventional metrics to embrace innovation and actual progress.
Then, John Cutler explores delivery tactics; Tiago Nogal delves into strategies against cognitive biases, and Roman Pichler shares inclusive product leadership insights. Plus, experience the ‘Product/Market Fit’ journey with Jason Cohen, from the initial customer pursuit to the overwhelming demand.
Finally, Troy Lightfoot interviews Dan Vacanti and Prateek Singh on advanced agile forecasting, while John Miller champions a Kata-style practice for revitalizing Retrospectives. Sketchplanations brings us a powerful lesson in responsibility, and Marc Randolph praises the strategic value of saying ‘no’ for entrepreneurial clarity and prioritization.