📺 Daniel Stillman: Designing Powerful Questions to help you Coach, Create, Connect and Lead — Hands-on Agile 35

TL; DR: Designing Powerful Questions with Daniel Stillman

Powerful Conversations are the environment that drives change. Learn from Daniel Stillman how designing powerful questions helps you coach, create, connect, and lead from the 35th Hands-on Agile meetup of October 5, 2021.

📺 Watch the video with Daniel Stillman now: Hands-on Agile #35: Designing Powerful Questions to help you Coach, Create, Connect and Lead.

Daniel Stillman: Designing Powerful Questions to help you Coach, Create, Connect and Lead — Hands-on Agile 35 — Age-of-Product.com
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📺 Richard Kasperowski: Core Protocols for High-Performance Teams — Hands-on Agile 34

TL; DR: High-Performance Teams: Core Protocols with Richard Kasperowski

Want fabulous teams that build great products? Great teams don’t happen by accident. However, they don’t have to take a long time to build either. Learn more from Richard Kasperowski on employing core protocols for psychological safety and emotional intelligence from this Hands-on Agile session.

📺 Watch the video with Richard Kasperowski now: Hands-on Agile #34: Core Protocols for Psychological Safety.

Hands-on Agile #34, Sept 7, 2021: Core Protocols for Psychological Safety — Richard Kasperowski — Age-of-Product.com
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The Agile Metrics Survey 2021

TL; DR: The Agile Metrics Survey 2021

If you value agile practices, it is crucial to know if a job offering or a prospective business partner that claims to be “agile” really keeps its promises. Unfortunately, as agility usually cannot be observed directly, and certainly not from the outside of an organization, there is no way of knowing in advance if you will enter an agile environment that serves your own working needs or if a lot of frustration lies ahead of you. Therefore, we ran an extensive survey throughout 2020 and 2021 with more than 1,000 participants from all walks of agility: the Agile Metrics Survey 2021.

With the Agile Metrics Survey 2021, we present the first results and conclude with some thoughts about possible application scenarios of our instrument as well as possible next steps in our research.

Agile Metrics Survey 2021 — Berlin Product People GmbH
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Hiring: 76 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

TL; DR: 76 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 76 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my fifteen 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 9,000 times.

Hiring: 76 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions: PO Anti-Patterns — Age-of-Product.com
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Free Ebook: 54 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 54 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my fifteen 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 22,000 times.

54 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Identify Suitable Candidates — Age-of-Product.com
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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
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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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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
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28 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

TL; DR: 28 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns

Scrum is a practical framework to build products, provided you identify 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.

Product Backlog Anti-Patterns — Age-of-Product.com
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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
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Food for Agile Thought #320: Change — The Core Belief Model, Agile Principles, The Innovation Culture Formula, Five ‘WHYs’ Done Correctly

TL; DR: The Core Belief Model, Agile Principles — Food for Agile Thought #320

Welcome to the 320th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,679 peers. This week, we point at the importance of an organization’s mindset as the starting point for any meaningful transformation, introducing the Core Belief Model. Also, we learn from McKinsey’s interview of six bp leaders on their learnings and reflections regarding a successful transformation, and we delve into the basics of ‘agile,’ from ‘starting with Why’ to the people factor to the perils of shielding teams from clients.

We then delve into the magic math behind an organizational culture where innovation thrives and into the differences between a PoC, a prototype, and an MVP. Also, we sketch four critical negotiations for product managers, from the overly optimistic salesperson to the executive with an ‘excellent’ idea, and we share a new canvas for the jobs-to-be-done framework to help you avoid unnecessary pivoting and churn.

Lastly, we appreciate Richard Kasperowski interviewing Mary and Tom Poppendieck on what you can do to keep your team together in this challenging time, and we share eight games to hack your culture to unlock high performance. Moreover, we learn that Péter Horváth believes that you should not simply ask ‘why’ five times in a row — for multiple psychological reasons.

Food for Agile Thought #320: Change — The Core Belief Model, Agile Principles, The Innovation Culture Formula, Five ‘WHYs’ Done Correctly — Age-of-Product.com
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What Capacity Check? — Making Your Scrum Work #23

TL; DR: Ignoring the Capacity Check during Sprint Planning

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Since Scrum is an intentionally incomplete framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. For example, the Developers are ignoring a capacity check during the Sprint Planning, and as a result, the Scrum team creates a Sprint Goal that most likely cannot be accomplished.

Join me and delve into the effects of this trust-shattering practice in less than 80 seconds.

What Capacity Check? — Making Your Scrum Work #23 — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #319: 20 Product Prioritization Techniques, Overengineering Can Kill Your Product, The Simplified Scrum Guide, Free OKR Tracking Tool

TL; DR: 20 Product Prioritization Techniques, The Simplified Scrum Guide — Food for Agile Thought #319

Welcome to the 319th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,623 peers. This week, we point to an epic guide on 20 product prioritization techniques, and we summarize seven lessons learned on change; from change is happening anyway to you never know when your efforts will pay off. Also, we point to an ‘extremely simplified definition of the Scrum framework,’ primarily based on the SG 2020 with a bit of the 2017 edition.

We then delve into gold-plating and its consequences, and we share Lenny Rachitsky’s definition of the job of a product manager, from delivering business impact to solving the most impactful customer problems. Moreover, we follow Teresa Torres when she suggests avoiding hands-offs between the product trio leading discovery and the team building the product.

Lastly, we praise the best-designed ‘thinking tool’ in history; we share Jeff Gothelf’s free OKR tracking spreadsheet using Google Docs, and we provide a good primer on how a statistical method can contribute to your team’s forecasting quality.

Food for Agile Thought #319: 20 Product Prioritization Techniques, Overengineering Can Kill Your Product, The Simplified Scrum Guide, Free OKR Tracking Tool — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #318: Kodak’s Shirley Cards, Prediction & Uncertainty in Product, Change Agent Leadership, Dark Side of Metrics

TL; DR: Kodak’s Shirley Cards, Dark Side of Metrics — Food for Agile Thought #318

Welcome to the 318th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,565 peers. This week, we tell the story of a lack of diversity and its consequences for humanity, photography, and product design: Kodak’s Shirley Cards. Also, we share a long list of improv games to support team building and help prevent burnout and fatigue, and we point at five possible values you could provide when asked for an estimate, from optimistic to risk-averse to worst-case estimates.

We then ask whether uncertainty might establish a better foundation for product discovery and product design, and we listen to Melissa Perri interviewing John Cutler on the importance of product education. Moreover, we advocate thinking of ‘time as a blade, a tool that can sharpen focus and trim waste,’ detailing Honeycomb’s approach to planning, and we reflect on how to overcome the annual planning waste while pointing at the reasons continuous planning fails in practice.

Lastly, we name the dark side of metrics: Companies expose themselves to metric corruption when optimizing those at the cost of all else, and we share an epic list of resources to further your change agent skills.

Food for Agile Thought #318: Kodak’s Shirley Cards, Prediction & Uncertainty in Product, Change Agent Leadership, Dark Side of Metrics — Age-of-Product.com
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