TL; DR: Linking Strategy to Everyday Work w/ John Cutler — ACB21
In this highly engaging speaker session from the Agile Camp Berlin 2021, John Cutler delves into the advantages of linking strategy to everyday work: Motivation, inspiration, seeing the big picture despite working on a small iteration.
TL; DR: Ignoring Self-Management — Undermining Scrum from the Start
There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. One of Scrum’s first principles is self-management. It is based on the idea that the people closest to a problem are best suited to find a solution. Therefore, the task of the management is not to tell people what to do when and how. Instead, its job is to provide the guardrails, the constraints within which a Scrum team identifies the best possible solution. Join me and explore the consequences of management ignoring self-management and what you can do about it.
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 51 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.
I added four new questions on Scrum success principles and indicators, ranging from when to use Scrum, Scrum first principles, to signs of successful Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and Developers. So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 20,000 times.
TL; DR: 71 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 71 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my fourteen 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 8,000 times.
TL; DR: The Scrum Guide 2020
The Scrum Guide 2020 is available now: Change is coming to make Scrum more accessible and inclusive beyond software development. Learn more about the changes, download the brand new and free Scrum Guide 2020 Reordered to spot patterns quickly, and join the Scrum community 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.
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: 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.
TL; DR: Agile Lies, 15. State of Agile Survey — Food for Agile Thought #302
Welcome to the 302nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 32,531 peers. This week, we lament the state of agile in the industry today, from its perception to agile lies to what people experience in the trenches. Also, we refer to a recent article by Jeff Patton that claims that the Agile Manifesto lacks a value statement, and we reflect on the benefits of creating situations for personal growth where failure will be safe.
We then summarize why the relationship between the marketing and engineering has been tense and filled with frustration for a long time. Moreover, we delve into how to set up ProductOps for the first time, and we provide a detailed guide on how to get going with the mystical minimum viable product.
Lastly, we download the latest version of the ‘State of Agile Survey,’ and we suggest planning and estimating a massive software project, requiring several teams, across several quarters of effort.
TL; DR: Knowledge Work & Cottage Industry, Pre-Mortems — Food for Agile Thought #301
Welcome to the 301st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 32,359 peers. This week, we reflect on knowledge work, Taylorism, management & trust, and the future of working from home. Also, we tell the story of an empowered Agile product group of three Scrum teams working as contractors for the U.S. federal government, and we learn that digital marketing agencies can succeed in applying Scrum in a non-software environment.
We then talk about becoming the best product manager you can be; we combine Agile, Lean, and Design Thinking in a novel way, and we learn how to apply pre-mortems to avoid ship-wrecking major product launches. (There is a template for running the session, too.)
Lastly, we enjoy John Cutler and Shreyas Doshi delving into the dos and don’ts of a product manager’s career growth, creative intelligence, and product leadership.
TL; DR: Sustainable Agility at the Enterprise Level w/ Jorgen Hesselberg — ACB21
In this highly engaging speaker session on sustainable agility from the Agile Camp Berlin 2021, Jorgen Hesselberg delves into the root cause of failing agile transformation efforts: Rejection by the organization as the transformation does not address the organization’s needs. Do we dare to say: Sometimes, agility is a solution looking for a problem?
TL; DR: Killing Product Thinking — Food for Agile Thought #300
Welcome to the 300th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 32,162 peers. This week, we delve into killing product thinking w/ Jeff Patton. Also, we remind ourselves why the idea that “building software should be like building a house” is an unsuitable metaphor and why structure drives strategy so often. (Spoiler alert: the preferred way would be way messier.)
We then reflect on the many ways you can turn a hypotheses validation into a v1, and we explain how user research fits into continuous product discovery. Moreover, we present the “3Q-DO NO HARM” framework to help you avoid causing harm at scale with your product.
Lastly, we share a team alignment exercise built on Liberating Structures.