Food for Thought #52: Scrum Frustrations, How to Say ‘No’, Dark Patterns, Zappo’s Holacracy in Practice

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 31st, 2016—shared with 3,722 peers—explores Scrum frustrations, we ask whether the Agile Manifesto’s time may have come, and why agile scaling frameworks so often are not delivering on their promises.

We also learn eight ways to say “No” with grace & style, and ten proven tactics how to improve talking to stakeholders.

We then dive deep into dark design patterns, how to make data-backed decisions, and why the lean mantra of “failing fast” shouldn’t be a badge of honor.

Last, but not least, we listen to an interview with Zappo’s transition lead on how a flat, self-managed organization works in practice, and we learn how Pokémon GO’s Hanke turned his company into Earth’s most popular location-based game creator. Enjoy a great Sunday!

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10 Proven Stakeholder Communication Tactics during an Agile Transition

TL;DR

Stakeholder communication: It is simply not enough for an agile product development organization to create great code and ship the resulting product like a clockwork. You also need to talk about it, particularly in the beginning of your agile transition. Marketing the agile journey of product and engineering to the rest of the organization—and thus getting their buy-in—is a critical success factor to step up the game: You want to become agile, not “do agile”.

So, learn more about ten proven stakeholder communications tactics that contribute to making this happen.

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Food For Thought #51: Scrum in Relationships, Kill Backlogs, Customer Centricity

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 25th, 2016—shared with 3,558 peers—offers a rich summer buffet of topics: Spotify wants to be good at failing, or—one of my favs in this issue—how to apply Scrum to relationships. (Better start stocking Post-Its…) And you should consider joining the revolution and kill backlogs and roadmaps, or at least be inspired to make them usable.

We also learn how to avoid being driven into bankruptcy when estimating software projects, and someone’s actually claiming that sales guys can be more than a coin-driven pain in the [fill in the blanks].

We then dive deep into marketplaces and network effects, kudos to a16z for that, and learn that customer centricity is the new Agile—courtesy of the guy who made Hubspot a unicorn.

Last, but not least, I could not restrain myself from adding at least one Pokémon Go article, and to offset this childish behavior, we end with the story of an underdog, challenging its industry’s behemoth. Will there be a happy ending? Read on and have a great Sunday!

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Food For Thought #50: Product Strategy, Kick-Off Agile, Waterfall, Scrum Alliance Trouble, Company Culture Design, Future of Work

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 18th, 2016—shared with 3,410 peers—reports on the recent resignations from the Scrum Alliance board over strategy, and dares to ask the heretic question: Is there actually a place where “Waterfall” might be useful?

We then learn how to kick-off your agile transition—absolutely Waterfall-free—, talk about cognitive biases and how these interfere with our perception of velocity, and check the anti patterns that relate to each of the twelve principles of the agile Manifesto.

We also dive really deep into product strategy—from the role of product vision to herding stakeholder—, understand why yelling at developers offers room for communicative improvements, and we discover seven product owner archetypes.

Last, but not least, we learn about the future of work from the guys at Oxford University, and which industries automation will turn upside down first from McKinsey, and whether we will still have a job in 2021. Have a great Sunday!

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How to Kick-off Your Agile Transition (Part 1)

Agile Transition—TL;DR

A hands-on, practical guide on how to kick-off an agile transition: Embrace the agile mindset and scale your engineering and product organization to harvest your organization’s full potential.

How to Kick off Your Agile Transition: Scrum Team #1 – Age of Product
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Food For Thought #49: Scrum Certifications, Agile Cat Herders, Carrots & Sticks, Non-Aggravating Meetings for Makers, Ultimate Mental Models List

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 10th, 2016—shared with 3,258 peers—explores the shark-jumping nature of Scrum certifications, how cat herders and team therapists can make a living with Scrum, and how the Scrum master role evolves in organizations.

We then talk about carrots and sticks in agile ceremonies, Scrum personas, and the five new Scrum values of 2016. (Too much Scrum? Well, it’s summer time on the northern hemisphere…)

We also dive deep into the discussion between data-drivenness and UX, why A/B testing is a great management practice, and how to schedule meetings that don’t aggravate makers.

Last, but not least, we learn how to steal from the competition, embrace the holy grail of “the one metric”, and are blown away by the best list of mental models so far created. Have a great Sunday!

Continue reading Food For Thought #49: Scrum Certifications, Agile Cat Herders, Carrots & Sticks, Non-Aggravating Meetings for Makers, Ultimate Mental Models List