Product Backlog Defense – Common Patterns of Stakeholder Interference

TL; DR: Product Backlog Defense

Make no mistake: Your Product Backlog is the last line of defense preventing your Scrum Team from becoming a feature factory; hence Product Backlog defense is vital: Figure out a process that creates value for your customers. Moreover, have the courage — and the discipline — to defend it at all costs.

Product Backlog Defense — Age-of-Product.com
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Free Ebook: 47 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 47 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.

So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 19,000 times.

47 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Identify Suitable Candidates — Age-of-Product.com
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📅 🖥 Virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021 — May 27-29, 2021

TL; DR: The vACB21’s Schedule, Session Proposals, Technology, and Workshops

The Agile Camp Berlin 2021 will be a virtual event from May 27-29, 2021.

We will spend three energizing days from 1 pm to 7 pm CEST at a live virtual Barcamp using open space technology principles and practices. The general conference language is English; sessions in other languages are welcome!

📅 🖥 Virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021 — May 27-29, 2021 — vACB21 — Hosted by Berlin Product People GmbH

Read on and learn about the organization of the virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021, its preliminary schedule, from your session proposals to session planning to the essential technology to enjoy the best possible experience.

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Hiring: 71 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

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 7,500 times.

Hiring: 71 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters — Age-of-Product.com
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Scrum Guide 2020 — The Development Team Is Dead; Long Live the Scrum Team!

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.

Scrum Guide 2020 — The new edition of the Scrum Guide Reordered — 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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The Hardening Sprint Fallacy — Making Your Scrum Work #2

TL; DR: The Hardening Sprint Fallacy

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. The hardening Sprint is one of those Scrum failures that are particularly challenging.

Explore with me the deep-rooted issues we can learn from a team that practices a hardening Sprint, from the level of team maturity to possible organizational concerns of becoming agile in less than 100 seconds.

The Hardening Sprint — Making Your Scrum Work #2 — Age-of-Product.com
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Three Wide-Spread Scrum Master Failures in 5:31 Minutes—Making Your Scrum Work

TL; DR: Three Wide-Spread Scrum Master Failures

There are plenty of Scrum Masters failures. Given that Scrum is a framework with a precise and concise yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone.

Explore with me three widespread examples of how Scrum Masters fail their team in three short video clips, totaling 5 minutes and 31 seconds.

Three Wide-Spread Scrum Master Failures in 5:31 Minutes — Making Your Scrum Work — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #287: The Systems Change Problem, Agile Death Spirals, Talking to Customers as a Dev, OKRs in Agile Infographic

TL; DR: The Systems Change Problem, Agile Death Spirals—Food for Agile Thought #287

Welcome to the 287th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 30,878 peers. This week, we address the systems change problem and that an ‘agile transformation’ is often no more than the first initiative to clear a path to introduce agile ways of working. Also, we explain the Haier Model—Rendanheyi, microenterprises, micro-communities, and ecosystems—in a short animation.

We then discuss the two first principles of continuous product discovery; we enjoy a war story from the trenches of product discovery at Victoria’s Secret, and we come back to the common idea that ‘prioritization’ is a trivial mechanical process run on autopilot. (Spoiler alert: it’s not that trivial.)

Lastly, we point at the elephant in the room: companies use unsuitable metrics to track their innovation efforts.

Food for Agile Thought #287: The Systems Change Problem, Agile Death Spirals, Talking to Customers as a Dev, OKRs in Agile Infographic — Age-of-Product.com
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The virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021 Has A Job Opening

TL; DR: The virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021 Has A Job Opening

I am looking for someone (m/f/x) to support me in running the Agile Camp Berlin 2021; use the form below to apply for the job.

The virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021 Has A Job Opening — Age-of-Product.com

The virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021

The virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021 (ACB21) will take place from May 27 to May 29, 2021, from 1 pm to 7 pm CEST. You can find all information on the event here: Virtual Agile Camp Berlin from May 27-29, 2021.

As of 2021-04-10, we are 130-plus participants, and I expect the number to grow to probably 200. Since we are not giving away free tickets, I expect a high show rate among the attendees.

The Job Opening at the Agile Camp Berlin 2021

I am looking for someone (m/f/x) to support me in running the Agile Camp Berlin 2021. For example, your tasks would cover:

  • Admitting attendees to the event
  • Inviting attendees to the ACB21 Slack channel
  • Pointing attendees to where they can find more information
  • Updating the public schedule.

Generally, it is about addressing questions and issues that attendees might have and supporting them to have the best experience possible.

Your main working hours would be:

  1. May 27, 2021, from 1-7 pm CEST: Day 1 of the Agile Camp Berlin 2021.
  2. May 28, 2021, from 1-7 pm CEST: Day 2 of the Agile Camp Berlin 2021.

On May 27 and May 28, I will host the live-stream of the ACB21 from 2-6 pm. Hence, I won’t be able to support you full time during these sessions. (Please note: You won’t be able to attend any session on either May 27 or 28. Feel free, though, to join the sessions on May 29, 2021.)

Remuneration will be in the ballpark of USD 500/€450; our accountant is still working on the details. (For residents of Germany, we plan to go with a mini-job.)

If that sounds interesting to you, please spend five minutes on the following application form:

Visit the form directly on Google Forms.

App Prototyping with Absolute Beginners – Creating a Shared Understanding of How Empiricism Works

TL;DR: App Prototyping with Absolute Beginners

Yes, even absolute beginners can prototype an app. And learn a lot about agile product management, Scrum, empiricism, product design, and user experience along the way.

If you intend to live up to Scrum and agile product development’s full potential, creating a shared understanding of how empiricism works among all co-workers in your organization is essential. This low-cost exercise of creating clickable prototypes will significantly improve your organization’s agile transformation.

App Prototyping with Absolute Beginners – Creating a Shared Understanding of How Empiricism Works — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #286: Rethinking Bad Decisions, Scrumban Is Not a Mere Hybrid, Product Discovery Excuses, Metrics Maturity

TL; DR: Rethinking Bad Decisions, Metrics Maturity—Food for Agile Thought #286

Welcome to the 286th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 30,802 peers. This week, we figure out how rethinking bad decisions may work; we learn why postponing the decision on who will work on something is beneficial for Scrum teams, and we suggest starting Scrumban with either Kanban or Scrum and then add some flavor from the other practice.

We then learn more about common anti-patterns with product discovery, from ‘there is no demand’ to ‘we don’t have time,’ and we delve into the learnings from the book ‘Working Backwards’ on Amazon’s way of creating products. Also, we suggest a way to figure out whether our team is genuinely evidence-driven.

Lastly, we cherish a board design that elicits questions, for example, to guide qualitative research.

Food for Agile Thought #286: Rethinking Bad Decisions, Scrumban Is Not a Mere Hybrid, Product Discovery Excuses, Metrics Maturity — Age-of-Product.com
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