TL; DR: ChatGPT in Product Development — Food for Agile Thought #385
Welcome to the 385th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 45,612 (1) peers. This week, we delve into ChatGPT in product development, pointing to what ChatGPT can and cannot do. Also, John Cutler asked some friends a simple question: “How does change actually happen at your company,” and we explain the relationship between organizational design and an organization’s size. Moreover, we learn how to deal with controversial topics that “elicit strong emotions, have little or no effort invested into resolution, and unequal participation” as a coach.
Then, we dive into the challenges of integrating UX research and Scrum and what a token for discussion — also known as a user story — has to do with it while questioning the utility of strictly adhering to the mandate of employing a Sprint Goal every single Sprint. Also, we learn how Fender, the famous guitar maker, overcame its existence-threatening churn rate among new customers and reflect on why larger organizations quickly become less innovative and what autonomous teams and ‘saying no’ have to do with it.
Finally, we check out ChatGPT 4 for Scrum practitioners; we report on a recent analysis of how OpenAI’s GPT technology could affect the workforce and walk you through the current ChatGPT ecosystem, helping everyone to understand why it has been called AI’s iPhone moment.
TL; DR: ChatGPT 4: A Bargain for Scrum Practitioners?
When OpenAI released its new LLM model GPT-4 last week, I could not resist and signed up for $20 monthly. I wanted to determine whether ChatGPT 4 is superior to its predecessor, which left a good impression in recent months; see my previous articles on Scrum, Agile, and ChatGPT.
I decided to run three comparisons, using the identical prompt to trigger answers from the new GPT-4 and previous GPT-3.5 models. Read on and learn what happened. It was not a foregone conclusion.
TL; DR: The Decline of the Agile Brand — Food for Agile Thought #384
Welcome to the 384th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 45,437 (1) peers. This week, we listen to Brett Maytom and Michael Küsters on the decline of the Agile brand. Moreover, we explore whether Scrum is not only applied empiricism but also “some sort of natural pattern” before Seth Godin suggests tried and tested practices to help you maneuver complex projects, from “budgets are a tool, not a weapon” to “heroism is more fun but less reliable than good planning.” Moreover, we describe four effectiveness-impacting biases, from the urgency effect to the planning fallacy.
Then, we sketch a developer-friendly role model of a product manager, from demonstrating evident expertise to helping with the dirty work, which pairs well with Marty Cagan’s concept of roles of an empowered product team. Next, Teresa Torres and Hope Gurion discuss the responsibility of empowered product teams for their outcomes, while Lenny Rachitsky interviews Stanford University professor and author Christina Wodtke on how OKRs can help your team achieve better results.
Finally, we share a bunch of primers on user story mapping, planning poker and story points, and practical user research. Lastly, we ask: Can wisdom from the past still be relevant to today’s VUCA-determined world? Is there something like a Stoic Scrum Master?
TL; DR: The Stoic Scrum Master – Making Your Scrum Work (30)
Can wisdom from the past still be relevant to today’s VUCA-determined world? I started reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations some time ago and found it intriguing; maybe it applies to “Agile?” In other words: is there something like a Stoic Scrum Master?
If I understand Stoicism correctly, it is about living a life of virtue, which comprises wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation. (All of those can be further subdivided, see Stoic Ethics.) For whatever reason, I felt reminded of Scrum Values and thought: could it be that the first principles of “agile” haven’t been defined by the Agile Manifesto but by “Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE?”
So, I embarked on a fun exercise of asking our beloved LLM to create an essay that applies Stoicism to Scrum, notably the Stoic Scrum Master.
TL; DR: Building Products without Value — Food for Agile Thought #383
Welcome to the 383rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 37,076 peers. This week, Jeff Patton attempts to explain why organizations “irrationally and addictively” build products without value. In addition, we address a controversial topic that might help alleviate the “no real value” problem: writing good code requires more technical skills; Developers also need to talk to their customers. Also, improving Product Backlog management in Scrum might support avoiding becoming focused on merely shipping stuff.
Then, we present a “set of principles, practices, and competencies” that together represent the best tech-powered companies’ way of working, bolstered by a “list of potentially helpful questions (and multiple-choice answers) to help you explore the ideas, strategies, opportunities, problems, bets, initiatives, and projects on your roadmap.” Moreover, should you consider turning your service business into a product, you don’t want to miss a podcast with “Productize” author Eisha Armstrong.
Finally, we share experts’ insight into Spotify’s approach to learning about a Squad’s health. Speaking of team health, we also reflect on why answering Scrum’s obsolete three Daily Scrum questions negatively influences your team and share a framework to “meet conversational stuckness and tensions at the appropriate level.” Lastly, we dive into an interesting question: Is it still form follows function in the digital space?
TL; DR: The Three Daily Scrum Questions Won’t Die
The Daily Scrum serves a single purpose: inspecting the progress toward the Sprint Goal by reflecting on yesterday’s learning. Then, if the need should arise, the Developers adapt their plan to accomplish the Sprint Goal. While the theory may be generally accepted, applying the idea to the practice is more challenging. One of the recurring issues is the continued popularity of the “three Daily Scrum questions” from the Scrum Guide 2017.
Let’s reflect on why answering these obsolete Daily Scrum questions negatively influences the Scrum team.