Agile Micromanagement — Seriously? Making Your Scrum Work #27

TL; DR: Agile Micromanagement

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Indeed, given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. For example, the Scrum Guide clearly states the importance of self-management at the Scrum team level. Nevertheless, the prevailing cause of many messed-up attempts to use Scrum result from what I call agile micromanagement, a pseudo-commitment to agile principles only to be overridden whenever it seems beneficial from a stakeholder’s or manager’s perspective.

Join me and delve into the importance of self-managing Scrum teams in less than two minutes.

Agile Micromanagement — Making Your Scrum Work #27 — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #354: Agile Forecasting, Winning Product Strategies, Measuring Trust, What Product Market Fit Feels Like

TL; DR: Agile Forecasting, Winning Product Strategies — Food for Agile Thought #354

Welcome to the 354th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,689 peers. This week, we analyze agile forecasting challenges in epic breadth, from avoiding story points to rolling wave forecasts. Also, we illustrate and quantify the impact of unfinished work to help you convince your team to ‘stop starting and start finishing,’ and we delve into decision-making practices as a group, from reversible to expensive or irreversible decisions.

Then, we listen to Lenny Rachitsky interviewing Melissa Perri on what to do when your strategy is not working: what are the signs, and how can you change direction? Moreover, we point out that ‘most strategies are a collection of assumptions,’ from certainty levels to competitor behavior. Also, we enjoy ten video clips expressing precisely that product/market-fit feeling Marc Andreessen described years ago.

Finally, we share strategies to identify and work through design and engineering conflicts and a more innovative framework to apply the ‘rocks, pebbles, and sand’ lesson. Lastly, McKinsey claims to have identified ‘four types of behavior that account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness.’ This brings us to Deloitte Insights, exploring whether you can measure a ‘hidden—yet increasingly critical—key performance indicator:’ trust.

Food for Agile Thought #354: Agile Forecasting, Winning Product Strategies, Measuring Trust, What Product Market Fit Feels Like — Age-of-Product.com
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No Sprint Goal, No Cohesion, No Collaboration — Making Your Scrum Work #26

TL; DR: No Sprint Goal

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. For example, what if there is no Sprint Goal — Sprint after Sprint? What if the Scrum team is always only working on a random assortment of work items that seem to be the most pressing at the moment of the Sprint Planning?

Join me and delve into the importance of the Sprint Goal for meaningful work as a Scrum team in less than two minutes.

No Sprint Goal, No Cohesion, No Collaboration — Making Your Scrum Work #26 — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #353: Sales vs. Product, Minimum Viable Transformation, User Story Mapping Guide, Pivot or Persevere?

TL; DR: Sales vs. Product, Minimum Viable Transformation — Food for Agile Thought #353

Welcome to the 353rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,651 peers. This week, we delve into Sales vs. Product, analyzing their conflicting worldviews. Additionally, we learn about the pre-requisites of cultural change, for example, ensuring that at least a quarter of your community supports the endeavor. Also, we detail why long-term software development plans do not work and critique an acclaimed book on DevOps, metrics, and effectiveness in software development.

Then, we reflect on Lean Startup’s “pivot or persevere” decision: scale, kill, pivot, or persevere, and we show practical ways to reduce our product’s risk of failure, from testing assumptions to data-informed decision-making. Moreover, we share eleven lessons on enabling product management with distributed teams, from the need to write more to embrace tools beyond Zoom and Google Docs.

Finally, we enjoy Avion’s bookmark-worthy guide on user story mapping and detail how product analytics can reduce churn if you learn to identify customers that share ‘specific characteristics and usage patterns.’ Lastly, Russ Roberts interviews the economist — and former chief economist of Uber and Lyft — John List on what determines scalability and ‘good ideas.’

Food for Agile Thought #353: Sales vs. Product, Minimum Viable Transformation, User Story Mapping Guide, Pivot or Persevere? Age-of-Product.com
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Unengaged Stakeholders at the Sprint Review — Making Your Scrum Work #25

TL; DR: Unengaged Stakeholders

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. For example, what if your Scrum team repeatedly faces unengaged stakeholders at the Sprint Review? How can the Scrum team stay on track in accomplishing the Product Goal when a vital feedback loop is missing?

Join me and delve into how to support your stakeholders in living up to their part of the collaboration with the Scrum team in less than two minutes.

Unengaged Stakeholder at the Sprint Review — Making Your Scrum Work 25 — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #352: Team Topologies, CEOs and Product Leaders, Why Strategies Change, Leadership Essentials

TL; DR: Team Topologies, CEOs and Product Leaders — Food for Agile Thought #352

Welcome to the 352nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,602 peers. This week, we revisit Team Topologies, Conway’s Law, and how you might influence an organization’s structure as a lone product manager. We also explore the essence of behavioral change and apply lessons from Tim Hartford’s Cautionary Tale “The South Pole Race: David and Goliath on Ice” to your failed agile transformation. Moreover, we try to understand what ‘dream teams’ or ‘tiger teams’ supposedly are.

Then, we delve into the delicate relationship between the CEO and the product leader of an organization, stressing the importance of building candor, trust, and communicating well. Also, we listen to Casey Winters sharing career advice for aspiring product managers, from communicating upward to de-risking meetings. Finally, John Cutler continues his quest to understand product strategy; this time is all about why it changes, from recency bias to sporadic research.

Finally, we follow Jake Burghardt delving into the usefulness of research repositories as internal learning tools, including practical suggestions on how to employ them, and we enjoy a new game to ‘illustrate essential aspects for collaboration and workflow improvements.’ Lastly, HBR points to a critical element of why ‘organizational transformations are prone to failure.’

Food for Agile Thought #352: Team Topologies, CEOs and Product Leaders, Why Strategies Change, Leadership Essentials—Age-of-Product.com
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