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.
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: How to Win with Agile Resistant Teams w/ Scott Weiner — ACB21
In this highly engaging speaker session from the Agile Camp Berlin 2021, Scott Weiner shares a case study on how to master an agile transition by creating agile resistant teams based on common sense, team autonomy, and the psychology of metrics.
Welcome to the 60 Questions for the New Scrum Master Download Page
Congratulations on your new Scrum Master position! Now what?
What has served me well over the years is a combination of observation and asking questions. The following 60 Questions for a New Scrum Master may support you in learning more about the Scrum team’s way of working and the organization’s culture.
Get Started and Inspect and Adapt along the Way
The following set of questions is intended as a starter to get a new Scrum Master airborne in a short period. Depending on how familiar your team is with Scrum, the kind of the team’s organization and its culture, and the market your Scrum team is serving, this set of questions may require change.
The questions have proven helpful in 1-on-1 conversation, in group discussion, and the form of an anonymous survey. But, no matter the format, the questions pave the way for a new Scrum Master to gather insight into the Scrum team’s way of working and the organization’s culture they need to start to support the team.
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60 Questions for the New Scrum Master
20 Questions a New Scrum Master Should Ask Her Team to Get up to Speed
20 Questions from New Scrum Master to Product Owner
20 Questions from New Scrum Master to the Developers