TL; DR: Enabling Great Work, The Better Listener — Food for Agile Thought #326
Welcome to the 326th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,017 peers. This week, we point out the patterns enabling great work. We also reflect on the essential pre-requisite of a high-performing team: Team members ‘feel free to express their questions, concerns, ideas, and mistakes,’ and we suggest building our listening mindset to escape the ‘surface listening’ trap.
We then delve into the need to balance discovery & delivery while establishing strong ethics of testing business ideas and share an approach to creating an experimentation mindset when the target organization values structure and process. Moreover, we have an interesting look at the top-down world of product management, where the team is just executing what’s put in front of them.
Lastly, we explain why product roadmaps may be roads; however, they are no road maps, and we try a simple quiz to get the self-management discussion going: Where do we stand as a team?
TL; DR: Influencing Without Authority, Leaps of Product Faith — Food for Agile Thought #325
Welcome to the 325th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,942 peers. This week, we delve into influencing without authority, from framing to social proof to inception to storytelling. We also suggest that engineers also need to improve strategic decision-making skills instead of only focusing on technical execution skills, and we shed light on structural and instantiated dependencies and how they impede flow in an organization that scales agile practices.
We then reflect on a recent statement of a CPO: ‘I wouldn’t call it blind faith, but more like informed faith. […] But, really, there’s a leap of faith involved.’ We believe that DoorDash’s recent decision to have everyone ‘eat DoorDash’s own dog food’ once a month is merely empathy theater. Also, we point at the benefits of formalizing learning plans to keep your skills as a product person competitive and share how to do so.
Lastly, we explore the 9th principle of the Agile Manifesto: ‘Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.’ Moreover, we point out four beneficial leadership coaching techniques, from outcome shift to uncovering limiting beliefs.
I know, creating original content consumes a lot of time, resulting in massive opportunity costs, so why not take a shortcut and copy it?
Just let me mention that I file a takedown notice with Google whenever you do this because of copyright infringement.
Why would you care about this process, namely ITSkillsYouNeed.com?
Because approved takedown notices result in real trouble for your domain authority. Every time you copy my content, it will be harder to find your site via Google. In other words: It is a pretty effective way of shooting yourself in the foot digitally. Just saying, don’t complain later, okay?
TL; DR: MAHD — Agile for Hardware, Product Ops Overview — Food for Agile Thought #324
Welcome to the 324th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,869 peers. This week, we provide a primer for the Modified Agile for Hardware Development (MAHD) framework and its differences from generic Scrum. Also, we aim to understand the implication of growth and fixed mindsets for change, communication, and collaboration, and we challenge you to think about your office space from an anthropological point of view: Does it generate competition or collaboration between tribes?
We then share a list of helpful and damaging definitions of what Product Ops represents, and we move to download the free 7th ‘State of Product Management’ report based on the responses from over 2,000 product managers. Moreover, we point at a necessary trait of successful product teams: While using the big pictures to guide their work, they can also ship new stuff.
Lastly, we explore ways of measuring the predictability of teams, from ‘say/do’ to ‘meeting expectations’ to ‘aging WIP,’ and we point at a critical component of any innovation validation track to allow for an informed decision process: The experiment. Finally, we suggest a different approach to dealing with complex organizations and their inherent challenges: Knowing where to look for problems by figuring out who reports to whom.
TL; DR: Fortress Agile, The Technical PM — Food for Agile Thought #323
Welcome to the 323rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,816 peers. This week, we share practical tips for the Fortress Agile on caring for the humans in your team when the organization is less agile than we would need it to be. Additionally, we share Charlie Munger’s magnum opus on why we behave the way we do, and we point to an observation that failure cultures focus on delivering things instead of value.
We then provide five highly actionable tips on becoming a more technical product manager. Moreover, we share successful product-led development patterns, and we ask: Do You Have a Product Mindset?
Lastly, we appreciate the first of a series of articles on becoming good at influence mapping, and we point at the elephant in the room: What if — despite all efforts — customer behavior isn’t moving in the right direction?
PS: 🎄 Happy Holiday Season!
PPS: 🗞 Food for Agile Thought will be back on January 9, 2022, with issue 324. Stay tuned!
TL; DR: Tech Trends 2022, Product Success Factors — Food for Agile Thought #322
Welcome to the 322nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,755 peers. This week, we explore macro and strategic tech trends in 2022, from Web3 to Crypto to the Metaverse. Also, we point at a conceptual tool to help leaders understand that they need to change course; we suggest hands-on, practical solutions to an age-old software development problem, and we point at the downside of the growing popularity regarding “Agile,” Sociocracy, or Holacracy.
We then analyze four factors that significantly contribute to sustained product success and suggest applying those best. Next, we join Netflix’s co-founder when he elaborates on a recipe for aspiring disrupters: ‘Just focus on the market that nobody is paying attention to.’ Moreover, we point at a challenging topic for agile teams working remotely: ‘Does your manager trust that you are really working?’
Lastly, we appreciate that Venkatesh Rao shares the main slides—including notes—from his observe–orient–decide–act loop workshop, and we walk through applying a fantastic tool developed by Sakichi Toyoda in the 1930s.