Food for Agile Thought #337: Story Points Made Simple, The Art Part of Product Management, Agility Patterns, Useful Team Metrics

TL; DR: Story Points Made Simple, The Art Part of Product Management — Food for Agile Thought #337

Welcome to the 337th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,011 peers. This week, we join Tim Ottinger, exploring the truth about story points and inviting the rest of the community to join. We also delve into patterns of agile transformations, from psychological safety to the “illusion of control,” and we cover engineering team success tactics from making all work visible to WiP limits to utilizing velocity right.

We then share an engaging canvas on the opportunities and realities of picking work by product teams. Moreover, we explore the criticality of human skills for product management—the Six Cs from communication to consciousness, while pointing out that successful products are typically not the work of a single genius with a magic touch but teamwork. Also, Roman Pichler delved into your questions on the role of the Product Owner, ranging from product manager vs. Product Owner vs. business analyst to the right size of a Product Backlog to linking product vision to Product Goal and Sprint Goal.

Then, based on Annie Duke’s work from “Thinking in Bets,” First Round Capital provides a guide on helpful mental models to support decision-making in teams and organizations, not just startups. On top of that, Lean Agile Intelligence aggregated a valuable list of resources on beneficial team metrics. Finally, we listen to Hà Phan, who advocates that “machine learning (ML) can be a key tool to gain the most effective data about your users.”

Food for Agile Thought #337: Story Points Made Simple, The Art Part of Product Management, Agility Patterns, Useful Team Metrics — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #336: Prioritization Politics, Experiments w/ POPCORN, Frederick Winslow Taylor, ProductOps Bootcamp

TL; DR: Prioritization Politics, Experiments w/ POPCORN — Food for Agile Thought #336

Welcome to the 336th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,938 peers. This week, we share a deep dive into the challenges of prioritization politics — as we product folks consider ourselves analytical and algorithmic — and the friction this causes with other stakeholders, namely “the business.” Hesitantly, we also point to a eulogy on #Taylorism, and we learn from Catherine Louis how her experience as a K9 handler and a search-and-rescue technician helped her coach teams live up to their potential.

We then introduce John Cutler’s POPCORN Flow, a ”framework for thinking about improvement experiments.” Moreover, Marty Cagan explains the essence of being in “product” by pointing at a long-thought lost Steve Jobs interview, and Janna Bastow interviews Melissa Perri on the secrets that create successful Product Ops teams.

Lastly, we analyze “21 lessons on the uses, abuses, and half-truths of the measuring innovation” and point to the pitfalls of a typical “transformation” that often starts with killing psychological safety in the opening phase. Finally, we close this week’s edition with a collection of PM memes starring Spiderman, Dilbert, Samuel L. Jackson, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Food for Agile Thought #336: Prioritization Politics, Experiments w/ POPCORN, Frederick Winslow Taylor, ProductOps Bootcamp — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #335: Idea Repositories, Team Building w/ Conway’s Law, Measuring Added Value, Estimation Is a Waste

TL; DR: Idea Repositories, Team Building w/ Conway’s Law — Food for Agile Thought #335

Welcome to the 335th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,866 peers. This week, we analyze the benefits of organizing transparent systems that handle the influx of suggestions, requirements, epiphanies, and learning: ideas repositories. Also, we describe the benefits of applying lessons learned from “Team Topologies” by Manuel Pais and Matthew Skelton regarding team building, and we explain the difference between coaching and mentoring, two critical stances of a servant leader.

We then listen to John Cutler exploring how “teams slip into the trap of using a single ‘mono-process’ (one way) for all types of work.” Moreover, we suggest building products with—not for—your community, delve into six essentials factors determining whether your product team will be successful, and figure out a way to measure the added value of your product.

Lastly, we share Luís Soares’s refreshingly contrarian thinking on estimations, Sprints, and other practices he considers futile. Finally, we close with Shane Parrish, who reflects on the effects of “mapping” the world and then taking this map as an accurate representation of the world.

Food for Agile Thought #335: Idea Repositories, Team Building w/ Conway‘s Law, Measuring Added Value, Estimation Is a Waste — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #334: Shape Up, Product Sense, Adaptive Self-Organization, User Onboarding at Shopify

TL; DR: Shape Up, Product Sense — Food for Agile Thought #334

Welcome to the 334th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,804 peers. This week, we share lessons learned on what it takes to succeed with Shape Up, Basecamp’s framework for running product development teams by collaboration and productivity. Also, we explore “the impact of hybrid work environments on Agile work,” and we delve into anything Spike-related, from purpose to common misunderstandings.

We then follow Jules Walter as he explains what ‘product sense’ is all about and shares actionable and practical advice on how to develop your product sense. At the same time, John Cutler summarizes the must-haves to get a product team started, from having some process to artifacts to tools. Moreover, we analyze why the collaboration between Product and Marketing may unravel, how to fix this issue, or—better—prevent it from happening in the first place.

Lastly, we reflect on the eleventh principle of the Agile Manifesto: “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams,” and we point at five estimation failures, from settling for the average to skipping the Definition of Done to fixing time to story points.

Food for Agile Thought #334: Shape Up, Product Sense, Adaptive Self-Organization, User Onboarding at Shopify — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #333: Identifying New Ways of Working, Burnout in Product Teams, Management Fads such as Agile, Saying No as a PM

TL; DR: Identifying New Ways of Working, Burnout in Product Teams — Food for Agile Thought #333

Welcome to the 333rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,749 peers. This week, we reflect on signs of failed self-management and explore how to improve the identification of new ways of working instead. Also, we share a comprehensive take on tech debt, from the term’s coining to cost to inherited debt to, finally, keep it under control. Moreover, we follow Joost Minnaar when he delves into his favorite management fads, turning into religions attracting missionaries and apostles, and we follow Ben Thompson’s analysis on the long-term impact of Putin’s war on Ukraine on the tech industry.

We then explore product management practices that can lead to burnout, and we dive into product strategy, the “connective tissue between what a product team is doing day-to-day and the company’s ambition.” Additionally, we share Joni Hoadley’s recipe for managing stakeholders and how to ‘say no’ without losing their support or trust, and we learn more about user stories as a concept from Bill Wake.

Lastly, we list seven common reasons why stakeholders ignore your team’s Sprint Review, from a lack of progress to ignored feedback to conflicting obligations. On top of that, we answer ten popular questions regarding the Monte Carlo method to help you better forecast your team’s throughput for a future period.

Food for Agile Thought #333: Identifying New Ways of Working, Burnout in Product Teams, Management Fads such as Agile, Saying No as a PM — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #332: Talking to Customers, The Learning Repository, Team Dependencies, Resources for Product Owners

TL; DR: Talking to Customers, Learning Repository — Food for Agile Thought #332

Welcome to the 332nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,681 peers. This week, we regret that most product managers seem to have stopped talking to customers nowadays. Also, we list nine reasons to become agile, from a bad ‘it’s the trendy thing to do’ to a good ‘we believe in the Agile values and principles.’ Moreover, we deal with fixing unnecessary dependencies, and we suggest utilizing seven classic team building models to ‘inspire, troubleshoot, and build alignment,’ from Tuckman to Katzenbach to Hackman.

We then argue that it is essential to create a learning repository to run experience-informed experiments, and we share an epic list of binge-worthy material on product ownership. In addition to that, Teresa Torres provides her approach to identifying candidates for both “beginner” and experienced product teams for user interviews.

Lastly, we share a simple visualization tool to foster rapid idea generation—quantity may have its own quality, and we follow Jeff Gothelf, who vigorously opposes the notion that goals do not need continuous review and adjustment. And there is one more thing: The Guardian reports on a damning new Netflix documentary, detailing the consequences when a once engineering- and quality-driven culture is forced by the new management to bow to Wall Street.

Food for Agile Thought #332: Talking to Customers, The Learning Repository, Team Dependencies, Resources for Product Owners — Age-of-Product.com
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