Food for Agile Thought #446: Scrum’s Decline, Product Transformation Failure, Product Trios, CapEx and OpEx and Agile

TL; DR: Scrum’s Decline — Food for Agile Thought #446

Welcome to the 446th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,578 peers. This week, Todd Lankford addresses Scrum’s decline due to lack of trust, customer disconnection, team silos, and limited learning, while Sivan Hermon discusses Google’s success with Itamar Gilad’s GIST framework during COVID-19. Moreover, David Luke explains how aligning CapEx and OpEx with Agile models enhances efficiency, and the McKinsey Talks Operations podcast explores leveraging failure for innovation, emphasizing psychological safety and continuous learning. Also, our Lemon critiques Agile projects’ high failure rates, promoting the self-serving alternative methodology.

Next, John Cutler warns that treating product transformations as projects leads to failure by ignoring the present, team-led change, and continuous improvement. Teresa Torres advocates for product trios, emphasizing their collaborative benefits, and Itamar Medeiros discusses using the Jobs-to-be-Done framework for effective roadmap planning and Product Backlog refinement. Then, Andy Hughes outlines conditions for product managers’ success, stressing supportive environments, effective processes, and a conducive organizational culture.

Lastly, Dave Hora discusses the shift from research-led projects to continuous product-team-led discovery, integrating user research into product practices for better decision-making. Additionally, Ant Murphy clarifies that OKRs should not be mistaken for strategy, stressing the importance of vision and strategic alignment, and Nir Zicherman examines balancing productivity and alignment to foster innovation. Barry Overeem introduces a 90-minute Agile Team Effectiveness workshop. Finally, Jeff Foust highlights Starlink’s disruptive impact on the space industry.

Food for Agile Thought #446: Scrum’s Decline, Product Transformation Failure, Product Trios, CapEx and OpEx and Agile — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #445: Sprint Review Guide, Data-driven Product Decisions, Healthy Failure Culture, 11 Philosophical Razors

TL; DR: The Sprint Review Guide — Food for Agile Thought #445

Welcome to the 445th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,591 peers. This week, Maarten Dalmijn critiques Sprint Reviews as dull and ineffective, advocating for revitalized Scrum events with the Sprint Review guide. John Cutler discusses the complexities of systems thinking and its challenges in professional contexts, while Melissa Perri and Amy Edmondson emphasize the necessity of a healthy failure culture for innovation, focusing on intelligent failure and psychological safety. David Rock identifies leaders as crucial ‘change architects,’ highlighting skills like cognitive capacity and coherence for effective cultural transformation. Also, Alain Goudsmet and Ludo Van der Heyden use David Breashears’ Everest climb to exemplify essential team dynamics for peak performance, and we ask: Can a Product Owner be a Scrum Master at the same time?

Then, Andrew Chen outlines the dilemmas in data-driven decision-making, noting the often necessary reliance on intuition over data. Aatir Abdul Rauf emphasizes the importance of tailored go-to-market strategies for enhancing feature adoption and retention, and Jason Cohen discusses the need for translating between customer desires, product features, and business goals to improve business collaboration. Moreover, David Pereira and Shyvee Shi delve into AI’s ability to connect with human emotions, highlighting the importance of fostering trust and psychological safety.

Lastly, Chris Meyer introduces eleven strategies to simplify decision-making by eliminating unlikely explanations. Gerry Duffy views UX as storytelling that engages stakeholders. Additionally, Rosie Hoggmascall shows how Monzo uses user research for product development, and Shane Drumm offers a guide on value stream mapping to enhance production efficiency. Lastly, Anthropic researchers reveal insights into the AI model Claude Sonnet, enhancing understanding and potential safety.

Food for Agile Thought #445: Sprint Review Guide, Data-driven Product Decisions, Healthy Failure Culture, 11 Philosophical Razors — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #444: Change Agent to Overpriced Cheerleaders, Instagram-ification of PM, Gut-Feeling to Scientific Research

TL; DR: Overpriced Cheerleaders — Food for Agile Thought #444

Welcome to the 444th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,579 peers. This week, Sam Haynes critiques the dwindling effectiveness of Agile Coaches, shifting from vital change agents to mere overpriced cheerleaders. Maarten Dalmijn criticizes Scrum for providing a blame-shifting ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, impeding real improvement, while Christiaan Verwijs advocates for scientific research to restore Agile’s credibility and effectiveness. Also, Michael Küsters emphasizes strategic alignment by rephrasing the query “How do we make money?” to uncover different business insights, and Jason Evanish discusses how lone wolves struggle with leadership due to their independence before Fortune Buchholtz introduces Toyota Kata Coaching for Agile teams.

Then, John Cutler warns against the ‘Instagram-ification’ of product management, which he argues sets unrealistic expectations and drives professionals towards unsustainable practices. David Pereira’s interview with Itamar Gilad emphasizes the importance of discarding 90% of ideas, advocating for evidence-based innovation and adaptability to user needs. Ant Murphy offers a stakeholder management approach that uses proposed solutions to uncover real problems, thus enhancing problem understanding without confrontation. Moreover, Manuel da Costa discusses findings from McKinsey’s Product Operating Model Index, highlighting a significant gap in product management practices between top and bottom-performing companies.

Lastly, Shane Hastie interviewed Esther Derby and David Horowitz about the second edition of the Agile Retrospectives book, focusing on data-driven methods and increased engagement for successful retrospectives, and Christina discusses how effective prioritization is often compromised by multitasking myths and distractions. The Ikigai Retrospective exercise uses a Venn diagram to help teams find their collective purpose by aligning their passions and skills with market value and impact. Finally, Aakash Gupta advises strategically using tailored work products in the PM job market to showcase unique insights and fit with company culture, enhancing job prospects.

Food for Agile Thought #444: Change Agent to Overpriced Cheerleaders, Instagram-ification of PM, Gut-Feeling to Scientific Research - Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #443: Scrum Theory, Beating the Feature Factory, We’re All Product Managers Now, Dealing With Chaos

TL; DR: Scrum Theory — Food for Agile Thought #443

Welcome to the 443rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,551 peers. This week, Francis Laleman reconsiders Scrum theory, appreciating its robust foundation in empiricism and lean thinking, and Jeff Putz advocates for Agile’s practical value over procedural adherence. Also, Todd Lankford outlines steps to enhance team autonomy and leadership. Verena Schwarzer discusses Agile’s challenges in large organizations, while Chris Matts critiques superficial Agile implementations, particularly the ineffective “Go/No Go” meetings that typify “Agile Kabuki.”

Then, Melissa Perri and Stephen Bungay apply military tactics to product management strategy, discussing daily challenges and solutions, and David Pereira and Maarten Dalmijn advocate for impactful, humble planning over quantity to escape the feature factory trap. Moreover, Michael H. Goitein highlights strategy as crucial for business agility, citing Nokia’s focus on Agile without a strategic foundation as a cautionary tale. Jeff Gothelf argues for unifying roles in product development, suggesting everyone should be a product manager to enhance collaboration.

Lastly, John Cutler interviews Gene Kim about his latest work, ‘Wiring the Winning Organization,’ focusing on simplification and impactful change themes. Lena Reinhard offers strategies for leaders to manage overwhelming workloads, and Simone Cicero presents a manifesto for adaptable, innovative platform organizations suited for the 21st century. Also, Shane Parrish discusses how the differing schedules of Haruki Murakami and Gary Vaynerchuk reflect their unique professional demands. Finally, Andrew Chen critiques the tech industry’s “Dopamine Culture,” highlighting the challenge of balancing instant engagement with lasting retention.

Food for Agile Thought #443: Scrum Theory, Beating the Feature Factory, We’re All Product Managers Now, Dealing With Chaos — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #442: The Value-Add Activities Metric, The Adjacency Matrix Post-PMF, Destroying Trust, EBM Guide 2024

TL; DR: The Value-Add Activities Metric — Food for Agile Thought #442

Welcome to the 442nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,518 peers. This week, we explore diverse perspectives on leadership and productivity within Agile environments: James Shore delves into the complexities of measuring productivity in software development with the Value-Add Activities Metric, while Willem-Jan Ageling identifies seven leadership missteps that destroy organizational trust. Former Cisco executive Ashley Goodall critiques traditional disruptive leadership methods, advocating for stability and connection. Joost Minnaar argues that self-managing organizations reduce employee burnout by balancing demands with control. Moreover, Parsa Saljoughian highlights four leadership principles essential for high-performing teams, focusing on psychological safety and effective communication, and we ask ourselves: Should a Product Owner be technical?

Then, Jason Cohen introduces the Adjacency Matrix for strategic expansion post-PMF, using existing strengths for wise market entry. The “Paths to PMF” series highlights diverse, customized strategies for startup success, and XKCD reevaluates ideas like solar cars and laser eye surgery, challenging our perceptions in a fantastic cartoon. Also, Nima Torabi emphasizes the integration of vision, strategy, and metrics in crafting impactful product roadmaps.

Lastly, Patricia Kong and Kurt Bittner updated the 2024 Evidence-Based Management Guide, enhancing its clarity and practical utility. Christina Wodtke presents a method for aligning personal values with life goals using Ikigai and Personal OKRs, ensuring measurable progress, while Bob Moesta explores the practical application of the Jobs to Be Done framework, sharing its best uses and common pitfalls. Finally, Ethan Mollick introduces the Prompt Library, a Creative Commons licensed resource providing structured prompts for educational and general use to boost engagement and AI interaction.

Food for Agile Thought #442: The Value-Add Activities Metric, The Adjacency Matrix Post-PMF, Destroying Trust, EBM Guide 2024 — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #441: The Hexi Approach to Scaling, Good and Bad Product Coaches, Product Roadmap Failure

TL; DR: The Hexi Approach to Scaling — Food for Agile Thought #441

Welcome to the 441st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,489 peers. This week, Dave Snowden and Nigel Thurlow present the Hexi approach, a multi-method strategy enhancing agility through complex adaptive systems. Joshua Arnold advocates for a Quarterly Look Ahead process, and Annie Duke and Lenny Rachitsky explore decision-making improvements using techniques like the “3Ds” framework and pre-mortems. Also, we reveal the hidden costs of offshore software consulting and delve into system-level anti-patterns of stakeholders. Additionally, Willem-Jan Ageling revisits the Agile Manifesto’s principles.

Then, Chris Beswick addresses strategic innovation frameworks, while Marty Cagan emphasizes the critical role of experienced product coaches. Ant Murphy advocates for empathy in problem-solving, and Leah Tharin highlights key pitfalls in product road-mapping, stressing strategic, focused approaches for organizational success.

Lastly, Daniele Davi discusses Kaizen and its role in Agile, emphasizing continuous improvement. Maarten Dalmijn compares OKRs’ fragility to coral, stressing the need for optimal conditions, while Letitia Rohaise critiques traditional personas, advocating for inclusive methods like Jobs-To-Be-Done. Moreover, Paweł Huryn offers strategies for effective surveys, focusing on improving response quality. Finally, Joca Torres explores boosting team productivity through role clarity and method optimization, sharing insights from his experiences across multiple companies.

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