Food for Agile Thought #228: Asking Good Questions, Product Catastrophes, Agile’s Cognitive Science, Trade-offs & Debts

TL; DR: Asking Good Questions, Trade-offs & Debts—Food for Agile Thought #228

Welcome to the 228th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 25,103 peers. This week, we delve into asking good questions, thus overcoming assumptions; we learn more about the cognitive science behind ‘Agile,’ and we cautiously check SAFe again.

We gain insight into how to handle product failures catastrophes; we reflect whether trade-offs are worth the costs. Also, we come back to defining what a product is, focusing on its two critical elements.

Lastly, we appreciate an excursion into psychological safety—from its origins to pioneering its application.

Did you miss last week’s Food for Agile Thought’s issue #226?

Food for Agile Thought #228: Asking Good Questions, Agile’s Cognitive Science, Product Catastrophes, Trade-offs & Debts

🏆 The Tip of the Week

Stefano Mastrogiacomo (via Strategyzer): The Art of Asking Good Questions with The Language Compass

Stefano Mastrogiacomo points at the importance of making fewer assumptions but focusing on facts and shares the Language Compass canvas for download.

The Language Compass helps avoid escalations by suggesting a set of neutral questions that help inquire and understand the first-order realities (facts) hidden behind unproductive second-order statements (assumptions).

Agile, Scrum & Asking Good Questions

Christiaan Verwijs (via Scrum.org): Thinking By Sprinting: What Cognitive Science Tells Us About Why Scrum Works

Christiaan Verwijs argues that our cognitive abilities are limited, which is why empirical approaches are likely to outperform analytical plans such as ‘waterfall.’

Joost Minnaar (via Corporate Rebels): Psychological Safety: How Pioneers Create Engaged Workforces

Joost Minnaar delves into the psychological safety—from history to practical examples of organizations where ‘failure’ is an option.

(via InfoQ): 📺 Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): Bloated Bureaucracy or an Enabler for Business Agility?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo takes a closer look at various scaling frameworks and defines what SAFe is and what it is not, and why SAFe is dividing the agile community.

📅 Professional Scrum Master Training PSM II — Berlin, March 24-25, 2020

This advanced Scrum Master training (PSM II) by Berlin Product People is a 2-day official Scrum.org class for advanced Scrum Masters, including the industry-acknowledged PSM II certification. This PSM training class will be offered in English. You can book your seat directly:

100 % — Guaranteed Class Garantierte Schulung

Terms and conditions apply.

Looking for a different date? Back to the training schedule for the Advanced Scrum Master Training (PSM II).

Learn more: 📅 Professional Scrum Master Training PSM II — Berlin, March 24-25, 2020.

Product & Lean

Joe Leech: Product catastrophe: The top four scenarios and how to deal with them

Joe Leech shares the most common product failure situations, the symptoms, causes, and what to do to both before and after it goes wrong.

Janna Bastow (via ProdPad): Decisions, Debt, and other Dilemmas

Janna Bastow reflects on making trade-offs, which often also means taking on tech debt, design debt, and other types of debt.

The Travel Chica: Define a Product

Stephanie Ockerman points at the two critical things that help you define your product: ‘Done’ and customer value.

📯 31+2 Product Owner Anti-Patterns

If you are working as a Product Owner, there is—very likely—room for improvement. This list of some of the most common Product Owner anti-patterns might be a starting point.

Product Owner Anti-Patterns — 31 Ways to Improve as a PO by Age of Product

Read more: Product Owner Anti-Patterns — 31+2 Ways to Improve as a PO.

📅 More Training, Workshops, and Events

DateClass and LanguageCityPrice
💯 Feb 18-20, 2020Professional Scrum Master Training + Liberating Structures (PSM I; English)Berlin€1,499 incl. 19% VAT
SOLD OUT: Feb 20, 2020Liberating Structures Scrum Master Training (English)Berlin€190 incl. 19% VAT
💯 Mar 24–25, 2020Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM II; English)Berlin€1,499 incl. 19% VAT
April 7-8, 2020Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM II; German)Berlin€1.499 inkl. 19% VAT
SOLD OUT: Apr 17–18, 2020Agile Camp Berlin 2020 (English)BerlinFrom €129 incl. 19% VAT
May 12–13, 2020Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM II; English)Frankfurt/Main€1,499 incl. 19% VAT
May 18–19, 2020Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German)Berlin€1,499 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here. Professional Scrum Training by PST Stefan Wolpers, Berlin  Product People

You can book your seat for the training directly by following the corresponding links to the ticket shop. If the procurement process of your organization requires a different purchasing process, please contact Berlin Product People GmbH directly.


Download the ’Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide’ for Free — Age-of-Product.com

📺 Join 1,900-plus Agile Peers on Youtube

Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel:

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn about Asking Good Questions: Join the 6,775-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community

I invite you to join the “Hands-on Agile” Slack Community and enjoy the benefits of a fast-growing, vibrant community of agile practitioners from around the world.

Large scale agile: Join the Hands-on Agile Slack Group

If you like to join all you have to do now is provide your credentials via this Google form, and I will sign you up. By the way, it’s free.

Scrum Master Interview Question: free download of the most popular ebook on Scrum Master job interviews — by Age-of-Product

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #227: Agile Core Beliefs, Psychology of Feature Adoption, Agile Coaching Competencies, Design’s Unsexy Middle Bits.

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