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.
Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue #324?
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🏆 The Tip of the Week
YouTube): 📺 How to Master Influencing Without Authority by Sachin Rekhi at Lean Product Meetupand (via
In this video, Sachin Rekhi dives into the possibilities of influencing others while not having any formal authority, from framing to social proof to inception to storytelling.
➿ Agile & Scrum
(via Reforge): Why Engineers Should Invest in Decision-Making Skills Early
Natalie Rothfels and Karen Sun suggest that engineers also need to improve strategic decision-making skills instead of only focusing on technical execution skills.
Dependencies Are Killing Your Agile Flow at Scale:
Ken Rubin sheds light on structural and instantiated dependencies and how they impede flow in an organization that scales agile practices.
Simple Thread): Agile Principles: Technical Excellence Enhances Agility(via
Justin Etheredge explains the 9th principle of the Agile Manifesto: ‘Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.’
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Leaps of Product Faith:
John Cutler reflects 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.‘
You Are Not Your User – Even When You Make Employees Dash:
Laura Klein believes that DoorDash’s recent decision of having everyone once a month ‘eating their own dog food’ is merely empathy theater.
A Learning Roadmap for Product People:
Roman Pichler points at the benefits of formalizing learning plans to keep your skills as a product person competitive and shares how to do this.
📯 Scrum Master Interview Questions: How to Make Your Scrum Master Fail
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. A good starting point, though, is to ask a candidate to walk in the shoes of an imaginary opponent trying to make the Scrum Master fail by culturally accepted means.
Suppose you are looking to fill a Scrum Master (or agile coach) position in your organization. In that case, you may find the following interview questions helpful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my sixteen years of practical experience with XP and Scrum, serving both as Product Owner and Scrum Master, and my training experience as a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org. Also, I have interviewed dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.
So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 22,000 times.
🛠 Tools & Measuring
(via First Round Capital): The Best Managers Don’t Fix, They Coach — Four Tools to Add to Your Toolkit
Anita Hossain Choudhry and Mindy Zhang point out four leadership coaching techniques that have proven beneficial, from outcome shift to uncovering limiting beliefs.
The economy of incentives:
Michael Küsters delves into reward schemes of (larger) organizations and how they trigger behavior on the employees' side that is rooted in basic psychological and economic principles.
✂️ Cutting Room Floor
There are no entries in this category for this issue.
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- 🆕 Hands-on Agile #35: Designing Powerful Questions to help you Coach & Create with Daniel Stillman.
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- Agile Camp Berlin 2021: Adapt How You Lead for Agile Success with Johanna Rothman.
- Agile Camp Berlin 2021: Linking Strategy to Everyday Work with John Cutler.
- Agile Camp Berlin 2021: Sustainable Agility at the Enterprise Level with Jorgen Hesselberg.
- Agile Camp Berlin 2021: How to Win with Agile Resistant Teams – A Case Study with Scott Weiner.
- Agile Camp Berlin 2021: Increasing the Velocity of Value with Dave West.
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- Agile Camp Berlin 2021: Real Cross-functional Teams for Creating real and better Products with Jutta Eckstein and Maryse Meinen.
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