Food for Agile Thought #325: Influencing w/o Authority, Leaps of Product Faith, DoorDash’s Dog Food, Coach—Don’t Fix

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.

Food for Agile Thought #325: Influencing w/o Authority, Leaps of Product Faith, DoorDash’s Dog Food, Coach, Don’t Fix — Age-of-Product.com

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🏆 The Tip of the Week

Sachin Rekhi and Dan Olsen (via YouTube): 📺 How to Master Influencing Without Authority by Sachin Rekhi at Lean Product Meetup

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.

Ken Rubin: 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.

Justin Etheredge (via Simple Thread): Agile Principles: Technical Excellence Enhances Agility

Justin Etheredge explains the 9th principle of the Agile Manifesto: ‘Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.’

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🎯 Product

John Cutler: 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.‘

Laura Klein: 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.

Roman Pichler: 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.

Scrum Master Interview Questions: How to Make Your Scrum Master Fail — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Scrum Master Interview Questions: How to Make Your Scrum Master Fail?

🛠 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.

Michael Küsters: 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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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #324: MAHD — Agile for Hardware, Product Ops Overview, Growth & Fixed Mindsets, Measuring the Predictability of Agile.

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