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

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue #335?

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April 13, 2022: Hands-on Agile #41: Scrum Master & Agile Coach Remuneration 2022

📅 Join 90-plus peers on April 13, 2022: HoA #41: Scrum Master & Agile Coach Remuneration 2022.

🏆 The Tip of the Week: The Prioritization Politics Problem

Rich Mironov: Prioritization is a Political Problem as Much as an Analytical Problem

Rich Mironov shares a deep dive into the challenges of being analytical and algorithmic—as we product folks consider ourselves to be—and the friction this causes with other stakeholders, namely “the business.”

➿ Agile & Scrum

Michael Simmons (via Medium): In 1911, a genius revealed a forgotten science of how to be 50x more productive without working more hours

Michael Simmons writes a eulogy on #Taylorism. Admittedly, I was hesitant to consider this article as it glorifies something so damaging in knowledge work. However, let’s break out of our confirmation bubble.

Richard Kasperowski and Catherine Louis: 🎙 How to Make Your Current Team Your Best Team

Richard Kasperowski interviews Catherine Louis on how her experience as a K9 handler and a search-and-rescue technician helped her coach teams to live up to their potential.

Michael Sahota: Cultural Transformation in a Nutshell

Michael Sahota points to the pitfalls of a typical “transformation” that often starts with killing psychological safety in the opening phase.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM I Certificate — Live Virtual Class: April 11-12, 2022

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Enjoy the benefits of an compact class of two sessions with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CEST..

Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM I Certificate — Live Virtual Class: April 11-12, 2022 — Berlin Product People GmbH

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🎯 Product

John Cutler: Making Things Better (With Enabling Constraints and POPCORN)

John Cutler introduces “POPCORN Flow, a framework for thinking about improvement experiments.”

Marty Cagan: The Nature of Product

Marty Cagan explains the essence of being in “product” by pointing at a long-thought lost Steve Jobs interview, which is very much worth watching.

Steve Jobs: Designing a product is keeping 5000 things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.

Melissa Perri and Janna Bastow (via ProdPad): 📺 Product Ops Bootcamp with Melissa Perri

Janna Bastow interviews Melissa Perri on the secrets that create successful Product Ops teams. Don’t miss Janna when she joins Hands-on Agile #42 on May 30th.

Ant Murphy (via Medium): 7 Different Product Roadmap Formats

Ant Murphy lists different types of product roadmaps, from Now-Next-Later to Theme to Customer Journey Roadmaps.

📯 28+2 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

Welcome to the Sprint anti-patterns article from my series on Scrum anti-patterns, covering the three Scrum roles—pardon me: accountabilities—and addressing the contributions of stakeholders and the IT/line management. Moreover, I add some food for thought. For example, could a month-long Sprint be too short for accomplishing something meaningful? And if so, what are the consequences?

28+2 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: 28+2 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

🛠 Tools & Measuring

Steve Denning (via Forbes): 21 Lessons In Measuring Innovation: Truth Is Often The First Casualty

Steve Denning shares “21 lessons on the uses, abuses, and half-truths of the measuring innovation” when managers try to understand progress.

✂️ Cutting Room Floor

Pranav Khanna (via Medium): My Favorite Product Management Memes

Pranav Khanna lightens your mood with a collection of PM memes starring Spiderman, Dilbert, Samuel L. Jackson, and Leonardo DiCaprio.


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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #335: Idea Repositories, Team Building w/ Conway’s Law, Measuring Added Value, Estimation Is a Waste.

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