Food for Agile Thought #351: Agile and Deadlines, Why We (Often) Lack Strategy, Making Room for Discovery, Switching to Shape Up

TL; DR: Agile and Deadlines, Lack of Strategy — Food for Agile Thought #351

Welcome to the 351st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,559 peers. This week, we delve into Agile and deadlines, debunking the myth of many managers that being agile only works in environments without them. Moreover, James Shore and Aino Vonge Corry dissect a core event to help teams reflect and improve. Also, we learn how Safesite went from two-week sprints to an approach that helped them understand ‘our customers better and [validate] what should be built next.’

Then, we reflect on disincentives to thinking strategically, starting with system design, and we describe Paypal’s innovation system that involves a ‘blockchain-based token system that lets employees place wagers on ideas.’ Also, we list suggestions to free yourself from administrative tasks for the benefit of figuring out what is worth building.

Finally, we analyze why most managers are good at managing but lack a critical skill of the 21st century, and we define lean metrics based on insights from the leading organization in everything ‘Lean’—Toyota. Lastly, we delve into the lessons learned from mastering mobbing together in a live stream.

Food for Agile Thought #351: Agile and Deadlines, Why We (Often) Lack Strategy, Transitioning to Shape Up, More Time for Product Discovery — Age-of-Product.com

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Agile and Deadlines

Todd Lankford (via Medium): Can Agile and deadlines coexist in perfect harmony?

Todd Lankford debunks the myth of many managers that being agile only works in environments without hard deadlines.

➿ Agile & Scrum

James Shore and Aino Vonge Corry: 📺 Agile Book Club: Retrospectives

James Shore and Aino Vonge Corry, the author of the book ‘Retrospective Antipatterns,’ dissect the core event to help teams reflect and improve.

(via Medium): Why we transitioned from Sprints to Basecamp’s “Shape Up” methodology

Cory Torres Bishop describes how Safesite went from two-week sprints to an approach that helped them understand ‘our customers better and [validate] what should be built next.’

Natalie Rothfels (via Reforge): Why Most Managers Aren’t Effective Coaches

Natalie Rothfels analyzes why most managers are good at managing but lack a critical skill of the 21st century, namely in industries striving for business agility.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — September 6-9, 2022

Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this official Scrum.org Advanced Scrum Master training class including the industry-recognized PSM II certification. The PSM II training class is designed as a live virtual class and will be offered in English.

Enjoy the benefits of an immersive class of four sessions with like-minded agile peers in the morning hours from 09:00 – 13:00 o’clock CEST.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — September 6-9, 2022 — Berlin Product People GmbH

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇩🇪 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — September 6-9, 2022.

“Very hands-on class with lots of concrete takeaways to help in real world scenarios. Reinforced practices and highlighted things that helped in passing the PSM II exam but that was merely a bonus as the content of the class is so useful – certifications or not. Stefan Wolpers is an excellent trainer with broad practical and theoretical knowledge on the subject and his classes seem to have very good working atmosphere (this was a second class by him that I have taken).”
(Link.)

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🎯 Product

John Cutler: Why Don’t We Have a Strategy?

John Cutler reflects on disincentives to thinking strategically, starting with system design.

Gerry Tsoukalas (via Harvard Business Review): How PayPal Gets Employees Invested in Innovation

Gerry Tsoukalas describes Paypal’s innovation system that involves a ‘blockchain-based token system that lets employees place wagers on ideas.’

(via Medium): 13 ways to free up time for Product Discovery

Markus Müller lists suggestions to free yourself from administrative tasks for the benefit of figuring out what is worth building.

📯 Prisoners of Retrospectives — Making Your Scrum Work #24

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. What if, for example, not all of your Scrum team’s members feel enthusiastic about the Sprint Retrospective, the critical event when the Scrum team inspects itself? How can you help them become dedicated supporters instead? Join me and delve into how to avoid teammates feeling like prisoners of Retrospectives in less than two minutes.

Prisoners of Retrospectives — Making Your Scrum Work #24 —Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Prisoners of Retrospectives — Making Your Scrum Work #24.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Nigel Thurlow: All About Lean Metrics

Nigel Thurlow defines lean metrics based on insights from the leading organization in everything ‘Lean’—Toyota.

Karin Dames (via Cucumber): Cucumber Open New Contributors Ensemble

Karin Dames and Jo Laing delve into the lessons learned from mastering mobbing together in a live stream.

✂️ Cutting Room Floor

Brian Link (via Medium): Why Split Big User Stories?

Brian Link advocates the benefits of small work items.


📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

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Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 August 29-30, 2022 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 September 5, 2022 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #44: Honey, I Shrunk the Backlog with Allan Kelly (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 September 6-9, 2022 GUARANTEED: Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 September 26-27, 2022 Professional Agile Leadership Essentials Schulung (PAL I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 September 27, 2022 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #45: FAST: An Innovative Way to Scale w/ James Shore (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 October 4-5, 2022 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 October 12, 2022 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #46: Engage the Agile Fluency® Model w/ Diana Larsen (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 🇩🇪 October 18-21, 2022 Advanced Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO-A; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.399 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Oct 31-Nov 3, 2022 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO-I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here.

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #350: Product Discovery Tool, Team Longevity, Vanity Metrics, Shared Understanding in Sketches.

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