Food for Agile Thought #367: The Power of Working Together, Product Leadership, No Learning w/o Closing Loops, Decisions under Complexity

TL; DR: The Power of Working Together — Food for Agile Thought #367

Welcome to the 367th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,223 peers. This week, we enjoy an interview with Alan Mulally, former President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, on working together. Also, we point at a critical element of the seemingly dull Deming cycle: incomplete execution loops result in zero learning. Moreover, we explore our need for certainty and how this influences decisions in complex systems, reflect on what it takes to create successful (engineering) teams, and close with a simple thought: When is it time to stop using Scrum?

Then, we describe a Product Owner’s startup journey from an enthusiastic start in a new position to figuring out that he was oversold to fixing the whole thing and how he did so. Also, we point to common backlog issues preventing you from reaping the benefits of the artifact and reflect on product leadership from leadership styles—are you a fixer or an artist?—to necessary traits.

Finally, we revisit Melvin Conway’s epochal discovery, delve into a list of metrics by product type that can inspire you to design your dashboards for discovery, and appreciate the first list of product conferences in 2023.

Food for Agile Thought #367: The Power of Working Together, Product Leadership, No Learning w/o Closing Loops, Decisions under Complexity — Age-of-Product.com

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 366?

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🎓 Join Stefan in one of his upcoming Professional Scrum training classes!

🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — December 12-13, 2022.

Hands-on Agile #48, December 7, 2022: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice - Age-or-Product.com

📅 💯 🇬🇧 December 7, 2022: Join 100-plus peers at the 48th Hands-on Agile Meetup: Hands-on Agile 48: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice.

🏆 The Tip of the Week: Working Together

Shane Parrish (via Farnam Street): 🎙 📺 The Power Of Working Together

Shane Parrish interviews Alan Mulally, former President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, on the “principles of how a team can work together toward a larger goal, creating a culture of love by design.”

Who you are as a person is going to have more to do with your success in whatever you’re choosing to do than anything else.

That’s the most important thing about the leadership team is the be and the do. Who you are and what you do.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Cedric Chin (via Commonplace): You Aren't Learning If You Don't Close the Loops

Cedric Chin points at a critical element of the seemingly dull Deming cycle: incomplete execution loops result in zero learning.

(via Cutter Consortium): Decision Making in the Time of Complexity

In this article, Dave Martin, Tony Ponton, and Kim Ballestrin explore our need for certainty and how this influences decisions in complex systems.

Guy Grinapell (via Medium): Understanding Antifragility and Black Swans, and How They Impact to Your R&D Organization

Guy Grinapell reflects on what it takes to create successful (engineering) teams.

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — December 12-13, 2022

Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this guaranteed 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 a compact immersive class with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CET.

Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — December 12-13, 2022 — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — December 12-13, 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.)

👉 From time to time, we can offer last-minute seats for training classes at cost to individuals who do not have access to a corporate training budget. If you like to be notified about these opportunities, please register here.

🎯 Product

David Theil (via Medium): How we made the turnaround in Product Management

David Theil describes his startup journey from an enthusiastic start in a new position to figuring out that he was oversold to fixing the whole thing and how he did so.

Roman Pichler: 10 Product Roadmapping Mistakes to Avoid

Roman Pichler points to common backlog issues preventing you from reaping the benefits of the artifact.

Marc Abraham: What does it mean to be a product leader?!

Marc Abraham shares his take on product leadership, from leadership styles—are you a fixer or an artist?—to necessary traits.

📯 When Is It Time to Stop Using Scrum?

When is the time to look beyond Scrum? After all, many things—ideas, practices, mantras, etc.—outlive their utility sooner or later; why would Scrum be an exception? Moreover, we are not getting paid to practice Scrum but solve our customers’ problems within the given constraints while contributing to the sustainability of our organization. Scrum is a tool, a helpful practice but neither a religion nor a philosophy. Which brings us back to the original question: Is there a moment when a Scrum team should stop using Scrum?

When Is It Time to Stop Using Scrum? Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: When Is It Time to Stop Using Scrum?

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Martin Fowler: Conway’s Law

Martin Fowler revisits Melvin Conway’s epochal discovery.

Melvin Conway: Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.

Richard Holmes (via Department of Product): Metrics that Matter to Product Managers

Richard Holmes delves into a list of metrics by product type that can inspire you to design your dashboards for discovery.

🎶 Encore

Teresa Torres: 2023 Product Conference List

Teresa Torres started putting together their list of 2023 product conferences.


📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

You can secure your seat for Scrum training classes, workshops, and meetups directly by following the corresponding link in the table below:

Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 December 8, 2022 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #48: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 December 12-13, 2022 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Online (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 December 14-15, 2022 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 December 19-20, 2022 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇺🇸 January 23-26, 2023 US Timezone Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class $1,045-$1,245
🖥 🇬🇧 January 24-27, 2023 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 January 31-February 3, 2023 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 February 7-10, 2023 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇺🇸 February 13-16, 2023 — US Timezone Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class $1,195-$1,395
🖥 🇩🇪 February 28-March 3, 2023 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here.

Professional Scrum Trainer Stefan Wolpers

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.

📺 Join 4,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube

Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel to improve learning, for example, about working together:

Download the Remote Agile Guide for Free — Age-of-Product.com

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Working Together — Join the 12,000-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.

Help your team with working together by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — 160 ways to improve as a Scrum Team — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #366: Taming Complexity, Agile Bureaucracy, Mapping Innovation at Scale, Good Activation Rates — Age-of-Product.com.

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