Food for Agile Thought #370: Calm Innovation, Delivery Dates, Participatory Decisions, Bad Bosses

TL; DR: Calm Innovation, Delivery Dates — Food for Agile Thought #370

Welcome to the 370th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,317 peers. This week, Shane Parrish interviews Tobi Lütke of Shopify about calm innovation, fighting bureaucracy, and scaling Shopify. Also, we reflect on facilitation and decision-making, including the opportunity costs of premature convergence, and learn more about the “Technology, Organization, and Product (TOP)” approach to agility. Moreover, we dissect the background of bad bosses.

Also, we learn from Ian McAllister about essential PM skills, broadening your horizon, and the importance of diversifying your skills as you move up the ladder. Speaking of which, we also share ten real-life examples of mistakes with long-term career-limiting effects for product managers, and we analyze three, unfortunately, prominent ways to trigger waste and frustration in product management.

Finally, we play our favorite broken record again: hands-off the deliberately abstract concept of story points. Moreover, we detail why teams underestimate work—learn more about hubris, dominant voices, and lacking the big picture—and advocate reducing cycle time to improve throughput and predictability. Lastly, Ken Norton shares his approach to what to do “when it’s time for some tough talk.”

Food for Agile Thought #370: Calm Innovation, Delivery Dates, Participatory Decisions, Good People to Bad Bosses — Age-of-Product.com

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 369?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Calm Innovation

Shane Parrish and Tobi Lütke (via Farnam Street): 🎙 Calm Progress

Shane Parrish interviews Tobi Lütke of Shopify about innovation in large organizations, fighting bureaucracy, and scaling Shopify.

The best thing founders can do is subtraction. It’s much, much, much easier to add things than it is to remove things. Adding things is a lot more expensive than removing things. However, it requires some measure of bravery and risk-taking. If you say no to a thing, you say no to one thing. If you say yes to a thing, you actually say no to every other thing you could have done during this period of time.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Charles Lambdin: Meetings Are Design Products

Charles Lambdin reflects on facilitation and decision-making, including the opportunity costs of premature convergence.

Michael Küsters: The TOP Structure – how it all started

Michael Küsters explains his “Technology, Organization, and Product (TOP)” approach to agility.

Jason Evanish (via Get Lighthouse): 6 Suprising Reasons Why Good People become Bad Bosses

Jason Evanish dissects the background of bad bosses, from a lack of training to a lack of support to a lack of self-awareness.

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 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).”

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🎯 Product

Lenny Rachitsky and Ian McAllister: 🎙 What it takes to become a top 1% PM

Lenny Rachitsky interviews Ian McAllister on essential PM skills, broadening your horizon, and diversifying skills as you move up the ladder.

Deb Liu: Ten Mistakes to Avoid in Executive Reviews

Deb Liu shares real-life examples of mistakes with long-term career-limiting effects for product managers.

Itamar Gilad: 3 Common PM Role Antipatterns

Itamar Gilad analyzes three, unfortunately, prominent ways to trigger waste and frustration in product management.

📯 Shift Left: Value Creation in Scrum

As a tactical framework, Scrum is good at delivering Increments into customers’ hands. As we work in iterations, we probably do that several times per month, mitigating risk by closing feedback loops. Nevertheless, there is a potentially hazardous void in the framework that successful Scrum teams start plugging early: how to figure out what is worth building—product discovery—in the first place. As a result, value creation in Scrum is not as straightforward as you might have thought.

Value Creation in Scrum — Shift Left — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Shift Left: Value Creation in Scrum.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Mike Cohn: Don’t Equate Story Points to Hours

Mike Cohn plays our favorite broken record again: hands-off a deliberately abstract concept.

Bob Galen: Underestimation

Bob Galen replies to a previous Mike Cohn post and details why teams underestimate work. Learn more about hubris, dominant voices, and lacking the big picture.

Ken Norton: Preparing to Have a Difficult Conversation

Ken Norton shares his approach to what to do “when it’s time for some tough talk.”

🎶 Encore

Black Swan Farming Joshua J. Arnold: Delivery Dates

Joshua J. Arnold advocates reducing cycle time to improve throughput and predictability.


📅 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 calm innovation:

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✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Calm Innovation — Join the 12,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community

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Help your team with calm innovation 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 #369: Joy of Agility, CEOs and Product Leaders, Team Change is Inevitable, Product Data Mistakes.

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