TL; DR: Top One Percent Product Managers — Food for Agile Thought #378
Welcome to the 378th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,661 peers. This week, we reflect on the (product management) industry’s obsession with the top one percent, given the ambiguity about what product managers do. Also, we analyze why Lean Startup is an excellent blueprint for Scrum teams seeking to extend their knowledge of the problem and solution space while breaking down Scrum into components and composite elements, asking: Is Scrum process-heavy? Moreover, we enjoy Jason Yip’s approach to becoming a leadership whisperer.
Then, ProductPlan released the latest edition of its ‘data-backed exploration of how product teams support the entire product lifecycle, from idea to launch and beyond,’ and we learn from a 17th-century naval disaster how not to pursue product design. Speaking of which: We are thirty years into ‘Agile,’ and Jeff Gothelf asks why so few companies incentivize learning and experimentation.
Finally, we list seven estimation anti-patterns, from pretending certainty to effort tampering to story point inflation, and reflect on the increasing popularity of tracking velocity across teams, according to data from the Annual State of Agile reports. Moreover, Sally Goble shares proven practices to get your codebase back into shape, and we advocate that forcing change is often fruitless; why not persuade them with science?
Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 377?
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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Top One Percent Product Managers
Top 1% Product Managers:
John Cutler reflects on the industry’s obsession with the top one percent, given the ambiguity about what product managers do.
➿ Agile & Scrum
Scrum.org): Lean Startup and Scrum(via
Dave West analyzes why Lean Startup is an excellent blueprint for Scrum teams seeking to extend their knowledge of the problem and solution space.
Medium): Is Scrum as a process heavy and dependent on too many factors?(via
Maciej Jarosz breaks Scrum into components and composite elements.
Medium): My typical tactics for influencing leaders at different levels(via
Jason Yip shares his approach to becoming a leadership whisperer.
🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM I Certificate — Live Virtual Class: February 7-10, 2023
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Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM I Certificate — Live Virtual Class: February 7-10, 2023.
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(via ProductPlan): The 2023 State of Product Management Annual Report
ProductPlan released the latest edition of its ‘data-backed exploration of how product teams support the entire product lifecycle, from idea to launch and beyond.’
UX Collective): UX lessons from a 17th-century warship disaster(via
Pleasing the maritime history buffs among us, Slava Polonski recalls the tragedy of the Vasa and lessons learned for product design.
Why aren't learning and experimentation corporate values?:
Thirty years into ‘Agile,’ Jeff Gothelf asks why so few companies incentivize learning and experimentation.
📯 Agile Transformation: ChatGPT or McBoston?
This article is another excursion into this nascent yet fascinating new technology of generative AI and LLMs and the future of knowledge work. I was interested in learning more about a typical daily challenge many agile practitioners face: How shall we successfully pursue an agile transformation? Shall we outsource the effort to one of the big consultancies — McBoston? Or shall we embark on an agile transformation with ChatGPT providing some guidance?
If technology can pass a Wharton MBA exam, maybe, it deserves some attention. We thought that AI might initially come after simple office jobs. I am no longer sure about that. Maybe, ChatGPT’s successor will start at the top of the food chain.
👉 Learn more: Agile Transformation: ChatGPT or McBoston?
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
Breaking Bad Story Point Anti-Patterns:
Mario Moreira lists seven estimation anti-patterns, from pretending certainty to effort tampering to story point inflation.
(via AgileConnection): The Veracity about Velocity
Joe Schofield reflects on the increasing popularity of tracking velocity across teams, according to data from the Annual State of Agile reports.
Agile On The Beach): 📺 How to get out of (technical) debt(via
In this talk from Agile on the Beach, Sally Goble shares proven practices to get your codebase back into shape.
First Round Capital): Pull, Don’t Push: How to Drive Product Adoption Like a Catalyst(via
Jonah Berger advocates that forcing change is often fruitless; why not persuade them with science?
MIT Technology Review): Could ChatGPT do my job?(via
We thought that AI might start automizing simple office tasks. However, Melissa Heikkilä asks whether it may begin at the top of the food chain.
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📺 Join 4,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube
Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel to improve learning, for example, about product team performance:
- 🆕 Hands-on Agile 47: How much Product Discovery Is enough? The Confidence Meter Explained with Itamar Gilad.
- 🆕 Hands-on Agile 46: The Agile Fluency Model ® with Diana Larsen.
- Hands-on Agile 44: Honey, I Shrunk the Backlog with Allan Kelly.
- Hands-on Agile 43: Outcome-Based Product Planning with Jeff Gothelf.
- Hands-on Agile 42: Lean Roadmapping and OKRs with Janna Bastow.
- Hands-on Agile 38: The Product Owner with Roman Pichler.
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Help your team to deal with top one percent product managers by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:
🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition
Read more: Food for Agile Thought #377: Spotify Model Critique, Building Products With AI, Gemba Walk Guide, Product or Feature?.