TL; DR: Agile Is Alive — Food for Agile Thought #381
Welcome to the 381st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,846 peers. This week, we learn again that rumors of “Agile’s” demise are greatly exaggerated — Agile is alive. (Check out the Tip of the Week as a reply to this week’s 🍋.) Also, we delve into the history of the technical debt concept and suggest how to manage the challenge sustainably and effectively. Next, follow the money: Allan Kelly addresses a typically ignored yet essential topic in many organizations: team finances.
Then, we reflect on the problems of allocating most development work to customization while starving the core product, also known as sales-led development. Moreover, we answer a vital question many product people share today: how to sustain the innovation momentum with fewer bucks? And Elad Gil asks whether early SaaS or AI companies are ever defensible at an early stage and delivers a comprehensive list of potential ways to build a moat. Alternatively, you can also steal from aggregated a list of ‘best practices used by successful product companies.’
Finally, Deb Liu suggests changing perspective when you are in a perceived conflict: retell your story with the other as the hero, and Buffer shared their extensive study on how ‘remote workers from around the world feel about remote work.’ Lastly, Jordan Harbinger interviews Alastair Smith on dictatorship. What I find particularly interesting about the talk is why bad behavior often makes for good politics. (I felt instantly reminded of some agile transformations in the past.)
Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 380?
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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Agile Is Alive
Medium): The age of cargo cult Agile must end.(via
In an excellent, myth-busting piece, Jason Yip delves into the evolution and background of ‘agile,’ replying to this week’s Lemon 🍋, see below.
🍋 The Lemon of the Week
(via UX Collective): The age of Agile must end
In this week’s Lemon, Michael Burnett bashes ‘Agile,’ claiming that it has ‘fundamental flaws that have been glaring at us all along.’ Too bad that most of his assumptions are plain wrong, as Jason Yip shows in his reply, see The Tip of the Week.
➿ Agile & Scrum
Globant Blog): How to manage technical debtand (via
Michael Feathers and Javier Bonnemaison delve into the history of the concept and suggest how to manage the challenge sustainably and effectively.
Lets talk about money: the ultimate feedback loop:
Allan Kelly addresses a typically ignored yet essential topic in many organizations: team finances.
No [Product Managers], no problem: how we ship great products fast:
Spencer Fry shares what he believes to be a better path for product development: introduce the role of the ‘Champion’ instead of having project or product managers. (Take this suggestion with a grain of salt as it applies only to small teams of 3-4 developers.)
🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class — March 23, 2023
The Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills (PSFS) training by Berlin Product People is a one-day official Scrum.org class for advanced Scrum practitioners and agile coaches, including the industry-acknowledged PSFS certification. This PSFS training class is in English.
Enjoy the benefits of an live-virtual immersive class with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CET.
Learn more: 🖥 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class — March 23, 2023.
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🎙 The Problem with Sales-led Development:
In this podcast, Murray Robinson and Shane Gibson talk to Rich Mironov about the problems of allocating most development work to customization while starving the core product.
Strategyzer): 📺 With companies cutting budgets — what should innovators do?(via
Tendayi Viki addresses a vital question many product people share today: how to sustain the innovation momentum with fewer bucks?
Defensibility & Competition:
Elad Gil asks whether early SaaS or AI companies are ever defensible at an early stage and delivers a comprehensive list of potential ways to build a moat.
📯 ChatGPT Product Owner Job Interview — Will You Compete for a Position w/ an LLM Soon?
A few weeks ago, I ran a simulated job interview with ChatGPT for a fictitious Scrum Master position. Admittedly, I would not have invited this “interviewee” for an interview with other team members; however, the interview produced some remarkable answers. Consequently, I tried the same with a Product Owner position, aware of the challenges this would pose, as the Product Owner role is significantly fuzzier than the one of a Scrum Master. So, I took a few questions from the Hiring: 82 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions guide and ran a ChatGPT Product Owner job interview.
Read on and learn whether a statistical model will challenge product people in the near future.
👉 Learn more: ChatGPT Product Owner Job Interview — Will You Compete for a Position w/ an LLM Soon?
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
👉 Discover 100+ practices used by successful tech product companies:
Piotr Kacała aggregated a list of ‘best practices used by successful product companies,’ including detailed guides on how to apply them.
Everyone is the Hero of Their Own Story:
Deb Liu suggests changing perspective when you are in a perceived conflict: retell your story with the other as the hero.
(via Buffer): 📈 State Of Remote Work 2023
Buffer shared their extensive study on how ‘remote workers from around the world feel about remote work.’
🎙 The Dictator's Handbook Part One:
In this podcast, Jordan Harbinger interviews Alastair Smith on dictatorship. What I find particularly interesting is why bad behavior so often makes for good politics; I felt instantly reminded of some agile transformations in the past.
📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule
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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 that Agile is alive:
- 🆕 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.
✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Agile Is Alive — Join the 12,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community
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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 to live up to “Agile is alive” by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:
🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition
Read more: Food for Agile Thought #380: How ChatGPT Works, Classic Product Manager Mistakes, Why Agile Does Not Work for You, Product Delivery Success with Scrum.