TL; DR: The Decline of the Agile Brand — Food for Agile Thought #384
Welcome to the 384th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 45,437 (1) peers. This week, we listen to Brett Maytom and Michael Küsters on the decline of the Agile brand. Moreover, we explore whether Scrum is not only applied empiricism but also “some sort of natural pattern” before Seth Godin suggests tried and tested practices to help you maneuver complex projects, from “budgets are a tool, not a weapon” to “heroism is more fun but less reliable than good planning.” Moreover, we describe four effectiveness-impacting biases, from the urgency effect to the planning fallacy.
Then, we sketch a developer-friendly role model of a product manager, from demonstrating evident expertise to helping with the dirty work, which pairs well with Marty Cagan’s concept of roles of an empowered product team. Next, Teresa Torres and Hope Gurion discuss the responsibility of empowered product teams for their outcomes, while Lenny Rachitsky interviews Stanford University professor and author Christina Wodtke on how OKRs can help your team achieve better results.
Finally, we share a bunch of primers on user story mapping, planning poker and story points, and practical user research. Lastly, we ask: Can wisdom from the past still be relevant to today’s VUCA-determined world? Is there something like a Stoic Scrum Master?
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🏆 The Tip of the Week: The Decline of the Agile Brand
#0075 – Brett Maytom and Michael Kusters – The agile brand has been destroyed by con men and clownsand :
🎙 In this podcast, Brett Maytom and Michael Küsters delve into their perspective on the state of the agile industry.
🍋 The Lemon of the Week
(via Medium): Why Scrum Never Works
Instinctively, The Cynical Manager chose anonymity to publish this article, claiming Scrum was invented “impose impossible goals on their unsuspecting workforce,” only to stray into failure patterns on the organizations’ side to support Scrum properly.
➿ Agile & Scrum
(via Medium): Scrum is a natural pattern
Francis Laleman believes that Scrum is not only applied empiricism but also “some sort of natural pattern.”
(via TechTello): 4 Cognitive Biases That Impacts Productivity
Vinita Bansal describes four effectiveness-impacting biases, from the urgency effect to the planning fallacy.
Simple techniques for complex projects:
Seth Godin suggests tried and tested practices to help you maneuver complex projects, from “budgets are a tool, not a weapon” to “heroism is more fun but less reliable than good planning.”
🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — March 28-29, 2023
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 an immersive class of two compact sessions with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CEST:
Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — March 28-29, 2023.
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How to Be a [Product Manager] That Engineers Don’t Hate:
Stay Saasy sketches a developer-friendly role model of a product manager, from demonstrating obvious expertise to helping with the dirty work.
Silicon Valley Product Group): Product Core Competencies(via
Marty Cagan sketches the roles of an empowered product team.
📺 Building a Culture of Accountability for Empowered Product Teamsand :
Does autonomy without accountability equal anarchy? In this video, Teresa Torres and Hope Gurion discuss the responsibility of empowered product teams for their outcomes.
📯 The Stoic Scrum Master — Making Your Scrum Work (30)
Can wisdom from the past still be relevant to today’s VUCA-determined world? I started reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations some time ago and found it intriguing; maybe it applies to “Agile?” In other words: is there something like a Stoic Scrum Master?
If I understand Stoicism correctly, it is about living a life of virtue, which comprises wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation. (All of those can be further subdivided, see Stoic Ethics.) For whatever reason, I felt reminded of Scrum Values and thought: could it be that the first principles of “agile” haven’t been defined by the Agile Manifesto but by “Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE?”
So, I embarked on a fun exercise of asking our beloved LLM to create an essay that applies Stoicism to Scrum, notably the Stoic Scrum Master.
👉 Learn more: The Stoic Scrum Master — Making Your Scrum Work (30)
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
🎙 The ultimate guide to OKRsand :
Lenny Rachitsky interviews Stanford University professor and author Christina Wodtke on how OKRs can help your team achieve better results.
How to Create a Story Map When Writing User Stories:
Mike Cohn created a simple-to-understand primer for user story mapping.
(via Parabol Focus): Story Points: The Complete Guide & FAQ
Parabol created a primer on planning poker and story points.
Smashing Magazine): A Pragmatist’s Guide To Lean User Research(via
Paul Boag points to some practical approaches to user research.
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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 avoiding building products without value :
- 🆕 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 learn about the decline of the Agile brand by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:
🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition
Read more: Food for Agile Thought #383: Building Products without Value, Developers Talking to Customers, Marty Cagan’s Product Model, Roadmap Questionnaire