TL; DR: Doing Great Work — Food for Agile Thought #400
Welcome to the 400th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 47,822 peers. This week, we explore the common elements of doing great work across various fields, and we reflect on a discussion around the rigidity of Agile rules, encapsulating the paradox of Agile’s call for adaptation and experimentation versus the perceived necessity of rules. Moreover, we consider a coaching tool, prompting introspection on control, influence, and concerns while analyzing transformations’ need for a radical shift from rigid, top-down management to flexible, people-centric operations rooted in simplified structures and autonomous teams.
Then, we warn against nine common stakeholder management pitfalls and highlight the common pitfall of product teams getting too engrossed in perfecting their process at the cost of practical action. Also, an introverted product manager shares her journey from self-doubt to finding her unique way of navigating the role’s demands, and Jiaona Zhang, SVP of Product at Webflow, discusses building a “minimum lovable product.”
Finally, we emphasize Wardley Mapping’s role in strategy and its evolution, making intangible elements visible for effective product development and organizational transformation. Additionally, we advocate for Trunk-Based Development (TBD) and discuss the importance of CEOs dedicating significant time to innovation activities, implementing novel metrics, and developing inclusive, high-performing teams. Lastly, this week’s lemon offers Scrum “best practices,” from “Practice stand-ups, literally” to “Plan new sprint when product backlog has enough items.” Yes, you read correctly.
🏅 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn this week was: Agile adoption – A marathon or a sprint?
📖 Get notified when the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book is available!
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🏆 The Tip of the Week
How to Do Great Work:
Paul Graham explores the common elements of doing great work across various fields, aiming to create a universal guide for highly ambitious individuals. Find out what it truly means to ‘work hard’ in any field.
🍋 The Lemon of the Week
(via AltexSoft): 25 Scrum Process Best Practices that Set Your Agile Workflow for Efficiency
This article hopes to offer best practices for enhancing Scrum’s implementation, from “Practice stand-ups, literally” to “Plan new sprint when product backlog has enough items.”
➿ Agile & Scrum
Why so much resistance to guardrails?:
Bob Galen reflects on a LinkedIn post by Damon Poole, sparking a discussion around the rigidity of Agile rules. The debate encapsulates the paradox of Agile’s call for adaptation and experimentation versus the perceived necessity of rules, particularly for Agile beginners—a paradox?
What can you really influence? Find out by taking a look at your Sphere of Influence:
Kate Leto champions the Sphere of Influence as a valuable coaching tool. Its simplicity and ability to prompt introspection on control, influence, and concerns swiftly and profoundly impact individuals and teams.
Why I prefer trunk-based development:
Trisha Gee advocates for Trunk-Based Development (TBD), a single-branch development practice, as a preferable method over branching, despite Git’s popularity. Learn more about the advantages of TBD in fostering Continuous Delivery.
🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-30, 2023
Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this 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 CEST.
👉 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.
(via Coda.io): How to thrive as an introverted PM
Teresa de Figueiredo, an introverted product manager, shares her journey from self-doubt to finding her unique way of navigating the role’s demands. Discover her toolbox of strategies for managing relationships, conflicts, meetings, and personal energy levels.
YouTube): Common Stakeholder Management Traps to Avoid(via
Ant Murphy warns against nine common stakeholder management pitfalls, including insufficient understanding of risks/concerns, misaligned communication styles, and neglecting important stakeholders. Learn more about how to avoid these missteps.
🎙 Building Minimum Lovable Products, Stories from WeWork and Airbnb, and Thriving as a PM:
Jiaona Zhang, SVP of Product at Webflow, discusses building a “minimum lovable product,” using storytelling for effective roadmaps, setting ambitious OKRs, and strategies for success in a new role.
📯 The Uncomfortable Truth of Scaling ‘Agile’
Agile transformations, scaling Agile from a team level to the whole organization, are more than implementing frameworks like SAFe®. They require a radical shift from rigid, top-down management to flexible, people-centric operations rooted in simplified structures, autonomous teams, and frequent, sustainable value delivery rather than promising quicker, cheaper results.
Learn more: The Uncomfortable Truth of Scaling ‘Agile’.
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
Strategy and Wardley Mapping – Part 1:
Dave Hora emphasizes Wardley Mapping’s role in strategy and its evolution, making intangible elements visible for effective product development and organizational transformation. Discover more about Wardley Mapping’s increasing significance.
Double Vision: Choosing the Right Approach to Capture the Product Vision:
Roman Pichler emphasizes a product vision’s pivotal role in product success, providing direction and fostering alignment. However, he points out two competing views on formulating a product vision to be explored and clarified.
Kromatic): Why Speed Beats Perfection in Product Experimentation(via
Anders Toxboe highlights the common pitfall of product teams getting too engrossed in perfecting their process at the cost of practical action. Learn more about the necessity of balancing theory with execution.
Strategyzer): It’s more fun to be a pirate in the Navy(via
Tendayi Viki balances the allure of entrepreneurship with its challenges and contrasts it with innovation in large corporations, which, despite initial hurdles, offer scaling advantages. Discover more about this dual perspective on innovation.
YouTube): 📺 Stimulating Innovation from the C-Suiteand (via
Alex Osterwalder discusses the importance of CEOs dedicating significant time to innovation activities, implementing novel metrics, and developing inclusive, high-performing teams. Discover more about the role of AI in innovation and avoiding ‘innovation theatre.’
📅 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:
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 5,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube
Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel to improve learning, for example, about doing great work:
- Hands-on Agile EXTRA: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice.
- Hands-on Agile 50: The Product Community of Practice with Petra Wille.
- Hands-on Agile 46: The Agile Fluency Model ® with Diana Larsen.
- 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 Doing Great Work — 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.
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 explore doing great work by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide: