TL; DR: Great Strategies, Agile’s Value Focus — Food for Agile Thought #406
Welcome to the 406th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 48,537 peers. This week, Jason Cohen discusses the hallmarks of great strategies; Donald Mark Haynes unpacks true agility beyond Scrum; Michael Göthe reviews Stephen Bungay’s insights on leadership drawn from military history; and David Perell examines Elon Musk’s improvement process.
Then, Gary Niemen delves into how Buddhism and meditation principles enhance product management; Jeff Gothelf underscores the value of framing work as a hypothesis; and Roman Pichler identifies common pitfalls in product strategy formulation.
Lastly, Ari Tikka corrects misconceptions about Tuckman’s “Orming” and its confusion with Katzenbach and Smith’s curve; Joshua Kerievsky champions probabilistic forecasting, using Monte Carlo simulations; and Enzo Avigo introduces Engineering-driven development (EDD), emphasizing engineer-led product processes at the expense of product managers.
🏅 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn this week was: The Big (Product) Picture: Tools to Align, Create, and Visualize
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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Great Strategies
Jason Cohen): What makes a strategy great(via
Jason Cohen emphasizes that most strategies are poorly defined and ineffective. A great strategy communicates ‘how we will win’ and possesses qualities like simplicity, candor, decisiveness, and a focus on long-term goals.
🍋 Lemon of the Week
(via Reddit): From the scrum community on Reddit: Scrum Masters: How would you improve my flavor of SCRUM, Tetrum?
This week’s lemon is another futile attempt to solve a non-existing problem, mimicking Scrum and risking burnout and event overhead. The comments in the Reddit thread are entertaining, though.
➿ Agile & Scrum
(via Agile Alliance): An Agile Focus on Value
Donald ‘Mark’ Haynes delves into the essence of true agility beyond just Scrum events, emphasizing value in productivity and stakeholder satisfaction.
Crisp): Stephen Bungay and the Art of Leadership(via
Michael Göthe highlights a keynote from Stephen Bungay on leadership, covering learning from military history to alignment vs. autonomy to leading through intent.
Elon Musk's five-step process for improvement.:
David Perell points to Elon Musk’s improvement process, which emphasizes questioning assumptions and regularly deleting processes to ensure agility.
Credits for the video with Elon Musk go to the Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut.
🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 29-30, 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.
Medium): Zen and The Art of Product Management(via
Gary Niemen reflects on the complexities of product management, highlighting how Buddhism and meditation principles from his past have offered great skills to navigate the role.
Hypotheses in Any Context:
Jeff Gothelf highlights the importance of framing work as a hypothesis for its blend of humility, customer-centricity, and storytelling.
10 Product Strategy Mistakes to Avoid:
Roman Pichler addresses ten frequent mistakes in product strategy, from lacking one to being unspecific to running a strategy cult.
📯 Adherence to Legacy Systems, Processes, and Practices — Scrum Anti-Patterns Taxonomy (1)
Administrative overreach and micromanagement in Scrum mainly arise from clinging to legacy systems and traditional (management) practices, leading to rigidity and misapplication of Agile principles. The excessive control by stakeholders and the management level stifles creativity and adaptability, disrupting planning and hindering a Scrum team’s growth. Moreover, these categories from the Scrum anti-patterns taxonomy often emphasize an unbalanced focus on short-term gains, neglecting long-term strategy, value creation, and the essential alignment among all stakeholders to succeed in uncertainty.
Learn how these Scrum anti-patterns categories manifest themselves and how they affect value creation for customers and the long-term sustainability of the organization.
This is the first of three articles analyzing the 183 anti-patterns from the upcoming Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book. The following article will address communication and collaboration issues at the team and organizational levels.
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
Gosei): Forming, Storming, Dreaming, Performing(via
Ari Tikka critiques the widespread misinterpretation of Tuckman’s “Orming” and its confusion with Katzenbach and Smith’s “Team development curve.”
Industrial Logic): Reckoning with Reality with Probabilistic Forecasting(via
Joshua Kerievsky addresses the perennial product development question, “When will it be done?” Highlighting the value of probabilistic forecasting, which utilizes daily throughput and Monte Carlo simulations, the approach provides date predictions based on factual inputs.
June): The Rise of Engineering-Driven Development (EDD)(via
Enzo Avigo explains Engineering-driven development (EDD), placing product initiation, definition, and execution in engineers’ hands, sidelining product managers.
There are no entries to this category this week.
📅 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 social status:
- 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 Great Strategies — 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 great strategies by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide: