TL; DR: Feature Team Fallacy — Food for Agile Thought #416
Welcome to the 416th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,471 peers. This week, we dive into compelling critiques and analyses: Bryan Finster assesses the LeSS approach to team structures, pointing at the Feature Team Fallacy, while Mark Levison sheds light on misconceptions about the “Spotify Model.” Johanna Rothman highlights the pitfalls of dehumanizing metaphors in software development. Additionally, a collaborative piece delves deep into the implications and nuances of the Agile Mindset in decision-making and its role in organizational behavior. Moreover, we address how to Say No without burning bridges.
Then, Jeff Gothelf discusses the actual indicators of product discovery’s effectiveness, cautioning against vanity metrics. Charles Lambdin parallels Gandalf’s adventures and Agile’s inherent adaptability, questioning traditional roadmaps. Dan Collins underscores the pivotal role of churn prevention in SaaS, emphasizing customer-centric strategies. Lastly, Laura Morgan provides a personal account, highlighting three transformative moments in her professional journey.
Finally, Paulo Caroli introduces a Press Release template inspired by Amazon’s customer-centric approach. Also, Jim Morris tackles the challenges of sharing group dynamics techniques to combat dominant voices and foster inclusivity. Marcus Castenfors laments the absence of robust product visions in companies and champions the Design Sprint process for alignment. Lastly, Tim Harford at #mtpcon London 2023 enlightens on common tech innovation missteps, emphasizing the transformative power of simple solutions and AI’s impending influence on employment.
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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Feature Team Fallacy
Medium): The Feature Team Fallacy(via
Bryan Finster critiques the LeSS approach to team structure, specifically the debate between organizing teams around features or product capabilities. While acknowledging LeSS’s advocacy for feature teams, he leverages his decades-long developer experience to challenge their stance, dissecting various claims and emphasizing that team structure should align with business needs and delivery goals rather than rigid methodologies.
🍋 Lemon of the Week
Medium): Scrum sucks.. Breaking news: Scrum is bad.(via
In another tragic moment of following the herd instinctively, this Week’s Lemon attempts to prove that Scrum is inadequate, ignoring that his experience may be influenced by people selling snake oil.
➿ Agile & Scrum
The Spotify Model of Scaling – Spotify Doesn’t Use It, Neither Should You:
Mark Levison discusses the misconceptions surrounding the “Spotify Model.” This structure, showcasing Squads, Tribes, and Guilds, is frequently misapplied in organizations, resulting in mere label changes without the necessary cultural shift. The original intent of fostering collaboration and minimizing dependencies often gets lost in the process.
Retire These Metaphors & Reframe the Discussion to be More Effective:
Johanna Rothman critiques traditional metaphors in software development, emphasizing their dehumanizing effects. She advocates for recognizing the uniqueness of individuals, avoiding construction metaphors, and retiring outdated comparisons, especially those perpetuating sexism.
Private Estimates, Public Progress:
Kent Beck critiques traditional software projects and proposes weekly planning. He stresses actual deliverables over metrics and emphasizes aligning Agile with business through shared goals.
🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — November 28, 2023
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Agile On The Beach): 📺 My three favourite product discovery mistakes(via
Laura Morgan shares three critical moments in her professional life that helped her become more experienc
How do you measure product discovery?:
Jeff Gothelf claims that product discovery’s effectiveness is measured by evaluating its implementation, its impact on work processes, and the quality of products/services produced. Vanity metrics can mislead, so focus on insights generated, sustained discovery practices, and clear customer behavior changes.
Roadmaps and Twyman’s Law:
Charles Lambdin argues that while many blindly follow traditional roadmaps, true Agile emphasizes adaptability and learning, suggesting that a more exploratory approach, akin to Gandalf’s adventures, is needed over rigid planning.
(via ProdPad): Churn Prevention: A Product Manager’s Guide
Dan Collins emphasizes the importance of churn prevention in SaaS, highlighting the need to understand and address customer dissatisfaction while continuously adapting to their evolving needs and preferences to ensure business longevity.
📯 Saying No as a Product Owner or Product Manager
Are you navigating the delicate art of saying No as a Product Owner or product manager? Actually, it’s more of a strategic ‘yes’ to higher priorities, turning down lower-level requests without shutting down communication.
This article will dive into various approaches, from reframing conversations and fostering stakeholder collaboration to being transparent to data-informed rationale and empathetic engagement. Discover how to maintain a harmonious balance between driving Product Goals and nurturing professional relationships with your stakeholders.
Learn more: Saying No as a Product Owner or Product Manager.
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
Working Backwards – Press Release Template:
Paulo Caroli shares his Press Release template, modeled after Amazon’s ‘Working Backwards’ approach, streamlining product development by emphasizing the end-user experience.
Facilitation Skills: Avoid Groupthink and One-Sided Discussions:
Jim Morris discusses facilitating group sessions, emphasizing the pitfalls of dominant voices stifling conversation. He offers techniques to counter groupthink, encouraging full participation and diverse input in team discussions.
Crisp): How to facilitate a Product Vision Sprint(via
Marcus Castenfors highlights most companies lack a compelling, tangible product vision, leading to misalignment. To overcome this, he advocates collaboratively using the Design Sprint process to craft an inspiring, aligning product vision.
Mind The Product): 📺 What we get wrong about technology(via
Tim Harford underscores two tech innovation errors: overvaluing complexity and underestimating simple, affordable solutions. Moreover, he emphasizes societal change and AI's potential impact on jobs at #mtpcon London 2023.
📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule
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|Date||Class and Language||City||Price|
|🖥 💯 🇬🇧 December 6, 2023||GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #57: Humble Planning: How To Make Your Plans Suck Less with Maarten Dalmijn (English; Live Virtual Meetup)||Live Virtual Meetup||FREE|
|🖥 💯 🇩🇪 December 11-12, 2023||GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class)||Live Virtual Class||€1,299 incl. 19% VAT|
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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 the Feature Team Fallacy:
- Hands-on Agile 53: An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling with Bob Galen.
- Hands-on Agile 52: From Wild West to the Agile Manifesto with Jim Highsmith.
- 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 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 the Feature Team Fallacy — Join the 19,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community
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Help your team to learn about Product Nightmares by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide: