Food for Agile Thought #422: Human Misjudgment, Evaluating Product Managers, Fake Agile, Scaling Simplified

TL; DR: Human Misjudgment — Food for Agile Thought #422

Welcome to the 422nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,901 peers. This week, Farnam Street highlights the revised edition of Charlie Munger’s “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment,” Nigel Thurlow critiques “Fake Agile,” while John Cutler analyzes Brian Chesky’s leadership insights. Also, Marco Nink identifies key traits of agile companies, and we examine how to miss Sprint Goals consistently.

Then, Jeff Patton offers a framework for assessing Product Managers across seven vital areas. Moreover, Roman Pichler discusses the role of a validated product strategy and the Opportunity Solution Tree in product discovery, and Richard Mironov critiques annual planning, advocating for continuous, inclusive corporate and product strategy.

Lastly, Troy Lightfoot and Andy Cleff discuss with Prateek Singh and Dan Vacanti their book “Scaling Simplified,” focusing on Agile scaling through flow. Mark Ridley investigates Bruce Tuckman’s “Stages of Group Development,” its evolution, and its current relevance. Additionally, Casey Rosengren addresses startup decision-making, underscoring the impact of fear and uncertainty, and Dr. Stuart Woolley critiques the gap between management practices and their effectiveness in software engineering.

Food for Agile Thought #422: Human Misjudgment, Evaluating Product Managers, Fake Agile, Scaling Simplified — Age-of-Product.com

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🥇 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: Are You Planning to Hire a New #ScrumMaster? I crafted a powerful set of 10 interview questions. 🤔

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 421?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Human Misjudgment

(via Farnam Street): Psychology of Human Misjudgment (Transcript) by Charlie Munger

Farnam Street shares Charlie Munger’s opus magnum, “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment,” highlighting its extensive revision incorporating new insights into behavioral finance and human behavior patterns or why we behave the way we do.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

(via Denovo): Agile and Waterfall: The most complete comparison

This week’s Lemon takes a naive stab at Agile and Waterfall, turning project management into a ‘choose your own adventure’ book while blissfully skating over the nuanced depths of Scrum and Agility.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Nigel Thurlow (via YouTube): Leadership Is Failing: ‘Bullshit Jobs’ and ‘Fake Agile’ at the World Agility Forum 2023

Nigel Thurlow explores “Fake Agile” through David Graeber’s concept of “Bullshit Jobs,” discussing the “Transformation Myth,” leadership incentives, and the pitfalls causing Agile initiatives to fail.

John Cutler: ‘Just Hire Talented People and Empower Them’

John Cutler reflects on Brian Chesky’s insights from Lenny Rachitsky’s Podcast, challenging the Silicon Valley mantra of ‘just hire and empower’, and examining leadership’s evolving role in various organizational scales and contexts.

(via Gallup): 8 Cultural Attributes of a Truly Agile Company

Marco Nink delves into the ‘Agile8,’ identifying eight essential attributes that define a truly agile company, and discusses their transformative effects on employee engagement, competitive edge, and organizational success.

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Product Backlog Management Cohort Class of Jan 23 to Feb 20, 2024

Discover the Product Owner success principles in this engaging Product Backlog Management cohort class and accelerate your professional growth and career perspective with tried & tested, hands-on practices:

  • Excel at delivering value regularly — your #1 career success factor.
  • Learn to distinguish between valuable and useless ideas.
  • Abandon the feature factory. Instead, learn to contribute to customer and organizational success.
  • Gain actionable insights, learn supportive tools, and practice everything in a safe community of like-minded peers.
  • Learn to say no and build trust and rapport with stakeholders while focusing on creating value.
  • Create engaging feedback loops.

The class will be offered in English.

Enjoy the benefits of an immersive cohort class with like-minded agile peers on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm o’clock CET.
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm o’clock CET.
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm o’clock CET.
Product Backlog Management Cohort Class of Jan 23 to Feb 20, 2024, with Stefan Wolpers — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Product Backlog Management Cohort Class of Jan 23 to Feb 20, 2024.

👉 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.

🎯 Product

Jeff Patton: Evaluating Product Managers

Jeff Patton provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating Product Managers, focusing on seven key areas essential for fostering a product-centric culture and individual improvement.

Roman Pichler: Product Strategy and Product Discovery

Roman Pichler underscores the necessity of a well-validated product strategy for successful product discovery, enhanced by the Opportunity Solution Tree technique to define outcomes and opportunities better.

Rich Mironov: Revenue Goals are Not Company Strategies

Richard Mironov stresses the inefficiency of annual planning focused solely on financial targets, advocating for ongoing, holistic corporate and product strategies that involve all departments.

📯 Why Succeed When You Can Fail? A Guide to Missing Sprint Goals

Do you excel in the art of setting unattainable, imposed, or plain non-existing Sprint Goals? In other words, are you good at missing Sprint Goals with regularity? If not, don’t worry; help is on the way!

In this article, we’ll explore how to consistently miss the mark. For example, enjoy the thrill of cherry-picking unrelated backlog items and defining success by sheer output, not outcome. Countless Scrum Teams have thoroughly tested all suggestions. They are ideally suited for teams who love the challenge of aimlessly wandering through Sprints!

Why Succeed When You Can Fail? A Sarcastic Guide to Missing Sprint Goals — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Why Succeed When You Can Fail? A Guide to Missing Sprint Goals.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Daniel S Vacanti and Prateek Singh (via Agile Uprising): 🎙 Scaling Simplified with Prateek Singh and Dan Vacanti

Troy Lightfoot and Andy Cleff interview Prateek Singh and Dan Vacanti about their new book “Scaling Simplified,” which rethinks common notions about scaling Agile by emphasizing flow.

Mark Ridley (via Medium): Forming. Storming. Norming. And the other one… the lesser known history of Tuckman’s team model

Mark Ridley delves into the origins and implications of Bruce Tuckman’s renowned ‘Stages of Group Development’ model, exploring its history and application in modern team dynamics.

Casey Rosengren (via Every): Why People Fail to Make Important Choices

Casey Rosengren explores the decision-making challenges in startups, highlighting the paralysis and avoidance that can stem from fear of loss, wrong choices, and uncertainty about true desires.

🎶 Encore

Dr Stuart Woolley (via CodeX): The Manager-In-The-Middle Attack

Dr Stuart Woolley critically examines the inefficacies of certain management practices in software engineering, highlighting the disconnect between managerial roles and actual contribution to the field.


📅 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:

Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Mar 5, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #59: “Agile” Does Not Work for You? Tackling Fake Agility w/ Johanna Rothman (English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 Mar 5-6, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 Mar 12-15, 2024 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 Mar 26-27, 2024 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 April 2-30, 2024 GUARANTEED: Product Backlog Management Cohort Class (English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €499 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 April 9, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #60: A Q&A on Dynamic Reteaming with Heidi Helfand (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 🇩🇪 April 10-11, 2024 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 April 23-24, 2024 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 May 7, 2024 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Training (PSFS; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €749 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here.

Professional Scrum Trainer Stefan Wolpers

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 Human Misjudgment:

Download the Remote Agile Guide for Free — Age-of-Product.com

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn More About Human Misjudgment — Join the 19,000-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.

Human Misjudgment: Join the Hands-on Agile Slack Group

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 learn about Human Misjudgment by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — 160 ways to improve as a Scrum Team — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #421: Fairytale Planning, Alternatives To Product Managers, Slowing Down to Speed Up, Insights from Spotify.

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