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Food for Agile Thought #426: Continuous Integration, More Features = More Problems, Rebuilding Trust, Job Stories Revisited

TL; DR: Continuous Integration — Food for Agile Thought #426

Welcome to the 426th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,156 peers. This week, we explore Martin Fowler’s essay, advocating for Continuous Integration for team efficiency, while Martijn Oost critiques quick Agile transformations, emphasizing a tailored approach. John Cutler discusses rebuilding trust in leadership, and Chris Corrigan explores organizational life cycles with the ‘two loops model.’ Lastly, we identify the signs of a Scrum Master’s journey nearing its end, reflecting on evolving organizational dynamics.

Then, Maarten Dalmijn delves into feature development, highlighting the actual value not in the features themselves but in the opportunities they create for users. Janna Bastow contrasts the complexities of overseeing multiple products in large enterprises with the more focused task of managing a single product. Additionally, Lenny Rachitsky and Dan Hockenmaier emphasize the significance of deciphering your business’s core dynamics using a fundamental equation that encapsulates inputs, desired outputs, and their interconnections.

Finally, Jason Cohen highlights the complexities of forecast evaluation using weather prediction examples, focusing on accuracy beyond just surface-level results. Benjamin Huser-Berta explains Monte Carlo Simulations’ role in forecasting and effective planning. Mads Soegaard and another article discuss the significance of user story mapping and Job Stories in product development, enhancing UX design and aligning with user perspectives. Lastly, Howard Tiersky advocates for agile adaptation in digital transformations to meet evolving technological and customer demands.

📖 Master Scrum with ease; order the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book now!

The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: The Minimum Viable Library — ScrumMaster edition, version 2.0!

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 425?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Continuous Integration

Martin Fowler: Continuous Integration

In this epic essay, Martin Fowler advocates for Continuous Integration, a development practice where team members frequently merge their work, minimizing integration challenges and enabling rapid feature enhancement.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

Matteo Bianchi (via Medium): Scrum sucks.. Breaking news: Scrum is bad.

In a somewhat comical misfire, this article on Scrum reads like a classic case of missing the mark. It turns Scrum’s nuanced approach into a clumsy shuffle, showcasing a striking blend of misunderstanding and oversimplification.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Martijn Oost (via Medium): Stop Big Bang Agile Transformation!

Martijn Oost criticizes forced, rapid Agile transformations, advocating for a gradual, tailored approach. He emphasizes aligning people, structures, and content with business goals and advises against generic Agile models.

John Cutler: Rebuilding Trust and Breaking Free From Trust Proxies and The Swirl

John Cutler addresses how trust issues in leadership impact organizations. He suggests recognizing trust proxies, fostering open dialogues, redefining trust as tension, and focusing on successes to rebuild trust within teams effectively.

Chris Corrigan: The Two Loops Model of Change, Part 1

Chris Corrigan shares insights on the ‘two loops model’ of change in living systems, a tool for leaders to navigate the complex dynamics of organizational life cycles and emerging systems.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — February 15, 2024

The Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills (PSFS) training by Berlin Product People is a one-day official Scrum.org class for advanced Scrum practitioners and agile coaches, including the industry-acknowledged PSFS certification. This PSFS training class is in English.

Enjoy the benefits of a live-virtual immersive class with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CET.

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — February 15, 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

Maarten Dalmijn: More Features, More Problems

Maarten Dalmijn discusses the misconceptions around feature development, emphasizing that the actual value lies not in the features themselves but in the possibilities they unlock for users.

Janna Bastow (via ProdPad): Enterprise Product Management: How to Run Product in Large Organizations

Janna Bastow navigates enterprise product management, contrasting the vast responsibilities of leading multiple products with the focused role of managing one in large organizations

Lenny Rachitsky: How to describe your business as an equation

Lenny Rachitsky and Dan Hockenmaier explain the importance of understanding your business through a fundamental equation that outlines inputs, desired outputs, and their relationship.

📯 Sunsetting Scrum Masters

In this article, I uncover indicators that a Scrum Master’s or Agile Coach’s journey is coming to a close; they are sunsetting Scrum Masters.

These indicators include, for example, management’s deviation from first principles, reduced support for your change initiatives, an emerging preference for short-term fixes over long-term agile strategies, a shift back to top-down control, decreased communication involvement, exclusion from management discussions, neglected input, waning reliance from the team, being left out of new communication channels, and lessened requests for meeting facilitation.

Consequently, recognizing and addressing these signs is critical to maintaining integrity and effectiveness.

Finally, please do not fool yourself; sometimes, it is also time to move on.

Read the article now: Sunsetting Scrum Masters.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Jason Cohen (via Jason Cohen): How to measure the accuracy of forecasts

Jason Cohen demystifies forecast evaluation, emphasizing that accuracy isn’t the sole criterion. He explores the mathematics of probabilities, using examples like weather prediction to illustrate the complexity of assessing forecast accuracy beyond surface-level outcomes.

(via Medium): An Introduction and Step-by-Step Guide to Monte Carlo Simulations

Benjamin Huser-Berta’s guide delved into Monte Carlo Simulations in forecasting. It explains using randomness for results, focusing on Throughput, and interpreting outcomes. The guide emphasizes the method’s usefulness in effective planning and decision-making processes.

(via InteractionDesignOrg): User Story Mapping in Design

Mads Soegaard illustrates user story mapping as a vital method for product teams to align their development with the user’s perspective, enhancing UX design and efficiency.

(via JTBD Toolkit): Job Stories Revisited

This article revisits the concept of Job Stories in the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) framework, clarifying their application and differentiating them from user stories and personas.

🎶 Encore

Braden Kelley: Creating Organizational Agility

Howard Tiersky advocates for organizational agility in digital transformation, stressing swift adaptation to technological changes and evolving customer expectations for success.

Thomas Cagley: 🎙 SPaMCAST 790 – It’s All About The People, A Conversation With Stefan Wolpers

Thomas Cagley interviewed me for his podcast.

📅 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
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 May 28-29, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 June 6, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #62: From Backlog Manager to Product Manager: From Outputs to Outcomes w/ David Pereira (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 June 13-July 11, 2024 GUARANTEED: Advanced Product Backlog Management Cohort Class (PBM; English; Live Virtual Cohort) Live Virtual Cohort €399 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 June 25, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Training (PSFS; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €749 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 July 7, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #63: The Anti-Patterns Canvas — A Tool Session (1) with Stefan Wolpers (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 July 9-10, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 August 27-28, 2024 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here.

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 Continuous Integration:

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn More About Continuous Integration — 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.

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 Continuous Integration by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #425: Change Agent Tips, Product & Engineering Mindset, Utilization Fetish, Is Diversity Beneficial?.

Categories: News
Stefan Wolpers: Stefan, based in Berlin, Germany, has worked for 18-plus years as a Product Manager, Product Owner, agile coach, and Scrum Master. He is a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with Scrum.org and the author of Pearson’s “Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide.” He has developed B2C as well as B2B software, for startups as well as corporations, including a former Google subsidiary. Stefan curates the ‘Food for Agile Thought’ newsletter and organizes the Agile Camp Berlin, a Barcamp for coaches and other agile practitioners.
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