Food for Agile Thought #429: Product Management 2024 Report, The Feature Trap, Root Cause Analysis, Fluid Agile Teams

TL; DR: Product Management 2024 Report — Food for Agile Thought #429

Welcome to the 429th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,168 peers. This week, we delve into ProductPlan’s Product Management 2024 Report, unveiling evolving trends in strategic focus, measuring outcomes over outputs, aligning with customer feedback, standardizing Product Ops, and adopting AI with purpose. Tim Metz highlights the trend towards fluid, agile teams, enhancing flexibility but cautioning against the potential loss of team cohesion and burnout. The Agile Uprising podcast, featuring Chris Murman, Jay Hrcsko, and Andrew Leff, tackles “Gluttony” in agile transformation, urging a balance in work, personal growth, and relationships, and Takeshi Yoshida brings essential leadership skills for navigating the VUCA world to light, advocating for a diverse set of mental models for effective decision-making. Additionally, we explore how to get hired as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach.

Then, Peter Yang shares insights on the necessity for product managers to foster product sense, empathy, and creativity, and Melissa Suzuno recounts Sandrine Veillet’s methodical and challenging journey towards implementing continuous discovery at WebMD, underlining the critical role of stakeholder engagement and team education. Michael Goitein challenges the efficacy of prioritization frameworks in product management, proposing a focus on strategic clarity to ensure product initiatives resonate with company objectives and customer needs. Moreover, Andy Budd critiques the prevalent feature-driven development model, advocating for a user experience and outcomes-focused strategy to significantly enhance product value.

Lastly, Chris Matts critically examines Kanban’s shift from manufacturing to software, emphasizing the importance of practical application. We present a guide on Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in product management for addressing issues at their source for lasting improvements, and Cedric Chin shares insights on adopting Amazon’s Weekly Business Review (WBR), underscoring Statistical Process Control principles for smarter decision-making. Finally, Randall Munroe of xkcd combines humor with physics in a unique thought experiment about a baseball pitched at nearly the speed of light.

Food for Agile Thought #429: Product Management 2024 Report, The Feature Trap, Root Cause Analysis, Fluid Agile Teams — Age-of-Product.com

👉 Maarten Dalmijn interviewed me on my book: “I enjoyed the book a lot, and I believe it will be incredibly helpful to Scrum Teams all over the globe.”

📖 Your single best investment to improve your professional standing; order the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book now!

Master Scrum with Ease; Order now: The new Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book by Stefan Wolpers.

The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: Looking to Get Hired as a #ScrumMaster or #AgileCoach?

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 428?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Product Management 2024 Report

(via ProductPlan): The 2024 State of Product Management Annual Report

The 2024 State of Product Management Report reveals trends in strategy focus, outcome measurement, customer feedback alignment, Product Ops standardization, and reasoned AI adoption among product professionals.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

We do not have a lemon this week.

➿ Agile & Scrum

(via Parabol Focus): Fluid Teams: The Next Evolution of Agile?

Tim Metz discusses the rising trend of fluid teams in Agile, where team composition shifts as needed, enhancing flexibility and resource optimization but raising concerns about cohesion and burnout.

(via Agile Uprising): Gluttony, The Third Deadly Sin of Agile Transformation

In this episode of the Agile Uprising podcast, Chris Murman, Jay Hrcsko, and Andrew Leff discuss “Gluttony” as a significant issue in agile transformation, focusing on the consequences of excess in work, personal development, and relationships, and advocates for mindful balance.

Takeshi Yoshida (via Medium): 📺 Navigating Uncertainty, Handling Complexity — Leadership Skills Development

Takeshi Yoshida discusses developing leadership skills to navigate the complexities of the VUCA world, emphasizing the Cynefin Framework and integrating diverse mental models for effective decision-making.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 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.

Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — February 15, 2024 — Berlin-Product-People.com

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

Peter Yang (via Figma): 10 Rules for Making Products that Customers Love

Peter Yang emphasizes a product manager’s need to continually develop their product sense, empathy, and creativity, sharing lessons from his extensive career across major tech platforms.

Teresa Torres: Product in Practice: Bringing the Discovery Habits to WebMD

Melissa Suzuno highlights Sandrine Veillet’s journey in implementing continuous discovery at WebMD, emphasizing her systematic approach, the challenges faced, and the importance of stakeholder involvement and team training for real progress.

Michael Goitein (via Medium): The One Reason Why Prioritization Frameworks Will Never Work, and What to Do Instead

Michael Goitein critiques prioritization frameworks in product management, advocating for strategic clarity over feature ranking to align product development with organizational goals and customer needs.

Andy Budd (via Smashing Magazine): The Feature Trap: Why Feature Centricity Is Harming Your Product

Andy Budd discusses the limitations of a feature-centric approach in product development, suggesting a shift towards understanding user experiences and outcomes to enhance product value truly.

📯 Getting Hired as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach

Are you considering a new Scrum Master or Agile Coach job? However, you are not sure that it is the right organization? Don’t worry; there are four steps of proactive research to identify suitable employers or clients for getting hired as a Scrum Master and avoid disappointment later.

I have used those four steps for years to identify organizations I would like to work with, and they never failed me. Read on and learn how to employ search engines, LinkedIn’s people search, reach out to peers in the agile community, and analyze the event markets in the quest for your next Scrum Master job.

Getting Hired as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach — Age-of-Product.com

Read the article now: Getting Hired as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Chris Matts: Kanban sucks!

Chris Matts critiques the adaptation of Kanban from manufacturing to software, highlighting key differences in workflow and efficiency and underscoring the importance of understanding practical application over theory.

(via Userpilot): Root Cause Analysis in Product Management: A Step-By-Step Guide

The article delves into the importance of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in product management, offering a detailed guide on executing RCA to identify and solve the underlying causes of issues for long-term improvement and customer satisfaction enhancement.

Cedric Chin (via Commonplace): Becoming Data Driven, From First Principles

Cedric Chin outlines a journey from understanding variation to implementing Amazon’s Weekly Business Review (WBR), emphasizing the importance of Statistical Process Control principles for data-driven decision-making.

🎶 Encore

Randall Munroe (via XKCD Comic): What if you threw a baseball at nearly light speed?

Randall Munroe of xkcd explores the hypothetical scenario of hitting a baseball pitched at nearly the speed of light, blending humor with physics.


📅 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 the Product Management 2024 Report:

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

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn More About the Product Management 2024 Report — 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.

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Help your team to learn about why Agile fails by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — Product Management 2024 Report — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #428: Why Agile Fails, Product Management Theater, Decision Velocity, Deadlines & Trust.

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