Food for Agile Thought #439: Ancient Scrum, AI Product Management, OKRs and Product Roadmaps, Perils of the Agile Community

TL; DR: Ancient Scrum — Food for Agile Thought #439

Welcome to the 439th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,436 peers. This week, Tobias Mayer traces Scrum back to ancient human processes, suggesting its natural integration in creative endeavors. Scott Seivwright critiques the narrow focus of Agile coaches on methodology, advocating for adaptive practices in response to economic challenges, and David Burkus highlights the crucial role of managers in fostering autonomy and leadership amid rising trends towards managerless models. Chris Matts uses Eric Berne’s transaction analysis to contrast effective adult-adult interactions against the limiting parent-child dynamics in risk-averse environments. Also, Rami James champions asking for help as an essential developer skill, promoting collaboration and continuous learning over individualism.

Then, Marty Cagan and Marily Nika address the challenges of AI Product Management, and Evgenia Suvorova shares insights from her tenure at Revolut on achieving product-market fit. Chad McAllister and John Rossman emphasize the importance of “Big Bets” in business transformation, with John drawing on his Amazon experience to advocate for clarity, speed, and risk management. Leah Tharin offers a critical view on the implementation of SAFe, noting its complexity and the constraints it imposes on team autonomy, often resulting in inefficiency and dissatisfaction.

Lastly, Richard Kasperowski focuses on the role of pair programming and continuous delivery in agile practices. Moreover, Roman Pichler discusses the integration of OKRs with product roadmaps, while Andy Cleff and Colleen Johnson explore flow metrics like WIP and cycle time to enhance organizational agility through actionable metrics. Additionally, the 2024 AI Index report presents a comprehensive analysis of new AI trends, public perceptions, geopolitical dynamics, and the impact of AI on science and medicine.

Food for Agile Thought #439: Ancient Scrum, AI Product Management, OKRs and Product Roadmaps, Perils of the Agile Community —

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Ancient Scrum

Tobias Mayer: Ancient Scrum

Tobias Mayer explores the ancient roots of Scrum, suggesting it as an innate human process evident in early civilizations, not a modern invention, and emphasizes its enduring relevance in creative and software development.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

(via Medium): OKR and Scrum: How to Align

The author’s take on integrating OKRs with Scrum misinterprets both, mixing practices with bewildering confidence and a pinch of ideological flair. It is an amusing but ultimately baffling read.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Scott Seivwright: What's Wrong with the Agile Community? My View!

Scott Seivwright critiques Agile coaches for narrowly focusing on methodology perfection, urging a shift to address broader economic challenges and adapting practices for survival and impact.

David Burkus: Do We Really Need Managers?

David Burkus discusses the evolving role of managers, emphasizing their importance in fostering autonomy and leadership despite the rise of managerless company models and changing workplace dynamics during the pandemic.

Chris Matts: The Failureship Dynamic

Chris Matts explores the “failureship dynamic” using Eric Berne’s transaction analysis, particularly contrasting adult-adult interactions in successful organizations with the parent-child dynamics in risk-averse settings.

Rami James: Asking for help is a core developer skill

Rami James emphasizes the importance of asking for help as a core skill for developers, challenging the individualistic mindset and highlighting collaborative problem-solving to enhance learning and project success.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — April 23-24, 2024

Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this official class for Advanced Scrum Masters, including the industry-acknowledged PSM II 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 CEST.

Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — April 23-24, 2024 —

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — April 23-24, 2024.

Customer Voice: “Since about 12 people have already asked me these last 2 days: Yes, taking one of Stefan Wolpers’ classes is a mind-blowing experience. He’s actually the most adroit facilitator I’ve met after Guy Kawasaki & Roland Busch. It all flows like a silk ribbon in a soft spring breeze but with a strong authenticity that prevents the thing from feeling all Del Monte Canned Corporate Facilitation(tm). It may be due to his seemingly effortless mastery of the Liberating Structures. He doesn’t “teach to the test,” yet when you take the open practice assessments; you somehow score 95+ the first time. I dunno, it’s magic or Mozart, you pick.” (Source.)

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🎯 Product

Marty Cagan and Marily Nika (via Silicon Valley Product Group): AI Product Management

Marty Cagan and Marily Nika discuss AI Product Management, focusing on the unique challenges and necessities of creating AI-powered applications and the critical collaboration between roles to manage product risks effectively.

Leah Tharin: The SAFe misery and what to learn from it

Leah Tharin critiques the implementation of SAFe in organizations, highlighting its tendency to complicate processes and stifle autonomy, ultimately leading to dissatisfaction and inefficiency among product teams.

Chad McAllister and John Rossman: 🎙 How product managers can navigate 'Big-Bet' transformations – with John Rossman

Chad McAllister and John Rossman discuss the significance of “Big Bets” in business transformations. John shares strategies from his experience at Amazon and advising roles, highlighting the need for clarity, velocity, and risk management in leadership practices.

(via Mind The Product): A case study: My learnings from finding product-market fit at Revolut 

Evgenia Suvorova details her journey at Revolut, highlighting the challenges and strategies in achieving product-market fit, emphasizing the importance of tailored approaches and continuous validation to adapt and thrive globally.

📯 Scrum Master Interview Questions on Creating Value with Scrum

If you are looking to fill a position for a Scrum Master (or agile coach) in your organization, you may find the following 12th set of the Scrum Master interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my eighteen years of practical experience with XP as well as Scrum, serving both as Product Owner and Scrum Master as well as interviewing dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.

So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 27,000 times.

Download now: 83 Scrum Master Interview Questions on Creating Value with Scrum —

Read now: Scrum Master Interview Questions on Creating Value with Scrum.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Richard Kasperowski: The Heart of Agile: How Pair Programming and Continuous Delivery Nurture the Human Spirit

Richard Kasperowski explores the profound impact of pair programming and continuous delivery in agile practices, emphasizing their role in improving technical efficiency and nurturing human connections, creativity, and emotional well-being.

Roman Pichler: OKRs and Product Roadmaps

Roman Pichler discusses integrating OKRs with product roadmaps, outlining benefits and strategic alignments that enhance goal-oriented planning, which helps move away from feature-based to outcome-based roadmaps.

Andy Cleff: 📺 Flow Metrics for Enhancing Organizational Agility

Andy Cleff and Colleen Johnson discuss using flow metrics to enhance organizational agility, focusing on actionable metrics like WIP, throughput, work item age, and cycle time to drive improvement and predictability in business systems.

🎶 Encore

(via AI Index): AI Index Report 2024 – Artificial Intelligence Index

The 2024 AI Index report, the most comprehensive yet, expands its analysis to include new AI trends, public perceptions, geopolitical dynamics, and AI’s impact on science and medicine.

📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

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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.

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

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #438: Agile in the AI Age, Product Operating Model, Effective Roadmaps, Failing Transformations.

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