Food for Agile Thought #448: Reclaiming Agile’s Core Values, Product Pitfalls, Splitting User Stories, Dealing w/ System Bottlenecks

TL; DR: Agile’s Core Values — Food for Agile Thought #448

Welcome to the 448th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,549 peers. This week, Jim Highsmith calls for reclaiming Agile’s core values to reclaim its original spirit. Our Lemon introduces Water-Scrum-Fall, which ironically embodies the very constraints Scrum aims to avoid. John Cutler highlights how great teams achieve effectiveness through proactive processes, and Maarten Dalmijn critiques SCREAM!, pointing out its creative strengths but practical inefficiencies in timely delivery. Moreover, Joost Minnaar discusses Kazuo Inamori’s “Amoeba Management,” which champions recruiting inherently motivated individuals to drive team success, and we explore the free Scrum Master JobGPT to help those who look for new jobs.

Next, Richard Mironov discusses the ongoing challenge of addressing one software bottleneck to discover another, advocating for resilience in a seemingly endless cycle. On a podcast, David Pereira highlights typical pitfalls in product strategy and how to evade them, and Dan Shipper reveals how Claire Vo leveraged AI to create ChatPRD, enhancing product management despite her hectic schedule. Lastly, Aatir Abdul Rauf identifies six friction points between Product Managers and Product Marketers, suggesting strategies to improve communication and collaboration for better outcomes.

Lastly, Mike Cohn presents SPIDR, five techniques for efficiently splitting user stories and simplifying complex tasks into manageable actions. Johanna Rothman discusses preemptive strategies to identify and mitigate common project failures, such as resource scarcity and poor teamwork, while Mike Belsito advocates an evidence-based approach to product decision-making using the GIST framework and ICE scoring to navigate complex decisions. Finally, Andrew Chen challenges the productivity norms of routine work, promoting randomness and strategic choices to achieve impactful “10x work” that significantly alters professional outcomes.

Food for Agile Thought #448: Reclaiming Agile’s Core Values, Product Pitfalls, Splitting User Stories, System Bottlenecks—

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Reclaiming Agile’s Core Values

Jim Highsmith: Reimagining Agile: How Agile Lost Its Soul and is Seeking to Get It Back

Jim Highsmith explores how Agile lost its essence and advocates a return to its foundational values. He encourages reimagining Agile to recapture its spirit and soul, which are vital for adapting to future technological advancements.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

Eiki (via Medium): Water-Scrum-Fall: How to Hybrid Scrum and Waterfall to Keep Adaptability in Long-Term Development

The author ambitiously promotes Water-Scrum-Fall, a hybrid approach aiming to fuse Scrum’s agility with Waterfall’s structure for long-term projects. This failed attempt paradoxically revisits the constraints that Scrum originally sought to overcome, illustrating a classic misstep in attempting to blend fundamentally contrasting practices.

➿ Agile & Scrum

John Cutler: Close the Loop. Stop the Drift

John Cutler notes that great teams close loops, integrate insights, foster understanding, address dissonance, and take high-leverage steps, ensuring effective processes and avoiding festering issues.

Maarten Dalmijn: Scrum Alternatives: SCREAM!

Maarten Dalmijn critiques SCREAM!, an approach used in multidisciplinary design teams, noting its lack of emphasis on timely delivery. Despite fostering creativity, SCREAM! may be impractically costly and slow for modern product development.

Joost Minnaar (via Corporate Rebels): Why You Should Only Recruit Spontaneously Combustible People

Joost Minnaar discusses Kazuo Inamori’s “Amoeba Management,” emphasizing recruitment of ‘spontaneously combustible people’—individuals who ignite with passion and drive autonomously. Inamori’s model thrives on these self-starters, fostering proactive, committed team environments.

Mike Cottmeyer (via Leading Agile): 📺 Creating Psychological Safety for Your People to Change

Mike Cottmeyer explores how to foster psychological safety and agility within organizations. In his talk, he discusses using personality profiling and strategic operational changes to create a truly agile environment.

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

Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — June 25, 2024 —

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — June 25, 2024.

Customer Voice: “Great experience – “You reap what you saw.” What I really liked about it was the constant usage of facilitation techniques & Liberating Structures to engage all participants & harness the collective knowledge while reaching the goal of the exercises during the workshop. Therefore, my experience was great because I could really leave with some insights from the whole group that I could apply in my daily work starting from the next day. “You reap what you saw” and in this case, it was the collective intelligence of everyone in the training class.” (Source.)

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🎯 Product

Rich Mironov: Every System Has a Bottleneck

Richard Mironov explores the continuous challenge in software and product management where solving one bottleneck or issue reveals another, likening the process to a never-ending game of Whac-a-Mole, necessitating resilience, and a positive outlook.

David Pereira (via Mind The Product): 🎙 Product Pitfalls: How to Avoid Them

In this podcast, David Pereira discusses the common pitfalls in product strategy on our podcast, offering unique insights into avoiding the traps that often ensnare product-led organizations.

Claire Vo (via Every): She Built an AI Product Manager Bringing in Six Figures—As A Side Hustle

Dan Shipper details how Claire Vo created ChatPRD, an AI-powered tool enhancing product management. Despite a demanding job, she innovatively used AI to develop a tool that simplifies and accelerates product development.

Aatir Abdul Rauf: 6 friction points between Product Managers and Product Marketers (+ and how to resolve them)

Aatir Abdul Rauf outlines six friction points between Product Managers and Product Marketers, highlighting role overlap and communication gaps, and proposes solutions to enhance collaboration and strategic alignment in product development.

📯 Scrum Master JobGPT: Your New Tool for Thriving in the Current Job Market

Given the current turbulent times for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches, our community must stand united. This brings me to the Scrum Master JobGPT, your new ally in navigating the job market. This free tool, available with a paid ChatGPT account, delivers actionable insights on job hunting, interview prep, and evaluating Agile maturity in potential employers, based on my years-long writing on identifying suitable employers and clients, passing job interviews with flying colors, and hiring team members while respecting Scrum’s principles.

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Scrum Master JobGPT: Your Essential Tool for Thriving in the Current Job Market —

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🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Mike Cohn: SPIDR: Five Simple but Powerful Ways to Split User Stories

Mike Cohn introduces SPIDR, five powerful techniques for splitting user stories, thus enhancing agile team efficiency. He emphasizes how mastering these methods simplifies complex tasks into manageable actions.

Johanna Rothman: How to See and Stop Project Failure Before the Effort Starts

Johanna Rothman outlines how to identify and mitigate project failures preemptively, highlighting common issues like resource scarcity, multitasking, and poor cross-functional collaboration.

Mike Belsito (via Product Collective): Deep-Dive: Making More Informed Decisions

Mike Belsito emphasizes a structured, evidence-based approach to product decision-making, showcasing tools like the GIST framework and ICE scoring to mitigate risks and enhance product strategy efficacy amid complex, high-stakes environments.

🎶 Encore

Andrew Chen: The case against morning yoga, daily routines, and endless meetings

Andrew Chen critiques the productivity pitfalls of routine work and advocates for embracing randomness and strategic decision-making to achieve “10x work,” which significantly impacts one’s professional output.

📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

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🖥 💯 🇬🇧 August 20-21, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,299 incl. 19% VAT
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See all upcoming classes here.

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #447: Effective Product Teams, Coaching Mastery, Fixing the Double Diamond, Athletic Agile.

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