Food for Agile Thought #449: Lean Mindset, Building Product Sense, Trust Unveils Reality, When Will It Be Ready?

TL; DR: Lean Mindset — Food for Agile Thought #449

Welcome to the 449th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,561 peers. This week, David Pereira and Ash Maurya discuss the benefits of a lean mindset in product development, focusing on value creation and customer needs. John Cutler examines the negative impact of low trust and high pressure in organizations, stressing the importance of psychological safety, while Jurriaan Kamer advocates for using consent over consensus in decision-making to enhance organizational agility and reduce delays. Maarten Dalmijn criticizes the reliance on detailed sprint capacity spreadsheets, which he argues hampers flexibility and obscures real planning challenges. Finally, McKinsey outlines critical strategies for successful organizational transformation, emphasizing actionable steps from ambition to execution, and we detail how you can stand out as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach during job interviews.

Next, Ant Murphy discusses the importance of building product sense through deliberate practices like engaging with customers and conducting product teardowns. Michael H. Goitein advises against merely asking users what they want, instead emphasizing the need to understand and anticipate user needs deeply. For that reason, Teresa Torres cautions against using generative AI to replace human-led discovery, stressing that while AI can assist, it cannot replace the deep insights from real interactions. Also, Kareem Amin shares insights on achieving product-market fit at Clay, underlining the significance of narrowing focus and understanding psychological factors in entrepreneurial success.

Lastly, Christiaan Verwijs emphasizes the importance of social cohesion in enhancing team performance and satisfaction, detailing strategies like establishing a solid team identity and shared norms. Shane Hastie and Neil Vass discuss strategies for making organizational changes stick, and Indu Alagarsamy highlights the critical role of documenting product and software architecture decisions for future clarity and project continuity. Finally, Sam Higham offers advice on handling the common query “When will it be ready?” by advocating for realistic planning and continuous updates on potential delays and changes in project confidence.

Food for Agile Thought #449: Lean Mindset, Building Product Sense, Trust Unveils Reality, When Will It Be Ready? Age-of-Product.com

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This week, the most popular discussion on LinkedIn was: Can a Scrum Team Decide to Skip the Retrospective?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Lean Mindset

David Pereira and Ash Maurya: 📺 How a Lean Mindset Enables Breaking Free from Features Nobody Needs

David Pereira and Ash Maurya discuss adopting a lean mindset to avoid feature overload and focus on creating value. They emphasize continuous learning and customer-focused development in product teams.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

We are Lemon-free this week.

➿ Agile & Scrum

John Cutler: Trust Lets You Observe Reality

John Cutler explores the dysfunction within organizations, where low trust and high pressure distort reality and hinder effective problem-solving, emphasizing the importance of psychological safety and the dangers of relying on simplified metrics.

Christiaan Verwijs (via The Liberators): In-Depth: How Social Cohesion Shapes Teamwork And How To Improve It

Christiaan Verwijs discusses the importance of social cohesion in teamwork and highlights practical strategies to enhance cohesion, including creating a solid team identity, setting shared norms, and encouraging shared experiences. He emphasizes that feeling connected and valued within a team boosts performance and satisfaction.

Maarten Dalmijn: Sprint Planning: Stop Wasting Time on Spreadsheet Capacity Micromanagement

Maarten Dalmijn criticizes the reliance on detailed Sprint capacity spreadsheets for planning, arguing they hinder adaptability and obscure the real challenge: aligning workload with unpredictable capacity.

(via McKinsey & Company): What it takes to create a winning transformation

The brief from “Five Fifty” outlines the essentials for successful organizational transformations, emphasizing the shift from ambition to actionable strategies.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-21, 2024

Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this official Scrum.org Advanced Scrum Master training class including the industry-recognized PSM II certification. The PSM II training class is designed as a live virtual class and will be offered 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 — August 20-21, 2024 — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-21, 2024.

Customer Voice: “Dear Stefan, Thanks a lot for two intense and mindblowing days. Your way of teaching suites me perfectly. I must admit that all the positive feedback you have gotten is spot on! I would any time a day recommand your class to a Scrum Master who wants to add a whole new level to his/her scrum game. To all of you reading this. You have to experience Stefans class to understand how good it is.” (Source.)

👉 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 would like to be notified about these opportunities, please register here.

🎯 Product

Ant Murphy: Effective Ways to Build Your Product Sense

Ant Murphy advocates for building product sense through deliberate practices like customer engagement, feedback cycles, and product teardowns, emphasizing continuous learning and product knowledge as keys to effective product management.

Michael Goitein (via Medium): Create The Right Products Without Asking Users What They Want

Michael H. Goitein advises against directly asking users what they want, suggesting that successful products arise from profoundly understanding user needs and crafting solutions that anticipate and address them effectively.

Teresa Torres: Don't Use Generative AI to Replace Discovery with Real Humans

Teresa Torres highlights the risks of substituting generative AI for human-led discovery in product development. She asserts that AI can support specific tasks but cannot replicate the nuanced insights gained from real interactions and should not replace human-driven processes like customer interviews.

Kareem Amin (via First Round Capital): Clay’s Path to Product-Market Fit — A 7-Year 'Overnight Success'

Kareem Amin reflects on Clay’s path to product-market fit, emphasizing the importance of narrowing focus, overcoming founder biases, and valuing psychological awareness in shaping a company’s success.

📯 Scrum Master Interview 2024: How to Prepare Yourself to Stand Out as a Candidate

In today’s tight job market, standing out as a genuine Scrum Master is crucial amidst a sea of imposters. Shining during the Scrum Master interview is an essential first step: Elevate your candidacy by detailing how you successfully applied Scrum in challenging environments, showcasing advanced practices and techniques, and sharing your engagement with the agile community.

The following post will support your effort to demonstrate your pivotal role in agile transformations and strategic contributions, proving your indispensable value in driving organizational success.

The Scrum Master Interview — How to Prepare Yourself to Stand Out — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Scrum Master Interview 2024: How to Prepare Yourself to Stand Out as a Candidate.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Jurriaan Kamer (via Medium): Make better decisions using consent, not consensus

Jurriaan Kamer highlights the benefits of using consent over consensus for decision-making, illustrating through a fictional case how this approach fosters quicker progress and reduces delays in an organizational context.

Shane Hastie (via InfoQ): 🎙 Making Change Stick with Neil Vass

In this podcast, Shane Hastie speaks with Neil Vass about the challenges of making organizational changes stick. They discuss the common reasons changes fail and strategies for effective implementation, such as the importance of communicating the value of change and the role of people skills in ensuring sustainable progress.

Indu Alagarsamy: Document your product and software architecture decisions.

Indu Alagarsamy emphasizes the importance of documenting product and software architecture decisions to ensure clarity and continuity, highlighting that such documentation aids future project management and problem-solving efforts.

Sam B Higham: When will it be ready?

When asked, “When will it be ready?” Sam Higham advises not to make up answers but to engage your team in defining a realistic confidence interval to manage expectations effectively. This includes discussing potential delays like technical issues or legal reviews and updating stakeholders on changes in confidence levels, always clarifying the reasons behind uncertainties.

🎶 Encore

Elon Musk (via Everyday Astronaut): 📺 First Look Inside SpaceX's Starfactory w/ Elon Musk

Join Elon Musk for an exclusive tour of SpaceX’s Starbase and the new Starfactory, filmed on the eve of Flight 4, showcasing starships, manufacturing insights, and advanced engineering discussions.


📅 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
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 August 20-21, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; 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
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 August 29-September 26, 2024 GUARANTEED: Advanced Product Backlog Management Cohort (English; Live Virtual Cohort) Live Virtual Cohort €399 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 September 3-6, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 September 4, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #64: Mastering Work Intake Jeremy Willets and Tom Cagley (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 October 9, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #65: The Lean Tech Manifesto with Fabrice Bernhard (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE

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 Lean Mindset:

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

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn About the Lean Mindset — 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.

Sprint Review Guide: 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 reclaiming Agile’s Core Values by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — Lean Mindset — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

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

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