TL; DR: Acceleration Beats Velocity — Food for Agile Thought #375
Welcome to the 375th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,502 peers. This week, we add new layers to the old ‘is velocity a useful metric’ discussion, pointing at physics, acceleration, and its multi-dimensionality. While at it, we also analyze the delicate tension between leadership and stakeholders, product management, and engineering, and learn how to make ‘effective decisions and [reduce] human misjudgment.’ As an experiment, we put OpenAI’s latest generative AI to the test: Would ChatGPT pass a screening interview for a fictitious Scrum Master position?
Then, we learn lessons from Frank Barrett’s book ‘Yes To The Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz,’ and we go back in history to shed more light on a divisive term — the ‘feature factory.’ Additionally, Marty Cagan shares his take on how to progress as a product manager in the field of product coaching, explaining prerequisites, the different coaching fields, and customer types.
Finally, we dissect the original idea of “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” to explore Amazon’s approach, especially working backward. Moreover, we appreciate Will Larson’s deep dive into the details of assessing an engineering organization for various interested parties and Jason Yip’s measures to improve flow, from changing measuring delivery to per-process-step WIP limits. And if you are looking to spice up your Retrospectives, we have you covered with a set of retrospective games, from photo finish to Retrospective bingo to agile Battleship.
Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 374?
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🏆 The Tip of the Week
Velocity defeats itself. Get acceleration instead:
Jessica Joy Kerr adds new layers to the old ‘is velocity a useful metric’ discussion, pointing at physics and its multi-dimensionality.
➿ Agile & Scrum
(via Big O(n) Development): How to Address Tech Debt vs. Product Debt vs. Business Debt
Julius Uy explores the delicate tension between leadership and stakeholders, product management, and engineering.
(via Farnam Street): The Munger Two Step
Farnam Street spreads more wisdom from Charlie Munger to make ‘effective decisions and [reduce] human misjudgment.’
(via Parabol Focus): 13 Sprint Retrospective Games for Remote Teams
Parabol curated a set of retrospective games, from photo finish to Retrospective bingo to agile battleship.
🎓 🖥 🇺🇸 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training w/ PSPO I Certificate — January 23-26, 2023
Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this official Scrum.org Professional Scrum Product Owner training class including the industry-recognized PSPO I certification. This PSPO I training class is designed as a live virtual class and will be offered in English.
Enjoy the benefits of a live immersive class with like-minded agile peers in the morning hours from 9 am – 1 pm EST.
Learn more: 🖥 🇺🇸 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training w/ PSPO I Certificate — January 23-26, 2023.
“This class was extremely engaging and collaborative. The amount of information conveyed was immense and all of it relative to the work I do on a day to day basis. I highly recommend this class to Product Owners of any level.”
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Please Make Yourself Uncomfortable: What product managers can learn from jazz musicians:
Ken Norton shares leadership lessons from Frank Barrett’s book ‘Yes To The Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz.’
Feature Factories vs. Value Generators:
Itamar Gilad goes back in history to shed more light on a divisive term — the ‘feature factory.’
Silicon Valley Product Group): Becoming a Product Coach(via
Marty Cagan shares his take on how to progress as a product manager in the field of product coaching, explaining prerequisites, the different coaching fields, and customer types.
📯 A ChatGPT Job Interview for a Scrum Master Position
Can a large language model, not specializing in anything “agile,” pass a screening interview for a Scrum Master position? In this ChatGPT job interview, I put OpenAI’s latest generative AI to the test. I took several questions from the 73 Scrum Master Interview Questions guide, see below, covering the whole spectrum from the broad picture to more specific questions, only answerable with hands-on experience on the interviewee’s side.
So, read on and learn whether Scrum Masters will soon be replaced with a chatbot.
👉 Learn more: A ChatGPT Job Interview for a Scrum Master Position.
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
Commonplace): Goodhart's Law Isn't as Useful as You Might Think(via
Cedric Chin dissects the original idea of “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” to explore Amazon’s approach, especially working backward.
Measuring an engineering organization.:
Will Larson dives deep into the details of assessing an engineering organization for various interested parties.
Medium): Fixing ‘Too much WIP’(via
Jason Yip points to five measures to improve flow, from changing measuring delivery to per-process-step WIP limits.
We don't A/B test core values:
David Heinemeier Hansson shares his belief about running a business in a way you can feel proud about and the importance of values.
📅 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:
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 4,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube
Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel to improve learning, for example, about the user story concept:
- 🆕 Hands-on Agile 47: How much Product Discovery Is enough? The Confidence Meter Explained with Itamar Gilad.
- 🆕 Hands-on Agile 46: The Agile Fluency Model ® with Diana Larsen.
- Hands-on Agile 44: Honey, I Shrunk the Backlog with Allan Kelly.
- Hands-on Agile 43: Outcome-Based Product Planning with Jeff Gothelf.
- Hands-on Agile 42: Lean Roadmapping and OKRs with Janna Bastow.
- Hands-on Agile 38: The Product Owner with Roman Pichler.
✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Acceleration — Join the 12,000-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 deal with acceleration by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:
🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition
Read more: Food for Agile Thought #374: The Hidden Micromanager, Defining Product Outcomes, Building a Learning Culture, Product-Market Fit Engineering.