Food for Agile Thought #375: Acceleration Beats Velocity, Jazz Lessons for Product, 3 Forms of Debt, Becoming a Product Coach

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.

Food for Agile Thought #375: Acceleration Beats Velocity, Jazz Lessons for Product Management, 3 Exhausting Forms of Debt, Becoming a Product Coach — Age-of-Product.com

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 374?

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🎓 Join Stefan in one of his upcoming Professional Scrum training classes!

🖥 🇺🇸 Professional Scrum Product Owner w/ PSPO I Certificate — January 23-26, 2023.

Hands-on Agile 49: ChatGPT — Age-of-Product.com

📈 Join 100-plus peers: Hands-on Agile 49: ChatGPT.

🏆 The Tip of the Week

Jessica Joy Kerr: 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.

Professional Scrum Product Owner Training w/ PSPO I Certificate — January 23-26, 2023 — Berlin Product People GmbH

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.”

(Link.)

👉 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

Ken Norton: 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.’

Itamar Gilad: Feature Factories vs. Value Generators

Itamar Gilad goes back in history to shed more light on a divisive term — the ‘feature factory.’

Marty Cagan (via Silicon Valley Product Group): Becoming a Product Coach

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.

A ChatGPT Job Interview for a Scrum Master Position — Age-of-Product.com

👉 Learn more: A ChatGPT Job Interview for a Scrum Master Position.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Cedric Chin (via Commonplace): Goodhart's Law Isn't as Useful as You Might Think

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.

Will Larson: Measuring an engineering organization.

Will Larson dives deep into the details of assessing an engineering organization for various interested parties.

Jason Yip (via Medium): Fixing ‘Too much WIP’

Jason Yip points to five measures to improve flow, from changing measuring delivery to per-process-step WIP limits.

🎶 Encore

David Heinemeier Hansson: 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:

Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 February 7-10, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 February 28-March 3, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 March 14-15, 2023 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 March 20-21, 2023 Professional Agile Leadership Essentials Training (PAL I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 March 23, 2023 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Training (PSFS; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €749 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 March 28-29, 2023 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1.189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 May 4, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile EXTRA: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice (English; Live Virtual Meetup) 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 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:

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

✋ 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.

Large scale agile: 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 deal with acceleration by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — 160 ways to improve as a Scrum Team — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ 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.

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