TL; DR: Product Thinking — Food for Agile Thought #401
Welcome to the 401st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 47,937 peers. This week, we join Murray Robinson, Shane Gibson, and Jeff Patton to delve into product thinking. Also, we highlight misconceptions around Agile adoption, clarifying that the term “faster” is not mentioned in definitions of “Agile” or “agility” before we move to combine Wardley Mapping, Domain-Driven Design (DDD), and Team Topologies to develop “adaptive socio-technical systems.” Moreover, Peter Stevens created an informative and concise 15-minute animated presentation introducing Scrum.
Then, we explain why opting for agile coaches instead of product coaches as a cost-saving alternative often falls short, and John Cutler suggests that product leaders must establish their product’s investment and governance framework to avoid one being imposed on them. Moreover, we emphasize the importance of finding product-market fit in a startup, pointing to a comprehensive guide that provides valuable lessons from six pivots and achieving product-market fit. Another goodie comes from Paweł Huryn, as he delves into the implications, exploring the distinction between product management and product marketing.
Finally, we highlight the importance of post-mortem meetings to uncover lessons from failed projects. Learn more about running them, including their definition, timing, benefits, conducting methods, etc. The DORA 4 metrics, derived from Accelerate, help engineering teams understand what it means to operate as an elite team. However, there is a problem with typical implementations. Lastly, Dean Peters explores how ChatGPT can aid product managers in formulating user stories, providing a fictional example of a product manager, and we take another shot at the perils of an oversized Product Backlog.
🏅 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn this week was: Introducing: The Minimum Viable Library — #Agile #Coaching edition!
📖 Get notified when the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book is available!
Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 400?
🗞 Shall I notify you about articles like this one? Awesome! You can sign up here for the ‘Food for Agile Thought’ newsletter and join 47,000-plus subscribers.
🎓 Join Stefan in one of his upcoming Professional Scrum training classes!
🏆 The Tip of the Week
Product thinking and user story mappingand :
Join Murray Robinson and Shane Gibson as they discuss product thinking and user story mapping with Jeff Patton. Jeff emphasizes the focus on outcomes, achieving product-market fit through understanding customer problems, and balancing desirability, value, and feasibility. Gain insights into the importance of prototyping and prioritizing user outcomes.
🍋 The Lemon of the Week
We are lemon-free this week!
➿ Agile & Scrum
Agile Alliance): If Productivity Matters (and it Probably Does), then Team Up!(via
Many individuals prefer working independently, and managers often assign tasks to their top performers, providing personal flexibility, autonomy, accountability, and predictability. However, if productivity is important, there may be better approaches, suggests Tim Ottinger.
Medium): Implementing Agile Values and Principles: Faster, Cheaper, Better(via
Scott Duncan highlights misconceptions around Agile adoption, clarifying that the term ‘faster’ is not mentioned in standard definitions of “Agile” or “agility.” Achieving agility involves maintaining balance and stability while moving quickly. Learn more about balancing speed and stability in agile practices.
InfoQ): Adaptive, Socio-Technical Systems with Architecture for Flow: Wardley Maps, DDD, and Team Topologies(via
Susanne Kaiser emphasizes a holistic approach when developing adaptive socio-technical systems, combining Wardley Mapping, Domain-Driven Design (DDD), and Team Topologies. This powerful toolset enables the design, construction, and evolution of systems optimized for sustainable change and resilience in dynamic environments.
YouTube): Inside The Scrum Team – 15-Minute Introduction to Scrum(via
‘Inside the Scrum Team’ offers an informative and concise 15-minute animated presentation introducing Scrum. Part 1 explores the reasons for Scrum, the Scrum Team’s relationship with stakeholders, and the benefits of the Scrum approach. Part 2 delves into the relationships between Scrum Developers, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner, along with common challenges.
🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-30, 2023
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 compact immersive class with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CEST.
👉 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.
Why Agile Coaches Can't Be Product Coaches:
Petra Wille observes the rise of product coaches and their increasing influence in the industry. While recognizing the value they bring, companies often opt for agile coaches as a cost-saving alternative. However, the author explains why this decision not to spend money often falls short.
From Prioritization to Accountability (and Autonomy):
John Cutler suggests that product leaders must establish their product's investment and governance framework to avoid one being imposed on them. Prioritization is insufficient; instead, implement a progressive funding model and hold yourself accountable for resource allocation.
(via PostHog): The Product-Market Fit Game
James Hawkins emphasizes the importance of finding product-market fit in a startup and compares the process to playing Snakes and Ladders. Based on the author's experience, this guide provides valuable lessons from six pivots and achieving product-market fit.
Product Management vs. Product Marketing vs. Product Growth 101:
A few weeks ago, Airbnb made headlines by restructuring its product management function, leading to misconceptions about eliminating the PM role. In this article, Paweł Huryn delves into the implications, exploring the distinction between product management and product marketing.
📯 The Expensive Folly of the Oversized Product Backlog
Some Product Owners believe that a comprehensive Product Backlog is the best way to accomplish the Product Goal and be fully transparent simultaneously—never let a possibly valuable idea slip away. However, a comprehensive backlog may quickly become an oversized Product Backlog with unintended side effects.
Learn more about an oversized Product Backlog’s negative impact on innovation, your Scrum team’s ability to create value, and your relationship with stakeholders.
Learn more: The Expensive Folly of the Oversized Product Backlog.
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
DORA Metrics: We’ve Been Using Them Wrong:
The DORA 4 metrics, derived from Accelerate, help engineering teams understand what it means to operate as an elite team. For example, these metrics measure velocity and stability, enabling teams to improve and achieve better business outcomes. However, according to Ori Keren, a problem arises in their implementation.
(via Parabol Focus): How to Run a Post-Mortem Meeting: Easy 6-Step Process
The author highlights the importance of post-mortem meetings to uncover lessons from failed projects. Learn more about running productive post-mortems, including their definition, timing, benefits, conducting methods, alternative approaches, templates, facilitator questions, and FAQs.
280 Group): Harnessing ChatGPT to Generate User Stories: A Product Manager's Guide(via
Dean Peters explores how ChatGPT can aid product managers in formulating user stories, providing a fictional example of a product manager. Discover the repeatable structure for future dialogues and leverage the paid version of ChatGPT to manage incoming ideas.
Medium): The Deliberate Irony of Liberating Structures(via
Keith McCandless, Arvind Singhal, and Steven H. Cady look at the origins and principles of Liberating Structures (LS), an open-source repertoire of protocols and rules that free individuals from exclusionary patterns. With ten principles and 33 practical methods, LS is versatile and applicable to various group processes. Learn more about the liberating power of LS.
(via Mind The Product): Unlocking your potential: Strategies to reignite passion for product managers
Phani K Vuyyuru shares strategies for product managers to reignite their passion and overcome stagnation: introspect regularly, reprioritize initiatives, calibrate against competitors, and seek customer feedback. Learn more about reigniting passion in product management.
📅 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:
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 product thinking:
- Hands-on Agile EXTRA: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice.
- Hands-on Agile 50: The Product Community of Practice with Petra Wille.
- Hands-on Agile 46: The Agile Fluency Model ® with Diana Larsen.
- 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 Product Thinking — 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 explore product thinking by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide: