TL; DR: The Costs of Agile — Food for Agile Thought #407
Welcome to the 407th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 48,702 peers. This week, Matt Rickard offers invaluable leadership lessons from his aerospace design experiences; Henrik Mårtensson explores the overlooked facets of the costs of Agile, and Jeff Langr and Nick Goede remind us that true agility stems from core values, not mere practices. Also, Chris Combe delves into the complexities of performance reviews in Agile settings. Moreover, once again, our lemon tries to measure Developer productivity.
Then, Austin Yang underscores the significance of the decision-making process over mere outcomes in product management, and Marty Cagan provides a roadmap from traditional product management to empowered product teams. Meanwhile, Jeff Gothelf points out the rare yet essential cross-functional collaboration in product discovery, emphasizing the combined effort of product management, design, and engineering.
Lastly, Lenny Rachitsky and Bob Moesta dive deep into the JTBD framework, using captivating examples from Snickers and Milky Way. Also, John Davidson sheds light on the complexities of stakeholder alignment, sharing ten indispensable lessons. Meanwhile, Johanna Rothman navigates the murky waters of project estimations, presenting a variety of techniques and highlighting the unpredictability of timeframes.
🏅 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: SAFe® — Despised Yet Successful?
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🏆 The Tip of the Week
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design:
Matt Rickard shares insights and wisdom from personal mistakes to guide students in his senior Aerospace design class 🚀 at the University of Maryland—a treasure trove on leadership, building stuff, and project management.
🍋 Lemon of the Week
(via McKinsey & Company): Yes, you can measure software developer productivity
The authors address the complexities of gauging developer productivity, a traditionally elusive metric, offering a “fresh approach,” qualifying them immediately for the lemon category.
➿ Agile & Scrum: Costs of Agile
Interlude: The Cost of Agile:
Henrik Mårtensson discusses the misconceptions about the costs of transitioning to Agile. While many companies focus on the expense of ‘Agile transformation programs,’ they overlook deeper trade-offs, leading to missed potential benefits.
Industrial Logic): Prescriptive Agile: Stuck in Shuand (via
Jeff Langr and Nick Goede emphasize that while many associate Agile with specific practices like Scrum, it’s actually a set of values and principles. Using particular techniques doesn’t guarantee agility; understanding and embodying Agile’s core principles does.
Medium): Agile performance reviews and compensation(via
Chris Combe addresses the challenge of individual performance reviews in cross-functional teams, noting the pitfalls of competitive behavior and the misalignment with Agile values. He stresses the need for leadership buy-in for systemic changes, highlighting the importance of balancing personal aspirations with team and organizational goals.
🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — October 4, 2023
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Good decision, bad decision, indecision, and fake decision:
Austin Yang emphasizes that informed decision-making, not just outcomes, is vital for product managers to avoid future pitfalls.
Product-Led Alliance): Moving to the Product Operating Modell(via
Marty Cagan shares insights on moving successfully from a traditional product management approach to empowered product teams.
Who owns product discovery?:
Jeff Gothelf stresses that while product discovery is ideally a collective effort of product management, design, and engineering, this cross-functional collaboration is seldom seen in practice.
📖 Minimum Viable Library (2) — Product Owner Edition
The Minimum Viable Library Product Owner edition is available! Explore a series of carefully curated collections of essential books, newsletters, podcasts, and tools to elevate your agile expertise.
Read on and learn how the recommendations for Product Owners cover a wide range of topics, including product management, product discovery, escaping the feature factory, and aligning with critical stakeholders.
Learn more: Minimum Viable Library (2) — Product Owner Edition.
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
🎙 The Ultimate Guide to JTBDand :
The Lenny Rachitsky interviews Bob Moesta, co-creator of the Jobs To Be Done framework, who shares insights from his vast experience, using Snickers and Milky Way as intriguing case studies. Discover best practices and pitfalls of the JTBD approach."
(via UX Collective): Stakeholder Alignment
John Davidson highlights the challenges of securing stakeholder alignment and how easily agreements can unravel. He provides ten essential lessons on achieving alignment, emphasizing its importance in various contexts, from projects to personal decisions.
How to Predict When the Team Will Complete a Specific Backlog Item:
Johanna Rothman discusses the challenge of predicting when a specific feature set will start and complete, offering various estimation techniques, from detailed task breakdowns to Monte Carlo simulations, emphasizing the inherent uncertainty in such projections.
There are no entries to this category this week.
📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule
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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 costs of Agile:
- 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 the Costs of Agile — 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 the costs of Agile by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide: