Food for Agile Thought #438: Agile in the AI Age, Product Operating Model, Effective Roadmaps, Failing Transformations

TL; DR: Agile in the AI Age — Food for Agile Thought #438

Welcome to the 438th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,401 peers. This week, Henrik Kniberg challenges traditional Agile team sizes, advocating for smaller, AI-enhanced teams in his article on Agile in the AI age. Our Lemon champions a retro, bureaucratic approach to “Agile reporting,” and Murray Robinson and Shane Gibson discuss enhancing organizational agility with Evan Leybourn. Also, Michael Küsters argues for Agile as a dynamic, evolvable practice rather than a rigid dogma, while Petra Wille emphasizes structured strategies for effective organizational transformation. Moreover, Marty Cagan shares his perspective on Scrum and the Product Model.

Then, Agustin Soler shares insights from his tenure as Mural’s Chief Product Officer, detailing strategic initiatives that spurred growth. Ant Murphy discusses the nuanced differences between roadmaps and plans, advocating adaptability and audience-specific customization. Phil Hornby and John Cutler explore product management complexities, and Janna Bastow highlights the importance of closing the feedback loop in product management, suggesting AI could transform feedback mechanisms.

Lastly, First Round Capital introduces a new B2B framework to accelerate product-market fit and 37signals shares decision-making principles that underpin thoughtful business choices. Additionally, the Coaching Card Download Hub provides many practice cards for organizational learning and productivity enhancement. Finally, Todd Lankford emphasizes rational decision-making in product development, advocating for clarity over emotion to boost team performance and product evolution.

Food for Agile Thought #438: Agile in the AI Age, Product Operating Model, Effective Roadmaps, Failing Transformations — Age-of-Product.com

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The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: I am working on finalizing an interview with Marty Cagan.

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Agile in the AI Age

Henrik Kniberg (via Hups): Agile in the Age of AI

Exploring AI's impact on Agile and Scrum practices, Henrik Kniberg’s article delves into how AI challenges traditional Agile assumptions and necessitates a reevaluation of cross-functional teams. As AI enhances productivity, it questions the necessity of large teams, suggesting smaller, more efficient teams could become the norm, fundamentally altering Agile practices like the Daily Scrum and Sprint Planning.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

(via Medium): My Toolkit for Agile Reporting

Peter Lee’s article offers an almost nostalgic return to the thrilling days of bureaucracy. With six rigorously structured questions that might make even a seasoned bureaucrat blush, Lee’s toolkit champions a formality that agile practices typically sprint away from. It’s a bold, retro move—because who doesn’t miss the days of turning agile practices into rigid, checklist-driven chores?

➿ Agile & Scrum

Murray Robinson, Shane Gibson and Evan Leybourn: 🎙 Business Agility with Evan Leybourn

Murray Robinson and Shane Gibson discuss business agility with Evan Leybourn, exploring how organizations can adopt agile practices to enhance flexibility, resilience, and customer responsiveness amidst changing markets and internal challenges.

Petra Wille: Why Your Transformation Might Not Be Going as Well as You Expected… And What to Do About it

Petra Wille discusses the complexity of organizational transformation, stressing clarity and structured approaches to navigating change effectively, using targeted tactics to align product management with evolving customer needs, for example, by employing the product operating model as a blueprint.

Michael Küsters: ‘Agile’ is not sacred

Michael Küsters argues that Agile should not be treated as a dogma resistant to criticism but rather as a dynamic, evolving practice that thrives on scrutiny and adaptation, encouraging a scientific approach over unwavering faith.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — April 23-24, 2024

Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this official Scrum.org class for Advanced Scrum Masters, including the industry-acknowledged PSM II certification. This PSFS training class is 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 — April 23-24, 2024 — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — April 23-24, 2024.

Customer Voice: “Since about 12 people have already asked me these last 2 days: Yes, taking one of Stefan Wolpers’ classes is a mind-blowing experience. He’s actually the most adroit facilitator I’ve met after Guy Kawasaki & Roland Busch. It all flows like a silk ribbon in a soft spring breeze but with a strong authenticity that prevents the thing from feeling all Del Monte Canned Corporate Facilitation(tm). It may be due to his seemingly effortless mastery of the Liberating Structures. He doesn’t “teach to the test,” yet when you take the open practice assessments; you somehow score 95+ the first time. I dunno, it’s magic or Mozart, you pick.” (Source.)

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🎯 Product

Agustin Soler (via Circuit): Things I did as Mural’s Chief Product Officer

Agustin Soler, co-founder and former Chief Product Officer at Mural, shares a comprehensive overview of his responsibilities and strategies contributing to the company's growth. He outlines specific tasks and initiatives that helped maintain customer value and operational excellence, emphasizing strategic planning, team management, and product development.

Ant Murphy: Building Effective Product Roadmaps

Ant Murphy emphasizes the distinction between roadmaps and plans. Roadmaps focus on long-term goals and flexibility, highlighting the ‘what’ and ‘why.’ Plans are more immediate and detailed, addressing the ‘how’ and ‘when.’ Murphy advocates for adaptable timelines and recommends customizing roadmaps for different audiences to improve organizational communication and alignment.

John Cutler and Phil Hornby (via Talking Roadmaps): 📺 Is your roadmap a beautiful mess?

In this video, Phil Hornby and John Cutler delve into the complexities of product management.

Janna Bastow (via ProdPad): Closing the Feedback Loop: A Product Manager's Guide

Janna Bastow emphasizes the crucial role of closing the feedback loop in product management. Also, she outlines strategies for effectively communicating changes to users and using feedback to inform product roadmaps, highlighting the potential of AI to revolutionize feedback processes.

📯 Marty Cagan on the Product Operating Model and Scrum’s Future

Let’s explore Marty Cagan’s insights on revolutionizing product management, embracing empowered teams, and fostering innovation by employing the Product Operation Model described in his latest book “Transformed.” We will uncover how to effectively navigate the transformational path to a product-centric approach and how Marty sees Scrum in this context.

Marty Cagan highlights the Product Operating Model from his latest Book “Transformed” and analyzes Scrum’s usefulness — Age-of-Product.com

Read now: Marty Cagan on the Product Operating Model and Scrum’s Future.

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

(via First Round Capital): The 4 Levels of PMF

First Round Capital introduces a new framework designed to demystify product-market fit for B2B founders, breaking down the process into strategic steps and sharing expert insights for a systematic approach to achieving PMF faster.

(via 37signals): The 37signals Guide to Making Decisions

The author outlines decision-making principles at 37signals, emphasizing practical frames and considerations that guide daily choices in business, fostering a culture of thoughtful and informed decision processes.

(via Ivar Jacobson Intl.): 📖 Free: Coaching Card Download Hub

The Coaching Card Download Hub offers a comprehensive collection of practice cards to enhance learning and productivity for organizations, teams, and individuals. Available for download, these cards cover a wide range of practices and provide interactive learning through serious games and simulations.

🎶 Encore

Todd Lankford (via Medium): Apply These 5 Product Team Tactics to Bypass Emotion and Act With Clarity

Todd Lankford advocates for clear, rational decision-making in product development, emphasizing tactics to replace emotion-driven decisions with clarity-driven actions to enhance team performance and product evolution.


📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

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Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 May 28-29, 2024 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 June 6, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #62: From Backlog Manager to Product Manager: From Outputs to Outcomes w/ David Pereira (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
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🖥 🇩🇪 August 27-28, 2024 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here.

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📺 Join 5,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube

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✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn About Agile in the AI Age — 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.

Agile in the AI Age: 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 Agile in the AI Age by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — Dunbar’s Number — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #437: Dunbar’s Number & Team Building, Discovery Challenges, Heisenberg in Software, Job Stories vs. User Stories.

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