Food for Agile Thought #442: The Value-Add Activities Metric, The Adjacency Matrix Post-PMF, Destroying Trust, EBM Guide 2024

TL; DR: The Value-Add Activities Metric — Food for Agile Thought #442

Welcome to the 442nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,518 peers. This week, we explore diverse perspectives on leadership and productivity within Agile environments: James Shore delves into the complexities of measuring productivity in software development with the Value-Add Activities Metric, while Willem-Jan Ageling identifies seven leadership missteps that destroy organizational trust. Former Cisco executive Ashley Goodall critiques traditional disruptive leadership methods, advocating for stability and connection. Joost Minnaar argues that self-managing organizations reduce employee burnout by balancing demands with control. Moreover, Parsa Saljoughian highlights four leadership principles essential for high-performing teams, focusing on psychological safety and effective communication, and we ask ourselves: Should a Product Owner be technical?

Then, Jason Cohen introduces the Adjacency Matrix for strategic expansion post-PMF, using existing strengths for wise market entry. The “Paths to PMF” series highlights diverse, customized strategies for startup success, and XKCD reevaluates ideas like solar cars and laser eye surgery, challenging our perceptions in a fantastic cartoon. Also, Nima Torabi emphasizes the integration of vision, strategy, and metrics in crafting impactful product roadmaps.

Lastly, Patricia Kong and Kurt Bittner updated the 2024 Evidence-Based Management Guide, enhancing its clarity and practical utility. Christina Wodtke presents a method for aligning personal values with life goals using Ikigai and Personal OKRs, ensuring measurable progress, while Bob Moesta explores the practical application of the Jobs to Be Done framework, sharing its best uses and common pitfalls. Finally, Ethan Mollick introduces the Prompt Library, a Creative Commons licensed resource providing structured prompts for educational and general use to boost engagement and AI interaction.

Food for Agile Thought #442: The Value-Add Activities Metric, The Adjacency Matrix Post-PMF, Destroying Trust, EBM Guide 2024 —

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: The Value-Add Activities Metric

James Shore: A Useful Productivity Measure?

James Shore grapples with measuring productivity, a notoriously elusive metric in software development, exploring alternative approaches, and implementing a value-add capacity measure to assess engineering efficiency.

In other words, in the absence of RoI measures, the percent of engineering time spent on value-add activities is a pretty good proxy for productivity.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

Avi Siegel (via Medium): The Missing Agile Ceremony (If You Want Smoother Sprints)

The author champions “Sprint Prep” as a magical elixir for Sprint Planning woes, but one might wonder if it’s just a new label on an old bottle. Is this reinventing the wheel, or is it just another meeting to add to the calendar?

➿ Agile & Scrum

Willem-Jan Ageling: 7 ways leaders cripple their organization by destroying trust

Willem-Jan Ageling discusses seven detrimental leadership behaviors that erode trust within organizations, such as punishing messengers and stifling creativity, ultimately fostering a pathological culture that undermines cooperation and innovation.

Daniel Stillman and Ashley Goodall: The Problem with Change and the Power of Stability, Humanity and Praise

The former Cisco executive and author Ashley Goodall challenges conventional leadership practices, advocating for stability and genuine connection over disruptive change to enhance workplace contributions and performance.

Joost Minnaar (via Corporate Rebels): Thriving in Autonomy: Why Self-Management Doesn't Lead to Burnout

Joost Minnaar explains that self-managing organizations, contrary to increasing burnout, actually empower employees by balancing high job demands with high control, leading to engagement and reduced stress.

Parsa Saljoughian (via Medium): Building High-Performance Teams: 4 Essential Leadership Principles

Parsa Saljoughian outlines four pivotal leadership principles to enhance team performance, emphasizing psychological safety, assuming positive intent, active listening, and focusing on controllable factors.

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Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — May 28-29, 2024 —

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — May 28-29, 2024.

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🎯 Product

Jason Cohen (via Jason Cohen): Adjacency Matrix: How to expand after PMF

Jason Cohen explores strategic expansion post-PMF with the Adjacency Matrix to assess business growth potential without overreaching, utilizing existing strengths, and strategically entering new markets.

(via First Round Capital): 20 Lessons From 20 Different Paths to Product-Market Fit — Advice for Founders, From Founders

After showcasing dozens of founders, the “Paths to PMF” series offers diverse and tactical advice on achieving product-market fit, underscoring there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to startup success.

(via XKCD Comic): Good and Bad Ideas

XKCD categorizes ideas like “solar cars” and “laser eye surgery” on a scale from “sounds like a good idea” to “actually a bad idea,” sparking reflection on unconventional concepts.

Nima Torabi (via Medium): Crafting Effective Roadmaps: The Role of Vision, Strategy, and Metrics

Nima Torabi emphasizes the critical integration of vision, strategy, and metrics in crafting effective product roadmaps that guide teams toward measurable, impactful outcomes in product development.

📯 The Technical Product Owner: Beneficial or Problematic?

Dive deep into the benefits—or the lack thereof—of the technical Product Owner (or product manager) and their profound impact on teams, customer satisfaction, and organizational success. Uncover when their technical acumen is a game-changer, a nice-to-have, or probably detrimental.

The Technical Product Owner: Beneficial or Problematic? Learn more about its advantages and perils —

Learn more: The Technical Product Owner: Beneficial or Problematic?

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Kurt Bittner (via Evidence-Based Management Guide, 2024 – What’s New?

The authors, Patricia Kong and Kurt Bittner, revised the 2024 Evidence-Based Management Guide, clarifying concepts and incorporating feedback to enhance EBM’s practical application and understanding in organizational settings.

Bob Moesta (via Mind The Product): 🎙 Getting real with Jobs to Be Done – Bob Moesta (CEO & Founder, The Re-Wired Group)

Bob Moesta, co-creator of the Jobs to Be Done framework, delves into its practical application, discussing optimal uses, common missteps, and various case studies in an excellent primer.

Christina Wodtke: Using Ikigai with Personal OKRs

Christina Wodtke combines Ikigai with Personal OKRs, offering a structured approach to aligning life goals with personal values, ensuring progress through measurable outcomes and quarterly objectives.

🎶 Encore

Ethan Mollick: Prompt Library

Ethan Mollick highlights his Prompt Library, a versatile resource under a Creative Commons License, offering structured prompts for educational and general use, fostering classroom engagement and AI interaction.

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Help your team to learn about the Value-Add Activities Metric by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide:

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #441: The Hexi Approach to Scaling, Good and Bad Product Coaches, Product Roadmap Failure.

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