Food For Thought #37: Agile Leadership, Scaling, Woman in Product, Moonshots

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of April 17th, 2016 covers agile leadership in five sketches, in lessons from the US Marine Corps, and a podcast with Jeff Sutherland. We also dive deeper in Kanban and agile metrics.

We explore scaling agile, why women in product management are underrepresented, and how to create a Lean Startup culture in your organization. We also learn more about product managers vs. product owners.

Last, but least, we cover the surprising psychology of choice, and why you shouldn’t ship the org chart, but build great products instead. Also, Astro Teller explains why celebrating failure is so important for moonshots and why luck has got to do much more with success than you might believe.

Essential Reads

Astro Teller (via TED Talks): The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure

Astro takes us inside the "moonshot factory" at Google.

Robert H Frank (via The Atlantic): Why Luck Matters—Much More Than You Think

Robert on why people — when they see themselves as self-made — tend to be less generous and public-spirited.

Agile Leadership & Scrum

Julie Zhuo (via Medium): Average Manager vs. Great Manager

Julie shares awesome visualizations of ten well-known situations from ‘assigning tasks’ to ‘dealing with turbulence’.

Rob Wortham: What the Marine Corps Can Teach Us About Agility

Agile leadership: What the Marine Corps Can Teach Us About Agility

Rob on agile leadership: learning Agile through osmosis: what behaviors were ideal, and which were counterproductive.

(via Financial Times): Business: How to topple bureaucracy

The FT on the short step from innovative start-up to a company overburdened by red tape and other organizational debt or hierarchy bloat.

Jeff Sutherland (via Harvard Business Review): Understanding Agile Management

Jeff and Darrell Rigby of Bain explain the rise of lean, iterative management tactics, and how to implement them yourself.

David J Anderson: Kanban: What We Know About Duration: Workflows

David on the cost of delays in general and the effect of lead-time, and duration of workflows.

Troy Magennis: Agile Metrics: Beyond Burn Up/Downs Onto Metric Driven Coaching

Troy on how metrics can be used safely in coaching Agile teams, avoiding the danger of using metrics to manage or motivate employees.

Tell me how you will measure me and I will tell you how I’ll behave

Erik Weber (via What exactly are we Scaling?

Erik lists and explains five “scaling scenarios”.

Product & Lean

Marty Cagan: Women in Product

Marty on under-represented groups and gender-based discrimination in the tech workplace.

Alex Osterwalder (via The Lean Startup): How to Intentionally Design a Lean Startup Culture

Alex on how to create the right mindset to be successful with lean startup.

Scott Sehlhorst: Product Owner Manager

Scott on the differences and overlaps of the roles of product owner and product manager.

Brian Scordato (via Fast Company): What Every Startup Needs To Know About The Psychology Of Choice

Brian on the paradox of choice and what two New York City bagel shops sitting 200 feet apart can teach you about customer loyalty.

Dag Olav Norem (via Medium): Shipping the org chart

Dag on Conway’s law, where silo thinking & local optimization lead to inferior products and product debt.

Nicholas Ivanecky (via GitHub): A curated list of product management advice for technical people

Nicholas provides a list product management resources for technical people. It is devided into cores such as product management, resources, interviews, case Studies, sample products/projects, communities, open source projects, free and paid services.

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