Food For Thought #40: Scrum’s Achilles Heel, KPIs of Culture, JTBD Ebook, IT Disasters

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of May 8th, 2016 covers Scrum’s Achilles heel — technical debt —, why whole organizations need to become agile and just isles within, the KPIs of culture, and that Scrum mums are overprotective and don’t scale.

We also explore the dark art of software estimation, the 10 success factors of great product teams and their metrics, and how to engage engineers in the design process.

Last, but least, we learn about the best practices of creating products at The Guardian, the biology of leadership, and the last decade’s most memorable IT disasters and what we can learn from them.

Essential Reads

Daniel Goleman (via Harvard Business Review): Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership

Daniel shares findings of his recent research in the emerging field of social neuroscience—the study of what happens in the brain while people interact—, that is beginning to reveal subtle new truths about what makes a good leader.

(via First Round Capital): Reddit and Facebook Veteran On How to Troubleshoot Troublemakers

Bethanye McKinney Blount on her lessons learned while corralling troublemakers at technology companies in Silicon Valley.

(via IEEE Spectrum): Lessons From a Decade of IT Failures

IEEE Spectrum handpicked the most interesting and illustrative examples of big IT systems and projects gone awry and created the five interactive lessons, commemorating the last decade’s worth of failures.

Agile & Scrum’s Achilles Heel

Jon Evans (via TechCrunch): On the dark art of software estimation

Jon on the communication difficulties between business and engineering, when answering the “How long will it take?” question, and why estimations will always be wrong.

Steve Denning (via Forbes): Video: How To Make The Whole Organization Agile

Steve explains in this 40-minute keynote talk at Scrum Australia 2016 what’s involved in making the whole organization Agile.

Dave Gray (via Medium): How to measure culture

Dave on the the KPIs (key performance indicators) for culture, and how to measure them applying the culture map.

Mia Horrigan: Confessions of a scrum mom – how the heroics of a scrum mum doesn't scale

Mia shares her presentation from Scrum Australia 2016 on the “Scrum Mum”, her good intentions, and how she will ultimately fail.

Simon Powers and Donald Reinertsen: AWA Interviews: Donald Reinertsen on agile software development

Donald–the author of “The Principles of Product Development Flow”–in an interview on dealing with queues in software development, measuring agility, and dealing with variability.

Ron Quartel (via Agile Alliance): Iterating Toward Legacy – Scrum's Achilles Heel

Iterating Toward Legacy - Scrum’s Achilles Heel

Ron on Scrum’s often observed (corporate) anti pattern–there is no budgeting for any maintenance–and how to overcome it.

Product & Lean

Marty Cagan (via Silicon Valley Product Group): Product Success

Marty on how the best agile product teams work–sharing their top 10 success factors–, and what lessons on corporate agility can be learned from that.

(via Intercom): Intercom on Jobs-to-be-Done

Intercom shares with us a free ebook on how to apply the jobs-to-be-done methodology to create great products.

Benjamin Yoskovitz (via O'Reilly Radar): Ben Yoskovitz on using metrics to build successful products and companies

Ben in the O’Reilly design podcast on the build measure learn cycle, the one metric that matters, and balancing hubris and humility.

Josh Teague (via Fullstory): Engaging engineers in the design process

Josh on why working with engineers on design issues is so difficult, and how to figure out ways of communication with your engineers to get them involved.

Nick Haley (via Mind The Product): Creating Digital Products & Services at The Guardian

Nick–the Head of UX at Guardian News Media–shares in this video practical examples of how his team is becoming more agile and how digital products are iterated every day with real users, breaking his thoughts down into five core principles.

Andre Theus (via ProductPlan): Product Management Tips From “A Faster Horse”

Andre on product management lessons from the 2015 movie on the Ford Mustang: Learn to build with what you have, welcome the tension between your teams -- it means you're pushing boundaries, customers don't always know exactly what they want, and product management is about leadership (not management).

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