Food For Thought #43: Agile Metrics, Stakeholder Tips, Psychology of Success, Scaling Lean

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of May 29th, 2016 provides insights into essential agile metrics, and what questions to ask at the beginning of an agile transition. We deal with agile self-righteous know-it-alls and lift the secret of Hubspot’s product management practice: customer-centricity.

We also explore, what makes us buy things, and why traction is the first of all agile metrics. We also dive into lessons learned from Mr. Lean Startup, Eric Ries, and read about SocialWire’s successful pivot.

Last, but least, we learn why enterprise culture is a double-edged sword, what artificial intelligence and automation will mean for the future of work, and how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities.

Essential Reads

Ben Thompson (via The Stratechery): The Curse of Culture

The Curse of Culture

Ben on why culture is not something that begets success, rather, it is a product of it, covering Microsoft’s blindness, Steve Jobs’ leadership, and warning signs for Apple and Google.

(via Andreessen Horowitz): Automation, Jobs, & the Future of Work (and Income)

a16z on what will it take to deal with a world—and a workplace—where machines could be thought of as colleagues? The key lies in distinguishing between automation vs. augmentation, argue IT management professor Thomas Davenport and Harvard Business editor Julia Kirby.

Tristan Harris (via Medium): How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist

Tristan, formerly a Design Ethicist at Google, on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities.

Agile Metrics & Scrum

Sally Elatta (via Version One): Agile Metrics: Measuring What Actually Matters

Sally of AgilityHealth on which metrics to track, when an organizations transform to agile, and which metrics only end up serving vanity purposes.

Marie Louise Guernsey (via Scrum Alliance): An Agile Transformer's Initial Dialogue with an Organization

Marie Louise on which questions to ask an organization, when starting an agile transformation project.

Ashwini Talasila (via UserVoice): Dealing With Difficult Stakeholders

Ashwini, Product Manager at HealthSparq, shares her tips & tricks on how to deal with difficult stakeholders. (Originally given at ProductCamp Portland in 2016.)

Dwight Kingdon (via DZone): Agile Adolescence: The Gawky Teenage Years

Dwight on those, who are just starting the path to agile, who can be self-righteous know-it-alls, procrastinators, rebels, and attention hogs. It’s just like the path to adulthood, and made me instantly smile.

Andy Cleff and Rob Wortham: Retro Technique: Building Team Empathy

Andy on designing a retrospective to help the “Left Brains” and the “Right Brains” on a team figure out, why they were having so much trouble communicating effectively.

Alex Osterwalder and Dave Gray (via Strategyzer): CXOTALK: Alex Osterwalder Chats About Culture Change & Digital Transformation

Alex & Dave on how to transform an enterprise organization to a digital entity and create a culture of change along the way.

Product & Lean

David Cancel and Mike Fishbein (via This Is Product Management): Building a Customer-Driven Product Team is Product Management

Daniel, CEO of Drift and formerly Chief Product Officer at Hubspot, shares how to structure product teams and how autonomy increases employee retention and customer-centricity.

Nathalie Nahai (via Mind The Product): The Psychology Behind Successful Products

Nathalie explains the psychological principles behind the successful conversion, adoption and monetization of products, and how you can use these techniques in a nice vs naughty way.

Sachin Rekhi (via The Wharton School): The Art of Product Management with Sachin Rekhi (ENG’05 W’05)

Sachin, former Head of Product at LinkedIn, shares in this video his understanding of how product managers drive the vision, strategy, design, and execution of their products.

Ash Maurya: Scaling Lean Course: The One Metric to Rule Them All

Ash on the importance of traction and why you should be careful: traction can be gamed, too, then it’s vanity metric.

Jason Calacanis and Eric Ries (via This Week In Startups): Eric Ries, author of the upcoming book “The Leader’s Guide,” on the science of startup success

Jason interviews Eric Ries on his learnings how to best apply the lean Startup methodology and why (product) experiments need to be of a scientific nature to succeed.

Selcuk Atli (via 500 Startups): The Startup Pivot Pyramid

Selcuk on why and how his former startup SocialWire—later acquired by Rakuten—started and accomplished its pivot.

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