Food For Thought #48: Scaling Agile, Team Dysfunctions, Happy Product Teams, MVP & Product/Market Fit

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 3rd, 2016—shared with 3,132 peers—starts with a video on how Spotify is scaling agile engineering, before we move on to dealing with problems of all kind: organizational debt, dysfunctional teams, and how to manage continuous delivery to legacy organizations.

We then explore the secrets of great teamwork, why movies like “Oceans 11” or “The Italian Job” can be watched for professional reasons, and how to scale the role of the product owner along the life-cycle of a product.

We also dive deep into the lean startup methodology, namely into “product/market fit” and the “minimum viable product”.

Last, but not least, we learn what basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain has to do with agile transition, and that solving problems with the tools at hand rather than inventing new solutions from scratch can be a license to print money. Have a great Sunday!

Essential Reads

(via Revisionist History): The Big Man Can’t Shoot

Malcom Gladwell talks in this podcast about the basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain and introduces the listener to the psychology of social thresholds and peer pressure, and how these may effect the success of your agile transition.

Laurent-Pierre Baculard (via Harvard Business Review): WhatsApp Grew to One Billion Users by Focusing on Product, Not Technology

Laurent-Pierre Baculard, the Digital practice lead at Bain & Company for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, on the real story of WhatApp’s success: It was more about solving problems with the tools at hand than inventing new solutions from scratch.

Scaling Agile & Scrum

Juan Manuel Serruya: Scaling Agile development at Spotify

Juan Serruya, Mobile Engineering Manager at Spotify at mDevCamp 2016, on how Spotify is scaling software engineering.

Jason Little: Untangling the Organizational Hairball

Jason Little on the difficulties to change enterprise scale organizations, and whether we can use a framework, operating model or method to ensure successful change.

Matthew Hodgson (via Zen Ex Machina): Dealing with Dysfunction

Matthew Hodgson shares his experience of applying couples counseling patterns to manage team conflicts.

David Winter (via Made Tech): 8 ways to get things done in big organisations

David Winter shares his experience as a software developer of what happens, when a small agile entity delivers software continuously to a large legacy organization.

Josef Langerman: How to change faster than the competition

How to change faster than the competition

Josef Langerman on an organization’s only sustainable competitive advantage — learning faster than the competition —, and to employ it.

Mark Mortensen and Martine Haas (via Harvard Business Review): The Secrets of Great Teamwork

Mark Mortensen, professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, on today’s core set of fundamentals for group collaboration.

Product & Lean

Laura Klein (via Mind The Product): Building Happy Product Teams like Heist Teams

Laura Klein shares some of her insights from the research for her new book “Building Better Products” into what makes happy product teams, and how surprisingly close they come to those heist teams we see in movies like “Oceans 11” or “The Italian Job”.

Roman Pichler: How to Scale the Scrum Product Owner

Roman Pichler on the theory and practice of the product owner, when a single PO will suffice, and that managing a larger, complex product is usually a shared effort.

Justin Jackson: You want more than product/market fit

You want more than product/market fit

Justin Jackson on the holy grail of building a product — getting to product/market fit —, and why this concept is not painting the whole picture, particularly for startups.

Hiten Shah and Steli Efti: 116: Minimum Viable Products: How to find out fast if your idea is legit

Hiten Shah and Steli Efti take a close look at the concept of the Minimum Viable Product, aka the “MVP”, and what it means and how to apply it to your business.

Paul Adams (via Intercom): How we accidentally invented Job Stories

Paul Adams on the most powerful thing you can understand when building a product: What is the motivation behind people’s actions?

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