Food For Thought #49: Scrum Certifications, Agile Cat Herders, Carrots & Sticks, Non-Aggravating Meetings for Makers, Ultimate Mental Models List

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of July 10th, 2016—shared with 3,258 peers—explores the shark-jumping nature of Scrum certifications, how cat herders and team therapists can make a living with Scrum, and how the Scrum master role evolves in organizations.

We then talk about carrots and sticks in agile ceremonies, Scrum personas, and the five new Scrum values of 2016. (Too much Scrum? Well, it’s summertime on the northern hemisphere…)

We also dive deep into the discussion between data-drivenness and UX, why A/B testing is a great management practice, and how to schedule meetings that don’t aggravate makers.

Last, but not least, we learn how to steal from the competition, embrace the holy grail of “the one metric”, and are blown away by the best list of mental models so far created. Have a great Sunday!

Essential Read

Gabriel Weinberg (via Medium): Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

Gabriel Weinberg, founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, and co-author of “Traction”, provides a comprehensive list of mental models that have been repeatedly useful to him, starting with “Explaining”, via “Managing”, and ending with the “Internet”.

Agile & Scrum Certifications

Dan North: How to train your Agile

Dan North reflects on what led to the plethora of practises, religion and superstition that surrounds modern “agile” methods.

Modern Scrum is a certification-laden minefield of detailed practises and roles. To legitimately describe oneself as a Scrum Master or Product Owner involves an expensive two day certification class taught by someone who in turn took an eye-wateringly expensive Scrum Trainer class, from one of the competing factions of “Professional” or “Certified” (but ironically not both) schools of Scrum training.

Rob Wortham: Describing the Role of the Scrum Master

Tanner Wortham on how he would describe his function as cat herder, team therapist, and dot connector—pardon me: Scrum Master—to his 91 year-old grandmother.

Ron Eringa: Evolution of the Scrum Master

Scrum certifications: Evolution of the Scrum Master

Ron Eringa asks about the perfect person for the role of Scrum Master: Is it a (project) manager, a team leader or maybe one of the development team members? Should he have technical skills or is he more a people manager?

Kate Terlecka (via Are carrots and sticks allowed on Daily Scrum?

Kate Terlecka challenges Mike Cohn’s suggestions from “Incentives and Deterrents for Starting Daily Scrum on Time” on how to rum the daily scrum.

Phil Zofrea: Daily Scrum Personas

Phil Zofrea on typical personas within a Scrum team, attending the daily standups, their characteristics, and how to coach them.

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland (via Updates to the Scrum Guide – The 5 Scrum values take center stage

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the creators of Scrum, added five values to the 2016 Scrum guide: Courage, commitment, focus, openness, and respect.

Summer Reading List

Product & Lean

Julie Zhuo (via Medium): Metrics Versus Experience

Metrics Versus Experience

Julie Zhuo, Vice President Product Design at Facebook, shares her experience with having a productive conversation about metrics and good (user) experiences.

(via First Round Capital): How A/B Testing at LinkedIn, Wealthfront and eBay Made Me a Better Manager

Elliot Shmukler—Instacart’s VP of Product—on why A/B testing not only a sound product development practice, but also an effective management tool.

Shani Harmon (via Harvard Business Review): Meetings That Work for Both Managers and Makers

Shani Harmon on the differences between “maker” and “manager” schedules—to speak with Y Combinator founder Paul Graham—and how to create meeting schedules that respect the requirements of both.

Sarah Khan (via UX Booth): How to Check Out the Competition

Sarah Khan on how to check out the competition from a UX perspective. (Remember Steve Jobs: “Good artists copy; great artists steal”?)

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré (via Medium): Lean Analytics: Why the “One Metric” is more complicated than it sounds

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré on the both simple and complex task of finding what is most important to the health and growth of your company right now, measure it, and improve on it.

Suzie Prince (via Mind The Product): Why Continuous Delivery and DevOps are Product Managers' Best Friends

Suzie Prince on why continuous delivery is a product manager’s new best friends forever.

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