Food For Thought #85: Agile Success by Trust and Safety, PM Coding, Machine-Learning Overlords

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of April 2nd, 2017—shared with 7,272 peers—revisits the agile mindset, links to the best new podcast on agile issues in months and provides hardcore statistics and scientific proof that trust works and is essential for building an agile organization.

On the product side, Ellen Gottesdiener provides insight into the confusing discussion about the minimum viable product, we learn to identify anti-patterns that point at a dysfunctional product organization, and we breathe a sigh of relief: no coding required when you want to be a product mensch.

Lastly: We learn about Elon Musk’s passion for preventing humanity from falling victim to machine-learning overlords. (A good read if you’re struggling to understand the difference between the Terminator, and the narrow AI, that will put myriads of oncologists out of work.)

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Agile Success & Scrum

Simon Powers: What is the agile mindset?

Simon Powers believes that the agile mindset consists of three belives: the complexity belief, the people belief, the proactive belief.

John Le Drew (via The Agile Path): In Search of Safety

John Le Drew created a beautifully produced and fun to listen to podcast. Episode one is addressing safety.

Paul J. Zak (via Harvard Business Review): The Neuroscience of Trust

Paul J. Zak points at the results of his research: Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy, and collaborate better with their colleagues by comparison to low-trust organizations.

Jez Humble and Bas Vodde (via ConfEngine): [Agile India 2017] Agile Scaling Frameworks and their Eco System – Boon or Bane?

Scaling frameworks claim to retain the core agile values & principles and aim to provide an easy way to scale agility across the organization. Learn more from a great panel with Jez Humble and Bas Vodde.

Stephanie Ockerman (via Maximize Scrum with the Scrum Values: Courage (Part 3 of 5)

Stephanie Ockerman wrote a series of five posts on the Scrum values focus, openness, courage, commitment, and respect.

Join 354 Peers And Contribute to the Anonymous Poll ‘Scrum Master Salary Report 2017’

The purpose of this anonymous poll is to create a clear, data-backed benchmark that allows everyone in the agile community to get an understanding whether her or his compensation is adequate.

The report will cover Scrum Master as well as Agile Coaches, both employed and freelancing.

To generate an acceptable first report, we will need at least 400 answers. A larger sample would allow providing more detailed insights, though. At the moment, we already have 354 of 400 replies.

Participate in the ‘Scrum Master Salary Report 2017’ survey now…

Product & Lean

Ellen Gottesdiener (via InfoQ): Using Structured Conversations to Discover Your MVP

Ellen Gottesdiener brings clarity to the confusing discussion about the nature of the “minimum viable product”.

Stephen Pavlovich (via Mind The Product): Using Experimentation to Drive Product

Stephen Pavlovich, CEO of, talks to ProductTank London about using experiments to gain insight and drive product development.

Jared Ranere (via thrv): 8 Signs You Need a Product Development Framework

Jared Ranere points at eight signs that your company is on the verge of a downward spiral and how a robust product development framework can save the day.

(via mixpanel): How technical should product managers be?

Mixpanel asked hundreds of its Signal subscribers about the past, present, and future of product management. Here are the survey results.

Mike Belsito (via Mattermark): Does a Product Manager at a High Growth Technology Startup Need To Be Technical?

Mike Belsito shares what he learned about the makeup of a Product Manager at high-growth technology startup companies.

The Essential Read

Maureen Dowd (via Vanity Fair): Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse

Maureen Dowd looks at Elon Musk’s efforts to influence the rapidly advancing field of AI and its proponents and to save humanity from machine-learning overlords.

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