TL; DR: Scrum’s Nature: It Is a Tool; It Is Not About Love or Hate
Regularly, we find articles from developers detailing why ‘Agile’ in general and Scrum’s nature, in particular, deserve our collective disdain.
What has always struck me in this discussion is its emotionality. Scrum is a tool, useful to accomplish one primary task: delivering value to customers of emergent products in complex environments while mitigating an organization’s exposure to risk at the same time. So, if Scrum is not working in an organization, maybe it is because Scrum is applied to the wrong cause in the first place. Or, that its application has been mechanical, driven by folks who don’t know what they are doing. (Seriously, how hard can Scrum be if the manual comprises of 18 pages, right?)
The question then is: Why would I “hate” a tool unsuited for the intended purpose or applied incompetently? Would I hate a hammer for not being capable of accurately driving a screw into a wooden beam? Probably not, as the hammer wasn’t designed for that purpose, and neither sheer will-power nor stamping with your feet will change the fact.
TL; DR: Software Factory Syndrome, Product Discovery — Food for Agile Thought #251
Welcome to the 251st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 26,781 peers. This week, we analyze the software factory syndrome; we apply Jocko Willink’s leadership principles to writing software, and we point at the elephant in the #noestimates room.
We then follow a CEO’s take on the importance of empowerment of product teams; we check the approach of a cross-functional team’s real-world collaboration model, and we learn about the next version of the future press release concept for (product) risk mitigation.
Lastly, we thank Jeff Patton for providing another helpful free ebook on how to figure out what is worth building. Spoiler alert: 85-plus percent of all startups get this wrong.
Do you need an emergency fund as a change agent—whether you are acting as Scrum Master, Product Owner, or agile coach—because conflict is inevitable, but change is not? Speaking truth to power probably comes at a price.
In my experience, speaking truth to power, pointing at the emperor’s new clothes and the reality in the trenches, is necessary a trait for every change agent — including Scrum Masters and agile coaches — in organizations that lack strong leadership.
Learn more, how this form of professional honesty can backfire when the incumbents, privileged by the existing system, strike back.
TL; DR: JTBD Guide, Good Retrospectives — Food for Agile Thought #250
Welcome to the 250th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 26,776 peers. This week, we appreciate a comprehensive JTBD guide with templates; we learn how to figure out whether a team is capable of having meaningful Retrospectives, and we reconsider our inclination to favor feature teams over component teams.
We then delve into opportunity mapping to improve our product work; we embrace the idea that we are probably not charging enough and that we should run some pricing experiments, and we explore the timing and the dynamic of innovation.
Lastly, we learn more about OKR throughout the different stages of product development work.
On many occasions in the recent past, working with distributed agile teams has amplified existing organizational, technical, and cultural challenges in many organizations. Starting changing, and I am not referring to the introduction of a new video conferencing tool, always requires the acceptance that there is a problem that needs attention. In that respect, the current issues that many distributed teams face may also act as accelerants to become more agile. The following article addresses some of the most current impediments to achieving agility by revisiting several agile laws that are particularly relevant to distributed agile teams.
TL; DR: Scrum Training Classes, Liberating Structures Workshops, and Events
Age-of-Product.com’s parent company — Berlin Product People GmbH — offers Scrum training classes authorized by Scrum.org, Liberating Structures workshops, and hybrid training of Professional Scrum and Liberating Structures. The training classes are offered both in English and German.
Check out the upcoming timetable of training classes, workshops, meetups, and other events below and join your peers.
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