Food for Agile Thought #445: Sprint Review Guide, Data-driven Product Decisions, Healthy Failure Culture, 11 Philosophical Razors

TL; DR: The Sprint Review Guide — Food for Agile Thought #445

Welcome to the 445th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,591 peers. This week, Maarten Dalmijn critiques Sprint Reviews as dull and ineffective, advocating for revitalized Scrum events with the Sprint Review guide. John Cutler discusses the complexities of systems thinking and its challenges in professional contexts, while Melissa Perri and Amy Edmondson emphasize the necessity of a healthy failure culture for innovation, focusing on intelligent failure and psychological safety. David Rock identifies leaders as crucial ‘change architects,’ highlighting skills like cognitive capacity and coherence for effective cultural transformation. Also, Alain Goudsmet and Ludo Van der Heyden use David Breashears’ Everest climb to exemplify essential team dynamics for peak performance, and we ask: Can a Product Owner be a Scrum Master at the same time?

Then, Andrew Chen outlines the dilemmas in data-driven decision-making, noting the often necessary reliance on intuition over data. Aatir Abdul Rauf emphasizes the importance of tailored go-to-market strategies for enhancing feature adoption and retention, and Jason Cohen discusses the need for translating between customer desires, product features, and business goals to improve business collaboration. Moreover, David Pereira and Shyvee Shi delve into AI’s ability to connect with human emotions, highlighting the importance of fostering trust and psychological safety.

Lastly, Chris Meyer introduces eleven strategies to simplify decision-making by eliminating unlikely explanations. Gerry Duffy views UX as storytelling that engages stakeholders. Additionally, Rosie Hoggmascall shows how Monzo uses user research for product development, and Shane Drumm offers a guide on value stream mapping to enhance production efficiency. Lastly, Anthropic researchers reveal insights into the AI model Claude Sonnet, enhancing understanding and potential safety.

Food for Agile Thought #445: Sprint Review Guide, Data-driven Product Decisions, Healthy Failure Culture, 11 Philosophical Razors — Age-of-Product.com
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Product Owner and Scrum Master Combined in One Individual?

TL;DR: Product Owner and Scrum Master?

Combining the roles of Product Owner and Scrum Master in one individual is a contentious topic in the Agile community. A recent LinkedIn poll, see below, revealed that 54% of respondents consider this unification useless, while 30% might accept it in rare moments.

This blog post explores the implications of merging these roles, emphasizing the importance of distinct responsibilities and the potential pitfalls of combining them. We also consider exceptions where this approach might be temporarily justified and analyze the insightful comments from industry professionals.

Product Owner and Scrum Master Combined in One Individual? — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #444: Change Agent to Overpriced Cheerleaders, Instagram-ification of PM, Gut-Feeling to Scientific Research

TL; DR: Overpriced Cheerleaders — Food for Agile Thought #444

Welcome to the 444th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,579 peers. This week, Sam Haynes critiques the dwindling effectiveness of Agile Coaches, shifting from vital change agents to mere overpriced cheerleaders. Maarten Dalmijn criticizes Scrum for providing a blame-shifting ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, impeding real improvement, while Christiaan Verwijs advocates for scientific research to restore Agile’s credibility and effectiveness. Also, Michael Küsters emphasizes strategic alignment by rephrasing the query “How do we make money?” to uncover different business insights, and Jason Evanish discusses how lone wolves struggle with leadership due to their independence before Fortune Buchholtz introduces Toyota Kata Coaching for Agile teams.

Then, John Cutler warns against the ‘Instagram-ification’ of product management, which he argues sets unrealistic expectations and drives professionals towards unsustainable practices. David Pereira’s interview with Itamar Gilad emphasizes the importance of discarding 90% of ideas, advocating for evidence-based innovation and adaptability to user needs. Ant Murphy offers a stakeholder management approach that uses proposed solutions to uncover real problems, thus enhancing problem understanding without confrontation. Moreover, Manuel da Costa discusses findings from McKinsey’s Product Operating Model Index, highlighting a significant gap in product management practices between top and bottom-performing companies.

Lastly, Shane Hastie interviewed Esther Derby and David Horowitz about the second edition of the Agile Retrospectives book, focusing on data-driven methods and increased engagement for successful retrospectives, and Christina discusses how effective prioritization is often compromised by multitasking myths and distractions. The Ikigai Retrospective exercise uses a Venn diagram to help teams find their collective purpose by aligning their passions and skills with market value and impact. Finally, Aakash Gupta advises strategically using tailored work products in the PM job market to showcase unique insights and fit with company culture, enhancing job prospects.

Food for Agile Thought #444: Change Agent to Overpriced Cheerleaders, Instagram-ification of PM, Gut-Feeling to Scientific Research - Age-of-Product.com
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Toyota Kata Coaching with Fortune Buchholtz at the 61st Hands-on Agile Meetup

TL; DR: Toyota Kata Coaching with Fortune Buchholtz

Business and academic leaders advocate coaching as crucial for growth. In Agile, diverse methods like GROW and OSKAR thrive, yet Toyota Kata Coaching emerges as a standout for its simplicity and effectiveness.

In this Hands-on Agile Meetup of May 7, 2024, Fortune Buchholtz explores its potential as a superior Agile coaching tool. Whether confirming its benefits or broadening your coaching repertoire, the recording offers valuable insights.

Toyota Kata Coaching for Agile Teams & Transformations with Fortune Buchholtz at the 61st Hands-on Agile Meetup — Age-of-Product.com

📺 Watch the video now: Toyota Kata Coaching for Agile Teams & Transformations with Fortune Buchholtz — 61. Hands-on Agile.

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Food for Agile Thought #443: Scrum Theory, Beating the Feature Factory, We’re All Product Managers Now, Dealing With Chaos

TL; DR: Scrum Theory — Food for Agile Thought #443

Welcome to the 443rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,551 peers. This week, Francis Laleman reconsiders Scrum theory, appreciating its robust foundation in empiricism and lean thinking, and Jeff Putz advocates for Agile’s practical value over procedural adherence. Also, Todd Lankford outlines steps to enhance team autonomy and leadership. Verena Schwarzer discusses Agile’s challenges in large organizations, while Chris Matts critiques superficial Agile implementations, particularly the ineffective “Go/No Go” meetings that typify “Agile Kabuki.”

Then, Melissa Perri and Stephen Bungay apply military tactics to product management strategy, discussing daily challenges and solutions, and David Pereira and Maarten Dalmijn advocate for impactful, humble planning over quantity to escape the feature factory trap. Moreover, Michael H. Goitein highlights strategy as crucial for business agility, citing Nokia’s focus on Agile without a strategic foundation as a cautionary tale. Jeff Gothelf argues for unifying roles in product development, suggesting everyone should be a product manager to enhance collaboration.

Lastly, John Cutler interviews Gene Kim about his latest work, ‘Wiring the Winning Organization,’ focusing on simplification and impactful change themes. Lena Reinhard offers strategies for leaders to manage overwhelming workloads, and Simone Cicero presents a manifesto for adaptable, innovative platform organizations suited for the 21st century. Also, Shane Parrish discusses how the differing schedules of Haruki Murakami and Gary Vaynerchuk reflect their unique professional demands. Finally, Andrew Chen critiques the tech industry’s “Dopamine Culture,” highlighting the challenge of balancing instant engagement with lasting retention.

Food for Agile Thought #443: Scrum Theory, Beating the Feature Factory, We’re All Product Managers Now, Dealing With Chaos — Age-of-Product.com
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Help Create the Anti-Patterns Canvas

TL; DR: Introducing the “Anti-Patterns Canvas”

Join me in developing the Anti-Patterns Canvas, a dynamic and free tool that extends the insights of the “Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide” book. Share your expertise through the survey, see below, and test-drive tools, practices, and exercises through a series of upcoming Hands-on meetups. In other words, help me create a resource that enhances agile practice and value creation.

👉 Join the Anti-Patterns Canvas survey here.

Help Create the Anti-Patterns Canvas — Age-of-Product.com
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