TL; DR: Scrum Master Anti-Patterns
No other role in Scrum can contribute to mediocre outcomes like the Product Owner—garbage in, garbage out. Therefore, the following list of some of the most common Product Owner anti-patterns might be a starting point to reflect on the role; maybe, there is room for improvement?
If you recognize some anti-patterns in your daily work, why don’t you ask the rest of the Scrum Team for support? For example, run a Retrospective with teammates and stakeholders on how the team is doing regarding figuring out what is worth building.
TL; DR: Portfolios of Bets, Progressive Organizations — Food for Agile Thought #340
Welcome to the 340th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,173 peers. This week, we list ten progressive organizations with structures rooted in practice, from Kyocera to VISA to Haier. Also, we present research results that unlocking the benefits of diversity requires that team members can ‘express their ideas, questions or concerns and not be embarrassed or ostracised.’ Moreover, we believe that Taylorism is a continuation of the Newtonian Mindset of linear causalities—with serious consequences for the way we work.
We then take a different view on product roadmaps as portfolios of bets and visualize the differences between an earlier-stage VC-backed startup and a later-stage company. Additionally, we discover ways to tame complexity in product development, dissect the abrupt demise of CNN+ and its lessons for pursuing product discovery and explore 20 typically Sprint Planning anti-patterns. Also, there is some career advice: Kristina Walcker-Mayer believes that product management is an excellent apprenticeship to becoming a CEO.
Lastly, we suggest playing a game to reduce your potential risk and avoid falling victim to the planning fallacy, and we appreciate a guide to help you set and achieve your goals based on Stoicism’s first principles of self-discipline, self-control, and endurance.
TL; DR: Sprint Planning Anti-Patterns
The Sprint Planning is a core event that defines how your customers’ lives will improve with the following Product Increment. Learn more on how to improve its effectiveness by avoiding 20 common Sprint Planning anti-patterns.
TL; DR: Product Management Anti-Patterns, Scrum-like Kanban — Food for Agile Thought #339
Welcome to the 339th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,114 peers. This week, we explore product management anti-patterns, from the hamster wheel to the ivory tower to the throne room, and we ask ourselves: What is a high-performing agile team? Also, we detail how to incorporate tactics and practices from Scrum into a Kanban system and suggest a massive list of statistics on ‘Agile’ and Scrum to support your initiatives with data.
We then point to two different processes that comprise product management: a) core product work, creating objective value, and b) growth work, optimizing how a product delivers value to customers. Moreover, we explain how startups may benefit from continuous discovery work, although most start with an idea, not a customer segment and a value proposition, and we describe a system of connecting strategy with operational doing, dubbed the ‘roadmap pipeline.’
Lastly, we show how value stream optimization helps to improve throughput and quality in the development process. We also point to Ray Dalio’s book ‘Principles,’ where Dalio communicates his idea of how to share your disagreement in a considerate and constructive manner. Finally, Eric Migicovsky published a post-mortem from 2017 on lessons learned from the demise of Pebble.
TL; DR: Scrum Master Anti-Patterns
The reasons Scrum Masters violate the spirit of the Scrum Guide are multi-faceted. Typical Scrum Master anti-patterns run from ill-suited personal traits to complacency to pursuing individual agendas to frustration with the team itself.
Read on and learn in this post on Scrum anti-patterns how you can identify if your Scrum Master needs support from the team.
TL; DR: The Taste of Salt & Agile Coaching, Visual Planning w/ Jeff & Gojko — Food for Agile Thought #338
Welcome to the 338th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,072 peers. This week, we listen to Jeff Patton, Gojko Adzic, and James Shore delving into the benefits of visual planning. We also reflect on an often referred-to but rarely understood critical concept required to solve complex adaptive problems. Speaking of teamwork, we dive into the importance of group sizes in creating social cohesion and collaboration, referring to the ‘Dunbar number’—often used, simplified, and rarely understood as a concept. Moreover, Shai Yallin describes a process often causing technical debt and how to create systems to prevent this from happening.
We then analyze three significant problems with long-term planning, from premature decision making to the inevitable time consumption to promoting rigidity. Also, we criticize distinguishing between problem-solving and problem definition; this is probably less helpful than you think. Moreover, we suggest a simple approach to getting started with a critical element of product analytics and product-led growth to prevent you from slipping into feature factory mode.
Lastly, we follow Yves Hanoulle and Jason Yip using a compelling metaphor to explore the idea of ‘agile coaching.’ Then, borrowing from the human-centered systems thinking school, Deirdre Cerminaro suggests a visualization technique to help you ‘spot opportunities for growth and change.’ And we ask: How does Le Corbusier’s ‘Cité Frugès de Pessac’ masterpiece relate to going back to the office? Or shall we rather say: being forced back into the office?