Food for Agile Thought #318: Kodak’s Shirley Cards, Prediction & Uncertainty in Product, Change Agent Leadership, Dark Side of Metrics

TL; DR: Kodak’s Shirley Cards, Dark Side of Metrics — Food for Agile Thought #318

Welcome to the 318th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,565 peers. This week, we tell the story of a lack of diversity and its consequences for humanity, photography, and product design: Kodak’s Shirley Cards. Also, we share a long list of improv games to support team building and help prevent burnout and fatigue, and we point at five possible values you could provide when asked for an estimate, from optimistic to risk-averse to worst-case estimates.

We then ask whether uncertainty might establish a better foundation for product discovery and product design, and we listen to Melissa Perri interviewing John Cutler on the importance of product education. Moreover, we advocate thinking of ‘time as a blade, a tool that can sharpen focus and trim waste,’ detailing Honeycomb’s approach to planning, and we reflect on how to overcome the annual planning waste while pointing at the reasons continuous planning fails in practice.

Lastly, we name the dark side of metrics: Companies expose themselves to metric corruption when optimizing those at the cost of all else, and we share an epic list of resources to further your change agent skills.

Food for Agile Thought #318: Kodak’s Shirley Cards, Prediction & Uncertainty in Product, Change Agent Leadership, Dark Side of Metrics — Age-of-Product.com
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The Agile Metrics Survey 2021

TL; DR: The Agile Metrics Survey 2021

If you value agile practices, it is crucial to know if a job offering or a prospective business partner that claims to be “agile” really keeps its promises. Unfortunately, as agility usually cannot be observed directly, and certainly not from the outside of an organization, there is no way of knowing in advance if you will enter an agile environment that serves your own working needs or if a lot of frustration lies ahead of you. Therefore, we ran an extensive survey throughout 2020 and 2021 with more than 1,000 participants from all walks of agility: the Agile Metrics Survey 2021.

With the Agile Metrics Survey 2021, we present the first results and conclude with some thoughts about possible application scenarios of our instrument as well as possible next steps in our research.

Agile Metrics Survey 2021 — Berlin Product People GmbH
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Download the Agile Metrics Survey 2021

Welcome to the Download Page of the ”Agile Metrics Survey 2021”

If you value agile practices, it is crucial to know if a job offering or a prospective business partner that claims to be “agile” really keeps its promises. Unfortunately, as agility usually cannot be observed directly, and certainly not from the outside of an organization, there is no way of knowing in advance if you will enter an agile environment that serves your own working needs or if a lot of frustration lies ahead of you.

Therefore, we ran an extensive survey throughout 2020 and 2021 with more than 1,000 participants from all walks of agility. With the Agile Metrics Survey 2021, we present the first results and conclude with some thoughts about possible application scenarios of our instrument as well as possible next steps in our research.

Agile Metrics Survey 2021 — Berlin Product People GmbH

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Food for Agile Thought #317: Underperforming Dev Team, PO vs. PM Madness, Failure Cultures Reward Failure, 2022 Product Conference List

TL; DR: Underperforming Dev Team, PO vs. PM Madness — Food for Agile Thought #317

Welcome to the 317th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,471 peers. This week, we share advice on how to support an underperforming dev team. Moreover, we listen to Richard Kasperowski and Woody Zuill talking about leadership, and we reflect on the agile mantra of failing fast. Could it be wrong?

We then delve into the Product Manager vs. Product Owner debate; we express concern about the rise of the third class beyond makers and managers in product teams: the process people, and we share Teresa Torres’ first version of her 2022 conference list.

Lastly, we explain three simple ways of getting a grip on splitting user stories, and we point out a surprising truth: the number of people needed for an interview study is often smaller than expected.

Food for Agile Thought #317: Underperforming Dev Team, PO vs. PM Madness, Failure Cultures Reward Failure, 2022 Product Conference List — Age-of-Product.com
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Maximizing Utilization, Ignoring Slack Time — Making Your Scrum Work #22

TL; DR: Maximizing Utilization as a Relic from the Industrial Management Past

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Since Scrum is an intentionally incomplete framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. For example, what if the focus of the organization is on the maximizing utilization of the “workers” of the Scrum teams? What if the organization is still stuck deeply in industrial paradigm thinking, ignoring the benefits of slack time for the creation of value in the field of knowledge work?

Join me and delve into the effects of this outdated management principle in 60 seconds.

Maximizing Utilization, Ignoring Slack Time — Making Your Scrum Work #22 — Age-of-Product.com
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Food for Agile Thought #316: Fixed Scope & Date, Yet Agile? Taking a Wedge to the Market, Agile Hangover, Value Stream Mapping Best Practices

TL; DR: Fixed Scope, Yet Agile? Agile Hangover — Food for Agile Thought #316

Welcome to the 316th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,419 peers. This week, we ask: Fixed scope & date, yet there is agility? Moreover, we sum up some observations regarding agile transformations, from the beginning of the party to the probably ‘inevitable.’ We also list five stupid yet still popular management practices, from stack ranking to open offices, and we share seven principles and five steps to enhance your change leadership skills.

We then delve into a successful product strategy pattern that made Shopify, Tesla, or Airbnb successful: wedge yourself into the market, then expand, and ask: “What happens when your biggest strength and greatest asset as a product development organization becomes your biggest weakness?” Additionally, we elaborate on the Use Case Frequency Spectrum and how it applies to growing products that customers use once a year or less.

Lastly, we share a helpful infographic with the core elements of VSM to kickstart continuous improvement and a framework to improve user research, leading to better-informed decision-making.

Food for Agile Thought #316: Fixed Scope & Date, Yet Agile? Taking a Wedge to the Market, Agile Hangover, Value Stream Mapping Best Practices — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Food for Agile Thought #316: Fixed Scope & Date, Yet Agile? Taking a Wedge to the Market, Agile Hangover, Value Stream Mapping Best Practices