TL; DR: Avoiding Product Waste — Food for Agile Thought #382
Welcome to the 382nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,960 peers. This week, we explore the best approaches to avoiding product waste. Also, drawing ideas from prolific experts in the field of complexity like Dave Snowden, John Cutler provides an easy ‘entry point into a discussion about complexity [and] complex systems.’ Dealing with complexity eases when an organizational culture guarantees psychological safety. We share four ways of safely creating teams, two based on trust and two based on respect. Lastly, our weekly ChatGPT dose addresses the typical workload of a Scrum Master.
Then, we share insights into metrics of Duolingo’s long game of building a product user love and share voluntarily. Moreover, Teresa Torres dives into the results of the first Continuous Discovery Habits survey and shares outstanding results; for example, shifting from outputs to outcomes. (Pair that one with Cori Widen’s article on the pitfalls of continuous discovery research.) Also, Jiaona Zhang, teaching Stanford’s graduate-level product management course, discusses careers.
Finally, we speculate on why some reject a highly successful practice: the Double Diamond. Is it just a personal agenda? Additionally, we share a primer on best employing ChatGPT for user research, from competitor analysis to defining key metrics to reaching the target audience for insights. Speaking of which: DAIR.AI created a ‘new prompt engineering guide that contains all the latest papers, learning guides, lectures, references, and tools related to prompt engineering.’
TL; DR: Club Scrum — You, too, ChatGPT?
A few years ago, I ran a survey to figure out what Scrum Masters serving a single Scrum team do all day. Now that we have a new kid, pardon: a new LLM, on the block, I reran the old questionnaire: Club Scrum: What Are You Doing all Day, ChatGPT — as a Scrum Master?
Based on the survey results from 2018, the normalized total amount of time spent on Scrum events, educating themselves, or coaching teammates and stakeholders, respectively, was approximately 12 hours per week, which leaves a lot of room for dealing with impediments.
Read on and learn what ChatGPT considers to be a typical workload. (Excluding the removal of impediments.)
TL; DR: Agile Is Alive — Food for Agile Thought #381
Welcome to the 381st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,846 peers. This week, we learn again that rumors of “Agile’s” demise are greatly exaggerated — Agile is alive. (Check out the Tip of the Week as a reply to this week’s 🍋.) Also, we delve into the history of the technical debt concept and suggest how to manage the challenge sustainably and effectively. Next, follow the money: Allan Kelly addresses a typically ignored yet essential topic in many organizations: team finances.
Then, we reflect on the problems of allocating most development work to customization while starving the core product, also known as sales-led development. Moreover, we answer a vital question many product people share today: how to sustain the innovation momentum with fewer bucks? And Elad Gil asks whether early SaaS or AI companies are ever defensible at an early stage and delivers a comprehensive list of potential ways to build a moat. Alternatively, you can also steal from aggregated a list of ‘best practices used by successful product companies.’
Finally, Deb Liu suggests changing perspective when you are in a perceived conflict: retell your story with the other as the hero, and Buffer shared their extensive study on how ‘remote workers from around the world feel about remote work.’ Lastly, Jordan Harbinger interviews Alastair Smith on dictatorship. What I find particularly interesting about the talk is why bad behavior often makes for good politics. (I felt instantly reminded of some agile transformations in the past.)
TL; DR: ChatGPT Product Owner Job Interview
A few weeks ago, I ran a simulated job interview with ChatGPT for a fictitious Scrum Master position. Admittedly, I would not have invited this “interviewee” for an interview with other team members; however, the interview produced some remarkable answers. Consequently, I tried the same with a Product Owner position, aware of the challenges this would pose, as the Product Owner role is significantly fuzzier than the one of a Scrum Master. So, I took a few questions from the Hiring: 82 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions guide and ran a ChatGPT Product Owner job interview.
Read on and learn whether a statistical model will challenge product people in the near future.
TL; DR: How ChatGPT Works — Food for Agile Thought #380
Welcome to the 380th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,747 peers. This week, we learn how ChatGPT works; Stephen Wolfram wrote an epic article essential for everyone working in the knowledge space. Moreover, we introduce a new category — 🍋 The Lemon of the Week — for pieces that get everything wrong. It would be best if you were strong for the first example; someone built a stack-ranking system for Developers based on velocity. Back to the real world: We share a simple revelation, explaining all: ‘We cannot know the value of our work until it’s done and in use.’ (Of course, everyone wants us to predict what value will be created in advance precisely; you notice the contradiction.) Also, we push back against the consensus and delve into the possibilities to overcome the ‘various hurdles keeping us from doing our best work.’
Then, we compile a comprehensive list of behavioral anti-patterns for newbies and seasoned product practitioners alike, from building your work on assumptions to falling in love with your solution. Roman Pichler addresses how to best utilize Scrum’s potential to deliver valuable Increments as a product mensch, from including product discovery to aligning stakeholders, and we put ‘forward an alternative mental model for product development: think about building a garden, not a factory.’
Finally, the Scrum Master Salary Report 2023 is out; see below. Additionally, Teresa Torres shares the result of the first Continuous Discovery Habits survey. On the tool side, we found a simple yet helpful tool identifying the key features of your product and an introductory guide on supporting your CoP to mature, from guiding principles to meeting formats.
TL; DR: The Scrum Master Salary Report 2023 — How Do You Compare?
The Scrum Master Salary Report 2023 is the fourth edition of the industry survey after 2017, 2019, and 2022. This free report is based on the answers of 1,143 participants globally. If you are considering a career decision this year, maybe, whether you should join the industry as a junior Scrum Master or move to a new organization or go independent, you will find the report’s information beneficial.
By the way, the average salary of the participants in the survey is US-$80,995, with a standard deviation of about US-$53,700. In the complete report, you will find more detailed information; download your copy below.