Cargo Cult Agile — A Checklist to Open the Discussion

TL; DR: The Cargo Cult Agile Checklist for Download

Do you want to know the state of agility in your organization? Here we go: Download the checklist, distribute it generously among your colleagues, and run a quick poll. It will only take 5 minutes of their time–and then analyze their feedback. If the average number of checkboxes marked is higher than nine, then you are probably practicing cargo cult agile in one form or another.

If running the cargo cult agile survey is the ‘inspection,’ then consider adapting your approach to being agile by kicking-off a discussion among the stakeholders of your organization’s endeavor.

The State of Agile: the cargo cult agile checklist for your organization by Age of Product
Continue reading Cargo Cult Agile — A Checklist to Open the Discussion

Why Agile Turns into Micromanagement

TL;DR: Why Agile Turns into Micromanagement

Agile turns into micromanagement as a result of the middle management’s resistance to change. Despite better knowledge, changing an organization into a learning one that embraces experimentation and failure is not in everybody’s best interest. Self-organizing, empowered teams often conflict with the middle management’s drive to execute personal agendas, self-preservation being one of them.

You guessed right: it is time for a rant and short “checklist” to get the discussion going in your organization.

Agile micromanagement: autonomy, mastery and purpose
Continue reading Why Agile Turns into Micromanagement

Product Roadmap First Principles

It’s Product Roadmap Building Time Again!

The end of 2020 is nearing, and it’s product roadmap building time again—at least for those companies that are still dedicated to the old command-and-control model. In the next few weeks, executives and (key) stakeholders will come together and define new functionality that they believe will meet business demands in 2021.

While investing in product roadmaps can yield a reasonable return by creating a shared understanding between the “the business” and product teams, I also believe that product roadmaps need to be living artifacts requiring continuous attention by everyone involved. To make that process as worthwhile as possible, adhering to the following seven product roadmap first principles has proven beneficial in my experience.

Product Roadmap First Principles — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Product Roadmap First Principles

Agile Management Anti-Patterns — An Introduction for Aspiring Servant Leaders

TL; DR: Agile Management Anti-Patterns

Learn more about agile management anti-patterns the aspiring servant leader should avoid during the organization’s transition: From applying the Stage-Gate® approach through the back door to the ‘where is my report’ attitude to other beloved signs of applied Taylorism.

Agile Management Anti-Patterns: An Introduction for the Aspiring Servant Leader — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Agile Management Anti-Patterns — An Introduction for Aspiring Servant Leaders

18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture

TL; DR: 18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture

What looked like a good idea back in the 1990ies—outsourcing software development as a non-essential business area—has meanwhile massively backfired for a lot of legacy organizations. While they try to become more appealing to product and software developers, they still have difficulties understanding what it takes to build an attractive product/engineering culture. Learn more about typical anti-patterns and signs that an organization is causing a toxic team culture, impeding its efforts to become agile.

18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading 18 Signs of a Systemic Toxic Team Culture

Remote Agile (Part 4): Anti-Patterns — Pitfalls Successful Distributed Teams Avoid

TL; DR: Remote Agile Anti-Patterns — Pitfalls Successful Distributed Teams Avoid

We started this series on remote agile with looking into practices and tools, followed by delving into virtual Liberating Structures, and how to master Zoom. This fourth article now addresses basic remote agile anti-patterns — the pitfalls any distributed team wants to avoid to become successful.

Remote Agile (Part 4): Anti-Patterns — Pitfalls Successful Distributed Teams Avoid — Age-of-Product.com
Continue reading Remote Agile (Part 4): Anti-Patterns — Pitfalls Successful Distributed Teams Avoid