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TL; DR: Product Thinking — Food for Agile Thought #401

Welcome to the 401st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 47,937 peers. This week, we join Murray Robinson, Shane Gibson, and Jeff Patton to delve into product thinking. Also, we highlight misconceptions around Agile adoption, clarifying that the term “faster” is not mentioned in definitions of “Agile” or “agility” before we move to combine Wardley Mapping, Domain-Driven Design (DDD), and Team Topologies to develop “adaptive socio-technical systems.” Moreover, Peter Stevens created an informative and concise 15-minute animated presentation introducing Scrum.

Then, we explain why opting for agile coaches instead of product coaches as a cost-saving alternative often falls short, and John Cutler suggests that product leaders must establish their product’s investment and governance framework to avoid one being imposed on them. Moreover, we emphasize the importance of finding product-market fit in a startup, pointing to a comprehensive guide that provides valuable lessons from six pivots and achieving product-market fit. Another goodie comes from Paweł Huryn, as he delves into the implications, exploring the distinction between product management and product marketing.

Finally, we highlight the importance of post-mortem meetings to uncover lessons from failed projects. Learn more about running them, including their definition, timing, benefits, conducting methods, etc. The DORA 4 metrics, derived from Accelerate, help engineering teams understand what it means to operate as an elite team. However, there is a problem with typical implementations. Lastly, Dean Peters explores how ChatGPT can aid product managers in formulating user stories, providing a fictional example of a product manager, and we take another shot at the perils of an oversized Product Backlog.

Food for Agile Thought #401: Product Thinking, Prioritization to Accountability, Product-Market Fit Game, Inside The Scrum Team — Age-of-Product.com

🏅 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn this week was: Introducing: The Minimum Viable Library — #Agile #Coaching edition!

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🏆 The Tip of the Week

Jeff Patton and Shane Drumm: Product thinking and user story mapping

Join Murray Robinson and Shane Gibson as they discuss product thinking and user story mapping with Jeff Patton. Jeff emphasizes the focus on outcomes, achieving product-market fit through understanding customer problems, and balancing desirability, value, and feasibility. Gain insights into the importance of prototyping and prioritizing user outcomes.

🍋 The Lemon of the Week

We are lemon-free this week!

➿ Agile & Scrum

Tim Ottinger (via Agile Alliance): If Productivity Matters (and it Probably Does), then Team Up!

Many individuals prefer working independently, and managers often assign tasks to their top performers, providing personal flexibility, autonomy, accountability, and predictability. However, if productivity is important, there may be better approaches, suggests Tim Ottinger.

Scott Duncan (via Medium): Implementing Agile Values and Principles: Faster, Cheaper, Better

Scott Duncan highlights misconceptions around Agile adoption, clarifying that the term ‘faster’ is not mentioned in standard definitions of “Agile” or “agility.” Achieving agility involves maintaining balance and stability while moving quickly. Learn more about balancing speed and stability in agile practices.

Susanne Kaiser (via InfoQ): Adaptive, Socio-Technical Systems with Architecture for Flow: Wardley Maps, DDD, and Team Topologies

Susanne Kaiser emphasizes a holistic approach when developing adaptive socio-technical systems, combining Wardley Mapping, Domain-Driven Design (DDD), and Team Topologies. This powerful toolset enables the design, construction, and evolution of systems optimized for sustainable change and resilience in dynamic environments.

Peter Stevens (via YouTube): Inside The Scrum Team – 15-Minute Introduction to Scrum

‘Inside the Scrum Team’ offers an informative and concise 15-minute animated presentation introducing Scrum. Part 1 explores the reasons for Scrum, the Scrum Team’s relationship with stakeholders, and the benefits of the Scrum approach. Part 2 delves into the relationships between Scrum Developers, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner, along with common challenges.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-30, 2023

Discover Scrum’s four success principles in this official Scrum.org Advanced Scrum Master training class including the industry-recognized PSM II certification. The PSM II training class is designed as a live virtual class and will be offered in English.

Enjoy the benefits of a compact immersive class with like-minded agile peers from 09:00 – 17:30 o’clock CEST.

Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-30, 2023 — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 20-30, 2023 .

👉 From time to time, we can offer last-minute seats for training classes at cost to individuals who do not have access to a corporate training budget. If you like to be notified about these opportunities, please register here .

🎯 Product

Petra Wille: Why Agile Coaches Can’t Be Product Coaches

Petra Wille observes the rise of product coaches and their increasing influence in the industry. While recognizing the value they bring, companies often opt for agile coaches as a cost-saving alternative. However, the author explains why this decision not to spend money often falls short.

John Cutler: From Prioritization to Accountability (and Autonomy)

John Cutler suggests that product leaders must establish their product’s investment and governance framework to avoid one being imposed on them. Prioritization is insufficient; instead, implement a progressive funding model and hold yourself accountable for resource allocation.

(via PostHog): The Product-Market Fit Game

James Hawkins emphasizes the importance of finding product-market fit in a startup and compares the process to playing Snakes and Ladders. Based on the author’s experience, this guide provides valuable lessons from six pivots and achieving product-market fit.

Pawel Huryn: Product Management vs. Product Marketing vs. Product Growth 101

A few weeks ago, Airbnb made headlines by restructuring its product management function, leading to misconceptions about eliminating the PM role. In this article, Paweł Huryn delves into the implications, exploring the distinction between product management and product marketing.

📯 The Expensive Folly of the Oversized Product Backlog

Some Product Owners believe that a comprehensive Product Backlog is the best way to accomplish the Product Goal and be fully transparent simultaneously—never let a possibly valuable idea slip away. However, a comprehensive backlog may quickly become an oversized Product Backlog with unintended side effects.

Learn more about an oversized Product Backlog’s negative impact on innovation, your Scrum team’s ability to create value, and your relationship with stakeholders.

The Oversized Product Backlog Problem — Making Your Scrum Work #11 — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: The Expensive Folly of the Oversized Product Backlog .

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Ori Keren: DORA Metrics: We’ve Been Using Them Wrong

The DORA 4 metrics, derived from Accelerate, help engineering teams understand what it means to operate as an elite team. For example, these metrics measure velocity and stability, enabling teams to improve and achieve better business outcomes. However, according to Ori Keren, a problem arises in their implementation.

(via Parabol Focus): How to Run a Post-Mortem Meeting: Easy 6-Step Process

The author highlights the importance of post-mortem meetings to uncover lessons from failed projects. Learn more about running productive post-mortems, including their definition, timing, benefits, conducting methods, alternative approaches, templates, facilitator questions, and FAQs.

Dean Peters (via 280 Group): Harnessing ChatGPT to Generate User Stories: A Product Manager’s Guide

Dean Peters explores how ChatGPT can aid product managers in formulating user stories, providing a fictional example of a product manager. Discover the repeatable structure for future dialogues and leverage the paid version of ChatGPT to manage incoming ideas.

🎶 Encore

Keith McCandless (via Medium): The Deliberate Irony of Liberating Structures

Keith McCandless, Arvind Singhal, and Steven H. Cady look at the origins and principles of Liberating Structures (LS), an open-source repertoire of protocols and rules that free individuals from exclusionary patterns. With ten principles and 33 practical methods, LS is versatile and applicable to various group processes. Learn more about the liberating power of LS.

(via Mind The Product): Unlocking your potential: Strategies to reignite passion for product managers

Phani K Vuyyuru shares strategies for product managers to reignite their passion and overcome stagnation: introspect regularly, reprioritize initiatives, calibrate against competitors, and seek customer feedback. Learn more about reigniting passion in product management.


📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

You can secure your seat for Scrum training classes, workshops, and meetups directly by following the corresponding link in the table below:

Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 August 17, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #52: Jim Highsmith (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Class FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 August 29-30, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 September 5-6, 2023 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 September 26-29, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 October 4, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Training (PSFS; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €749 incl. 19% VAT
🇬🇧 October 24-25, 2023 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; In-person Class) Hyperion Hotel Berlin €1,499 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here .

Professional Scrum Trainer Stefan Wolpers

You can book your seat for the training directly by following the corresponding links to the ticket shop. If the procurement process of your organization requires a different purchasing process, please contact Berlin Product People GmbH directly.

📺 Join 5,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube

Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel to improve learning, for example, about product thinking:

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✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Product Thinking — Join the 12,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community

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Help your team to explore product thinking by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide :

Download the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide by PST Stefan Wolpers — 160 ways to improve as a Scrum Team — Age-of-Product.com

🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #400: Doing Great Work, Introverted Product Managers, Sphere of Influence, Experimentation Fallacy .

The post Food for Agile Thought #401: Product Thinking, Prioritization to Accountability, Product-Market Fit Game, Inside The Scrum Team appeared first on Age-of-Product.com .

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