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TL; DR: Life Coaching In Agile? — Food for Agile Thought #403

Welcome to the 403rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 48,157 peers. This week, Ronald Purser critically examines the life coaching industry, often selling pseudo-solutions to profound issues. Is that trend spilling over to Agile? Also, Maarten Dalmijn questions the efficacy of Agile Maturity Models, while Julee Everett makes a strong case for full-time Scrum Masters based on financial benefits. Moreover, Vidas Vasiliauskas reflects on Teamhood’s evolution with Scrum, highlighting the significance of continuous improvement.

Then, Howie Mann proposes a novel way of handling product feature requests by focusing on recent problems, and Šejla Vatreš probes into the emerging trend of ‘full stack’ product managers and its potential implications. Additionally, John Utz examines the common disconnect between expected product features and valuable outcomes, especially in annual budgeting, and Ash Maurya underscores the importance of creating a unique value proposition (UVP) that captivates customer attention.

Finally, Nick Brown scrutinizes the metric of Flow Efficiency in Agile, using data from over 60 teams at ASOS to discuss its merits and pitfalls. Daniel Stillman presents a compelling 2018 study that illustrates how a “committed minority group” making up at least 25% can initiate cultural change within a community. Lastly, we suggest applying Hanlon’s Razor to improve relationships and enhance empathy, which can lead to less judgment, increased rationality, and personal happiness.

Food for Agile Thought #403: Life Coaching In Agile? Full Stack Product Management, Agile Maturity Model, Optimal UVPs — Age-of-Product.com

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Life Coaching In Agile

(via Current Affairs): How the Life Coaching Industry Sells Pseudo-Solutions to Our Deepest Problems

Ronald Purser critically examines the life coaching industry, noting its rise amid dwindling social support and increasing pressures for self-made success. He argues that this industry often sells pseudo-solutions to profound issues. Is that trend spilling over to Agile?

🍋 The Lemon of the Week

Marijn Scholtens (via Medium): Smart Scrum: Optimizing the Effectivity of your Scrum Process

As we all know, Scrum evolves around an utterly inefficient process. According to the author, we can turn this tragic state upside down by adding two more events: the refinement and the prep for the Sprint Review. That was easy, wasn’t it?

➿ Agile & Scrum

Maarten Dalmijn: Agile Maturity Model Adherence – Be Careful What You Wish For!

Maarten Dalmijn challenges the validity and usefulness of Agile Maturity Models. He questions the assumption that climbing higher on the model’s metaphorical flagpole translates into better results.

Julee Everett (via Medium): The Business Case for a Scrum Master

Diving into the economics of hiring full-time Scrum Masters, Julee Everett builds a compelling case using various data sources. Based on average U.S. salaries and a Scrum team size of 10, their insights underscore the financial benefits of such a decision.

Vidas Vasiliauskas: 52 Sprints Later – Win Some, Lose Some, Scrum-butt Done

Vidas Vasiliauskas reflects on Teamhood’s two-year journey with Scrum, involving 52 sprints. While acknowledging past misconceptions, they emphasize the importance of continuous learning and improvement. Explore their key learnings presented in the classic retrospective format.

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Online Training w/ PSM II Certificate — August 29-30, 2023

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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 29-30, 2023 .

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🎯 Product

Howie Mann: How to respond to product feature requests? Ask “When did you last face this problem?”

Howie Mann suggests an insightful shift in addressing product feature requests. Rather than asking ‘what’ or ‘why,’ the focus should be on asking ‘When did you last face this problem?’, paving the way for prompt, practical solutions.

Šejla Vatreš (via Mind The Product): Is full stack product management a good idea?

Šejla Vatreš explores the concept of ‘full stack’ product managers who juggle various skills from tech to marketing. The piece raises questions about the feasibility and benefits of this approach in product management.

John Utz (via Medium): Let’s Talk About the F Word — Features: Why budgeting for features leads to product failure

John Utz emphasizes the recurring pressure on product teams to deliver features, overshadowing the critical focus on outcomes. This struggle is particularly prominent during annual budgeting, leading to a frequent misunderstanding between value versus features.

📯 Product Discovery for Scrum Teams — Scrum Tools, Part 2

While Scrum excels at building and releasing Increments, it does not guarantee that those are valuable—garbage in, garbage out. Scrum teams can equally make things no one is interested in using at all. The critical artifact to create value is the Product Backlog, “an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the product.” (Source .) However, Scrum does not elaborate on how the Product Owner identifies Product Backlog-worthy work items. That would be the job of the process that feeds into the Product Backlog: product discovery.

Learn more about which frameworks have proven useful to augment Scrum with product discovery practices.

Product Discovery for Scrum Teams — Scrum Tools, Part 2 — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Product Discovery for Scrum Teams — Scrum Tools, Part 2 .

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Nick Brown (via Medium): Our survey says… uncovering the real numbers behind flow efficiency

Nick Brown critically examines the widely touted metric of Flow Efficiency in Agile, drawing on actual data from over 60 teams at ASOS. Discover more about the validity and flaws of Flow Efficiency in agile environments.

Daniel Stillman: Minimum Viable Transformation

Daniel Stillman presents a 2018 study revealing that a “committed minority group” of at least 25% can trigger a cultural change in a community. Explore the power of a minority in driving change.

Ash Maurya: Crafting Attention-Grabbing Unique Value Propositions

Ash Maurya emphasizes that crafting a unique value proposition (UVP) that grabs customer attention is a product’s initial challenge. The UVP should be concise, different, specific, and persuasive enough to inspire action.

🎶 Encore

(via Farnam Street): Hanlon’s Razor: Not Everyone is Out to Get You

The author suggests applying Hanlon’s Razor to improve relationships and enhance empathy. Embracing this mental model can lead to less judgment, increased rationality, and personal happiness.


📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

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Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 August 17, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #52: Jim Highsmith (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup 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 5, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #53: An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling w/ Bob Galen (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 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 10, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #54: Product Backlog Management Traps — David Pereira (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🇬🇧 October 24-25, 2023 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; In-person Class) Berlinm Hyperion Hotel €1,499 incl. 19% VAT

See all upcoming classes here .

Professional Scrum Trainer Stefan Wolpers

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Help your team to explore the perils Life Coaching in Agile by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide :

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #402: Agile First Principles, Digging Moats, Steve Jobs on ‘No,’ The Right Product Metrics .

The post Food for Agile Thought #403: Life Coaching In Agile? Full Stack Product Management, Agile Maturity Models, Optimal UVPs appeared first on Age-of-Product.com .

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