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TL; DR: Social Status — Food for Agile Thought #404

Welcome to the 404th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 48,271 peers. This week, we explore intriguing perspectives on social dynamics: David Pinsof delves into the psychology of social status, while Alex Ewerlöf discusses ownership in project management. We also feature Daniele Altomare’s insights on ethics in Agile environments and John Cutler’s viewpoint on the influence of culture on organizational frameworks.

Then, Packy McCormick warns about the pitfalls of execution without a robust strategy, using Breather as a case study. Aatir Abdul Rauf identifies common blunders in product discovery that affect success. Also, Melissa Perri and Teresa Torres address complex issues in large companies, emphasizing skilled product management and standardized processes.

Finally, Justin Garrison examines Amazon’s unique document-centered meeting approach. Lenny Rachitsky and Dr. Nicole Forsgren unpack productivity in DevOps with the DORA and SPACE frameworks. Dave Hora advocates for strategic agility in software production, while Casey Rosengren explores non-coercive leadership strategies. Lastly, a McKinsey report delves into the growth and impact of generative AI tools in organizations.

Food for Agile Thought #404: Social Status, In Defense of Strategy, Broken Ownership, Amazon’s Document Culture — Age-of-Product.com

🏅 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn this week was: Your stakeholders don’t care about how good you are at Scrum. But they’ll listen if you show how agility makes them successful. 🚀

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Social Status

david pinsof: Status Is Weird

David Pinsof delves into the peculiarities of social status and the unspoken games people play to achieve it. Status, often shrouded in denial and indirect pursuits, is subject to change and cultural context. Learn more about the psychology of status.

📖 Book Tip of the Week: Maarten Dalmijn

I recently finished reading Maarten Dalmijn’s new book “Driving Value With Sprint Goals: Humble Plans, Exceptional Results ” — great work! He mentions many issues I address in my classes, but it is the first time I realized the beauty of applying the Sprint Goal as a magnifying glass for Scrum and all its nitty, gritty details.

Moreover, I like starting the narrative with von Clausewitz and friction, followed by von Moltke the Elder and Auftragstaktik/commander’s intent. It provides a compelling framework to develop the rest of the book. So, if you are looking to understand agile product development beyond the mechanical replication of some Scrum practices, acquiring Maarten’s book is a lower-brainer! 👍 💯

➿ Agile & Scrum

Alex Ewerlöf: Broken Ownership

Alex Ewerlöf investigates scenarios where elements of the “ownership trio”—knowledge, mandate, responsibility—are absent, arguing that this leads to broken ownership. The article underscores the interconnectedness of these elements for successfully managing any project.

(via Medium): Navigating the Ethical Dimensions of Agile

Daniele Altomare explores the role of ethics in Agile environments, emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of ethical behavior. He discusses common ethical dilemmas, provides tools for ethical decision-making, and underscores the significance of maintaining values in Agile transformations.

John Cutler: Whenever you read about a “framework” that was home-cooked in a company […] remember that what you need to copy is the culture

John Cutler asserts that organizational frameworks reflect the unique culture within a company, not an input to shape it. These frameworks’ effectiveness varies across companies due to distinct cultural contexts. Learn more about culture’s role in shaping practices, think of the Spotify model.

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

Packy McCormick: In Defense of Strategy

Packy McCormick argues that execution without strategic direction, even with the best resources, can lead to failure, using Breather’s downfall as an example. A good strategy is crucial, especially for companies excellent at execution.

Aatir Abdul Rauf: 11 lesser-known mistakes PMs make during discovery

Aatir Abdul Rauf reveals common mistakes Product Managers make during product discovery, leading to failed engagement and retention goals, low adoption rates, and frequent strategy pivots. Learn more about avoiding these product discovery pitfalls.

Melissa Perri and Teresa Torres (via Produx Labs): 🎙 Navigating Conflicting Methodologies in Product Management with Teresa Torres

Melissa Perri and Teresa Torres discuss the challenges in large companies, including conflicting methodologies and strategic alignment, highlighting the role of a skilled product manager and standardized processes.

📯 Scrum Anti-Patterns Taxonomy — The Big Picture of Why Scrum Fails?

As the editing process of the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide is nearing its end, it is time to take the next step. The brand new Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide offers 180-plus anti-patterns organized by roles, events, artifacts, and commitments. However, the Guide does not create a meta-level or abstract Scrum anti-patterns taxonomy. Consequently, the Guide does not provide an overall strategy to counter or evade Scrum anti-patterns at a personal, cultural, structural, or organizational level. The question is whether it is possible to create such a taxonomy.

Read on and learn more about the first steps of completing the big picture of Scrum anti-patterns.

Scrum Anti-Patterns Taxonomy — The Big Picture of Why Scrum Fails — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: Scrum Anti-Patterns Taxonomy — The Big Picture of Why Scrum Fails?

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Justin Garrison: Document Driven Meetings at Amazon

Justin Garrison highlights Amazon’s unique approach to meetings, centered around documents, typically in a press release format. This method fosters focused discussions and clarity while also accommodating asynchronous input.

Lenny Rachitsky and Nicole Forsgren: 🎙 How to Measure and Improve Developer Productivity

Lenny Rachitsky and Dr. Nicole Forsgren discuss developer productivity and DevOps, DORA and SPACE frameworks, benchmarks for success, common mistakes, and tools for improving metrics. Learn more about developer productivity measurement.

Dave Hora: User Models for Product Work

Dave Hora emphasizes that strategic agility is essential as software production gets commoditized. The goal at each organizational level is to make timely decisions driven by increased contextual awareness and insight.

🎶 Encore

Casey Rosengren: The Art of Subtle Influence: How to lead when you don’t have control

Casey Rosengren discusses effective leadership strategies without direct control, drawing parallels with addiction psychology. The focus is on fostering colleagues’ desire for self-improvement, making leadership more about subtle influence than command but non-coercive techniques.

(via McKinsey & Company): The state of AI in 2023: Generative AI’s breakout year

In this comprehensive research report, McKinsey reveals the rapid growth and effects of generative AI tools in organizations. Despite the emerging risks, the authors anticipate increased investments due to advances in AI.


📅 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 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

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 social status:

Download the Remote Agile Guide for Free — Age-of-Product.com

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

I invite you to join the “Hands-on Agile” Slack Community and enjoy the benefits of a fast-growing, vibrant community of agile practitioners from around the world.

Large scale agile: Join the Hands-on Agile Slack Group

If you like to join all you have to do now is provide your credentials via this Google form , and I will sign you up. By the way, it’s free.

Help your team to explore social status 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 #403: Life Coaching In Agile? Full Stack Product Management, Agile Maturity Models, Optimal UVPs .

The post Food for Agile Thought #404: Social Status, In Defense of Strategy, Broken Ownership, Amazon’s Document Culture appeared first on Age-of-Product.com .

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