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TL; DR: Agile Scaling Effectiveness — Food for Agile Thought #414

Welcome to the 414th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,319 peers. This week, Christiaan Verwijs and Daniel Russo analyze Agile scaling effectiveness, highlighting minor differences and suggesting alignment with organizational culture, while Thorsten Ball discusses modern software bloat due to user expectations. Adam Mastroianni and Russ Roberts contrast factual and emotional retention when learning, and Tim Harford emphasizes the importance of a safe environment for acknowledging errors for continuous learning and improvement. Also, we ask: ‘Should we change Scrum?’

Then, Maret Kruve suggests segmenting customer feedback for a better understanding of product needs, and John Cutler discusses the invisible yet significant impact of waste in product development through 15 metaphors. Moreover, Jeff Gothelf provides tips for building a customer-centric organization, plus Rob Zuber encourages businesses to experiment with AI, sharing CircleCI’s journey from brainstorming to AI integration.

Lastly, Paulo Caroli discusses the ‘Build the MVP Canvas’ activity for structured product idea validation. Roman Pichler introduces the downloadable checklist for the GO Product Roadmap, and Egor Savochkin talks about the pace of software development, linking it to technical debt. Finally, Stephen Dubner emphasizes viewing tragedies as cumulative missteps to shift the perspective for mitigation.

Food for Agile Thought #414: Agile Scaling Effectiveness, Product Waste, Customer Obsession, Making Good Mistakes —

🥇 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: Is there a need for agile coaches when we diligently adopt and practice Scrum?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Agile Scaling Effectiveness

Christiaan Verwijs: Do Agile Scaling Approaches Make A Difference? An Empirical Comparison of Team Effectiveness Across Popular Scaling Approaches

Christiaan Verwijs and Daniel Russo explore various Agile scaling strategies like SAFe and LeSS, revealing through a broad survey that scaling strategy shows minor differences in team effectiveness. The study suggests selections should align with organizational culture and management style instead.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

Tim Denning (via Medium): Agile Software Development Needs to Die (And Everyone Knows It)

This week’s Lemon critiques Agile development as a stifler of innovation, likening it to a restrictive cult that fosters laziness and tribalism in tech sectors.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Thorsten Ball (via Every): Why We Don’t Ship Software as Fast as We Used To

Thorsten Ball reflects on the perceived bloat in modern software compared to earlier, leaner versions, attributing the change to increased user expectations and complex functionalities, mirroring evolved standards in other industries.

Russ Roberts and Adam Mastroianni (via Econlib): 🎙 Learning and Mostly Forgetting

Psychologist Adam Mastroianni and EconTalk’s Russ Roberts delve into the fleeting nature of factual retention versus the lasting impact of emotional and value-driven “vibes” on our learning and interactions.

Tim Harford: The Art of Making Good Misstakes

Tim Harford discusses a study showing good teams admit more mistakes, highlighting the importance of a safe environment for acknowledging errors, which fosters learning and improvement, contrasted by a fear-driven culture where denial prevails, hindering progress.

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — November 28, 2023

The Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills (PSFS) training by Berlin Product People is a guaranteed one-day official class for advanced Scrum practitioners and agile coaches, including the industry-acknowledged PSFS certification. This PSFS training class is in English.

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

Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — November 28, 2023 — PST Stefan Wolpers

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — November 28, 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

Maret Kruve (via Medium): When You Should Not Listen to Your Customers

Maret Kruve explores the nuanced task of deciphering customer feedback in product management, suggesting a segmentation approach to understand expressed, unexpressed, and unrecognized user needs.

John Cutler: 15 Metaphors for Waste In Product Development

John Cutler explores 15 metaphorical scenarios illustrating various forms of waste in product development, emphasizing these issues’ invisibility yet significant impact. The post highlights common challenges and the importance of recognizing and addressing waste.

Jeff Gothelf: 10 Tips for Building a Customer Obsessed Organization

Jeff Gothelf follows up on a post about building a customer-obsessed organization by offering practical tips to overcome each challenge. While not silver bullets, these tips aim to guide readers in initiating the right changes towards customer-centricity.

(via CircleCI): AI adoption for software: a guide to learning, tool selection, and delivery

Rob Zuber likens the current AI wave to the initial phases of the internet and mobile tech, urging businesses to experiment with AI to stay competitive. Sharing CircleCI’s phased journey from brainstorming to production, this piece is a conceptual guide for integrating AI into applications.

📯 Should We Change Scrum?

Can we or should we change Scrum, or is it a sacrilege to tweak the ‘immutable’ framework to accommodate our teams’ and organizations’ needs?

Not so fast; don’t just dismiss augmenting Scrum as leaving the path, contributing to the numerous Scrumbut mutations, giving Scrum a bad name. However, in our rapidly evolving business landscape, sticking rigidly to traditional Scrum by the book could be a straightjacket stifling innovation, user focus, and adaptability.

From ensuring cultural compatibility to facing technical debt challenges and emerging technologies, discover ten compelling reasons why augmenting Scrum isn’t just okay—it’s necessary for modern teams.

Read on to discover when and how to adapt Scrum responsibly without diluting its essence.

Should We Change Scrum?

Learn more: Should We Change Scrum ?

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Paulo Caroli: Build the MVP Canvas

Paulo Caroli delves into the ‘Build the MVP Canvas’ activity, exploring the Minimum Viable Product Canvas as a potent tool rooted in lean startup philosophy. This canvas facilitates a structured approach to validating and refining product ideas.

Roman Pichler: GO Product Roadmap Checklist

Roman Pichler introduces the GO Product Roadmap as a tool for goal-oriented road-mapping, addressing common application challenges with a downloadable checklist shared in the article.

(via Measuring Technical Debt to Avoid the Boiling Frog Syndrome

Egor Savochkin explains that software development is about making changes quickly. However, rushing in too early can lead to problems later, making future changes harder and slower, likely resulting in technical debt that demands extra effort over time.

🎶 Encore

Stephen J. Dubner (via Freakonomics): 🎙 How to Succeed at Failing, Part 1: The Chain of Events

Stephen Dubner underscores tragedies as cumulative outcomes of multiple missteps rather than isolated incidents, illustrated through harrowing tales of wildfires and calamities, urging a shift in perspective for potential mitigation.

📅 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
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 November 1-2, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 November 8, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #55: Designing Agile Ecosystems with Org Topologies™ w/ Alexey Krivitsky and Roland Flemm (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 🇩🇪 November 21-24, 2023 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 November 21, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #56: The Big Product Picture — Creating Value though Alignment w/ Stefan Woleprs (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 November 28, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Training (PSFS; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €749 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 December 11-12, 2023 Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇩🇪 December 13-14, 2023 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 December 18-19, 2023 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 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.

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Help your team to learn about Agile Scaling Effectiveness 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 #413: Firing Agile Coaches? Are All Feature Factories Bad? Why Didn’t They Say No? Dumb Decisions? .

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