TL; DR: Product Nightmares — Food for Agile Thought #415
Welcome to the 415th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,394 peers. This week, we delve into various aspects of Agile and Scrum, starting with Dean Peters’ eerie depiction of product nightmares as Halloween monsters, urging an outcome-driven strategy. Mike Griffith contemplates the mainstream adoption of Agile amid declining conference attendance, hinting at a possible inflection point. Jason Evanish warns against toxic positivity’s corrosive effects on workplace morale and productivity. Also, Viktor Cessan shares how a tailored feedback format enriched communication in a re-missioned team. And, seriously, this Week’s Lemon suggests a hybrid approach of Agile and Waterfall.
Then, Teresa Torres highlights the value of regular assumption testing for quick product idea evaluations, and Marty Cagan commends Spotify’s innovation amidst market challenges. Moreover, Itamar Gilad addresses idea prioritization, advocating for a strategic framework with a clear mission and measurable growth model, while Leah Tharin explores the transition to a freemium model, emphasizing aligning sales and marketing incentives, revamping onboarding experiences, and assessing a product’s freemium suitability to prevent revenue loss.
Lastly, Nicola Ballotta delves into Engineering Metrics, showcasing them as instrumental tools in quantifying and enhancing various software development aspects and aligning engineering operations with broader business goals. Additionally, we unveil a novel Stability Metric (ψ) based on queueing theory to bolster predictability in agile systems. The authors suggest the application of ψ as a tool for teams to improve project timeline foresight and enhance predictability. Finally, we point to the recording of Bob Galen’s session on ‘An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling” at the 53. Hands-on Agile.
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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Product Nightmares
280 Group): 6 Product Management Nightmares(via
In time for Halloween, Dean Peters employs horror imagery to highlight mismanaged Scrum practices, depicting common pitfalls as monsters like “Scrumzilla” and “Frankensoft” that destroy structured roadmaps. He advocates for an outcome-driven strategy to navigate product development mayhem.
🍋 Lemon of the Week
Harvard Business Review): It’s Time to End the Battle Between Waterfall and Agile(via
This Week’s Lemon suggests that rigid adherence to either Waterfall or Agile can be limiting and advocates for a hybrid methodology tailored to a project’s unique demands. Unfortunately, the advertised hybrid approach of Agile and Waterfall is not a solution but a worst-of-breed combination of the two practices.
➿ Agile & Scrum
Is the Agile Movement at an Inflection Point?:
Mike Griffith reflects on the possible mainstream absorption of Agile, citing shrinking Agile conference attendances but growing business agility needs. He mentions hybrid approaches and contemplates whether the observed trend indicates an inflection point or confirmation bias.
Get Lighthouse): Toxic Positivity in the Workplace: Why & How to Deal with it(via
Jason Evanish emphasizes the detrimental effects of toxic positivity in the workplace, where an overemphasis on maintaining a cheerful facade leads to suppressed issues, loss of psychological safety, and increased stress, eventually resulting in lowered productivity and team member burnout.
Case Study – Enhancing Team Collaboration Through a Peer Feedback Process:
Viktor Cessan discusses addressing shallow communication in a re-missioned team by integrating a tailored feedback format, which led to better interaction and aligned the team with new responsibilities.
🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 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 Scrum.org 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.
Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class w/ PSFS Certificate — November 28, 2023 .
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Assumption Testing: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started:
Teresa Torres emphasizes the pivotal role of assumption testing in swiftly evaluating product ideas, advocating for a regular cadence in this practice to enhance decision-making and, ultimately, product success.
Silicon Valley Product Group): The Product Model at Spotify(via
Marty Cagan highlights Spotify’s exceptional adaptation to market challenges by innovating in user music discovery, showcasing the importance of understanding user segments, value-driven experimentation, and fostering an environment where empowered product teams thrive.
Why You’re Struggling to Prioritize:
Itamar Gilad highlights the challenge of idea prioritization, advocating for a structured strategic context encompassing a clear mission, evolving strategy, and measurable growth model. He emphasizes concise, quantifiable goals at company and team levels to prioritize ideas effectively.
Freebie Fiasco: Why Freemium Might Wreck Your Revenue:
Leah Tharin discusses the pitfalls of transitioning to a freemium model, especially without proper market readiness. She elaborates on aligning sales and marketing incentives, reworking onboarding experiences, and ensuring the product’s suitability for a freemium model to prevent revenue collapse.
📺 An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling — Bob Galen at the 53. Hands-on Agile
On September 5, 2023, we had the opportunity to listen to Bob Galen on “An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling.” In this session, Bob shared his experience coaching an agile coach struggling to connect with a development manager. He underscored the transformative impact of incorporating personal narratives, lessons learned, teaching stories, and purpose or vision stories into coaching conversations. Moreover, Bob demonstrated the compelling power of storytelling in agile coaching by using stories to share knowledge and wisdom while fostering dialogue.
📺 Watch the video now: An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling — Bob Galen at the 53. Hands-on Agile .
🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring
(via InfoQ): How Agile Teams Can Improve Predictability by Measuring Stability
The Authors introduce the Stability Metric (ψ) rooted in queueing theory to enhance predictability in agile systems, revealing that 73% of analyzed projects lacked stability. They propose utilizing ψ to help teams better foresee project timelines and improve predictability.
Diving into Engineering Metrics:
Nicola Ballotta illuminates the essence of Engineering Metrics, portraying them as quantitative tools for gauging various facets of software development. He accentuates their pivotal role in optimizing work, enhancing performance, supporting informed decision-making, and aligning engineering endeavors with overarching business objectives.
(via XKCD Comic): Inspiraling Roundabout
When you finally managed to squeeze all requirements into a comprehensive roadmap.
📅 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:
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 Nightmares:
- Hands-on Agile 53: An Agile Coaches Guide to Storytelling with Bob Galen.
- Hands-on Agile 52: From Wild West to the Agile Manifesto with Jim Highsmith.
- Hands-on Agile EXTRA: How Elon Musk Would Run YOUR Business with Joe Justice.
- Hands-on Agile 50: The Product Community of Practice with Petra Wille.
- Hands-on Agile 43: Outcome-Based Product Planning with Jeff Gothelf.
- Hands-on Agile 42: Lean Roadmapping and OKRs with Janna Bastow.
- Hands-on Agile 38: The Product Owner with Roman Pichler.
✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn More About Product Nightmares — Join the 19,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Community
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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 learn about Product Nightmares by pointing them to the free Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide :