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TL; DR: Fairytale Planning — Food for Agile Thought #421

Welcome to the 421st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 49,812 peers. This week, we explore Jason Cohen’s Fairytale Planning for strategic simplicity, examine Jim Highsmith’s critique of the waterfall model’s impact on organizational dynamics, and delve into John Cutler’s insights on balancing productivity in product management. Also, we highlight Eiki’s emphasis on the importance of psychology in agile coaching through transformative leadership methods, and we explore the Scrum trap of applying unsuited practices.

Then, we listen to Agile Uprising’s interview with Maarten Dalmijn, discussing his book ‘Driving Value with Sprint Goals,’ while Marty Cagan critiques Brian Chesky’s take on product management. Aatir Abdul Rauf offers insights on crafting product strategies, and Charles Lambdin laments the persistent focus on output over outcomes.

Lastly, Jason Yip discusses lessons from Spotify on autonomy and team building, while Dan Shipper honors Charlie Munger’s legacy in decision-making. Shane Hastie’s podcast with Todd Little delves into Kanban’s advantages, and David Pinsof critically analyzes the nature of opinions in social contexts.

Food for Agile Thought #421: Fairytale Planning, Alternatives To Product Managers, Slowing Down to Speed Up, Insights from Spotify — Age-of-Product.com

📖 Preorder the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide book now for delivery in January 2024!

🗞️ Exclusively on my Substack Newsletter: Daily Scrum Anti-Patterns — An Excerpt from the Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide (6).

🥇 The most popular discussion on LinkedIn last week was: Velocity, accurate predictions — all lies we tell ourselves. 🤬

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 420 ?

🎓 Join Stefan in one of his upcoming Professional Scrum training classes !

Join the Anonymous Scrum Master Salary Report 2024 — Age-of-Product.com

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Fairytale Planning

Jason Cohen (via Jason Cohen): The Fairytale Narrative: Structured strategic planning

Jason Cohen presents a ‘Fairytale Narrative’ for strategic planning, using a structured, story-like approach to simplify complex analysis and planning in a universally understandable way.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

(via DZone): You’re Wasting Time With Your Daily Standup

In the Lemon Spotlight, the author mistakenly assumes Daily Scrums must be synchronous, overlooking Scrum’s flexibility, allowing teams to choose the format that best suits their workflow.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Jim Highsmith: The Hidden Problems with Waterfall

Jim Highsmith discusses the limitations of the waterfall model, emphasizing its impact on organizational structure and communication and the challenges of functional silos in software development.

John Cutler: How to Make the Case for Slowing Down to Speed Up

John Cutler explores the dilemma of slowing down to speed up work in product management, offering practical strategies to overcome entrenched work patterns and cognitive biases.

Eiki (via Medium): 5 Psychological Approaches as an Agile Coach

Eiki emphasizes the importance of psychology for agile coaches in elevating team performance, leveraging methods like the Satir Change Model and NLP for transformative leadership.

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Product Backlog Management Cohort Class of Jan 23 to Feb 20, 2024

Discover the Product Owner success principles in this engaging Product Backlog Management cohort class and accelerate your professional growth and career perspective with tried & tested, hands-on practices:

  • Excel at delivering value regularly — your #1 career success factor.
  • Learn to distinguish between valuable and useless ideas.
  • Abandon the feature factory. Instead, learn to contribute to customer and organizational success.
  • Gain actionable insights, learn supportive tools, and practice everything in a safe community of like-minded peers.
  • Learn to say no and build trust and rapport with stakeholders while focusing on creating value.
  • Create engaging feedback loops.

The class will be offered in English.

Enjoy the benefits of an immersive cohort class with like-minded agile peers on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm o’clock CET.
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm o’clock CET.
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm o’clock CET.

Product Backlog Management Cohort Class of Jan 23 to Feb 20, 2024, with Stefan Wolpers — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Product Backlog Management Cohort Class of Jan 23 to Feb 20, 2024 .

👉 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

Maarten Dalmijn (via Agile Uprising): 🎙 The Importance of Sprint Goals with Maarten Dalmijn

Agile Uprising interviews Maarten Dalmijn about his book ‘Driving Value with Sprint Goals,’ exploring the Sprint Goal’s role as an indicator of team and organizational health.

Marty Cagan (via Silicon Valley Product Group): Alternatives To Product Managers

Marty Cagan critiques Brian Chesky’s views on product management, emphasizing the enduring need for strategic alignment, value, and viability in product roles.

“Or even worse, if you have Agile-trained product owners in the seats where you need product managers, then what you really have are backlog administrators, which leaders eventually come to realize provides very little value to anyone.”

Aatir Abdul Rauf: Writing a product strategy doc (+ example): the before, during & after.

Aatir Abdul Rauf provides a detailed guide on creating and communicating a product strategy, emphasizing the importance of alignment, shared understanding, and stakeholder collaboration in the process.

Charles Lambdin: Starting With Value

Charles Lambdin criticizes the ongoing focus on output over outcomes in project management despite calls for a shift towards value-driven work and strategic planning.

📯 The Scrum Trap: How Unfit Practices Will Harm Return on Investment

Scrum is a purposefully incomplete framework. Consequently, it needs to be augmented with tools and practices to apply its theoretical foundation to an organization’s business reality: what problems shall be solved for whom in which market? Moreover, there is an organization’s culture to take into account. However, the intentional “gap” is not a free-for-all to accept whatever comes to mind or is convenient. Some tools and practices have proven highly effective in supporting Scrum’s application and reaping its benefits. And then there are others — the Scrum trap.

Let’s look at what practices and tools for collaboration and team building are not helpful when used with Scrum.

The Scrum Trap: How Unfit Practices Will Harm Return on Investment — Age-of-Product.com

Learn more: The Scrum Trap: How Unfit Practices Will Harm Return on Investment .

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Jason Yip (via GOTO Conferences): 📺 3 Insights from 4 Years at Spotify

Jason Yip shares three key insights from his experience at Spotify: the ongoing challenge of aligned autonomy, team building during high growth, and comparing team development in consulting versus product companies.

Dan Shipper (via Every): AI-assisted Decision-making

Dan Shipper points to Charlie Munger, the recently deceased icon in business and learning who inspired a legacy of reading for decision-making. Integrated with ChatGPT, his mental models now guide effective business choices.

Shane Harris and Todd Little (via InfoQ): 🎙 Kanban is a Tool for Continuous Improvement

Shane Hastie’s podcast with Todd Little from Kanban University highlights Kanban’s benefits: it boosts team delivery by evolving work processes and pinpointing improvement areas.

🎶 Encore

david pinsof: Opinions Are Bullshit

David Pinsof offers a critical view on opinions, stating they are not facts, preferences, or beliefs but personal judgment expressions often used to assert superiority in social contexts. Opinions, the author argues, are attempts to shape social norms and are often detached from objective reality, serving more as a strategic tool in social dynamics rather than a genuine pursuit of truth.


📅 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
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 December 6, 2023 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #57: Humble Planning: How To Make Your Plans Suck Less with Maarten Dalmijn (English; Live Virtual Meetup) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 December 11-12, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇩🇪 December 13-14, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 December 18-19, 2023 GUARANTEED: Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,299 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Jan 23-Feb 20, 2024 GUARANTEED: Product Backlog Management Cohort Class (English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €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 Fairytale Planning:

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

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn More About Fairytale Planning — Join the 19,000-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.

Fairytale Planning: 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 learn about Fairytale Planning 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 #420: Triple Track Development, Outcome Roadmaps, Building Trust, ProductOps Guide .

The post Food for Agile Thought #421: Fairytale Planning, Alternatives To Product Managers, Slowing Down to Speed Up, Insights from Spotify appeared first on Age-of-Product.com .

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