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TL; DR: Bureaucracy & Agile — Food for Agile Thought #430

Welcome to the 430th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,191 peers. This week, Kevin Meadows critiques bureaucracy & Agile, advocating for a return to its core values. Andy Cleff, in conversation with Tanner Wortham, draws parallels between agile leadership and military strategies, emphasizing adaptability and the “Power of Three.” Bob Galen highlights a dialogue with David Pereira on the importance of clear, courageous communication and acknowledging privilege in thought leadership. Also, Emily Webber offers solutions to break down silos and enhance collaboration in multidisciplinary teams, and Christina Wodtke addresses the psychological barriers to decision-making, proposing strategies to focus and maximize productivity in the workplace. Additionally, Michael Lloyd introduces Dysfunction Mapping in a recording from the last Hands-on Agile Meetup.

Then, Martin Eriksson challenges the one-size-fits-all strategy, stressing the need for focus and tough decision-making for success. Beck Novaes champions the Lean Startup approach, advocating for prioritizing impactful development through minimal viable products and user feedback, while Dave Hora discusses the significance of aligning research with both external and internal organizational cycles across different scales to foster progress and influence. Moreover, Marty Cagan reflects on the responses to his Product Management Theater article, underscoring the importance of skill development and the pivotal role of product leaders in steering teams and organizational change toward a product-centric model.

Lastly, Ant Murphy shares practical techniques for enhancing user interviews, highlighting the importance of structured sessions and insightful questioning. Yonatan Zunger introduces the POMKRA method, transforming OKRs into powerful tools for clear goal-setting and organizational productivity, and Joshua Seiden discusses the nuances of setting numerical targets with OKRs, advocating for a blend of conversation, data, and conjecture in goal-setting. Lastly, Peter Merel champions AI-Driven Development (AIDD), underlining the synergy between AI efficiency and Agile team oversight for aligning technology with business objectives, demonstrating the critical balance between technological advancement and human expertise.

Food for Agile Thought #430: Bureaucracy & Agile, Product Strategy that Sucks, Bridging Silos, Product Theater II — Age-of-Product.com

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Bureaucracy & Agile

(via Medium): The Bureaucratization of Agile: Why Bureaucratic Software Environments Aren’t Agile

Kevin Meadows critiques the growing bureaucratization of Agile, highlighting that the proliferation of complex frameworks and administrative roles directly contradicts Agile’s original principles of simplicity, trust, customer focus, and quick adaptability, urging a significant shift back to foundational values for actual effectiveness in agility.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

(via Medium): I Have Now Been Working at an Agile-Free Workplace for 8 Months. It’s the Most Productive Place I Have Been.

Wow, Emil discovered the secret to peak productivity: ditching Agile and Scrum for the groundbreaking method of just winging it and getting plastered. Who knew the pinnacle of team bonding was found at the bottom of a bottle, not in Daily Scum? Who needs structured processes when you have alcohol and a disdain for management fads? Cheers to progress!

➿ Agile & Scrum

Andy Cleff and Tanner Wortham: Unraveling the ‘Power of Three’ in Agile Leadership with Tanner Wortham

Andy Cleff explores agile leadership with Tanner Wortham, highlighting military parallels, the “Power of Three,” and embracing uncertainty for effective team collaboration and decision-making.

Robert Galen: Privilege Awareness

Bob Galen reflects on a LinkedIn exchange with David Pereira, praising the no-nonsense clarity and courage in communication while highlighting the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the privilege inherent in thought leadership within the agile community.

Emily Webber (via InfoQ): Bridging Silos and Overcoming Collaboration Antipatterns in Multidisciplinary Organizations

Emily Webber discusses overcoming collaboration anti-patterns and silo effects in multidisciplinary organizations, offering techniques to enhance teamwork and dismantle barriers for improved collaboration.

Christina Wodtke: Beyond Indecision: The Psychological Forces Shaping Our Choices

Christina Wodtke delves into the psychological hurdles of decision-making in the workplace, such as outcome anxiety and choice overload. She proposes strategies to overcome these challenges, emphasizing the role of focus in achieving peak productivity.

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Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — March 26-27, 2024 — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — March 26-27, 2024 .

Customer Voice: “Since about 12 people have already asked me these last 2 days: Yes, taking one of Stefan Wolpers classes is a mind-blowing experience. He’s actually the most adroit facilitator I’ve met after Guy Kawasaki & Roland Busch. It all flows like a silk ribbon in a soft spring breeze but with a strong authenticity that prevents the thing from feeling all Del Monte Canned Corporate Facilitation(tm). It may be due to his seemingly effortless mastery of the Liberating Structures. He doesn’t “teach to the test,” yet when you take the open practice assessments, you somehow score 95+ the first time. I dunno, it’s magic or Mozart, you pick.” (Source .)

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🎯 Product

Martin Eriksson: Your strategy (probably) sucks

Martin Eriksson debunks the myth of a one-size-fits-all strategy, emphasizing the importance of focus, clear communication, and making hard choices to move from mediocrity to success in business and product management.

Beck Novaes (via Medium): Beyond Feature Factories: Prioritizing Impact in Software Innovation

Beck Novaes advocates prioritizing impact over feature production in software development, emphasizing the Lean Startup philosophy of minimal viable products and the importance of rapid, iterative learning through user feedback to enhance software innovation and efficiency.

Dave Hora: External Loops vs. Internal Cycles

Dave Hora highlights the importance of aligning research with external feedback for insights and internal cycles for change across three scales: landscape, initiative, and execution. He advocates for strategic integration to drive progress and enhance influence.

Marty Cagan (via Silicon Valley Product Group): Product Leadership Theater

Marty Cagan reflects on the reception to his Product Management Theater article, emphasizing skill development over assigning blame, and highlights the critical role of product leaders in fostering strong teams and driving organizational change towards a product model.

📯 Dysfunction Mapping — Michael Lloyd at the 58. Hands-on Agile Meetup

In this fascinating talk, Michael introduced the concept of dysfunction mapping, a tool developed over years of trial and error aimed at creating a repeatable way to find, theme, and ultimately solve organizational dysfunction.

Dysfunction Mapping — Michael Lloyd at the 58. Hands-on Agile Meetup — Age-of-Product.com

📺 Watch the video now: Dysfunction Mapping — Michael Lloyd at the 58. Hands-on Agile Meetup .

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Ant Murphy (via Medium): Asking Better User Interview Questions

Ant Murphy offers in-depth guidance on enhancing user interviews, focusing on structuring sessions for maximum impact and crafting insightful questions to elicit high-quality responses, aiming to aid professionals eager to refine their user interviewing skills.

Yonatan Zunger (via Medium): The POMKRA Method. Making OKRs Actually Useful

Yonatan Zunger introduces the POMKRA method as an effective planning tool for making OKRs truly beneficial, emphasizing problem identification, clear objectives, and practical steps for achieving goals to enhance productivity and strategic focus in organizations.

Josh Seiden: Where Do The Numbers Come From?

Joshua Seiden addresses OKR numerical targets in ‘Who Does What By How Much,’ emphasizing the need for conversations, data analysis, and educated guesses to find feasible and valuable goals.

🎶 Encore

Peter Merel: AI–Driven Development

Peter Merel advocates for AI-Driven Development (AIDD), leveraging AI to write software efficiently while emphasizing the crucial role of Agile teams in ensuring AI’s alignment with business goals, highlighting the balance between automation and human oversight in development processes.


📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule

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Date Class and Language City Price
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Mar 5, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #59: “Agile” Does Not Work for You? Tackling Fake Agility w/ Johanna Rothman (English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
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🖥 🇬🇧 Mar 26-27, 2024 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 April 2-30, 2024 GUARANTEED: Product Backlog Management Cohort Class (English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €499 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 💯 🇬🇧 April 9, 2024 GUARANTEED: Hands-on Agile #60: A Q&A on Dynamic Reteaming with Heidi Helfand (English) Live Virtual Meetup FREE
🖥 🇩🇪 April 10-11, 2024 Professional Scrum Product Owner Training (PSPO I; German; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 April 23-24, 2024 Professional Scrum Master (Advanced) Training (PSM II; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €1,189 incl. 19% VAT
🖥 🇬🇧 May 7, 2024 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Training (PSFS; English; Live Virtual Class) Live Virtual Class €749 incl. 19% VAT

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #429: Product Management 2024 Report, The Feature Trap, Root Cause Analysis, Fluid Agile Teams .

The post Food for Agile Thought #430: Bureaucracy & Agile, Product Strategy that Sucks, Bridging Silos, Product Theater II appeared first on Age-of-Product.com .

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