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TL; DR: The Hexi Approach to Scaling — Food for Agile Thought #441

Welcome to the 441st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 42,489 peers. This week, Dave Snowden and Nigel Thurlow present the Hexi approach, a multi-method strategy enhancing agility through complex adaptive systems. Joshua Arnold advocates for a Quarterly Look Ahead process, and Annie Duke and Lenny Rachitsky explore decision-making improvements using techniques like the “3Ds” framework and pre-mortems. Also, we reveal the hidden costs of offshore software consulting and delve into system-level anti-patterns of stakeholders. Additionally, Willem-Jan Ageling revisits the Agile Manifesto’s principles.

Then, Chris Beswick addresses strategic innovation frameworks, while Marty Cagan emphasizes the critical role of experienced product coaches. Ant Murphy advocates for empathy in problem-solving, and Leah Tharin highlights key pitfalls in product road-mapping, stressing strategic, focused approaches for organizational success.

Lastly, Daniele Davi discusses Kaizen and its role in Agile, emphasizing continuous improvement. Maarten Dalmijn compares OKRs’ fragility to coral, stressing the need for optimal conditions, while Letitia Rohaise critiques traditional personas, advocating for inclusive methods like Jobs-To-Be-Done. Moreover, Paweł Huryn offers strategies for effective surveys, focusing on improving response quality. Finally, Joca Torres explores boosting team productivity through role clarity and method optimization, sharing insights from his experiences across multiple companies.

Food for Agile Thought #441: The Hexi Approach to Scaling, Good and Bad Product Coaches, Product Roadmap Perils —

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: The Hexi Approach

Dave Snowden and Nigel Thurlow (via 📺 Scaling Complex Systems by Building on Agile Frameworks

Dave Snowden and Nigel Thurlow introduce the Hexi approach to evolving agility through a ‘best of breed,’ multi-method approach, utilizing complex adaptive systems for enhanced scalability and value flow.

🍋 Lemon of the Week

We are Lemon-free this week.

➿ Agile & Scrum

Joshua J. Arnold: Top-down “Priority Lists” don’t work

Joshua Arnold critiques top-down “Priority Lists” for overloading teams without addressing core issues, suggesting a Quarterly Look Ahead process that aligns roadmaps with team capacities to foster sustainable, squad-centric product development.

Lenny Rachitsky and Annie Duke: 🎙 A Framework for Making Better Decisions

Annie Duke, former pro poker player and decision expert, and Lenny Rachitsky discuss techniques to enhance decision-making, including the “3Ds” framework, pre-mortems, and the strategic use of language to foster better organizational decisions.

(via Test Double): How to calculate the real ROI of offshore consulting

The Test Double Editorial Board scrutinizes the actual costs of offshore software consulting, emphasizing that the low hourly rates are often eclipsed by hidden expenses like communication and maintenance, advising a focus on quality and value for sustainable software solutions.

Willem-Jan Ageling: How relevant are the Agile principles today?

Willem-Jan Ageling assesses the relevancy of the Agile Manifesto’s principles today, finding them crucial yet requiring adaptation to modern challenges like increased delivery frequency and remote communication, urging a shift from rigid methods to flexible, value-focused approaches.

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Advanced Professional Scrum Master Training w/ PSM II Certificate — May 28-29, 2024 —

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🎯 Product

Cris Beswick: When Building a Culture For Innovation, Form Follows Function

Chris Beswick distinguishes between a culture of innovation and a Culture of innovation, emphasizing that real innovation results from systematically combining elements within a strategic framework, aligning closely with the principle “form follows function” to optimize organizational structures for continuous innovation growth.

Marty Cagan (via Silicon Valley Product Group): Good Product Coach / Bad Product Coach

Marty Cagan emphasizes the crucial role of experienced product coaches in aiding companies to transition from feature-team models to robust product models, underscoring the necessity of real-world experience and a deep understanding of business nuances for effective coaching.

Ant Murphy: Do you want to win arguments or solve problems?

Ant Murphy explores the distinction between winning arguments and solving problems in product management, highlighting the crucial role of empathy and curiosity in effectively collaborating with stakeholders and driving meaningful change in organizational practices.

Leah Tharin: 7 fails of roadmap-making

Leah Tharin outlines seven common pitfalls in product road-mapping, emphasizing the importance of strategic focus over detailed estimations and reactive planning, and advocates for clear, actionable, and internally aligned roadmaps to guide long-term organizational objectives effectively.

📯 The Top Three System-Level Scrum Stakeholder Anti-Patterns

Learn how outdated organizational structures manifest themselves in system-level Scrum stakeholder anti-patterns that easily impede any agile transformation to a product-led organization. We cover the perils of a lack of transparency, limited to non-existing leadership support, and why penny-pinching is the wrong approach.

The Top Three System-Level Scrum Stakeholder Anti-Patterns —

Learn more: The Top Three System-Level Scrum Stakeholder Anti-Patterns .

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Daniele Davi (via Medium): Kaizen

Daniele Davi explores the concept of Kaizen, a principle of continuous, incremental improvement fundamental to Agile and Lean. He connects it with Agile Manifesto principles, advocating for sustainable, team-driven enhancements that advance product quality and team dynamics.

Maarten Dalmijn: Why OKRs Often Slowly Wither Away

Maarten Dalmijn parallels coral’s fragility and the delicate nature of OKRs, emphasizing that, like coral, OKRs require pristine conditions to thrive and often fail in unsuitable organizational environments.

(via UX Collective): Rethinking personas: Empathy and inclusion in UX design

Letitia Rohaise critiques traditional persona use in UX design, advocating for more inclusive methods like Jobs-To-Be-Done and Empathy Maps to better capture and reflect users’ diverse needs.

Pawel Huryn: The Ultimate Guide to Surveys for Product Teams

Paweł Huryn offers a comprehensive guide on crafting effective surveys for product teams, addressing common issues like low response rates and poor data quality. He emphasizes proper preparation, strategic question formulation, and adapting survey tactics to enhance response quality and relevance in product management.

🎶 Encore

Joca Torres (via Medium): Measuring and managing the productivity

Joca Torres explores strategies to boost development team productivity, highlighting role clarity, strategic measurement, and method optimization. He uses examples from his roles at Locaweb, Conta Azul, Gympass, and Lopes.

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #440: Brilliant Jerks, Product Operating Model Template, Backlog Organization Patterns, Shape Up in Practice .

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