Agile Is Alive, Budget Cuts — Food for Agile Thought #381

TL; DR: Agile Is Alive — Food for Agile Thought #381

Welcome to the 381st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 36,846 peers. This week, we learn again that rumors of “Agile’s” demise are greatly exaggerated — Agile is alive. (Check out the Tip of the Week as a reply to this week’s 🍋.) Also, we delve into the history of the technical debt concept and suggest how to manage the challenge sustainably and effectively. Next, follow the money: Allan Kelly addresses a typically ignored yet essential topic in many organizations: team finances.

Then, we reflect on the problems of allocating most development work to customization while starving the core product, also known as sales-led development. Moreover, we answer a vital question many product people share today: how to sustain the innovation momentum with fewer bucks? And Elad Gil asks whether early SaaS or AI companies are ever defensible at an early stage and delivers a comprehensive list of potential ways to build a moat. Alternatively, you can also steal from aggregated a list of ‘best practices used by successful product companies.’

Finally, Deb Liu suggests changing perspective when you are in a perceived conflict: retell your story with the other as the hero, and Buffer shared their extensive study on how ‘remote workers from around the world feel about remote work.’ Finally, Jordan Harbinger interviews Alastair Smith on dictatorship. What I find particularly interesting about the talk is why bad behavior often makes for good politics. (I felt instantly reminded of some agile transformations in the past.)

Food for Agile Thought #381: Agile Is Alive and Kicking, Sales-Led Development Problems, Innovation Budget Cuts, Show the Team the Money — Age-of-Product.com

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 380?

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Hands-on Agile #50: The Product Community of Practice w/ Petra Wille

Join your peers on April 5, 2023: Hands-on Agile #50: The Product Community of Practice w/ Petra Wille.

🏆 The Tip of the Week: Agile Is Alive

Jason Yip (via Medium): The age of cargo cult Agile must end.

In an excellent, myth-busting piece, Jason Yip delves into the evolution and background of ‘agile,’ replying to this week’s Lemon 🍋, see below.


🍋 The Lemon of the Week

(via UX Collective): The age of Agile must end

In this week’s Lemon, Michael Burnett bashes ‘Agile,’ claiming that it has ‘fundamental flaws that have been glaring at us all along.’ Too bad that most of his assumptions are plain wrong, as Jason Yip shows in his reply, see The Tip of the Week.


➿ Agile & Scrum

Michael Feathers and Javier Bonnemaison (via Globant Blog): How to manage technical debt

Michael Feathers and Javier Bonnemaison delve into the history of the concept and suggest how to manage the challenge sustainably and effectively.


Allan Kelly: Let’s talk about money: the ultimate feedback loop

Allan Kelly addresses a typically ignored yet essential topic in many organizations: team finances.


Spencer Fry: no [Product Managers]no problem: how we ship great products fast

Spencer Fry shares what he believes to be a better path for product development: introduce the role of the ‘Champion’ instead of having project or product managers. (Take this suggestion with a grain of salt as it applies only to small teams of 3-4 developers.)


🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class — March 23, 2023

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

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

Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class — March 23, 2023 — Berlin-Product-People.com

Learn more: 🖥 🇬🇧 Professional Scrum Facilitation Skills Class — March 23, 2023.

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🎯 Product

Rich Mironov: 🎙 The Problem with Sales-led Development

In this podcast, Murray Robinson and Shane Gibson talk to Rich Mironov about the problems of allocating most development work to customization while starving the core product.


Tendayi Viki (via Strategyzer): 📺 With companies cutting budgets — what should innovators do?

Tendayi Viki addresses a vital question many product people share today: how to sustain the innovation momentum with fewer bucks?


Elad Gil: Defensibility & Competition

Elad Gil asks whether early SaaS or AI companies are ever defensible at an early stage and delivers a comprehensive list of potential ways to build a moat.


📯 ChatGPT Product Owner Job Interview — Will You Compete for a Position w/ an LLM Soon?

A few weeks ago, I ran a simulated job interview with ChatGPT for a fictitious Scrum Master position. Admittedly, I would not have invited this “interviewee” for an interview with other team members; however, the interview produced some remarkable answers. Consequently, I tried the same with a Product Owner position, aware of the challenges this would pose, as the Product Owner role is significantly fuzzier than the one of a Scrum Master. So, I took a few questions from them Hiring: 82 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions guide and ran a ChatGPT Product Owner job interview.

Read on and learn whether a statistical model will challenge product people in the near future.

ChatGPT Product Owner Job Interview — Age-of-Product.com

👉 Learn more: ChatGPT Product Owner Job Interview — Will You Compete for a Position w/ an LLM Soon?

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Piotr Kacała: 👉 Discover 100+ practices used by successful tech product companies

Piotr Kacała aggregated a list of ‘best practices used by successful product companies,’ including detailed guides on how to apply them.


Deb Liu: Everyone is the Hero of Their Own Story

Deb Liu suggests changing perspective when you are in a perceived conflict: retell your story with the other as the hero.


(via Buffer): 📈 State of Remote Work 2023

Buffer shared their extensive study on how ‘remote workers from around the world feel about remote work.’


🎶 Encore

Jordan Harbinger: 🎙 The Dictator’s Handbook Part One

In this podcast, Jordan Harbinger interviews Alastair Smith on dictatorship. What I find particularly interesting is why bad behavior so often makes for good politics; I felt instantly reminded of some agile transformations in the past.


📅 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:

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 4,000-plus Agile Peers on Youtube

Now available on the Age-of-Product Youtube channel to improve learning, for example, about that Agile is alive:

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

✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn more about Agile Is Alive — Join the 12,000-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.

Large scale agile: 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 live up to “Agile is alive” 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 #380: How ChatGPT Works, Classic Product Manager Mistakes, Why Agile Doesn’t Work for You, Product Delivery Success with Scrum.

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