Food For Thought #70

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of December 4th, 2017 — shared with 5,066 peers — focusses on agile myth busting, team dysfunctions, and how trust among teammates influences creativity.

We then dive deep into why switching to Kanban will not fixing your Scrum problems, and how to keep stakeholders and agile teams aligned.

We then support David Cancel’s notion that listening to customers is king, and learn how the Kano model supports product discovery. Speaking of which: Marty Cagan identifies key risks that you should better tackle during the discovery work.

Last but not least, Om Malik reflects on the Silicon Valley’s distinct lack of empathy for “normal people”.

Enjoy a great Sunday!

Agile Myths & Scrum

Tanner Wortham: Scrum Is Not Agile

Tanner Wortham reminds us not to confuse mechanics and mindset.

Source: Scrum Is Not Agile

Author: Rob Wortham

Marc Löffler: Why switching to Kanban won’t solve your problems

Marc Löffler lists ‘reasons’ why Scrum teams move to Kanban and explains why taking your (general) problems from Scrum to Kanban won’t help solving them.

Source: Why switching to Kanban won’t solve your problems

Author: Marc Löffler

Matthew Hodgson (via AgileNZ Conference): Dealing with dysfunction

Matthew Hodgson shares his slidedeck from Agile NZ 2016 on team dysfunction, detailing how you can use couples counseling patterns to manage team conflict.

Source: AgileNZ Conference: Dealing with dysfunction

Author: Matthew Hodgson

David DeSteno: Teams, Trust, & Creativity

David DeSteno, psychology professor at Northeastern University, explores the role of trustworthiness in the workplace, and its influence on creativity and team productivity.

Source: Teams, Trust, & Creativity

Author: David DeSteno

Chris Butler: Keep agile teams aligned

Keep agile teams aligned
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Chris Butler introduces the ‘strategy kernel canvas’ to keep stakeholders and agile teams aligned.

Source: Keep agile teams aligned

Author: Chris Butler

Nigel Hamer (via Architects Anonymous): No planning fallacy — Agile Anti Patterns

Nigel Hamer suggests to overcome the agile planning fallacy — being too optimistic, thus causing cost overruns and delays — by planning little and often.

Source: Architects Anonymous: No planning fallacy — Agile Anti Patterns

Author: Nigel Hamer

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Product & Lean

David Cancel (via Mind The Product): The Importance of Listening to Your Customers by David Cancel

David Cancel addresses the importance of listening to your customers — “one of things we always talk about but few people do”.

Source: Mind The Product: The Importance of Listening to Your Customers by David Cancel

Author: David Cancel

Marty Cagan: Planning Product Discovery

Marty Cagan talks about how he frames discovery work to ensure alignment and identifies key risks that need to be tackled during the discovery work.

Source: Planning Product Discovery

Author: Marty Cagan

Robert Sprigge: Before the Backlog — The Vital Upfront Research

Robert Sprigge explains the function of the business analyst who supports the product discovery part of the agile development process in detail.

Source: Before the Backlog — The Vital Upfront Research

Author: Robert Sprigge

Brandon Chu (via Medium): Applying Leverage as a Product Manager

Applying Leverage as a Product Manager
Image from

Brandon Chu explains why he asks every product manager joining his team to read ‘High Output Management’ by Andy Grove.

Source: Medium: Applying Leverage as a Product Manager

Author: Brandon Chu

The Essential Read

Om Malik (via The New Yorker): Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum

Om Malik reflects on Silicon Valley’s distinct lack of empathy for those whose lives are disturbed by its technological wizardry.

Source: The New Yorker: Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum

Author: Om Malik

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