Food for Agile Thought #151

Food for Agile Thought’s issue #151 focuses on beyond budgeting and the emerging business agility trend. We also learn about a study that provides scientific proof for a familiar gut feeling among knowledge workers: open floor plans suck.

We then take a deep dive into product vision principles and why you should look beyond MMRs to differentiators if you want your product to succeed.

Finally, the results of the scrum master survey are in, delivering a benchmark for the all-important question: scrum master, whatchadoing all day?

Have a great week!

🏆 The Tip of the Week

Bjarte Bogsnes (via Corporate Rebels): Beyond Budgeting — The Adaptive And Agile Management Model

Bjarte Bogsnes introduces the principles of Beyond Budgeting and explains why ‘Business Agility’ finally has become a trend.

Source: Corporate Rebels: Beyond Budgeting — The Adaptive And Agile Management Model

Author: Bjarte Bogsnes

Agile & Scrum

(via Royal Society Publishing): The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration

Ethan S. Bernstein and Stephen Turban report on the findings of a recent study on the usefulness of ‘open’ workspaces for knowledge workers.

In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM.

Source: Royal Society Publishing: The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration

John Cutler (via Medium): #Why[Some Tool]

#Why[Some Tool]
Image from

John Cutler on the tool question, the often resulting reflexes within an organization, its business value and Beyond Budgeting.

Source: Medium: #Why[Some Tool]

Author: John Cutler

Paul Hobcraft: Cynefin: A framework that grows for me all the time in its value and worth.

Paul Hobcraft explains the basic idea of the Cynefin framework and how it has proven to be useful when dealing with innovation and complexity.

Source: Cynefin: A framework that grows for me all the time in its value and worth.

Author: Paul Hobcraft

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Product & Lean

Eugen Eşanu (via Product Vision for Product Managers

Product Vision for Product Managers
Image from

Eugen Eşanu shares ten principles for a better product vision: from loving the problem to not following the herd but putting you out of business.

Source: UX Planet: Product Vision for Product Managers

Author: Eugen Eşanu

Emily Tate (via Mind The Product): What we Learned at #mtpcon San Francisco 2018

Emily Tate summarizes the learnings from the recent #mtpcon San Francisco, from embracing the awkward to the Product Practitioner Oath.

Source: Mind The Product: What we Learned at #mtpcon San Francisco 2018

Author: Emily Tate

Tomasz Tunguz: Why Your Startup Doesn’t Invest Sufficiently in its Differentiators

Tomasz Tunguz reflects on minimum market requirements (MMR), neutralizers, and differentiators as integral parts of a product strategy.

Source: Why Your Startup Doesn’t Invest Sufficiently in its Differentiators

Author: Tomasz Tunguz

📯 Yo Scrum Master, Whatchadoing all Day?

Scrum Master Duties: supposedly, a great scrum master serves only one scrum team — that’s at least a popular narrative in the scrum community. Nevertheless, there is also a loud voice that doubts that approach: what would you do the whole day — with a single team? Aren’t they supposed to become self-organizing over time? And if so, does the scrum then need a scrum master 24/7?

As I worked for years as a product owner on scrum teams without a dedicated scrum master-which was working well-I was curious to learn more about that question, too. Hence I ran a survey in late June and early July 2018, the results of which are presented here.

In total, 261 scrum masters participated in this non-representative survey in the two weeks before July 5th, 2018. 19 participants chose not to provide their consent to Google processing and to store their answers. Hence their contributions were deleted, resulting in a sample size of 242 responses.

Read More: Scrum Master Duties, Serving a Single Team (Survey Results).

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Food for Agile Thought #151: Beyond Budgeting, Open Workspace Horror, Product Vision Principles, #mtpcon SF was first published on



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Stefan Wolpers

Stefan Wolpers


I have worked for 16-plus years as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and agile coach. Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with