Food for Agile Thought #321: Product Sprawl, Premature Convergence, Agile Coaches — A Family Tree, The Empathy Map

TL; DR: Product Sprawl, Premature Convergence — Food for Agile Thought #321

Welcome to the 321st edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,718 peers. This week, we look under the hood of many presumably well-planned products only to discover product sprawl. Also, we point to the fact that the term ‘Agile Coach’ covers a whole family of roles, and we share results of a study that sheds new light on team autonomy: Teams should choose either teammates or ideas but not both.

We then explain what happens when a team decides on a direction or tactic too early, and we compare the two different concepts of product-led and engineering-led organizations to create value. Moreover, we listen to Melissa Perri talking to David Bland, covering how to identify experiment-worthy assumptions, deal with slow feedback, and generally walk the (experiments) walk. Finally, we provide a practical introduction to the preferred discovery and alignment tool to help people get on the same page.

Lastly, we share lessons learned from Redgate Software’s deliberate reteaming process and the results from a survey of ‘100 industry participants on their perception of the benefits and challenges of adopting the SAFe framework.’

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue #320?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week

Rich Mironov: Product Sprawl

Rich Mironov reflects on the contrast between the shiny well-planning appearance of many products that — under the hood — somewhat resemble a ‘jumble of mismatched pieces and arcane product history and incomplete testing and randomness.’

Source: Product Sprawl

Author: Rich Mironov

➿ Agile & Scrum

Allan Kelly (via InfoQ): Agile Coaches, Agile Guides and Other Family Members

Allan Kelly urges us to accept that the term ‘Agile Coach’ covers a whole family of roles. Recognizing the differences would serve teams and organizations better.

Source: InfoQ: Agile Coaches, Agile Guides and Other Family Members

Author: Allan Kelly

(via Harvard Business Review): When Autonomy Helps Team Performance — and When It Doesn’t

Viktoria Boss, Linus Dahlander, Christoph Ihl, and Rajshri Jayaraman share results of a study that sheds new light on team autonomy: Teams should choose either teammates or ideas but not both.

Source: Harvard Business Review: When Autonomy Helps Team Performance — and When It Doesn’t

(via InfoQ): Lessons Learned from Self-Selection Reteaming at Redgate

Chris Smith shares lessons learned from Redgate Software’s deliberate reteaming process.

Source:InfoQ: Lessons Learned from Self-Selection Reteaming at Redgate

📺 (via Agile Alliance): Benefits and Challenges of Adopting SAFe — An Empirical Survey

Putta Abheeshta and colleagues share results from a survey of ‘100 industry participants on their perception of the benefits and challenges of adopting the SAFe framework.’

Source: Agile Alliance: Benefits and Challenges of Adopting SAFe — An Empirical Survey

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🎯 Product

John Cutler: Premature Convergence

John Cutler explains what happens when a team decides on a direction or tactic too early.

Source: Premature Convergence

Author: John Cutler

Brian de Haaff (via Aha!): The Product-Led Organization vs. the Engineering-Led Organization

Brian de Haaff compares the two different concepts of product-led and engineering-led organizations to create value.

Source: Aha! Blog: The Product-Led Organization vs. the Engineering-Led Organization

Author: Brian de Haaff

🎙 Melissa Perri and David J Bland (via Produx Labs): Episode 44: Testing Your Ideas with David Bland

Melissa Perri talks to David Bland, covering how to identify experiment-worthy assumptions, deal with slow feedback, and generally walk the (experiments) walk.

Source: Produx Labs: Episode 44: Testing Your Ideas with David Bland

Authors: Melissa Perri and David J Bland

📺 Daniel Stillman: Designing Powerful Questions — Hands-on Agile 35

Powerful Conversations are the environment that drives change. Learn from Daniel Stillman how designing powerful questions helps you coach, create, connect, and lead from the 35th Hands-on Agile meetup of October 5, 2021.

Learn more: 📺 Daniel Stillman: Designing Powerful Questions to help you Coach, Create, Connect and Lead — Hands-on Agile 35.

🛠 Tools & Measuring

Jeff Gothelf: OKRs at Scale

Jeff Gothelf shares his thoughts on moving OKR from the team to a higher level, thus aligning teams to achieve a common goal.

Source: OKRs at Scale

Author: Jeff Gothelf

(via XPLANE): The Empathy Map: A Human-Centered Tool for Understanding How Your Audience Thinks

Tim May provides a practical introduction to the preferred discovery and alignment tool to help people get on the same page.

Source: XPLANE: The Empathy Map: A Human-Centered Tool for Understanding How Your Audience Thinks

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Food for Agile Thought #321: Product Sprawl, Premature Convergence, Agile Coaches — A Family Tree, The Empathy Map was first published on Age-of-Product.com.

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Stefan Wolpers

Stefan Wolpers

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