Food for Agile Thought #325: Influencing w/o Authority, Leaps of Product Faith

TL; DR: Influencing Without Authority, Leaps of Product Faith — Food for Agile Thought #325

Welcome to the 325th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 33,942 peers. This week, we delve into influencing without authority, from framing to social proof to inception to storytelling. We also suggest that engineers also need to improve strategic decision-making skills instead of only focusing on technical execution skills, and we shed light on structural and instantiated dependencies and how they impede flow in an organization that scales agile practices.

We then reflect on a recent statement of a CPO: ‘I wouldn’t call it blind faith, but more like informed faith. […] But, really, there’s a leap of faith involved.’ We believe that DoorDash’s recent decision to have everyone ‘eat DoorDash’s own dog food’ once a month is merely empathy theater. Also, we point at the benefits of formalizing learning plans to keep your skills as a product person competitive and share how to do so.

Lastly, we explore the 9th principle of the Agile Manifesto: ‘Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.’ Moreover, we point out four beneficial leadership coaching techniques, from outcome shift to uncovering limiting beliefs.

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🏆 The Tip of the Week

📺 Sachin Rekhi and Dan Olsen (via YouTube): How to Master Influencing Without Authority by Sachin Rekhi at Lean Product Meetup

In this video, Sachin Rekhi dives into the possibilities of influencing others while not having any formal authority, from framing to social proof to inception to storytelling.

Source: YouTube: 📺 How to Master Influencing Without Authority by Sachin Rekhi at Lean Product Meetup

Authors: Sachin Rekhi and Dan Olsen

➿ Agile & Scrum

(via Reforge): Why Engineers Should Invest in Decision-Making Skills Early

Natalie Rothfels and Karen Sun suggest that engineers also need to improve strategic decision-making skills instead of only focusing on technical execution skills.

Source: Reforge: Why Engineers Should Invest in Decision-Making Skills Early

Ken Rubin: Dependencies Are Killing Your Agile Flow at Scale

Ken Rubin sheds light on structural and instantiated dependencies and how they impede flow in an organization that scales agile practices.

Source: Dependencies Are Killing Your Agile Flow at Scale

Author: Ken Rubin

Justin Etheredge (via Simple Thread): Agile Principles: Technical Excellence Enhances Agility

Justin Etheredge explains the 9th principle of the Agile Manifesto: ‘Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.’

Source: Simple Thread: Agile Principles: Technical Excellence Enhances Agility

Author: Justin Etheredge

📅 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Hands-on Agile #38: AMA w/ Roman Pichler: The Product Owner — February 8, 2022

Join us for an exciting AMA session with Roman Pichler on the role of the Product Owner!

Learn more: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 HoA #38: Ask-Me-Anything w/ Roman Pichler: The Product Owner.

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🎯 Product

John Cutler: Leaps of Product Faith

John Cutler reflects on a recent statement of a CPO: ‘I wouldn’t call it blind faith, but more like informed faith. […] But, really, there’s a leap of faith involved.‘

Source: Leaps of Product Faith

Author: John Cutler

Laura Klein: You Are Not Your User — Even When You Make Employees Dash

Laura Klein believes that DoorDash’s recent decision of having everyone once a month ‘eating their own dog food’ is merely empathy theater.

Source: You Are Not Your User — Even When You Make Employees Dash

Author: Laura Klein

Roman Pichler: A Learning Roadmap for Product People

Roman Pichler points at the benefits of formalizing learning plans to keep your skills as a product person competitive and shares how to do this.

Source: A Learning Roadmap for Product People

Author: Roman Pichler

📯 Scrum Master Interview Questions: How to Make Your Scrum Master Fail

Scrum has proven time and again to be the most popular framework for software development. Given that software is eating the world, a seasoned Scrum Master is nowadays in high demand. And that demand causes the market entry of new professionals from other project management branches, probably believing that reading one or two Scrum books will be sufficient. Which makes any Scrum Master interview a challenging task. A good starting point, though, is to ask a candidate to walk in the shoes of an imaginary opponent trying to make the Scrum Master fail by culturally accepted means.

Suppose you are looking to fill a Scrum Master (or agile coach) position in your organization. In that case, you may find the following interview questions helpful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my sixteen years of practical experience with XP and Scrum, serving both as Product Owner and Scrum Master, and my training experience as a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org. Also, I have interviewed dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.

So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 22,000 times.

Learn more: Scrum Master Interview Questions: How to Make Your Scrum Master Fail?

🛠 Tools & Measuring

(via First Round): The Best Managers Don’t Fix, They Coach — Four Tools to Add to Your Toolkit

Anita Hossain Choudhry and Mindy Zhang point out four leadership coaching techniques that have proven beneficial, from outcome shift to uncovering limiting beliefs.

Source: First Round Capital: The Best Managers Don’t Fix, They Coach — Four Tools to Add to Your Toolkit

Michael Küsters: The economy of incentives

Michael Küsters delves into reward schemes of (larger) organizations and how they trigger behavior on the employees’ side that is rooted in basic psychological and economic principles.

Source: The economy of incentives

Author: Michael Küsters

📅 Training Classes, Meetups & Events 2022

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Food for Agile Thought #325: Influencing w/o Authority, Leaps of Product Faith, DoorDash’s Dog Food, Coach—Don’t Fix was first published on Age-of-Product.com.

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Best posts from last week on agile and lean methodologies, Scrum and product management. Manually curated, no robots involved.

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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.

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