Food for Agile Thought #336: Prioritization Politics, Experiments w/ POPCORN, Frederick Winslow Taylor

TL; DR: Prioritization Politics, Experiments w/ POPCORN — Food for Agile Thought #336

Welcome to the 336th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 34,938 peers. This week, we share a deep dive into the challenges of prioritization politics — as we product folks consider ourselves analytical and algorithmic — and the friction this causes with other stakeholders, namely “the business.” Hesitantly, we also point to a eulogy on #Taylorism, and we learn from Catherine Louis how her experience as a K9 handler and a search-and-rescue technician helped her coach teams live up to their potential.

We then introduce John Cutler’s POPCORN Flow, a ”framework for thinking about improvement experiments.” Moreover, Marty Cagan explains the essence of being in “product” by pointing at a long-thought lost Steve Jobs interview, and Janna Bastow interviews Melissa Perri on the secrets that create successful Product Ops teams.

Lastly, we analyze “21 lessons on the uses, abuses, and half-truths of the measuring innovation” and point to the pitfalls of a typical “transformation” that often starts with killing psychological safety in the opening phase. Finally, we close this week’s edition with a collection of PM memes starring Spiderman, Dilbert, Samuel L. Jackson, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue #335?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: The Prioritization Politics Problem

Rich Mironov: Prioritization is a Political Problem as Much as an Analytical Problem

Rich Mironov shares a deep dive into the challenges of being analytical and algorithmic — as we product folks consider ourselves to be — and the friction this causes with other stakeholders, namely “the business.”

Source: Prioritization is a Political Problem as Much as an Analytical Problem

Author: Rich Mironov

➿ Agile & Scrum

Michael Simmons (via Medium): In 1911, a genius revealed a forgotten science of how to be 50x more productive without working more hours

Michael Simmons writes a eulogy on #Taylorism. Admittedly, I was hesitant to consider this article as it glorifies something so damaging in knowledge work. However, let’s break out of our confirmation bubble.

Source: Medium: In 1911, a genius revealed a forgotten science of how to be 50x more productive without working more hours

Author: Michael Simmons

🎙 Richard Kasperowski and Catherine Louis: How to Make Your Current Team Your Best Team

Richard Kasperowski interviews Catherine Louis on how her experience as a K9 handler and a search-and-rescue technician helped her coach teams to live up to their potential.

Source: 🎙 How to Make Your Current Team Your Best Team

Authors: Richard Kasperowski and Catherine Louis

Michael Sahota: Cultural Transformation in a Nutshell

Michael Sahota points to the pitfalls of a typical “transformation” that often starts with killing psychological safety in the opening phase.

Source: Cultural Transformation in a Nutshell

Author: Michael Sahota

🎓 🖥 🇬🇧 Hands-on Agile #41: Scrum Master & Agile Coach Remuneration 2022 — April 13, 2022

The Scrum Master Salary Report 2022 is the third edition of the industry survey after 2017 and 2019. The free report is based on the answers of 1,113 participants globally.

If you are considering a career decision this year, maybe, whether you should join the industry as a junior Scrum Master or move to a new organization or go independent, you will find the report’s information beneficial.

Hands-on Agile #41: Scrum Master & Agile Coach Remuneration 2022 — April 13, 2022

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🎯 Product

John Cutler: Making Things Better (With Enabling Constraints and POPCORN)

John Cutler introduces “POPCORN Flow, a framework for thinking about improvement experiments.”

Source: Making Things Better (With Enabling Constraints and POPCORN)

Author: John Cutler

Marty Cagan: The Nature of Product

Marty Cagan explains the essence of being in “product” by pointing at a long-thought lost Steve Jobs interview, which is very much worth watching.

Steve Jobs: Designing a product is keeping 5000 things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.

Source: The Nature of Product

Author: Marty Cagan

📺 Melissa Perri and Janna Bastow (via ProdPad): Product Ops Bootcamp with Melissa Perri

Janna Bastow interviews Melissa Perri on the secrets that create successful Product Ops teams. Don’t miss Janna when she joins Hands-on Agile #42 on May 30th.

Source: ProdPad: 📺 Product Ops Bootcamp with Melissa Perri

Authors: Melissa Perri and Janna Bastow

Ant Murphy (via Medium): 7 Different Product Roadmap Formats

Ant Murphy lists different types of product roadmaps, from Now-Next-Later to Theme to Customer Journey Roadmaps.

Source: Medium: 7 Different Product Roadmap Formats

Author: Ant Murphy

📯 28+2 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

Welcome to the Sprint anti-patterns article from my series on Scrum anti-patterns, covering the three Scrum roles — pardon me: accountabilities — and addressing the contributions of stakeholders and the IT/line management. Moreover, I add some food for thought. For example, could a month-long Sprint be too short for accomplishing something meaningful? And if so, what are the consequences?

Learn more: 28+2 Sprint Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

🛠 Tools & Measuring

Steve Denning (via Forbes): 21 Lessons In Measuring Innovation: Truth Is Often The First Casualty

Steve Denning shares “21 lessons on the uses, abuses, and half-truths of the measuring innovation” when managers try to understand progress.

Source: Forbes: 21 Lessons In Measuring Innovation: Truth Is Often The First Casualty

Author: Steve Denning

✂️ Cutting Room Floor

Pranav Khanna (via Medium): My Favorite Product Management Memes

Pranav Khanna lightens your mood with a collection of PM memes starring Spiderman, Dilbert, Samuel L. Jackson, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Source: Medium: My Favorite Product Management Memes

Author: Pranav Khanna

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought #335: Idea Repositories, Team Building w/ Conway’s Law, Measuring Added Value, Estimation Is a Waste.

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Food for Agile Thought #336: Prioritization Politics, Experiments w/ POPCORN, Frederick Winslow Taylor, ProductOps Bootcamp was first published on Age-of-Product.com.

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