Food for Agile Thought #352: Team Topologies, CEOs and Product Leaders, Why Strategies Change

TL; DR: Team Topologies, CEOs and Product Leaders — Food for Agile Thought #352

Welcome to the 352nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,602 peers. This week, we revisit Team Topologies, Conway’s Law, and how you might influence an organization’s structure as a lone product manager. We also explore the essence of behavioral change and apply lessons from Tim Hartford’s Cautionary Tale “The South Pole Race: David and Goliath on Ice” to your failed agile transformation. Moreover, we try to understand what ‘dream teams’ or ‘tiger teams’ supposedly are.

Then, we delve into the delicate relationship between the CEO and the product leader of an organization, stressing the importance of building candor, trust, and communicating well. Also, we listen to Casey Winters sharing career advice for aspiring product managers, from communicating upward to de-risking meetings. Finally, John Cutler continues his quest to understand product strategy; this time is all about why it changes, from recency bias to sporadic research.

Finally, we follow Jake Burghardt delving into the usefulness of research repositories as internal learning tools, including practical suggestions on how to employ them, and we enjoy a new game to ‘illustrate essential aspects for collaboration and workflow improvements.’ Lastly, HBR points to a critical element of why ‘organizational transformations are prone to failure.’

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Team Topologies

Shaw Li: How teams are organized will influences your product more than you might realize

Shaw Li revisits Team Topologies, Conway’s Law, and how you might influence an organization’s structure as a lone product manager.

Source: How teams are organized will influences your product more than you might realize

Author: Shaw Li

➿ Agile & Scrum

(via Reforge): How to Build More Effective Teams

Tom Willerer and Kevin Bechtel share lessons learned on ‘dream teams’ or ‘tiger teams.’

Source: Reforge: How to Build More Effective Teams

🎙 Shane Parrish and Marshall Goldsmith (via Farnam Street (Shane Parrish)): The Essentials Of Leadership

Shane Parrish interviews Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s leading executive coaches, on the essence of behavioral change.

Source: Farnam Street: 🎙 The Essentials Of Leadership

Authors: Shane Parrish and Marshall Goldsmith

Karl Scotland: 3 Amazing Reasons Your Agile Transformation May Go South

Karl Scotland applies lessons from Tim Hartford’s Cautionary Tale “The South Pole Race: David and Goliath on Ice” to your agile transformation.

Source: 3 Amazing Reasons Your Agile Transformation May Go South

Author: Karl Scotland

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Hands-on Agile #44: Honey, I Shrunk the Backlog with Allan Kelly — September 5, 2022

The backlog was a great idea until it wasn’t. Many successful teams deliver backlog items daily, but their backlogs aren’t getting any smaller. The never-ending backlog overshadows delivery success. Product discovery, dual-track agile, OKRs, etc., make it worse by accelerating backlog growth without taking any of the rotting items away.

Worst of all, doing the backlog distracts from delivering benefits to the customers and responding to change. So what are we to do?

In this presentation, Allan “Nuke the backlog” Kelly suggests you rethink the very idea of the backlog and rebuild your agile process around outcomes. You have nothing to lose by your burn-down charts.

RSVP now — seats are limited: 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 Honey, I Shrunk the Backlog with Allan Kelly — September 5, 2022

🎯 Product

Ken Norton: CEOs and Product Leaders

Ken Norton delves into the delicate relationship between the CEO and the product leader of an organization, stressing the importance of building candor, trust, and communicating well.

Source: CEOs and Product Leaders

Author: Ken Norton

🎙 Casey Winters and Lenny Rachitsky: How to sell your ideas and rise within your company

Casey Winters shares career advice for aspiring product managers, from communicating upward to de-risking meetings.

Source: 🎙 How to sell your ideas and rise within your company

Authors: Casey Winters and Lenny Rachitsky

John Cutler: Why Does Our Strategy Keep Changing?

John Cutler continues his quest to understand product strategy. Moreover, this time is all about why it changes, from recency bias to sporadic research.

Source: Why Does Our Strategy Keep Changing?

Author: John Cutler

📯 Stakeholder Trust — Scrum Master Survival Guide

Trust is the beginning of everything. I am hesitant to recycle an old slogan of a banking institute. However, in the context of becoming a learning organization and embracing business agility, it condenses the main challenge perfectly: How shall we convince the incumbents with vested interests in the status quo to give the new way of working the benefit of the doubt? Join me and delve into how distrust manifests and what we can do to earn stakeholder trust.

Learn more: Stakeholder Trust

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

Jake Burghardt (via Team ReOps): Activating insights to overcome common barriers to product impact

Jake Burghardt delves into the usefulness of research repositories as internal learning tools, including practical suggestions on how to employ them.

Source: Team ReOps: Activating insights to overcome common barriers to product impact

Author: Jake Burghardt

Paulo Caroli: The WIP Drinking Game

Paulo Caroli presents a new game to ‘illustrate essential aspects for collaboration and workflow improvements.’

Source: The WIP Drinking Game

Author: Paulo Caroli

✂️ Cutting Room Floor

(via Harvard Business Review): Organizational Transformation Is an Emotional Journey

Andrew White, Michael Smets, and Adam Canwell point to a critical element of why ‘organizational transformations are prone to failure.’

Source: Harvard Business Review: Organizational Transformation Is an Emotional Journey

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

Read more: Food for Agile Thought 351: Agile and Deadlines, Why We (Often) Lack Strategy, Making Room for Discovery, Switching to Shape Up.

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Food for Agile Thought 352: Team Topologies, CEOs and Product Leaders, Why Strategies Change, Leadership Essentials 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.