Food for Agile Thought #353: Sales vs. Product, Minimum Viable Transformation, Pivot or Persevere?

TL; DR: Sales vs. Product, Minimum Viable Transformation — Food for Agile Thought #353

Welcome to the 353rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 35,651 peers.

This week, we delve into Sales vs. Product, analyzing their conflicting worldviews. Additionally, we learn about the pre-requisites of cultural change, for example, ensuring that at least a quarter of your community supports the endeavor. Also, we detail why long-term software development plans do not work and critique an acclaimed book on DevOps, metrics, and effectiveness in software development.

Then, we reflect on Lean Startup’s “pivot or persevere” decision: scale, kill, pivot, or persevere, and we show practical ways to reduce our product’s risk of failure, from testing assumptions to data-informed decision-making. Moreover, we share eleven lessons on enabling product management with distributed teams, from the need to write more to embrace tools beyond Zoom and Google Docs.

Finally, we enjoy Avion’s bookmark-worthy guide on user story mapping and detail how product analytics can reduce churn if you learn to identify customers that share ‘specific characteristics and usage patterns.’ Lastly, Russ Roberts interviews the economist — and former chief economist of Uber and Lyft — John List on what determines scalability and ‘good ideas.’

Did you miss the previous Food for Agile Thought’s issue 352?

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🏆 The Tip of the Week: Sales vs. Product

Rich Mironov: ‘A Working Request Process Should End in YES’ (aka Incompatible Worldviews)

Rich Mironov analyses the context of different worldviews of sales on the one side and product/development on the other side, pointing to the inherent conflict between these views.

Source: ‘A Working Request Process Should End in YES’ (aka Incompatible Worldviews)

Author: Rich Mironov

➿ Agile & Scrum

Daniel Stillman (via Medium): Minimum Viable Transformation

Daniel Stillman dives deep into the pre-requisites of cultural change, for example, ensuring that at least a quarter of your community supports the endeavor.

Source: Medium: Minimum Viable Transformation

Author: Daniel Stillman

Lucas F Costa: Why long-term plans don’t work and how to fix them

Lucas F Costa details why long-term software development plans are his favorite ‘genre of fiction.’

Source: Why long-term plans don’t work and how to fix them

Author: Lucas F Costa

Keunwoo Lee: A review of _Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps_

Keunwoo Lee critically dissects an acclaimed book on DevOps, metrics, and effectiveness in software development.

Source: A review of _Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps_

Author: Keunwoo Lee

🎓 🖥 💯 🇬🇧 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?

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🎯 Product

Tristan Kromer (via Kromatic): How to Make “Pivot or Persevere” Decisions in Your Innovation Accounting

Tristan Kromer reflects on Lean Startup’s “pivot or persevere” decision, claiming that there are four possible outcomes: scale, kill, pivot, or persevere.

Source: Kromatic: How to Make “Pivot or Persevere” Decisions in Your Innovation Accounting

Author: Tristan Kromer

(via Department of Product): How to de-risk your Product Strategy

Richard Holmes shows practical ways to reduce your product’s risk of failure, from testing assumptions to data-informed decision-making.

Source: Department of Product: How to de-risk your Product Strategy

Jens-Fabian Goetzmann (via Medium): Remote and Asynchronous Product Management

Jens-Fabian Goetzmann shares eleven lessons on enabling product management with distributed teams, from the need to write more to embracing tools beyond Zoom and Google Docs.

Source: Medium: Remote and Asynchronous Product Management

Author: Jens-Fabian Goetzmann

📯 Unengaged Stakeholders at the Sprint Review — Making Your Scrum Work #25

There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. For example, what if your Scrum team repeatedly faces unengaged stakeholders at the Sprint Review? How can the Scrum team stay on track in accomplishing the Product Goal when a vital feedback loop is missing?

Join me and delve into how to support your stakeholders in living up to their part of the collaboration with the Scrum team in less than two minutes.

Learn more: Unengaged Stakeholders at the Sprint Review — Making Your Scrum Work #25

🛠 Concepts, Tools & Measuring

(via Avion): What Is User Story Mapping? Examples & Step-By-Step Guide

Avion created a comprehensive guide on user story mapping worth bookmarking.

Source: Avion: What Is User Story Mapping? Examples & Step-By-Step Guide.

(via Amplitude): Cohort Analysis: Reduce Churn & Improve Retention

Darshil Gandhi details how product analytics can reduce churn if you learn to identify customers that share ‘specific characteristics and usage patterns.’

Source: Amplitude: Cohort Analysis: Reduce Churn & Improve Retention

✂️ Cutting Room Floor

🎙 John List and Russ Roberts (via Econlib): John List on Scale, Uber, and the Voltage Effect

Russ Roberts interviews the economist — and former chief economist of Uber and Lyft — John List on what determines scalability and ‘good ideas.’

Source: Econlib: 🎙 John List on Scale, Uber, and the Voltage Effect

Authors: John List and Russ Roberts

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🗞️ Last Week’s Food for Agile Thought Edition

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

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Food for Agile Thought 353: Sales vs. Product, Minimum Viable Transformation, User Story Mapping Guide, Pivot or Persevere? 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.