Food For Thought #53

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of August 7th, 2016 — shared with 3,817 peers — lets you steal agile insights from BMW, and encourages you to redefine your attitude towards technical debt.

We also learn why the CSM certification originally was created, why public roadmaps with release dates are bordering on being moronic, and why the art of product management requires empathy. (I know, you thought that A/B testing and Analytics would suffice — sorry for breaking the bad news…)

We then dive deep into creating happiness at work, and this even seems to work in the software industry, given the lastest DZone poll among developers on agile methods.

Last, but not least, we are getting the price of our product right, at least we could fix it now, and we have an in-depth look at a place where pair programming is the norm, and not an exception. Enjoy a great Sunday!

Agile & Scrum


Henrik Mitsch (via DZone): Agile by Example: DriveNow

Henrik Mitsch, Head of IT of BMW’s car-sharing venture DriveNow, sheds in this success story a light on how DriveNow is using agile methods to develop their software.

Source: DZone: Agile by Example: DriveNow

Author: Henrik Mitsch


Shane Hastie (via InfoQ): Agile2016 Opening Keynote: Managing for Happiness by Jurgen Appelo

Shane Hastie on Jurgen Appelo’s opening keynote talk at the Agile 2016 conference in Atlanta on how to create happiness in organizations. Because: Happy teams are more productive, and it’s more fun to work there.

Source: InfoQ: Agile2016 Opening Keynote: Managing for Happiness

Authors: Shane Hastie


Doc Norton (via DZone): You’re Using Technical Debt Wrong

Doc Norton and John Esposito of DZone explain in this video what technical debt really is and how you and your team should be thinking about it, and use it to your advantage.

Source: DZone: You’re Using Technical Debt Wrong

Author: Doc Norton


(via DZone): How 774 Developers Really Feel About Agile

John Esposito shares the results of a recent poll among developers how they feel about agile development and methodologies. And it seems that general feelings around agile are pretty sunny.

Source: DZone: How 774 Developers Really Feel About Agile


Kubair Shirazee: A product owner’s guide to writing acceptance criteria for user stories

Kubair Shirazee provides his guide for creating great acceptance criteria for user stories.

Source: A product owner’s guide to writing acceptance criteria for user stories

Author: Kubair Shirazee


Ken Schwaber: Building an Agile Organization Part 1

Ken Schwaber tells the story of why the original CSM Scrum certification was created — a receipt for workshop participants to claim expenses — , and how the CSM certification business got out of hand.

Source: Building an Agile Organization Part 1

Author: Ken Schwaber


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Summer Reading List

Product & Lean


Sachin Rekhi: Developing User Empathy

Sachin Rekhi on his belief, that the best product managers excel at both the art and science of product management. In this post, he focuses on the critical aspect of the art behind product management, which is developing user empathy.

Source: Developing User Empathy

Author: Sachin Rekhi


David Cancel (via Seeking Wisdom): Why You Should Run Your Business Without Roadmaps

David Cancel, CEO of Drift, shares in this podcast his belief, that having public roadmaps with release dates is a bad idea, if you actually want your organization to focus on solving your customers’ real problems.

Source: Seeking Wisdom: Why You Should Run Your Business Without Roadmaps

Author: David Cancel


Ash Maurya: Innovation Management

Ash Maurya finally settles for “innovation management” to label his methodology, after having spent a lot of time at the intersection of “business modeling” and “lean startup”.

Source: Innovation Management

Author: Ash Maurya


Patrick Campbell (via First Round Capital): The Price is Right: Essential Tips for Nailing Your Pricing Strategy

Patrick Campbell, Price Intelligently Co-founder and CEO, deconstructs and walks through the elements of a pricing strategy to enable startups to more effectively acquire customers.

Source: First Round Capital: The Price is Right: Essential Tips for Nailing Your Pricing Strategy

Author: Patrick Campbell


Jon Lax (via Medium): Great Products Don’t Happen By Accident

Great Products Don’t Happen By Accident
Image from medium.com

Jon Lax shares how to use play books for designing and building products, because creating a play book of HOW you build products is essential for every company but missing for most.

Source: Medium: Great Products Don’t Happen By Accident

Author: Jon Lax


Maddy Kirsch (via ProductPlan): How Product Managers Can Say No (and Still Get Invited to Lunch)

Maddy Kirsch of ProductPlan shares a few techniques for turning down stakeholder requests effectively, that even might turn them into supporters of your decision.

Source: ProductPlan: How Product Managers Can Say No (and Still Get Invited to Lunch)

Author: Maddy Kirsch


Essential Reads


Steve Denning (via Forbes): The Joy Of Work: Menlo Innovations

Steve Denning interviews Menlo Innovation’s co-founder Richard Sheridan on how they have managed to create a software company where “joy of work” is a reality, and not just a part of the company values displayed in the lobby.

Source: Forbes: The Joy Of Work: Menlo Innovations

Author: Steve Denning


Astro Teller (via Medium): A Peek Inside the Moonshot Factory Operating Manual

A Peek Inside the Moonshot Factory Operating Manual
Image from medium.com

Astro Teller on [Google] X’s a single mission: to invent and launch “moonshot” technologies that they hope could someday make the world a radically better place.

Source: Medium: A Peek Inside the Moonshot Factory Operating Manual

Author: Astro Teller

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