Merry Christmas, everyone! As we bid farewell to 2023, we present the final BONUS episode of this Christmas week—a glimpse into what we believe is the future for every Agile team out there.
Brace yourselves for a deep dive into the heart of agility: learning at the speed of experimentation! Specifically, we’ll explore the exciting realm of Experiment-driven development, a game-changer poised to reshape how teams approach learning and development. Don’t forget, each episode this week complements the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.
Throughout this week, we’ve delved into five crucial topics that every Scrum Master should master, with each topic complementing a module in the Coach Your PO e-course. Today’s focus is on The spectrum of experimentation—a concept that promises to revolutionize the way teams learn and evolve.
The Spectrum of Experimentation
In previous episodes, we emphasized that writing and deploying software is the slowest and most expensive way to learn about what adds value to our product and business. Recognizing this, we introduced the idea of paper-prototype-based usability tests as a means to define and run experiments in 24 hours or less. However, this is just one facet of the vast landscape of experimentation.
Why does it matter? Not all experiments and hypotheses are created equal. While some ideas could lead to a 10x improvement in our product, others may offer incremental gains that are challenging to quantify. The key is to align the effort spent on validating hypotheses with their potential impact.
Merry Christmas, everyone! In today’s Christmas week BONUS episode, we’re diving into the world of Agile experimentation, specifically exploring how to enable 24-hour experiments—a topic that promises to revolutionize the way we approach product development. As we explore this exciting subject, remember that each episode this week is a companion to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.
This week’s episodes are designed to equip Scrum Masters with essential tools to assist their Product Owners in mastering five key areas. Today, we unravel the secrets of conducting rapid experiments that speed up your learning and development cycles.
First: Defining Experiments and Their Purpose in Product Development
Let’s start by revisiting the Lean Startup methodology and its famed Build-Measure-Learn cycle. Lean Startup emphasizes that the purpose of “building” is not merely to deliver software but to validate hypotheses. Before running an experiment, it’s crucial to define what you’re trying to achieve, as discussed in Monday’s episode on how to define value.
Taking Amazon’s website as an example, suppose a team aims to boost the conversion rate for users who have added items to their cart. The hypothesis could be: “Removing shipping costs from the checkout overview will result in a higher conversion rate for people who’ve added an item to their cart.” This hypothesis, or belief, becomes the trigger for experimentation.
Merry Christmas, everyone! We hope your holiday season is filled with joy and festive cheer. As we continue our Christmas week BONUS episodes, today’s focus is on empowering Product Owners (POs) to quickly make informed decisions based on the definition of value and value metrics.
As usual in this year’s BONUS week of episodes, this episode is a crucial companion to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.
Quick Decision Making is the Goal!
While defining and measuring value are vital, our ultimate objective as Scrum Masters is to expedite the decision-making process. The pace of software development is directly correlated with the speed at which POs, stakeholders, and the team make decisions. Today, we discuss how Scrum Masters can help their teams, PO’s and stakeholders, make informed decisions faster.
Quick decision-making not only accelerates development but also contributes to learning faster, and discovering what does not need to be done at all! This aligns with Agile’s principle of maximizing the work not done.
What Do Product Owners Need to Make Decisions Quickly?
Merry Christmas, dear listeners! We hope your festive season is filled with joy and warmth. Today marks another special BONUS episode in our Christmas week lineup, and we’re diving into the crucial topic of helping Product Owners measure value. If you missed our previous episode on defining business value, be sure to check it out as today’s content builds upon those insights.
This episode, like all others this week, is a companion to the Coach Your Product Owner e-course, accessible at bit.ly/coachyourpo.
Why We Need To Help Product Owners Measure Value
Ever envisioned driving a familiar road blindfolded? Many teams find themselves in a similar predicament, knowing their backlog and delivery process well but lacking clarity on their goal. A backlog of items, as emphasized yesterday, is not a goal.
Tom shares the story of a team that slowly drifted away from Scrum, and it’s values, but without noticing it themselves! The team followed the rituals, but their retrospectives pushed them aways from Agile and Scrum principles. The team inadvertently, and over time, adopted a waterfall approach. To avoid this in your teams, Tom advocates for digging into root causes instead of symptom-fixing. Eventually, Tom helped the team do a “scrum reset” which realigned the team, prompting a valuable tip: conduct resets every six months. Tom emphasizes double-loop learning, urging a focus on long-term improvement amidst day-to-day challenges.
Featured Book of the Week: The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries
Tom delves into the transformative impact of Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup.” The book revolutionized his perspective on Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), emphasizing radical experimentation and learning over rigid planning. It liberated him from the constraints of plan-driven approaches, emphasizing the dynamic nature of execution. Tom underscores the criticality of continuous measurement and learning, a principle he now prioritizes in his approach. He shares valuable advice: never underestimate the power of measuring and learning in the pursuit of agile success.
Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters
Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today!The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!
About Tom Siebeneicher
Tom is an engaging speaker, who has delivered presentations at conferences like the Atos DREAM Conference, the Agile Leadership Day, and TED XKE by Xebia. Their enthusiasm for discussing Agile is evident in those talks.