BONUS: The Future Of Agility, Experiment Driven Development, With Vasco Duarte

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.

The Experiment Spectrum

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BONUS: Unleashing Agile Experimentation, Accelerating Learning Cycles With 24h Experiments, With Vasco Duarte

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.

Second: Designing the Experiment

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BONUS: Helping Product Owners Make Decisions Quickly With Experiments, And Lean Startup, With Vasco Duarte

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?

Continue reading BONUS: Helping Product Owners Make Decisions Quickly With Experiments, And Lean Startup, With Vasco Duarte

Meena Venkataraman: Knowing When to Step Back, a Scrum Master superpower

In this segment, Meena shares how, as a scrum master, she strives to step back once the team is self-sufficient.

Meena mentions that it is important to make sure that there is no unhealthy dependency between the team and the scrum master. To do this, the scrum master needs to ensure that they are not the only one who can resolve conflicts and that the team is communicating effectively with stakeholders.

The success of a scrum master is also measured by whether the team is delivering a quality product. Meena provides several tips for scrum masters, including making sure that it’s not about them, and observing the behaviors of the team to determine if they can self-manage.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simple and effective conversation focused formats

In this segment, Meena shares that when it comes to retrospectives, she prefers to focus on simplicity and creating conversations with the team. She emphasizes the importance of creating insights and actions with the team, rather than just generating data. Meena shares a tip to ask questions that crystallize insights and anchor them in the agile principles.

She also shares a story about observing a retro led by someone else where there was a lot of data but no actionable insights. Meena emphasizes that retros are great places for scrum masters to coach and that it’s not about the format, but rather about anchoring questions in the agile principles.

In this segment, we refer to a shared whiteboard tool named MURAL.

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!
About Meena Venkataraman

Meena is an Agile & Lean coach who helps organizations and teams transition to Agile ways of working. She is passionate about the neuroscience behind team dynamics and is interested in organizational design and the application of Agile principles across different business domains. Meena enjoys speaking at conferences and is an avid learner.

You can link with Meena Venkataraman on LinkedIn.

Jill Stott: Adopting Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), a real life story of success

Jill was working with a UI toolkit team. This team served a lot of other teams as their direct users/customers. All seemed to be going fine, but as the number of client teams was growing, senior management came in and asked them to adopt the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as a way to help coordinate the work of these multiple teams. This started a process of SAFe adoption that Jill describes in detail in this episode!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Jill Stott

Jill Stott is here to make friends! She’s worked in IT for too many years to count. She is passionate about assisting ScrumMasters to be successful and happy in their roles. Jill knows that there is no such thing as a perfect chocolate chip cookie and she isn’t afraid to use puppets.

You can link with Jill Stott on LinkedIn.

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NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
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NEW! FREE Product Owner Mini-Summit
Join us for this new Mini-Summit featuring seven pre-recorded sessions handpicked from our most popular past events.