📬 The Backlog is Thomas van Zuijlen's weekly newsletter on practical agility, with annotated articles on Scrum, facilitation, collaboration, and (product) development.
What makes Google’s corporate culture so bad, what makes GitLab’s culture so good, and what your coding culture needs in order to abandon feature branches and PRs.
Humanely providing direction in challenging times, interesting pitfalls in product management, and the parallels between Scrum and Buddhist logic.
What science says about team fluidity, why you can’t just cancel all meetings, and how dozens of pundits see remote-first’s path in 2023.
An experience report on fluid Scrum, a list of facilitator qualities that modern leaders should have, and a compelling argument to skip everything until just before the bear eats you.
Why you should give that project your full… 85 per cent, how to capture the empiricism at the root of Scrum without being annoying, and where to take your next teambuilding to forge meaningful connections.
How to make meaningful adjustments to your process, what ownership means for software products (& who should take it), and what the Scrum Master’s accountabilities mean in practice.
The Art of Product Backlog Refinement, the reason refactoring has no place on your PBL, and the key to professional agile leadership.
Give your onboarding colleagues the finger(s), but don’t let your async distributed workplace get toxic, and learn all there is about feature flags from Hodgson.
Why Definitions of Ready are wasteful illusions, how a sustainable pace isn’t just a Developer affair, and which things will help you speak better - of yourself.
What the difference is between good managers and bad managers, how using mental models may harm our decision-making, and why we can’t code fake news out of existence.
Stop focusing on intermediate metrics that hinder your agility, help managers say “people” instead of “resources”, and lay better workshop groundwork with IDOARRT.
Why you should delegate outcomes rather than activities, how it pays off to define important terminology within your context, and where to look if you get stuck with root cause analyses.
Battle-tested facilitation insights, the characteristics of product-led organisations, and Pipedrive’s M.A.S.K. approach to fluid reteaming.
I’m on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast this week, Willem-Jan Ageling calls out agile coaches who give bad advice to managers, and Lohmann & Krabbe open up about descaling a 25-team setup.
Starting out with User Story Mapping, absorbing agile product ownership in a nutshell, and knowing what’s too long of a pause in online conversations.
Where to begin when you and your colleagues are on a different wavelength, why it’s a terrible idea to ‘just’ put something onto a product backlog, and how to set (product) goals in five different ways.
Stimulating behavioural change using positive information, adapting work processes using experimentation, and keeping track of agility’s purpose using an old John Cutler post.
The term for organisations suffering from management over-mandating stuff, the difference between responding and reacting to change, and the reason your talk proposal didn’t get accepted by that one conference.
How to record decisions to help yourself and your new colleagues, how to help organisations effectively speak about outcomes, and how we might reconsider an obsession with personal productivity.
Looking for even older issues?
Read the archive on TinyLetter