📬 The Backlog

📬 The Backlog is Thomas van Zuijlen's weekly newsletter on practical agility, with annotated articles on Scrum, facilitation, collaboration, and (product) development.

11 July 2022

📬 The Backlog #185

Battle-tested facilitation insights, the characteristics of product-led organisations, and Pipedrive’s M.A.S.K. approach to fluid reteaming.

  1. Ever in a meeting? Got a minute? Great, because Toby Jenkins and Alix Dunn offer you no less than 27 Principles Of Facilitation From Decades Of Practice – In Person And Remote.

    Don’t skip this one on the grounds of having a different job title. As the authors say:

    “Have you ever organised a meeting, event or social occasion? Great. Then, like me, whether it’s conscious or not, you’re already a facilitator too. Because wherever there is a group of people, there is facilitation.”

    Great stuff in there, like #25, the Silent Brainstorm: share your thoughts by writing them down, so your playing field is level and the easy-to-shout people don’t monopolise the air time.

  2. Anthony Murphy describes What Product-Led Companies Look Like by comparing, among other things, product thinking with project thinking. His article is high-level, and a quick read thanks to an easy-to-skim structure.

    I find it a good refresher on mindsets with some excellent and accessible graphs introducing the Kano Model, different mandate levels and manager/team responsibility trade-offs.

    As a PO or PM, how do your company and team fare when perceived through these lenses, and how would you like them to?

  3. I recently made some workshops for MessageBird, where one tribe organises itself in flexible, changing team compositions to accommodate a combination of ongoing work and short- to medium term projects. The tribe’s engineering manager told me they used Pipedrive’s framework as their template.

    In Pipedrive terminology, the launchpad is everyone working on the day-to-day, and the projects are taken care of by teams assembled around missions.

    Kind of like an episode of M.A.S.K. but with fewer helmets and presumably no vehicles.

    Kadri Pirn and Juan Gutiérrez published the outlines and inception of that setup in Pipedrive Agile Framework: A Detailed View. Props to that company for dedicating themselves to such a setup for a number of years while doubling in size.

    For a framework that pursues fluidity, it is fascinating to see how many prescriptive roles, rules and structures people added before they apparently felt comfortable enough embracing the flexibility they already had (and that Scrum, for instance, would limit far less).

Have a simple enough week and Scrum on,
Thomas van Zuijlen

PS —

🗓 Book me

I still have availability for workshops and consultancy work in the second half of August. If you’re looking for a facilitator with a broad knowledge of Scrum and collaboration, book an exploratory 25-minute call with me today: https://calendly.com/vanzuijlen/consultancy-exploration

🎧 Hear me

I recently was Vasco Duarte’s featured podcast guest for a week. You can now listen to all episodes of Thomas van Zuijlen on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.