I Love My Product

"Software engineering and product management tend to be focused on deterministic things, such as algorithms and data structures, and more often than not, it is a lot about problem solving, bug fixing, criticising this or that. But deep inside, engineers and product managers are creative, emotional people with a lot of passion for their work. I was just curious to see what happens if their perspective would be one that is unconditionally positive - do you love your product?" —Dirk Bartels, CPO, Idealo Internet GmbH

30 April 2013
Product Owner
client, emotion, love, product, product owner, team

In a client workshop with a team of Product Owners at idealo Internet GmbH last week, Dirk Bartels, the CPO/Head of Product, suggested and facilitated an inspiring exercise. Dirk had read the book "Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love" by Marty Cagan. So he asked the group: What does this statement mean to you, "I love my product"?


Explaining why he wanted to start the day with this session, Dirk said, “One of the motivations behind this exercise was to allow everyone to take a different perspective. Software engineering and product management tend to be focused on ...

I Think We Should Do «another fancy practice»

Every environment is different. Is the practice you want to try going to be helpful in yours?

23 April 2013
Scrum & XP, agile

As agile coaches, we frequently observe and get involved in discussions around practices, methods and tools. Many of these start with someone suggesting "I think we should try …".

Many of these discussions focus directly on the advantages of the specific method. Often, they lack focus on fitness for purpose or context. There are so many things that we could do. Many methods that work amazingly well for others. Is that enough to start trying them too?
We need to decide which method or tool is important and potentially useful for us in our environment, for our specific, current challenges. Discussions ...

Adapting Lean Canvas for Portfolio Management

The lean project canvas is designed to bring rigor to the process of prioritizing a portfolio of projects, while keeping it lean and agile

11 April 2013
Lean Management

Problem: Many organizations lack a rigorous way to prioritize and manage their portfolio of projects. They may be lean & agile at the team level, but they aren’t applying the same principles to the portfolio. Stakeholders often battle each other to prioritize their pet projects, and in the end, projects are prioritized based on the HiPPO method: Highest Paid Person’s Opinion.

Lean canvas to the rescue! Lean Canvas is useful and simple tool for weighing different business plans to choose the most promising options. With some modifications, it serves as a great tool for guiding prioritization for your project ...

agile42 European Coach Camp in Berlin

The Europe Coach Camp is a quarterly meeting between all the coaches that create the agile42 network: we met just before Easter for a two-day immersion

9 April 2013
camp, coach

It's important for an agile company to use internally the methodologies that it teaches to clients and therefore it's no surprise that the coaches at agile42 meet regularly to align themselves and to discuss how to better bring results to other companies. The Europe Coach Camp is a quarterly meeting between all the European coaches that create the agile42 network: we met just before Easter in Berlin for a two-day immersion first at the lovely Café 100 Wasser and then at agile42 Headquarters in Friedrichshain.

Most of the conversations during the first day have seen the team working ...

Why "Real Options" is the biggest fail of the Agile Community so far

To the naive, Real Options sounds like salvation but they are a broken and evil concept proven to be wrong and the agile community should not embrace that

3 April 2013
real options

Why I wrote this blogpost

I am an agile coach, but took some curves to get there, because I started my career as an investment banker. This is something I normally do not tell, because I am ashamed of the fact. I studied banking and finance and specialized in structured finance - that is the kind of complicated stuff where you put many derivative vehicles together, so that nobody can tell anymore that you included a premium that is ten times higher than the market average and sell them to naive people with enough money, mainly private banking customers. Another popular ...

Scrumtisch April 2013

Hello All, The next Scrumtisch is waiting for you! :)

28 March 2013
Scrumtisch Berlin

Hello All,

we are happy to announce the next Berlin Scrumtisch scheduled for April 25th:

  • Date: 25th of April, 2013
  • Time: 18:30 
  • Place: Cafe Restaurant Deseo, Boxhagener Str. 108,

If you would like to attend, please send an email to, or register at the scrum user group on Xing :-)

We are looking forward to seeing you all again and sharing a nice evening with good learnings! :)


PS: I got a request to support a universiy study. I like to invite you to spend some minutes to support it: http://france.wiwi ...

Lean Kanban Nordic presentation: Business people as bottlenecks

Presentation given at the Lean Kanban Nordic 2013 conference in Stockholm on 13th March.

18 March 2013

In a manufacturing process a bottleneck is any step whose capacity is less than the demand placed upon it. From an organizational perspective bottlenecks are both physical and non-physical: systems, equipment, processes, policies and …people.

Bottlenecks limit a system's output/outcome, they lead to queues, waiting times, lost opportunities, etc. In one word: waste. They should be removed.

While we should always look at the system before blaming people, sometimes bottlenecks are indeed people, business people in particular. Should we just remove them :) or can we find other ways to address this issue?

I took a look at how ...

Why Principles are more important than Practices?

Write up from Agile Development Practices conference in Berlin

5 March 2013
Agile with a Purpose, Events, agile

Write up from the Keynote at the Agile Development Practices conference in Berlin

The fact that many new to Agile focus a lot of energy in doing Agile right, brings them to end often in situation where many Agile Practices stop to make sense as such, and get adapted... unfortunately in not-really-agile ways.

With the keynote today, I tried to pass across that "doing" Agile, requires at least a bit of understanding about why most of the Agile practices are made the way they are made. Starting out by trying something without having understood why it has been created in ...

Facilitated Learning: Setup

When coaching teams and organisations on their path towards a new way of work, we frequently get asked to transfer specific knowledge to people. The context does not always allow for a "full training", and that may not be actually needed.

4 March 2013
4c, facilitation, learning, training

When coaching teams and organisations on their path towards a new way of work, we frequently get asked to transfer specific knowledge to people. The context does not always allow for a "full training", and that may not be actually needed.

Depending on the nature of that request and contextual constraints, when we are asked to deliver a training session, what do we do?

I recently published the session design of a Lean Startup session I ran with client teams, and will now share the basics of how I set it up.

Back of the Room

I used the 4Cs ...

agile42 at Agile Dev Practices 2013

agile42 at Agile Dev Practices 2013, the Conference for Agile Developers

28 February 2013

agile42 will be present at Agile Dev Practices 2013, the Conference for Agile Developers, taking place from 4th to 7th March in Potsdam near Berlin. 

You can meet our team in the exhibitor area where we'll have a booth and listen to senior coach Andrea Tomasini deliver the Keynote on Tuesday 5th about "Why Practices are not as important as Principles?" and reflect on the big Agile dilemma: "To effectively apply practices, you need to under the principle, but to understand the principles, you need to practice! Simple… and yet incredibly complicated."

You can register with 25% discount using ...

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