Dear Readers!

I am very pleased with the positive feedback I receive from you about my articles! Thank you. This motivates me to continue working on the content you are asking for. I also invite you to the English version of my blog, where there is more content so far. The reason for this is that I work with companies from many countries and there was a need for this content to reach these people as well. However, out of respect for Polish recipients, my team will successively translate all articles into Polish! All articles available in English can be found here: https://magdalenafirlit.com/blog/

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Product Owner

Different Ways to Know your Customers

Product Owners must know their customers to succeed in today’s competitive markets. There is a common agreement among experts involved in product management about it. A lot has been said about this topic. In this blog post, I discuss the different ways to know your customers. To make it more practical, I share some tools to ease application in the work environment.

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Uncategorized

Business Value in Agile Organizations

Recently, I have been talking about customer value a lot. This perspective has been shared here. It is time to share some thoughts about business value for organizations. This paper is a continuation of the previous one, where I mainly focused on customers. It is widely known that companies exist to make money, satisfy shareholders, investors, increase market share, etc. This is a typical purpose for such organizations (unless they are non-profit). What is business value? Perhaps, there is no

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Uncategorized

How to measure the success of the Agile Transformation?

Organizations have been taking their efforts toward Agility for many years. Some of them seem to be successful in this field, and some of them are not. So, how to measure the results and benefits of this effort?   This question is often asked when I discuss the results or ongoing endeavors of the Agile Transformation with Management in organizations. Companies invest a lot in being Agile, however, they are only sometimes aware of what business agility means and what

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Uncategorized

Price is what you pay, value is what you get

Warren Buffett said once: ” Price is what you pay, value is what you get.  “ This Thought Concerns The Financial Market And Business Valuation (Price Value, Stock, Etc.). However, The Phrase Is Universal Enough That I Would Use It For Product Ownership And Features Usefulness In Products. This statement profoundly resonates with me, and I believe it should also strike a chord with Product Owners. Warren Buffett’s thought could be translated to Agile Product Management and reflected as the difference between the price

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Product Owner

Is revenue a good Product Goal?

Interestingly, so many organizations have revenue or profit as their Product Goals as well as Strategic Goals. Some organizations do not consider using Product Goals at all. Or they are not aware of this need.What about your organization or product? Do you have a Product or Strategic Goal? If yes, does it revenue-oriented? From my perspective and personal experience working with companies, I would provide a shortanswer to this question: Is revenue a good Product Goal? – yes and no.

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Agile Leadership

Product Delivery – when Business and IT are talking at cross-purposes

How often have you been exposed to the conflict or different objectives between departments? If never, congratulations! You have probably seen and experienced healthy environments, meaningful shared goals, and true leaders. Keep on! If your answer to this question is: “frequently”, “often” or “always”, this article might be helpful. What is the problem? I have coached many organizations. Dozens. I have taught thousands of people so far. 70% of themindicated that there is still a challenging situation between their IT (sometimes

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Product Goals
Agile Leadership

The Product Goals explained

Product Goals were added to the recent version of the Scrum Guide. The idea of incorporating this concept was to emphasize the importance of having a longer-term goal than a Sprint Goal. Also, to point out that the Product Goal is a reflection of the product vision, the bridge between Sprints and the vision. Besides, many Product Owners used Product Goals before the Scrum Guide updates. We may say that the usage of the Product Goals has been observed in

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Agile Leadership

Success of Implementing EBM

Previously, I have described some challenges with the Evidence-Based Management implementation. There are plenty of challenges regarding the process of applying Evidence-Based Management, there are also great results. Right direction, right goals, right decisions  The EBM enables perfectly validate the strategic goal, Product Goals and tactical goals. It happens due to frequent inspection and adaptation, so empirical process. The EBM KVAs should always represent the current data so that the decision-making process is straightforward and more transparent. Example: the company

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Agile Leadership

Pitfalls (challenges) of implementing EBM

We have now launched a new Scrum.org course – Professional Agile Leadership – Evidence-Based Management (EBM), and it is an exceptional occasion to share my experience with implementing the framework. I have been actively working with the Evidence-Based Management (EBM) framework since 2015. Attempts have been incorporated in different environments, including large corporations, medium-sized companies, and start-ups. In this article, I am sharing my best knowledge, practice and… struggles.   The reason to use EBM in complex environments is to

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experiments
Agile Leadership

Why experiment?

People in organizations are often afraid of running experiments. I have observed ca. 70% of people responsible and accountable for products are reluctant to validate their assumptions by experimenting. There are several reasons for this hesitancy. The most common is misunderstanding what exactly the Agile experiment means. The second one is the negative result of the experiment. I always answer that this is fine that we have such a result! It means that there is no need to develop a

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3 levels
Agile Leadership

Agile Transformation – success factors

Recently, I have been discussing some reasons why Agile Transformation may fail or go slowly. This time I am presenting some success factors that might help your organization move towards Agility. As before, we need to emphasize that Agile Transformation is a process that never ends. There is no end state. This a learning process of the organization. The difference is if we observe some positive outcomes (continuous improvement) on this journey or not. Agile Transformation is not a goal

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agile transformation
Agile Leadership

Why sometimes Agile Transformations fail?

Based on my experience working in Agile environments since 2010, I did some research and general observations on the topic. Regardless of the business domains or product area, there are some common rules that may devastate your efforts towards Agility. First of all, we need to underline that the Agile Transformation never ends. This is an ongoing process of continuous improvements, running inspection and adaptation. However, the outcomes might be insufficient in some cases. Secondly, in some organizations, the process

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transparency
Agile Leadership

Fight for Transparency

A significantly increasing number of companies strive for Agility. They intend to progress with Agile Transformation. Based on my research from several dozen organizations, what might prevent them from benefiting from the Scrum (or just an Agile mindset) is lack of Transparency. In these circumstances, any change seems to be impossible to proceed. The Scrum framework is based on three pillars: Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation. We call it the empirical process. Trust and courage are required to enable Transparency. To

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Risk
Agile Leadership

Managing Risk with Scrum

Product development in a complex environment always poses some risks due to their unpredictable, uncertain nature. There are numerous types of uncertainties like business, market, technology, architecture, integration, currency, financial, marketing and hundreds more. Facing a large number of risks while delivering products seems to be a standard. And it is. It is common and natural. All we need to do is to manage risk. Myth Interestingly, more often than not, I come across the belief that risk is not

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EBM
Agile Leadership

Introduction to Evidence-Based Management

In this video I discuss what is Evidence-Based Management and explain the concept by using some examples. You may want to introduce EBM to your organization. If so, this recording might be useful! Organizations struggle to measure value. They usually prefer to focus on Time-to-Market measures. Measuring delivery is important, however, cannot be the only target. Holistic view on EBM might improve your product value. More information you may find here: My articles about EBM. EBM part 1 EBM part

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Agile transformation
Agile Leadership

How organisations prevent themselves from being Agile.

This video presents my speech about “How organisations prevent themselves from being Agile.” I provided this talk for the virtual conference ScrumDay Ukraine on May 2nd, 2020. Agile Transformation is a kind of journey, knowing why we are aiming towards some points is crucial. I discuss several anti-patterns while adopting Agile into an organisation. By all means, there are more pitfalls I did not mention. I focused on these I frequently meet while working with customers. When you observe these

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Agile Leadership

What’s the most important in the Product Owner role?

In this video I am discussing the Product Owner role. What should be the focus? What is the most important? What should be the source of requirements? How are they related to the product vision and business strategy? For these and others answers watch the video on my Youtube channel – Agile In The Spotlight! For English, turn subtitles on! This article was written by a human, me, not AI.

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agile in the spotlight
Agile Leadership

Welcome to my new YouTube channel!

Agile In The Spotlight is the brand new channel on YouTube. Topics are mostly related to Agile, Scrum, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agile Leader, Lean, Kanban, User Experience and Business Agility. I have decided to use my spare time while not traveling at this moment and share some of my experience and knowledge with you. I will be sharing there practical advice, thoughts, ideas, everything based on my experience from organizations I served across the world. Agile In The Spotlight

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Evidence based management
Agile Leadership

How to start with Evidence-Based Management? Part 2

From my experience and observations, my concern is weak understanding that the Evidence-Based Management (EBM) framework is empirical. It requires transparency, frequent inspection, and adaptation. Some organizations proceed with the initial evaluation and then drop the idea. Measuring once and making some decisions is not enough! No promises that this would work. Measuring often, regularly, making decisions, adapting frequently towards a meaningful goal. This is the secret ingredient of the powerful framework. Like Scrum, EBM is simple to understand, difficult

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Evidence Based Management cards
Agile Leadership

Evidence-Based Management – what is this? Part 1

I was inspired to write this article by you, my dear customers and students! Many of you were asking me about Evidence-Based Management; for some of you, I serve as a consultant to help you implement the framework in your organizations. Let’s start from the beginning, thus a definition. What is Evidence-Based Management? This an empirical framework to explicitly use the current, best evidence in management and decision-making. Evidence-Based Management is used in several complex domains like medicine (Evidence-Based Medicine),

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Product Owner focus
Product Owner

What should be the focus for the Product Owner?

The most straightforward answer would be – value, of course! But how to reach it? Large numbers of Product Owners begin their work from creating requirements. In some situations, these scopes are dictated by others. Their work mainly consists of describing demands, thus apparently appearing as a scribe in their role. On the “what ground” these items are ordered in the Product Backlog? Unfortunately, more often than not, this order is based on “it seems to so..”; “I was told..”;

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Virtual course
Product Owner

Experience from leading my first virtual class

Until today we were accustomed to leading/attending classes in person. Due to the extremely complex situation we experience in terms of pandemic, we needed to adapt with the speed of light. The opportunity for us is to learn something new that may benefit in the future. Switching to virtual classes may raise some reluctance or even fear from both sides – trainers and trainees.  However, with a dedication, thorough preparation, rethinking how to make participants experience similar to an in-person

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Certification

Scrum.org’s assessments – tips for non-native English speakers

Having had an opportunity to teach people certified Scrum.org classes in many countries, I noticed that there are some language pitfalls and traps. The situation concerns non-native English speakers and our assessments. While taking the assessments, people are confused with words, browsing dictionaries, looking for meaning. There is no spare time for this activity! Our Scrum.org assessments are timeboxed, time goes by so fast! In some languages, there are different words, meaning should remain the same. But it is not

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Product Owner

How the Organization Can Help Empower the Product Owner Role

While working with plenty of Scrum Teams and teaching Professional Scrum Product Owner classes, I observed a similar anti-pattern regarding Product Owners, which resembles anti-patterns of Scrum Masters who are not empowered. Through many years of my professional collaboration with companies, I have rarely seen Product Owners who could wholly fulfill their role. The problem is in common misunderstanding the role itself, the empirical framework of Scrum and complexity (and perhaps more). At the moment of Agile transformation, people’s job

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Scrum Tapas
Agile Leadership

How Agile Leaders Can Help People Grow

In this Scrum Tapas video, Professional Scrum Trainer Magdalena Firlit discusses ways that leaders in organizations can help their teams learn and grow. She provides a few tips and thoughts for helping with better engagement. This is the third in a three part series. In this Scrum Tapas video, Professional Scrum Trainer Magdalena Firlit discusses ways that leaders in organizations can help their teams learn and grow. She provides a few tips and thoughts for helping with better engagement. This

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Scrum Tapas
Agile Leadership

How Agile Leaders Can Help Scrum Teams

In this Scrum Tapas video, Professional Scrum Trainer Magdalena Firlit discusses ways that leaders in organizations that are trying to improve their agility can support their Scrum Teams and help them to be more successful. This is the second in a three part series. In this Scrum Tapas video, Professional Scrum Trainer Magdalena Firlit discusses ways that leaders in organizations that are trying to improve their agility can support their Scrum Teams and help them to be more successful. This

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Scrum Tapas
Agile Leadership

What is Agile Leadership

In this Scrum Tapas video, Professional Scrum Trainer Magdalena Firlit describes what it means to be a leader within an organization that is acting in an agile manner and things that they should understand and look out for. This is the first in a three part series. In this Scrum Tapas video, Professional Scrum Trainer Magdalena Firlit describes what it means to be a leader within an organization that is acting in an agile manner and things that they should

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Scrum Master

A Scrum Master Works on Three Levels

Through my professional experience, while serving my customers, working with Scrum Teams and training people in Professional Scrum, I have observed that some Scrum Masters only work to serve the Development Team and the Product Owner. Through my professional experience, while serving my customers, working with Scrum Teams and training people in Professional Scrum, I have observed that some Scrum Masters only work to serve the Development Team and the Product Owner. According to the Scrum Guide, Scrum Master serves

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Agile Leadership

The Importance of Agile Leaders

An Agile mindset is crucial in management roles for organizations that are moving towards Agility. I observed this while working in various organizations and currently am a witness of it while assisting my customers. An Agile mindset is crucial in management roles for organizations that are moving towards Agility. I observed this while working in various organizations and currently am a witness of it while assisting my customers. Decisions, actions, directions and vision often come from the management level, especially

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