• Toby Sinclair

Curated Insights | Friday 21st January 2021


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Happy Friday,

This week's insights include:

  • Why you shouldn't build Feature Teams

  • How to overcome your fears

  • The cure for zoom fatigue

Enjoy.

Don't Build Feature Teams ⛔️


This week I finished Empowered by Marty Cagan.


I enjoyed Marty’s very strong views on Product Strategy and Feature Teams:


“In most companies, there is no product strategy. Notice I didn't say a bad product strategy—I mean literally no product strategy. The feature teams are simply there to serve the business.”

Marty believes that the subservient relationship between Technology and “the business” is a fundamental problem. It leads to Feature Teams working as “order takers” delivering what business stakeholders want rather than what the customer needs. AKA the Feature Factory.


The books answer is “Empowered Product Teams”. These are teams that work on customer and business problems, not features. Solving problems end-to-end, directly with customers.


In many organisations, the term “Feature Team”, is misunderstood. The original intent was for teams to work on customer-centric features. However, it’s now common that most teams fall into the traps described by Marty. They are technology, not customer-focused, deliver outputs not outcomes and hardly ever come into contact with a real customer.


The insight for you: create teams that work on customer and business problems, not features.


Setup teams that exist to serve your customers, in ways that work for the business.

I’ll be publishing the full book summary this weekend.

Helping You Face Your Fears 👻


Struggling to make a big decision? Then this exercise will help you.

Instead of setting goals, Fear Setting explores the fears that hold you back from action.

The exercise is built around these five questions:

  • What’s the worst that could happen?

  • What actions could you take to prevent that from happening?

  • If the worst did happen, how would you repair the situation?

  • What are the benefits of a partial success?

  • What is the cost of inaction?

Here you can view a short video explaining the technique and access the miro board

The surprising cure for Zoom fatigue 💊


The answer is Virtual Walk and Talks!


Instead of video conferencing, I’ve been doing audio calls whilst walking. I’ve asked people to walk with me and so far its been successful.


I’ve found it so refreshing to go back to a simple audio format.


The conversations have been more creative, energetic and joyous. At the end of every discussion, I do a quick retro, and everyone agrees.


One of the greatly overlooked superpowers we have is that, when we get up and walk, our senses are sharpened. Rhythms that would previously be quiet suddenly come to life, and the way our brain interacts with our body changes.


The insight for you: Do a Virtual Walk and Talk for your next meeting.


I’d also love to walk and talk with you. 😃


Reply to this email and let’s arrange a time!

Quote of the week


"Organisations do not rise to the level of their goals. Organisations fall to the level of their systems."

(Share On Twitter)