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Product Management in Practice by Matt LeMay

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Chapter 10. The Wonderful, Horrible Truth About Agile

First: a hearty and heartfelt hello to those of you who picked up this book and skipped immediately to this chapter. For many product managers—especially those whose job description skews more toward Scrum Master or Agile Product Owner, navigating the finer points of Agile processes can seem like the sum total of one’s job. There are countless books, manuals, and step-by-step guides out there to implementing the Agile framework of your choice, whether it is Scrum or XP or a scaled framework like SAFe or LeSS.

For better or worse, this book is not one of them. Regardless of how orthodox, prescriptive, and by-the-books you are in your implementation of Agile, you can’t process-ize out the human complexity of product management. Regardless of which Agile (or non-Agile) processes and practices you choose to implement, you still need to connect, communicate, and collaborate. The wonderful truth about Agile is that it revolves around a set of values that reinforce and strengthen the connective work of product management. The horrible truth about Agile is that the work of implementing these values is never truly over, and requires constant reflection and refinement.

This chapter focuses on strategies and approaches that will help guide you through the successful implementation of any practices, processes, and frameworks that could fall under the broad banner of “Agile.” Throughout this chapter, keep our second guiding principle ...

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