I find myself constantly using the same YouTube video to introduce people to Agile. Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell by Henrik Kniberg is by far the best 15 minute video that explains modern agile principles in a concise and entertaining way.
Even though the video focuses on the Product Owner role, the concepts covered go beyond product ownership. The key point of the video; which is the promise of Agile overall; is great outcomes for happy customers. Henrik explains this well by blending Scrum, Kanban, and Lean principles. Modern Agile employs concepts from these disciplines, and several others, and the video paints a picture of what good practice of them looks like.
The video is great to explain Agile to executives or other leaders at the beginning of an Agile transformation. I’ve used the video several times to discuss Agile with management and other stakeholders. It’s helpful for these groups to know how agile works so that they can interact with customers in an agile way.
Recently I was asked to explain Agile at an offsite meeting to a group of about 50 global sales and account managers. The product development organization was undergoing an agile transition and these groups needed to adjust how they interacted with product development and customers. Henrik’s video provided a concise way to introduce Agile and to lead a discussion with the group.
Sales people and account management have a natural affinity for Agile since their focus is great customer outcomes. People whose job it is to work with customers are often concerned with the flow of product requests from customers to the delivery of those requests, and the video does a good job of highlighting how that flow works.
I did not show the entire video but used two clips that focused on particular areas the group wanted to talk about. The first 7 minutes and 43 seconds of the video does a fantastic job of providing an overview of Agile including:
- The agile team.
- Artifacts like the product backlog.
- Ceremonies like backlog refinement.
- Optimizing the flow of work and a continuous delivery of value.
- Code quality and continuous integration.
- Limiting work in progress via Scrum or Kanban.
- Saying no.
- Prioritization with the team and stakeholders.
- Empiricism and continuous improvement based upon feedback.
- Delivering the most valuable thing in the shortest time possible.
Henrik explains these concepts through the eyes of the Product Owner, but the overall value to the customer is apparent.
After watching this segment I lead a group discussion around the concepts presented in the clip.
The second clip I used describes how Agile helps manage customer expectations. Henrik has an excellent three minute segment in the video (11:29-14:22) about realistic expectation management and forcasting based upon velocity.
Again after watching the segment I lead the group in a discussion on how forecasting this way helps to build better relationships with customers and stakeholders.
Here is a list of the segments I see in the video to help lead conversations with various audiences.
- 0:00-7:43 : General overview of Agile; good for any audience.
- 7:44-9:18: Risk management and value; a short but great segment to show investors, executives, and entrepreneurs. Explains how limiting work in progress reduces risk by leveraging transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
- 9:20-10:40: Quality vs. Speed, vs. Value; this is a good segment to show product development organizations. I like to use this segment to introduce the concept of cost of delay. There is a video on the Cost of Delay posted by Joshua Arnold on Vimeo. Maybe I’ll write a post about the cost of delay someday soon.
- 11:29-14:22: Realistic stakeholder management; a good segment for anybody that has to interact with customers or other stakeholders.
- 14:43-15:37: How to scale agile; provides a brief introduction of how to apply agile to larger products or organizations. This is useful to explain to management and leaders who may be embarking on scaling agile.
I want to thank Henrik for putting together such a great video. You have saved me countless hours of creating content for presentations that would never be as good as your work.