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Thanks for taking the time to read our weekly newsletter to help you get Unstuck! Check us out every week for your dose of agile inspiration. We’re striving to keep the content in our 4 Qs brief and powerful so you can get a lot of impact from a little reading!

Quintessential Thought

Marty Cagan is a wonderful leader in the Product space, having written books like “Inspired”, “Empowered”, and now “Transformed.” In these books, he talks a lot about people and how we need to change our operating model. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to dive deeper into his book “Transformed” and the 4 principles he gives for changing into a Product Operating Model to increase our team’s satisfaction with work, and producing value for our customers. Let’s dive in!

Principle 1: Empower Teams with Problems to Solve

Our modus operandi in the corporate world is to think of all of the work that needs done and divide up the people to tackle the work. In reality, something that works much more effectively is having a long-standing team of skilled people that are given problems to solve, rather than solutions to implement. This unlocks creativity, motivation, generally saves time (by not overengineering a solution) and provides a better value (by solving the actual need instead of building a pre-determined output). Cagan calls these problems to solve outcomes, or team objectives (similar to Scrum’s use of Product Goals).

What this will enable: clarity, focus, inspiration, and value. Start talking about the problems you’re trying to solve today!


Every problem has a solution; it may sometimes just need another perspective. - Katherine Russell

A problem well put is half solved. - John Dewey

It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem. - Malcolm Forbes

Quick Step

Instead of just taking a pre-described solution, ask “what problem are you trying to solve?” and then think of two alternative solutions to that problem.


What would empowering your team with problems to solve gain you?

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