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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Feb 25, 2022

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by his colleague Misi Eyetsemitan and together they are exploring the value of Empiricism beyond the Scrum Team.


In this episode, Dan and Misi dive deep into the meaning of Empiricism and how it contributes to a Scrum Team predictability. Empiricism leads to more effective decision-making and is considered a powerful tool to manage expectations within an organization; you can’t miss this episode for a thoughtful discussion of its extent.


Key Takeaways

  • What is Empiricism?
    • Empiricism is knowledge from experience and using that knowledge in decision-making while ensuring we are eliminating risks.
    • In a Scrum Team, empiricism is at the core of the work.
    • Empiricism helps to build some level of predictability to the goals a Scrum Team has.
  • Empiricism from an Organizational point of view:
    • Each Sprint is an experiment, each idea is a proposal to experiment.
    • The first step is going out, using the available data to make informed decisions, and testing the existing hypothesis in order to validate that data.
    • From the moment a concept comes up, those who are going to be building it need to provide feedback to formulate an early hypothesis.
  • Budgeting within the Agile Space:
    • After developing a concept and a way of materializing it, the following step is funding. These questions proceed: What is sustainable and what is not? What is emerging?
    • How we use the empirical data that we have to find what is emerging is what really provides the most value.
    • Misi explains how the concepts of profit and value have evolved over time.
    • A budget needs to support what is bringing the most value.
  • Empirical data shows in many ways in decision making, going beyond the day-to-day of a Scrum Team.
  • How can we use empiricism to help us better manage expectations?
    • Empiricism is key to setting goals, road-mapping, and validating MVP.
    • Evaluating success is a challenging task.
    • Organizations use different tools to measure success but the primary measure is how much value is being provided to customers.
  • The vision must always be present as the main driver of an organization.
    • It all starts with a vision.
    • Our vision shapes what we want to be seeing.
  • In order to share empirical data, a safe environment is required.
    • Empirical data within is very tricky, people in the organization need to be empowered to share that information, and that only happens in a psychologically safe environment.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Positive Intelligence


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