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How Humble Plans Can Beat the Feature Factory

An insightful conversation with Maarten Dalmijn, author of Driving Value with Sprint Goals

Output-oriented roadmaps.

Stakeholders pressure.

Longing for predictability.

Exhausting planning meetings.

All the above cripple product teams. It removes the chances of creating value fast enough while increasing the odds of delivering crap.

Sadly, that’s the reality of many product teams. I don’t want to make you feel powerless. I want to empower you to overcome significant traps like these, so let me help you out.

A few weeks ago, I had an insightful conversation with Maarten Dalmijn, Author of Driving Value with Sprint Goals. We explored how humble plans can help teams beat the feature factory. Maarten is candid and direct while giving applicable insights.

You can watch the whole episode here; it’s about 48 minutes of insights :)

Before I share the key takeaways, let me tell you one thing: my book is out in digital format. Last week, it was released and labeled as the #1 New Release on Amazon. You can get your digital copy now or pre-order the printed one. If you’re tired of nonsense, this book equips you to defeat that, but if you’re searching for the perfect process, skip the book. Let’s rock it together!

Order Untrapping Product Teams

Now, back to my chat with Maarten Dalmijn, here are the five key takeaways from this conversation.

1. Humble Planning

Use what you do know to discover what you don’t. Commit to an ultimate goal and clarify the first step, not all steps.

Adjust and refine as you step into the unknown, staying agile and responsive.

2. Proactive Develop Relationships

Establish a relationship with stakeholders before you need to work with them. This approach facilitates smoother collaboration when you do need to work together.

3. Impact Over Quantity

Shift focus from adding multiple features to driving customer and business value. Start with the end in mind, and then explore alternatives to reach your ultimate goal.

4. Apply FOCUS to Your Sprint Goals

No fluff. Make your goals valuable, concrete, and inspiring.

  • Fun: Make it memorable so people don’t forget

  • Outcome-oriented: Know what to achieve so people can orient

  • Collaborative: Do it together as a team

  • Ultimate: Clarity on why it matters

  • Singular: One goal at a time

5. Fast Failure and Iteration

Don’t let teams fall prey to endless discussions.

Don’t let teams inject speculation and forget about reality.

Help teams progress with what they know and learn from reality so they can adapt the course towards what truly matters.

Watch the whole interview to gain more insights.

Let's rock the product world together!

Here are a few ways I can help you even more:

  1. Upgrade your subscription to Premium and get one deeply thought newsletter per month (20+ minutes reading) plus access to 300+ episodes

  2. Learn How to Craft a Product Strategy that Works

  3. Develop the Necessary Skills to Beat Bullshit Management

  4. Join my cohort, Product Discovery Done Right

  5. Pre-order my Book, Untrapping Product Teams

Have a lovely day,


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Untrapping Product Teams
Untrapping Product Teams Podcast
Honest, unfiltered, real interviews with those brave to speak the truth.
The participants are renowned experts from the product world who know what it takes to thrive. They share common mistakes, overlooked topics and real-world examples.
No fluff, only real stuff.