Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Personal Agility RC1

How to do more of what you really care about

My Personal Scrum is a simple framework for people who want to become highly effective individuals. My Personal Scrum is based on the same values, principles and patterns as Scrum, but recognizes that organizing your life is a different challenge than developing a product in a team. The article explains My Personal Scrum and how to use it to become more effective.

In a business context, My Personal Scrum can enable managers and their staff to achieve high alignment and transparency about goals, forecasts and milestones achieved. In a personal context, spouses and partners can coach each other to set and achieve objectives together. And as a coach, you can use My Personal Scrum to enable your clients to identify and work toward their important goals in life and work.

Why My Personal Agility?

It takes just as much time to flip a quarter as to flip a penny, but the quarter is more valuable. So where should you invest your time? On the quarters, i.e on the things that bring value to you.

Sometimes resting or "chilling" is the right thing to do, and that's OK too. My Personal Scrum doesn't try to tell you what's important; it just helps you to recognize what's important to you, so you can do the right thing.

My Personal Scrum enables you ask and find answers to the key questions that enable you to make better use of your time:
  • What really matters?
  • Of the things I could do:
    • What is important?
    • What is urgent?
  • What do I want to accomplish this week?
  • What am I going to do today?
Like Scrum, My Personal Scrum is defined through a small number of roles, artifacts and activities. Each of them exists to help you ask and answer these questions, and ensure that your answers are still the right answers as you and your situation evolves over time.

Unlike Scrum, My Personal Scrum has no rules to follow. My Personal Scrum consists of a few agreements to make with yourself and maybe one other person, so that you ask yourself important questions at regular intervals. If you miss a week, it's not the end of the world. If you find that certain aspects don't bring you value, it's OK not do them.
I think of My Personal Scrum as kind a gravitational force - it exerts a gentle, attractive guidance that always pulls me back to doing the right thing. 

How does My Personal Scrum work?

In a nutshell:
  • You meet with your coach or manager once per week to review the last week and plan the upcoming week.
  • You discuss what's important, what's urgent, and what you want to accomplish this week
  • You visualize your goals and tasks with a Priorities Map
  • You reserve time for important, but non-urgent goals.
  • You plan your day
I use Trello to visualize my Priorities Map and my calendar to plan my day.

Read all about it

Want to find out more? You can find the full description of My Personal Scrum, including how to get started, at my Saat-Network site.

Call for Participation Join the Private Beta!

Update: The initial call for participation is complete. I am now working with a small number of beta-testers from 3 countries on both sides of the Atlantic. If you'd like to join the beta-test program at a future date, sign up for our Private Beta Test!

Previous text:

As I write this, I have been exploring personal self-organization for four months and doing My Personal Scrum in its current form for 2 months. I know it helps me in my context, but I how do I know if it will help other people, especially if their context is significantly different from mine? In particular, the alternative of working with your manager as your Personal Product Owner needs validation.

I have started asking people to help me validate the concept for a month. Learning continues!

If you think this is cool, feel free to try it out! I would love to discuss with you what works, what doesn’t, what can be left out or what is still needed! Comments, Please!

EDIT: 4-Sept-2016 After much constructive feedback, I have renamed this "Personal Agility" (or possibly, "My Personal Agility." Although I was inspired by the patterns of Scrum, some important differences between Scrum and my Personal Agility have emerged.

EDIT: 9-Sept-2016 - Updated the questions to reflect how I actually ask them. Added the most important: "What really matters?"


Dave McNulla said...

I am going to try this. As with all Scrum, discipline is key. I'm wondering if a 1 person project might have a better use of overhead with kanban.

Peter said...

Hi David,

Thanks for trying this out!

I had been doing Kanban before. What was missing (at least for me) was the the second person to be a coach. For me that has had tremendous value. It helps me prioritize, focus, and say no when necessary. I have also found that my tasks don't move smoothly from waiting to working to done, so I have strived to achieve visibility on priorities and focus. Obviously the issues of too much WIP and multitasking are all true, and maybe WIP limits will prove to be a good thing.

I look forward to hearing how this works for you, and what adjustments you make! Good luck! And feel free to drop me a line if you want to discuss!