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The 6 Powerful Questions of The Personal Agility System

The Personal Agility System is the simple framework I have been working on, to help people do more of what matters.

What really matters? That's a great question! Does the answer just roll off your tongue? For many people it doesn't. But if you don't know what matters, what difference does it make what you do? How can you be satisfied with your life and your impact on the people important to you?

At its heart, Personal Agility is a coaching framework to help you figure out and focus on the things that really matter to you. Personal Agility is based not on performing tasks but on asking yourself Powerful Questions.  A powerful question invites you to think and reflect. You know what is the right thing to do.

These core questions help you figure out and focus on what really matters. There are a total of six questions, five to ask yourself routinely and one to help you get unstuck:
What really matters? -- This provides context for answering the other questions.What did I get d…

10 Things to tell Management about Scrum and Agile

I was recently asked, "what does management need to know about Scrum?" Here is my answer, in 10 bullet points:
Market forces are driving shifts in how leadership leadsScrum is a simple, team-based, “Agile” framework for solving complex problemsYou can probably get twice the value in half the time through ScrumChanging for better performance seems obvious but requires a huge shift in your culture Only apply Scrum if you are prepared to make the necessary changes to get better performanceAgile is a mindset not a toolsetThe transition to Agile is an investmentShared goals and the ability to agree on priorities are key success factorsStart with a concrete project and follow quickly with your leadership teamYou can do all the stuff you did before, like budgeting and scheduling, just differently (and probably better).

Agile is spreading, and management will be the last to know

A few months ago, I watch a stunning video about how bacteria overcome antibiotics. It's stunning how fast the adaptation can occur! I believe agility is transforming the world of work in a similar way. I believe top management is most resistant.

It is stunning how quickly bacteria overwhelm the antibiotics. In just 12 days, E. Coli bacteria can adapt to survive in an environment that has 1000x the concentration of antibiotics which would kill the bacteria at the beginning of the process. The bacteria adapt constantly - they are agile! Antibiotics adapt very slowly - in this case, not at all. So I guess that makes them waterfall if the agile counterpart is fast enough.
How bacteria overcome antibiotics
Jurgen Apello recently assembled a list of Agile Models, Methods and Movements. As I write this, there are 150 entries in the list. At least 25, and perhaps as many as 50 of them are not about software. There are methods for Product Innovation, Building Cars, Education and Schools,…

9 Questions to Create Alignment with your Customers and Stakeholders

When was the last time you really spoke to a customer or stakeholder about their needs? Sure, everybody talks about getting out of the office, but how do you actually do it? Here's an interview template to make customer conversations much easier.

My ultimate goal is to have an impact. I have found the best way to do that is to create alignment between myself and my stakeholders or customers.

I use this canvas to guide my conversations with my stakeholders. It has been a game changer for me! So much, that it is now a part of Personal Agility.

The goal is to understand your stakeholder, build a rapport, and get actionable information to guide the next steps. This might be about our collaboration or a product I want to create for them.
Getting Ready I generally plan 60 minutes for the interview, but it can be done in as little as 30 minutes if you and the other person are focused. Whether speed or depth is more important to you, depends on the context and what you are trying to achi…

What is the Product Backlog in Scrum?

According to the Scrum Guide, the Product Backlog is “an ordered list of everything that might be needed in the product and is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product.”

Each entry in the list is called a Product Backlog Item (“PBI”). Since User Stories are such a common practice, Backlog Items are often just called “Stories” even though User Stories are not part of Scrum and backlog items are not necessarily in User Story format. (I use story and backlog item interchangeably).

A list is just a list, so there is nothing binding about the Product Backlog. It is a list of ideas – things that you think belong in the product, but this list is subject to change at any time.
Each backlog item has the following attributes:


Description – a statement of the goal or purpose of the story.Sequence number – its place in the queue – determined by the Product OwnerValue -  a statement of the business value of the story – determined by the Product OwnerEstimate – th…

Personal Agility Impact Canvas: How to understand what really matters to your stakeholders

Are you trying to figure out what really matters to your stakeholders? The Personal Agility Impact Canvas leads you through a 30 to 60 minute interview so you find out what is really important to your stakeholders, building their trust while you do.

You've probably heard about the Lean Canvas or the Business Model Canvas. These help you think about and understand your customers and your business. But how do you know what really matters to them? You have to talk to them to validate your assumptions. This is key to achieving better Impact (as I explain in my PAS Workshop)

Inspired by Iman Aghay's approach to problem validation, I created a canvas to lead you through the discussion with your stakeholder's, centered around Who, Why, and the Outcomes you want. Each question is a Powerful Question, to help you understand what is on your stakeholder's mind:

Who?

Stakeholder - Note and if necessary confirm the person's Name, Function, Contact DetailsGoals or Objectives - W…

Announcing the PAS Workshop: Double Your Professional Impact in 8 Weeks

I have created a video about my new workshop on the Personal Agility System: Double your professional impact in 8 weeks.

The online workshop starts next week. You can learn all about it here, and you'll find a special 2 for 1 offer towards the end...


You can sign up and get full information at https://saat-network.ch/pas!

How does backlog refinement work?

Last month, at the Scrum Breakfast Club, we looked at backlog refinement, so I had an opportunity to explain the product backlog iceberg, a popular metaphor for explaining the process. All about stories and features, TFB  and NFC, and everything else you need to know on a stories voyage from epic to grain of sand.

Who wants to try a Personal Daily Scrum?

Thanks to My Priorities Map, I know what I want to accomplish every week, but it's still a challenge to focus each day. My inbox, twitter, linked in, facebook, reddit, google news and clowns and criminals in high office all offer huge potential distraction, enticing me to waste the day away. Not to mention there are things I like to do, and things I don't.

Yesterday I tried something new. I changed how I do my "daily scrum". In my calendar, I have an appointment with myself, every day except Sunday. Here's the agenda:

What did you accomplish yesterday? (Give yourself a high-five!)Of all the things you want to you get this week, what is the most important thing to accomplish today?Are you having difficulties doing this? If so, who can help? Yesterday, it really helped! So I have set up my calendar to send me an email with these three questions every morning at 8:30 for the next week. A friendly reminder to celebrate and focus. I am going to try it for a week and I…

A conversation about My Personal Agility

Next week, I will be giving a webinar on My Personal Agility for the Discussing Agile group in India. Yesterday I spoke with host Piyali about the essentials of My Personal Agility. What started out as a way to get more get stuff done has become a way to do more that matters and recognize who you are and who you are becoming.

We talked about how it works and what it can do for you:




Next week in the webinar we'll talk about how you can get started! Have post-its and some wall space ready, because we are going to get practical! You find out about the Personal Agility Webinar Workshop on Discuss Agile web site page. See you there!




The Story of Tesla, by Elon Musk

They didn't know it at the time but they created the first Tesla Roadster by taking a working prototype and iterating on the design. By the time the Roadster was announced, they had replaced 96% of the original prototype. "It's amazing what we can do with small teams and tiny budgets." BTW this is part one, you'll want to stay for most of part two. Another video I had to watch to the end!




Clean Disruption

Why Energy & Transportation will be Obsolete by 2030 by Tony Seba. The horse was displaced by the automobile in just 13 years. Oil, Cars and the Power Grid are about to be transformed in a similar way. What other technologies will be displaced faster than you think, and why?


I don't usually have patience to watch a 45 minute video, but I had to watch this one to the end!