Scrum for Personal Productivity

Are you an agile veteran that now works at a company that doesn’t practice agile? Or maybe you work in an agile environment and have observed how effective it is. Embrace agile as a personal task and performance management system! Integrate core agile principles into managing your work load. Begin by adding existing tasks to a backlog. Going forward add any task that comes up to this backlog. Once a week, plan the next sprint by reviewing and prioritizing  items in the backlog. Make sure you align the backlog priorities with company, team or family priorities. Now determine how many items can you can make progress on in the next 1 week sprint. If an items is not completed in a single sprint and the item is still has priority, push it forward to the next sprint. During the sprint, start each day reviewing the items in the sprint. Check off the completed items completed and decide the focus for the day. When a sprint is completed, conduct a retrospective to review your performance and consider what you can improve on. Track these items and take action in the upcoming sprints to put the improvement in place. You can track all this in a simple spreadsheet with the following individual sheets:

  1. Current sprint – Your daily scrum is to review this first thing every morning.
  2. Backlog – Add any task that comes your way to the backlog.
  3. Retrospectives – Conduct effective retrospectives weekly to improve you personal performance.
  4. Sprint archive – At the end of a sprint, copy the current sprint to the sprint archive to a maintain a complete history of work accomplishments.

I have another sheet to capture mission statements, goals, strategies and tactics. If you’ve had positive experiences using agile at work, you understand how effective it can be. Consider organizing yourself using agile principles. Give it a try! I have found it to be the most effective personal management technique I have ever used, and I have tried quite a few.

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Author: Rich Termondt

Software construction expert with over fifteen years of experience as an individual contributor, team lead, architect, manager and director. Utilizes combination of experience, energy, technical expertise and leadership skills to design, develop and maintain high performance, high-quality software.

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