I am a Scrum Master. It’s a cool title with interesting roles and responsibilities. On the surface, I facilitate a team in an Agile software development project but lately I’ve found myself having to analyze and consider the psychological and personality profiles of the team (a topic for another blog post). I am a servant-leader, coach and part time grade school teacher in a process that stresses the importance of communication and teamwork.
Agile is a framework based on iterative and incremental development where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration within a self-organizing team. It can help teams become high performing in a relatively short amount of time, assuming they follow the guidelines and principles of Agile (the “hard and fast rules” as our Agile coach Henry tells us). Henry is very wise and often reminds me of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I’m not sure yet if I am Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia… but I digress.
Our scrum team meets every day for a 15 minute Standup meeting and we work in two week long Sprints. At our daily Standups we review the commitments we made to the tasks in our User Stories and state what we plan to do in during the next 24 hours. During each Sprint we conduct a Backlog grooming meeting, a Demonstration of our completed work and a Retrospective review of how we did.
The Agile process and experience has been stimulating, fun and rewarding and it has recently got me to shift my way of thinking about things. I’ve started asking strange questions like “What if we lived our lives in 2 week increments?”.
What if we had an Agile Life?
Imagine what it would be like to create a Backlog of all the things you wanted or needed to do in your life including all of your wishes and desires. Kind of like a Bucket list on steroids.
What if you reviewed, prioritized and ordered this list every 2 weeks?
What if you planned out which items on your list (User Stories) you wanted or needed to accomplish in the next 2 week time period (Sprint)?
What if you (and your team/partner/family) committed to completing these items by the end of the Sprint?
What if you sat down at the end of every Sprint and reviewed what you accomplished (Retrospective)? What went well? What didn’t go well? What were the results? What can you do better next time?
Imagine what it would be like to take one action item from the last Retrospective and apply it to your next sprint. What would this Agile process do to the level of satisfaction in your life?
What if you were the Scrum Master of your life?
In An Agile Life- Part 2, I’ll dive deeper into some of the impacts, benefits and ramifications of living life in 2 week increments.