inspiration, Scrum, Technology Practices, weight management

revamp IT…

This blog post is a bit different. I have been thinking a lot about how some of the technical delivery methods I know could apply to health and wellness. I know for some of you who follow me for my recipes and health updates, might not get this, but it aligns with my day job and building revampology™ (the platform to manage the health of your business).  Give it a read, and let me know what you think.

So one of my innate skills is to observe and evaluate business operations of a company and figure out where efficiency can be introduced to enhance productivity.  Sometimes the answer is not always new technology, but enhancement of business processes or how the technology is being used.  As a Certified ScrumMaster, I learned that collaborative efforts to deliver change or new products in short sprints, allows you to build a team dynamic focused on quality and worthwhile product.  These practices can be applied to many different fields.  I thought I would share the basics with you, so that you might benefit from putting these practices into your own world (technical or not).

The basics of Scrum:

Team Breakdown

  • Scrum Team: Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and Team Members (who do the work)
  • Product Owner is responsible for prioritizing the wish list, which is called the Product Backlog.
  • ScrumMaster is the person who facilitates the meetings to ensure that appropriate work is designated for each sprint, facilitates the meetings and ensures the team is focused on delivering the goal. SM’s also assist with removing obstacles.
  • Team Members collaborate with the product owner during a planning session to breakdown all the tasks it would take to deliver a story, then are also responsible to pull the tasks and complete them in the allotted time.

Note: if you don’t have a team, and it is just you, you can still use the basics of the Scrum model which are outlined below.

Collateral you will need:

  • Post its/cards to write out your stories and tasks 
  • Markers/Pens
  • Planning Board to pin or stick your cards to

Meeting Management:

  • Planning Session – this is where the team comes together with the product owner to review the prioritized story cards and designate which cards will be pulled and broken down into tasks. The task breakdown also includes an assessment of the level of effort it would take to complete each story and how much time is needed across the existing team members dedicated to each task.
  • Daily Stand Ups – After the planning session the sprint kicks off and team members pull cards they are going to work on.  There is a daily stand up where the team comes together for 15 minutes a day to answer the following: what did you get done? what are you going to do next? do you have any obstacles?
  • Sprint Review – is at the end of each sprint cycle to review what got developed
  • Retrospective Meeting – is also at the end of the sprint cycle but is focused on how the team performed.  What could the team do better going forward to delivery a higher quality product and hit deadlines on time, etc.

Time Management:

  • What is a sprint? A sprint is a basic unit of development that is time boxed. The average sprint is 2 weeks on most software projects, but can be anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.
  • If you are working on a larger effort that is pieced into multiple stories, you will have to determine how many sprints it will take to deliver a final product, but remember at the end of each sprint, something is always delivered.
  • Cards go through 3 statuses – Not Started, Started, and Done when they are pulled off the backlog and you are ready to work on them.

Now why am I sharing this with you?  What Scrum helped me realize is that breaking down long term goals, initiatives, desires, into smaller chucks and prioritizing them assists me in getting closer to my goal with higher quality results.  It also allows me to change course if I need to without wasting too much time.  If you spend so much time thinking about the list of things that need to get done, and don’t kick off some work, then nothing gets done, and you tend to be overwhelmed.  If you take time to agree on what is most important, and start there, while maintaining a backlog of all your other ideas; as you see results development, it will also shift your priorities over time.  This method very easily helps you reach your goals, get excited about seeing progress over time, and helps you avoid being overwhelmed to the point where nothing gets done.

In real life, you can create hybrid methods from these basic concepts to get your work done.  I just wanted to share another way you might approach your wish list going forward to achieve your goals.

As an individual, here is how you could utilize this process to organize your goals:

  1. Create your wishlist, what you are trying to accomplish in a story form. You can put each wish on a card. (Product Backlog)
  2. Block a time each week to have a planning session and determine how long your sprint will be. (Planning Session)
  3. In your planning session, put an estimated time on the wish to complete it within that sprint.  If the wish will take you more that 2 hours to complete, break it down into smaller chunks.
  4. Then prioritize your list and break down each wish into tasks.  What would it take to accomplish it.
  5. Then each morning, check in with yourself on the cards you have prioritized and pull one to get done. Once that wish is complete, pull the next wish.  When you run out of wishes, take time to put another wish list together.
  6. Make sure you have sprint reviews retrospectives with yourself to call out all that you have accomplished and ask yourself what you could do better moving forward. (basically make sure to pat yourself on the back for getting the work done!)

Try it and see what happens. I would love to hear back from you if you found this useful in your daily life or business life.

Reference Links for the nerds like me who want to know more:

  • Scrum Alliance
  • Agile Videos (if you are a visual learner, these videos by Sally Alata really help you understand these concepts)

Cheers to your health!

1 thought on “revamp IT…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s