Agile For Personal Improvement Experiment: Week 2

I did a little retrospecting on last week’s effort, and came away with a few of things.

  • I pulled away from the book writing user story to focus on a new blog post about using the wheel of Agile principles. I honestly thought it would propel me into writing the 5 pages about coaching alliances. I got distracted by something fast moving and mentally stimulating and found myself not even half way through the original coaching alliances.
  • I don’t have a team here to call me out, so I’m calling myself out on focus.
  • Similarly, It takes incredible discipline to stay up to speed on a backlog by yourself–struggling with that really drove home how important it is to have a team to talk with on a daily basis. Accountability doesn’t get mentioned much when training teams about the importance of the daily scrum. I put off task work a couple of times, and in a 1-week sprint, that puts a person behind schedule very rapidly. Having an “audience” to whom I have made commitments did make a difference though.
  • I could add a burndown chart. I think that will drive the point home to myself a little more. Nothing like data to keep a person honest.
  • Finally, I took on too much in a sprint that had me getting on a plane on the final day. I need to be more honest with myself about my time.

Keeping my lessons learned, here’s what my 2nd sprint’s planning looked like:

This sprint has me in London for its entirety, taking a class which includes learning how to use Ansible and Openshift to set up a project and multiple environments. This is well outside my comfort zone and will push my pea-pickin’ brain to its limits, so I think that starting anything new is unrealistic. Instead I am going to 1) establish that my new workout regimen is reasonable. I created a plan–basically the “couch to 5K” plus I added two days of good old-fashioned calisthenics. They feel good and remind me of my days in the Army. This week, I’ll test it. –think of it as a 1 week UAT (User Acceptance Testing).

2) I’m going to go back and tackle the coaching story.  I think in the evenings, I can focus on finishing that–here’s how the tasks it split over.

As a writer of a book on Agile Coaching Metaphors, I need to write 5 pages about building designed alliances with teams so that I can kick start my writing and bring my recent coaching training into the model.
acceptance criteria:

  • There will be a short outline to build a start and end connection–complete
  • There will be 5 pages that explore why Designed Alliances for teams could be helpful for coaching engagements–2 pages complete
  • There can be an example dialogue within those pages–had actual conversations, so I have reference points (in progress)
  • There should be some hook as to how this more “trust-centric” leg fits with the other two legs of the Coaching milking stool.-(not incorporated yet)

I wan to try this without creating a burndown chart. I haven’t been estimating task hours or estimating story points, so that would be a bit overly ambitious.  Let’s see how I do.  If I fail again, I’ll revisit that as an option for improving, and many of you who are new to this will learn about burndown charts. If I succeed, well, that would be pretty great too.

Again, let me know how any of you are doing with your own personal sprints in the comments section.

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