Well. Last iteration was great! I didn’t document it, because it was trivial: I had one full day coaching engagement plus a two-day public course. And then the rest of the week I did nothing!!! What a joy! Anyway, now onto iteration 6 – cleaning up from the cancelled iteration and catching up from the vacation.
Something that I would have thought impossible has happened. By understanding how incredibly limited my capacity to do work is, I am getting a greater and greater sense of freedom and contentment.
My third iteration was a big bust. I have re-planned, but there is very little different from my iteration 3 plan. I have chosen the same 4 items from my Work Queue. I have updated the tasks slightly based on experience from the last iteration so that I have 22 tasks. Even with more tasks, I have actually reduced scope slightly so that the tasks are finer-grained.
Two things I realized that have almost certainly thrown off my ability to complete all the work I committed to for this iteration:
1. I’m doing a course on Thursday and Friday that I completely forgot about thus lowering my capacity by at least 28%!
2. I discovered that my “Save a Spot” feature on my agile course signup page was broken.
There are consequences to these things! Read on for a little treat…
I’ve almost finished reading The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. I wanted to share a couple of paragraphs that give a great example of the idea of Generalizing Specialists that is such a key part of Agile Work. Here’s the passage:
This second iteration when much better than the first. I committed to an amount of work that was much closer to my real capacity, and I stayed more focused on that work. Here are the results of my demo, retrospective and planning for Iteration 3 which I am calling “Automation” for reasons which will be described below.
I’ve completed my iteration planning for my second iteration. As a reminder, I’m doing this because I want to be working only 50 hours per week by July 2007. My sole improvement item from last iteration was to use get better at committing to an amount of work within my capacity. Here’s what I have planned:
My first iteration using Agile Work for my business development has come to a close. Here is what I did for a “demo” and retrospective.
I’ve done my iteration planning for my first iteration called “Beginnings”. The length of my iterations is one week (including weekends). Here is the list of backlog items that I have committed to (some detail removed):
Dmitri is only looking at one side of the cost/benefit equation. He’s laid out a very convincing argument why Sarah should not interrupt her carefully planned two week iteration, but he hasn’t even mentioned arguments for the other side: the important sale that will be lost.
Okay… I’ll bite.
Just a quick anecdote: one client I have has decided to use Agile Work to develop the user stories as part of a large project they are embarking upon.
I recently had an eye-opening experience with one of my coaching clients. We were trying to find a way to reasonably have a single team work with several important stakeholders throughout an organization, each of whom had a different project for the team. Up to this point, the team has been time-slicing between these stakeholders. It is stressful work, constantly switching gears. The last time we were there, we started to look at the value the team was delivering to each group. This is where the surprise came.
Early today, Pete Deemer (who presented at the May 2005 Scrum Gathering – notes from his presentation are about 3/4 of the way down the entry), posted his experiences of using the Scrum framework, with adaptations to manage his personal life. He has graciously consented to sharing his story here.