My Scrums (daily stand-up meetings) now incorporate this little question from ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss, highlighting a couple of Scrum principles:
If this is the one thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?
On the outset, I know I am pretty ambitious about what I plan on doing per day, but framing the daily list in this way not only sets a clear priority as a tactical Product Owner, but also stresses that something is getting done. At the end of the day, it is not left in progress, it’s… done!
If I can’t see myself getting the one thing done that day, it might be due to impediments, or the task/story is just too large. (Hmm… really? Can’t get one thing done? Let’s address this or, heck, just accept this…)
If I can see myself getting the one thing done that day, the question not only leads to a visualization, but also to a sense of future satisfaction. (Hmm… yeah… I can get that done, I can see it now… and it’ll feel good, maybe even awesome…)
I find I am less likely to execute a 15-minute stand-up meeting with myself in the morning if I’d rather be lying in bed because I am tired.
Solution: commit to getting a decent amount of sleep every night. It starts with going to bed at a consistently decent time.
This is what I am working on.
Lately, I find myself over-committing in my sprints, thus, less gets ‘done’. This is due to ‘things coming up’, as vague as that sounds… usually friends I should hang out with and summer activities I should take advantage of, both sets of which arise very soon before an event, not even with a sprint’s-worth of lead time.
…And the Product Owner in me says they are priority over sprint stories. This is frustrating since I then just finish off the smaller stories with the planned larger stories getting untouched.
Transparency & Inspection into my life’s activities have made this clear – and it is painful – it is no fun carrying larger stories from sprint to sprint. It’s the reality, though, so it’s time for Adaptation.
This current sprint for me is a Spike Sprint, where I will split up existing stories into smaller stories to take into account a realistic and decreased focus factor. This is the beauty of the Velocity concept: it is not the team capacity, but the empirically determined ability for the team to deliver.