Have you seriously paused since being told to work from home (because of the Coronavirus) (to enact Social Distancing) (to #FlattenTheCurve)?
Have you seriously paused since your kids’ school closed and now they’re home with you for more of the week, with fewer to no day care options?
Have you seriously paused since your state governor issued a stay-at-home order?
Have you paused at all?
My 4.5-year-old daughter calls this, “an unusual time,” likely because that’s how we’ve craftily termed it at home, and I’ve found that my habits & projects & routine & …’life stance’ are either out of whack, or …not internally aligned. Has your daily & weekly schedule been thrown for a loop?
When school then business then social closures occurred, I folded each event in, like being told the train would be delayed: it’s annoying, now super-annoying, now super-duper-annoying, but I’ll simply adjust my daily & weekly goals & expectations, that’s all, ain’t no thang. Who am I kidding? This is a thang. Have your goals & expectations been more than simply adjusted?
In Scrum terms:
- Kaizen is not enough – this time is too unusual for small experiments in continuous improvement
- Cancelling a Sprint is not enough – this time is too unusual for stopping, and then regrouping, and then doing Sprint Planning
- Sprint Zero feels better – this time is too unusual for anything other than an effort in re-teaming & re-chartering
I recommend seriously pausing. I mean, I’m still doing work-related stuff, and I’m still supporting the school for which I’m on the board, and I’m still the husband & Papa of my family, and for everything else,
there’s MasterCard I’m seriously pausing, if for nothing other than to grieve the normalcy that was lost, to take a breath and look around with eyes wider open, and to decide how I want to conduct myself given I have access to good health, friendly faces under a roof, a roof, a fridge of food, healthy food, funds to float us a few months, solid internet access for FaceTiming with my daughter’s friends, water, and toilet paper.
This time is not normal.
This is not a tweak, or a series of tweaks, from a month ago.
This time is seriously different. (I mean, we don’t have WWII-style posters saying how it’s our Patriotic Duty to stay at home) (yet)
Seriously pause, be introspective, and figure out how the fuck you want to conduct yourself for these next few months.
And then in a week, pause again, ’cause that shit sure didn’t stick.
And ain’t this the Agile thing to do?
- Do stuff.
- Get feedback.
- Now ready yourself to do stuff again, incorporating that feedback.
So pausing, while disruptive, is Agile, just at a larger time-scale than Scrum tends to talk about it.
Oh, and know how to wash your hands.