To-Don’t List

I’ve made to-do lists since I was a kid, currently managing a love/hate relationship with ‘em, which is ironic, since I’m in a profession where I’m all about backlogs and frontlogs. So you’d think I’d be dang good at ‘em. I mean, I am. (I’m real’ humble, too!) And I bet you are, too. And we can get better, with a little help from our friends: Bruce Lee, Greg Marta, and Tim Ferriss.

Oh, and y’saw “To-Don’t List” in the title, and wonder when we’ll get more into that? Yeah, that’s at the end. I can’t stop ya from skipping ahead, but its build-up will make a little more sense if you hang out for the ride…

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My Approach to Getting Refining Sessions Unstuck

What do you do when half the people think it’s 3 points, and the other half think it’s 5?

(Ooh, don’t share any more context – leave it there and just keep going!)

That’s going to happen. If I’m facilitating this Refining Session, I’ll ask one person who scored it a 3 to explain why, and then I’ll ask the same from somebody who gave it a 5.

(Aww, you explained the scenario… you could’ve let ’em writhe! You’re no fun…)

I’ll restart a vote, and hopefully this discussion has swayed folks to vote more similarly. But let’s say it hasn’t. Let’s say y’still have a roughly 50/50 split between the same two adjacent Fibonacci numbers. Fine. I then ask about the Fibonacci numbers on either side of those scores.

I ask everybody, “Could this be a 2?” then pause for their responses. I then ask, “Could this be an 8?” also pausing for their responses. What I’m looking for is not just what is said, but more importantly how it’s communicated. This what/how split neatly echoes a content/style split for you HTML/CSS folks, and a product/process split for weird Agilists like me. I lean on the greater emotional response to resolve this difference of opinion in the group.

So, if folks say half-heartedly, “Yeah, I guess,” when asked it’s a 2, but when asked about an 8, they say with some energy, “Naw, it ain’t THAT big… it’s not like the other 8s!” then I hear more emotion away from 8, thus between 3 & 5, I recommend a 3.

Similarly, if folks are energetically ‘meh’ about a 2, but all, “well, yeah, it could be a lot of work, it could blow up,” while nodding their heads a bit more about the prospect of it being an 8, then I hear more emotion towards an 8, thus between 3 & 5, I recommend a 5.

I then explain:

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My Approach to the Daily Scrum

It’s simple… We walk the board, address 4 questions, then refine 1 ticket, all in 15 mins.

I mean… I could end this post right here.

But I won’t… As I chat up more Agilists, I realize that after 6 years of being a Scrum Master or Agile Coach full-time, and after almost 10 years of engaging in my own ScrumOfOne adventure, I’ve developed a few practices that are well received upon me sharing ’em verbally. So I figure I’ll share ’em here, bloggally.

Ya’ani… This reflects an internal shift I’m trying (ooh, a forelog), where I see a lack of clear & solid support for newer Scrum Masters, so I’m quietly working on a product & service to address this (yep, a backlog), through experimenting with newer approaches on myself (aha, a frontlog) (BINGO!). Thus, I see this blog shifting from present-day journaling to documenting ideas & practices from my recent past, plus playing with ideas & practices for a future I’d like to create: lowering the barrier to becoming a Daily Agilist. You don’t need a damn certificate (caveat: I have 3) to start playing this Agile game: this isn’t secret knowledge, nor should it be. And yes, certification was borne out of a desire to standardize after the organic spread of Scrum, to improve marketing (“hold up, this is Scrum”) and to reduce anti-patterns (“hold up, this is good Scrum”), but embarking on your own Agility, and then benefiting from it, shouldn’t require a big bang. There’s got to be a better way. Anyway, this paragraph is way too long, and you’re here for my “at-least-ha” take on the stand-up.

Maybe… I should’ve ended this post back there.

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Side Hustling at 4:30 am

Losing your job sucks, especially when it’s your only revenue stream. How do you de-risk the effect of a job loss? Have a job NOT be your only revenue stream. How? Have a side hustle. What? Have a side hustle. No, I heard you the first time, but what’s a side hustle? Makin’ a li’l money on the side. Cool… so what are you gonna do, and how do you decide which of your ideas to tackle first? Let me show you my thinking.

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Agile Mentoring

Wanna make a difference? Maybe some money? Look into this under-tapped market: Agile Mentoring. Google it. Hard. Do you see people providing this?

There is pain. You can step in.

I’ve thought about it. Hard. (Twice.) And then put it down. Even harder. (Just as twice.) I even got a domain name, started a Slack group, and recruited some introductory members, deepening relationships while embarking on a program.

Here is my pitch:

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