Top Of Mind

Half a year ago, I wrote about how I prioritize my ScrumOfOne backlogs. (Hold my horses… more than one personal backlog, I say? A future post covers this…) What I am finding now is that while, yes, each backlog is prioritized based on its vision, the backlog for the current sprint consists of items that are top-of-mind.

Idealism is great. It also takes discipline. While, yes, taking steps to grow me via my different facets is the road of continual life improvement I prefer to take, sometimes dealing with boxes after a recent move is an itch I feel I must scratch. (Hold the smart phone… what’s this ‘facets’ business I’m talking about? Did I just throw in the kitchen sink? Nope, that’s FAUCETS, and that future post will cover this, too…)

Yet, removing post-move clutter (floor-al chaos?) does not feel important, especially in that strategic sense; I don’t feel like I’m growing, nor investing in myself… I feel like I am delaying. So, fine, I could work on that and take direct steps towards life mission output and processes, but this does nothing for day-to-day living conditions. Thus, both strategic goals and tactical goals are top-of-mind. Oh, horsefeathers, what do I do?

Of course, rid myself of the refugee motif in the apartment. While, yes, tactical vs. strategic trade-offs are not usually this drastic, I try to accomplish the lesser of the two evils anyhow, thus choosing to tackle tactical backlog stories first. Thankfully, David Allen of ‘Getting Things Done’-fame agrees with this approach. After getting control (mastering workflow) is getting perspective (horizons of focus), where we start with addressing next actions (buy cat food) before addressing principles and purpose: get deck-clearing capability first before being able to think at a higher level.

There you have it, folks – how I prioritize my sprint backlog with more ease of mind: address tactical stories at the top of your mind, thus preparing for strategic stories by clearing your mind.

Prioritize By

Not all stories for a ScrumOfOne lend themselves to prioritization by business value. So what other criteria am I using? Prioritize by…
  • How badly I would like it
  • How badly I want it
  • How enthusiastic I am about it
  • What gives me the greatest joy / bliss
  • Highest frequency of usage
  • Ability to develop something to mastery
  • Ability to make ScrumOfOne more transparent
  • Upkeeping & maximizing already solid investments
  • How much it would ease my mind
  • How awesome it would make me feel
  • Biggest step towards product vision

Show Then Tell

Over the past few months/sprints, I’ve been developing a system to more easily adopt Agile Living. Stories have been mainly gathering and molding stories into a proprietary format I have been developing for a while. With bookmarks to Google Docs (‘cloud’-enough for now) on my smart phone pointing to a product backlog, sprint backlog, Scrum script, Daily script, and a few other things, the motions for my own ScrumOfOne have become significantly more fluid.

Progress has gotten me to the point where I am back to dedicating time to this blog, with posts planned for twice a week: once on Sundays after my mini-retrospective and once on Wednesdays as a temperature check on mid-week execution of sprints.

Part of this reboot has been after an acknowledgement of how different facets of personal growth, as well as the numerous projects I want to implement, all feel like they should be their own product backlog. Some products represent continual improvement (physical, cultural, residential) and some represent discrete states of accomplishment (this blog, learning to sail, own music studio), so the organization and prioritization of the numerous stories from the numerous backlogs has required some work, thus why I am only getting back to blogging now.

Happy Thanksgiving!