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

Decrease Focus Factor to Decrease Stress

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.

Business Case

I had an epiphany at work this week. Creating a business case for some initiative can have an analogy in personal development.

Design Change Requests are to business resources (time, money) and business value (profitability) as Agile stories & distractions / impediments are to personal resources (time, money, focus) and personal growth (functionality, mastery).

Thus, I’ve been finding it helpful when a story suddenly arises or a significant distraction/impediment is on the horizon to frame it as if I were convincing ‘the board’ of its business value. What are the time, money, and focus costs? What are the opportunity costs (what am I not working on so I can do this other thing)? How does it fit the corporate strategy, or in this case, Product Owner’s vision: your vision for self?

In typing this up, I’ve realized this is just a particular form of cost/benefit analysis.