Guardrails for Glee

I blog twice a week. To me, that’s impressive. Yes, I’m impressed with myself, and every once in a while, I pat myself on the back, which is akin to the SelfFive. (They’re not all quality.) (That’s besides the point.)

In reality, I blog in spurts, creating content in batches, scheduling their release on a schedule. So, technically, I publish twice a week. (Big whoop.) (Still proud.)

You may ask yourself, though, how one drums up enough content to blog about. (I wasn’t asking that.) (Dude. Chill.)

  • Sometimes, I share what I’m learning as I learn it, whether it’s from painstakingly analyzing a larger work, like a book, or from gradually building up a larger idea, like what feels like more of an original contribution.
  • Sometimes, I’m inspired by the YouTube videos I listen to as I do dishes, realizing they may loosely relate to something I’ve already blogged about.

This post is from the former. I’ll start with five lines. (Wow, you’re not even going to hide it.) (Yep. I’m embracing the process, sharing that process along the way, all meta-like, and I’ll save smooth blog post introductions for another time.)

  • from MVP post: Will this be an audio platform for the music I want to make that I keep kicking myself for not doing? How convenient. Will this be fun? You betcha.
  • from MVP post: To get to that vision, though, you need to take a step, which means embracing the phrase, β€œThis is enough for now.β€œ
  • from Side Hustling post: get to regularly releasing, focusing in the short-term on improving quality of style and quality of content
  • from Side Hustling post: I believe if I “do a variety of fun & interesting things, with my skills & passions, every day,” then I won’t hate myself as I work towards other revenue streams
  • glee definition: great delight

I feel like I’ve lowered the barrier to outputting blog posts (…after 9 years… geez) (after… 9 years… wow), and I’d like to do the same for the podcast. And I’ve got a couple of things in my favour.

  • passion: I feel a sense of glee when I think about the serious & silly musical possibilities from this audio platform.
  • skill: I look forward to the challenge of learning a platform (GarageBand for iOS) because editing & producing from anywhere feels bad-ass.

The vision is so grand that it’s intimidating, and that’s what’s impeding me. Thus, this blog post is mostly to remind myself to take a step, and much like the blog in its early days, take a small step, embracing the phrase, “This is enough for now.”

So with these next few episodes, I’m folding in a new styling, like voice alteration for the evil-Merrill antagonistic voice you occasionally see here, in italics, and in parentheses (Who, me?), or somehow conveying content where I added an unnecessary but lightly comical alternative a strikethrough, or doing justice to lengthier sections that describe an alternate scene. These are all aspects of my playful style, my steez, which I’ve grown comfortable with for this blog medium, and I’ve grown curiosity for in how I can get them to translate to a podcast. Yes, I’m sure I’ll find other stylings that are podcast-specific, but I’m starting somewhere, in the spirit of embracing the phrase, “This is enough for now.”

(So what are these guardrails?)

To better enjoy this podcasting journey of passion (glee!) and skill (challenge!), I’ve got to take a small step in styling, through a small step in content, embracing the phrase, “This is enough for now.”

(Kinda overkill with that phrase, wouldn’t ya say?)

(Dude. Chill. That is enough.)

(…For now? πŸ˜‰)

(For now. 😎)

Best In Shu

Let’s get #BestInShu trending.

Hashtag proposal: #BestInShu – annotate / celebrate behaviour of individuals / teams as they toe the line between Shu & Ha in their solid accomplishing of specific Agile practices, or clear embracing of the mindset / particular Agile principles.

Forget “Do Re Mi” – we be talkin’ “Shu Ha Ri”.

Amongst Agilists, we like sprinkling in Japanese words where appropriate: Kaizen (actionable item of improvement), Muda & Mura & Muri (3 kinds of waste, from Lean, from The Toyota Production System), and here: Shu & Ha & Ri (competency model). Here’s how I think of them.

  • Shu – do the forms
  • Ha – tweak the forms
  • Ri – be formless

In the beginning, you are Shu – a beginner, an apprentice, a learner. Since you don’t know much, and there are many who have come before you, the advice is to copy. In martial arts, repeatedly practice those sequences of movements – you will feel that this is useless, and that you’re better than this, but if you want mastery, start here. In Scrum, follow the Scrum Guide and do all the events – you will feel that this is useless, and that you’re better than this, but if you want mastery, start here.

In Shu, there are standard ways of doing things. As a beginner, just copy these. This Shu stage takes discipline & repetition.

After some time, you are Ha – advanced, a journeyman, a practitioner. Since you have spent more time practicing, you have also experienced more of a craft, as well as the different contexts in which to apply your craft. In martial arts, mix ‘n’ match those moves as you react and then respond to the environment. In Scrum, adapt the framework to better suit the team and context, e.g., I have had teams refine one backlog item at the very end of the Daily Scrum, allowing time through the day for folks to investigate the next prioritized & unrefined item.

In Ha, there are still standard ways of doing things. Now that you’re advanced, break these rules thoughtfully. This Ha stage takes sensing & responding.

Once eons have passed, you are Ri – an expert, a master, a trainer. I think of a local comedian who’s no longer on the circuit, Chris Coxen. He gets up on stage as Barry Tattle in a burgundy velvet suit, with a mustache and shades, swanky music playin’, and… he riffs. A line that has stuck with me is, “I don’t tell jokes. I exist.” (I later found him and told him how deep that line is. He told me that he didn’t prepare it, and he rarely remembers what he says because he’s so in flow in his character. Chris really does… exist.)

In Ri, you know there will always be forms. As an expert, you know the reasons behind them and act not from the forms, but from ‘the why’ behind the forms. This Ri stage takes embodying a deep understanding, and giving, often by teaching.

This is how I think of the competency model. There are plenty of other descriptions out there if you’re not satisfied with what I’ve got here. Anyway, I share all this as context for my hashtag proposal up above.

Let us celebrate instances of advanced newbiness! These are milestones on a journey that takes time, perspiration, and patience, so positive forms of nudging should be welcomed, and encouraged.

#BestInShu

Notes from my Product Reading

I’m a slow reader.

And then I usually take notes on what I read.

And then I analyze and summarize and consolidatize said notes.

All this extends the reading process, of which I’ve been doing more since I’m not commuting. Thanks Obama Coronavirus. Sometimes, they result in a picture – I hope to share a few of those with you one day. Sometimes, they result in a bulleted list – I will share one with you now, from my reading of Product-related articles.

WARNING: these are not fleshed out ideas – these are bullet points – these are high-level – these are my notes, in a form I can understand, sitting in a list in my Reminders app on my iPhone 8.

Behold my 14 points.

You’re welcome.

Continue reading Notes from my Product Reading