As Scrum Masters or Agile-Lean leaders, we sometimes like to bring our work home, or so we think. What if we visualised the work we needed to get done at home every week? We’ve probably experimented with kanban boards on our kitchen walls/fridges, to-do lists for things to do around the house, in the garden and so on. I’ve tried it, successfully many times, but I could never sustain it.
I then came across Personal Agility, on the recommendation of Lyssa Adkins. Five weeks later, I was hooked. To make it sustainable, the big differences for me lay in what needed to happen at the start, and what happened after the work was done.
The difference in the beginning
Before diving into the process of applying personal agility, the system needs you to take some time to think about why you would want to apply/use Personal Agility. As agile coaches, we ask that question of organisations we work with. Why do organisations want to be agile? What’s in it for them, what are their motivating factors? It only makes sense that we should ask these questions of ourselves. Be prepared to be surprised by your answers.
What are the 3-4 things that are most important to you?
Again, with our teams and for the products we build, we ask the same question. What is the next most important thing for the team to work on? When the team have a product vision, this also becomes a very easy question to answer. Similarly, once we know why we want to apply personal agility to our lives, the question of what are the 3-4 most important things becomes quite easy to answer.
In my experience, I have seen a marked difference between how teams perform when they have understood the vision for the product and their purpose and role in that vision. It creates alignment amongst the team and between the team and the wider organisation.
By asking the same questions of ourselves, it creates an internal alignment (and much more) within ourselves. Creating this internal alignment laid a foundation that turned out to be one of the biggest factors in ensuring that I continued to follow and apply the process. It makes you ‘buy-in’ to yourself and what you want to accomplish. What you see below is what came through for me. 6 months later, it still rings very true.
Another big difference lay in what I did at the end of the week, or after the work was finished. That is a story for another time and a different blog post.
At the time of writing this blog, I am into Week 25 of following the Personal Agility System. Torsten and I are going to speak about it at Agile Tour in Dublin, having already spoken in Vienna. We are going to co-facilitate an online cohort with Maria Matarelli, co-founder of the Personal Agility System. It is with both honour and joy, that I look forward to sharing this work with the world.