3 Practical ways to be Agile Daily

3 Practical ways to be Agile Daily

Reading Time: 4 minutes

3 Practical Ways to be Agile Daily

 

The word “Agile” is one of the new buzzwords of recent years, and I wonder if people, especially millennials are aware of what it really means… And more importantly, I’m curious how people actually perceive the term and apply it to their daily lives.


Thanks to Google, I could more easily explain what I’m trying to express through the definitions above 🙂

The word “Agile”, on its most basic sense, based on Google dictionary is an adjective – it means being able to move quickly and easily. Acronyms are “nimble”, “light-footed”, etc.

On the other hand, the word “Agile” is also related, and most popularized by the project/product management methodology that IT people, (developers, Scrum Masters, and all those who study and aspire to be in the industry) know.

So what does being “Agile” really mean? How do we, as millennials, grasp this term and leverage it in our daily lives? Here are three easy and practical ways on how to be so:

1) Don’t Overthink

I think this is probably the root cause of all “un-agileness” amongst us. Overthinking is a “waste” both from a Lean perspective, and its most practical sense.

Overthinking just paralyzes your brain and your body to not act quickly and easily. It makes you hesitate on things you should have already done, and worst, it never gets you started on anything.

Of course, this easier said than done, but the way for us millennials to be more agile is to consistently be comfortable with acting rapidly and learning from our rapid decisions. Based from the PDCA cycle (which is the basis of the Agile framework), you can’t check and act if you don’t “do”.

One thing to note about is that we are not advocating doing without thinking. As with the PDCA cycle, we need to plan accordingly, but without waiting for a long period of time. Give yourself or your team a deadline (or a timebox) to plan and decide which activities you will do for the day.

2) Reduce the “OCD-ness” (Don’t Seek for Perfection every time)

Yes. Yes. and Yes… I know some of you might be laughing right now because you are in the same boat as I am. You are a natural- born OCD. For those who might be unfamiliar with the term, OCD stands for “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”. It is the need and urge to be obsessively “perfect” in things that we do. For example, I my OCD-ness kicks in every morning when I fix my bed before I go to work. The distance of the bed sheet from both sides of the bed (left and right) needs to be exactly equal. If not, I kinda freak out and do it all over again. And guess what; I just spent 5 minutes making sure that the distance was equal, instead of the normal 30 seconds.

 

The same goes for everyone. We all have our inner perfectionist weighing us down.  What are your OCD habits that prevent you from being more agile?

3) Enjoy the TimeBox

Another way to be more agile daily is just by enjoying and respecting the “timebox”. So what is this timebox?

A timebox is a fixed duration which individuals and teams would operate under normal circumstances. It is a length of time which you or your team sets so that they could get stuff done. For example, my daily timebox for waking up and preparing for work (eg. taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc.) would be 6 to 6:45 am.  I know that if the clock hits 6:45, it’s time to go. I don’t do any chit-chat, check my emails, or cook food after 6:45. I relish and enjoy all my morning activities within that 45- minute timeframe.

What makes it more fun is this word: consistency. I know it’s not one of the most exciting words in the dictionary, but guess what: it works. And you get stuff done in a breeze. As creatures of habit, it is this timebox that gets us going and productive within the day.  It also helps us not to overthink and be overly- OCD, because we are constrained by a specific timeframe. It helps us focus on what truly matters so that we can easily get stuff done.

That is why Scrum ceremonies are based on timeboxes: the daily Scrum is strictly 15 minutes, the Sprint Planning has a maximum length of 8 hours for one- month Sprints, and so on… This simple trick would allow you to achieve your most important goals on a timeframe you wouldn’t even think was possible.

If you wanna know more, read “The One Thing” by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller, the CEO of Keller- Williams Realty. They go in- depth about setting your priorities and timeboxing those into your life.

So what do you think about these 3 ways? Do you have more ways to that we can be more agile in our daily lives? Comment below and let’s discuss some ideas.

 


About the Author:

Vittorio “V” Rendor,  is an Agile Coach who loves to run, travel, and transform teams to be at their highest level. He also loves to learn, collaborate, and share ideas with fellow coaches, peers, and anyone wanting to achieve positive change. You can connect with V through his email vnrendor@gmail.com or through LinkedIn.

 

He is also active in helping out and solving problems in the Scrum Alliance forums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *