Sprint Planning

Personal Sprint Planning

If you are looking for a job, starting a new business, or even just pursuing some personal goals, you are likely dealing with complexity. We as individuals are complex – we have emotions that can distract us, tons of variables in our life that can impact our plans. Agile project management acknowledges these complexities are present, and scrum is a great framework to navigate through complexities. Let’s take a look at some of my personal sprint planning.

In one of my first videos, I explained my general setup for scrum with personal branding. I am running 3 week sprints with a one week break in between for planning.

What are the components to sprint planning?

Why? What? How? That’s it. Well, everything is more complex than that but the general framework is pretty simple. You need to explain what outcomes you want. That’s more important than detailing every step to get there. 

The “why?” of sprint planning

Beyond this sprint, what outcomes are you trying to achieve? What is your higher level purpose? This needs to be dialed in well before the sprint but you should come back to it each time. Then break it down into something shorter term, but still connected to that grand vision.

The Infinite Loops: Sprint 4 Market Needs
WhyMy focus is on understanding the needs of managers when it comes to team coaching and project management.I believe it can show me what content I need to create, and possibly sell, that will provide value to my network and refine my pitch.This will be confirmed when I increase my engagement rate on the content and get more referrals for work.

The “what?” of sprint planning

This defines what needs to be included, but do not switch to tasks. Instead, keep it focused on outcomes. The “why” is more about value and purpose where this “what” is more like a traditional SMART goal that is action oriented.

The Infinite Loops: Sprint 4 Market Needs
WhatConduct market research of 3 types: surveys, poll, and interviews around what needs decision makers have around my skill sets.Create a piece of downloadable content that is connected to my SIL workshop and the services I offer.Complete market research around the skills I am focused on, giving me a sense of what is in demand, what holds the most value, and who the most influential players are in this space.

The “how?” of sprint planning

Breaking the work down into smaller chunks that can fit into a general time block of value. These points of value really depend on your working style. For personal branding items, I try to break it down into a max of 4-8 hours of work.

This is getting into my secret sauce so no examples here. 😉

Thanks for dropping by! Head over to my Linkedin to join the conversation and tell me what you want to hear more or less of. 


Systems Inspired Leadership with Personal Branding

My latest sprint had a theme of Systems Inspired Leadership (SIL). One of my main goals was to compose a workshop on this topic, but I also wanted to explore how SIL could help with my personal branding.

Explainer Video – Improvements with Systems Inspired Leadership

First, some context. Every 3 weeks I create a new explainer video on what The Infinite Loops is, which demonstrates my learning and growth through this process. Let’s review the videos and then I’ll dig into some lessons you can apply to your own personal practice.

Video Explainer #1
Video Explainer #2

What is the data on how these performed?

  • Doubled my impressions in just 24 hours
  • Had 22 engagements (#2) vs 6 (#1)
  • Note, this post came with an announcement of a career change, so it is more likely to get a more extreme level of engagement vs any other post

My assessment of the improvements:

  1. Communicated value and purpose more effectively
  2. Told a story that brought them through the presentation
  3. Showed my face, making it more personal and engaging
  4. Connected it to action & purpose (I’m looking for work), thus creating action on Linkedin for people to help/support

How can Systems Inspired Leadership be applied to personal branding?

Systems Inspired Leadership (by Frank Uit de Weerd and Marita Fridjhon) is about looking at a system as a complex network of individuals. With personal branding, your system is about the network of people that support you in your career journey. If you are considering a career change or marketing your services, you can take things to the next level by identifying the Relationship System that supports you and create a strategy for how to leverage it.

Identify the roles of your system and ask for help

For me it was supporters, content advisors, career advisors, and perspective advisors. I created a post laying it out in more simple terms, but it became one of my top performing posts. People want to help, and by asking them what role they can play, they will naturally respond. Remember, roles are owned by the system but individuals are part of the relationship system. That means once individuals occupy those roles, you need to really consider the identity of that group that starts to surface. 

Relationship system charting for personal branding under systems inspired leadership

Understand your own identity and make it shine

For personal branding, the system is about you. The roles you need to be filled, the actions that need to be taken, and the pathway to emergence is about your identity. How can you more clearly communicate it to those who are a part of your system? The goals with personal branding are (for the most part) about evolving your career. That means you have to have a clear sense of where you want to go and how people help you get there. Things must be personal, honest, and clear.

Find your edges

Because you are at the epicenter of the system, it provides a rare opportunity to get a first person view on when edges will happen. Edges are moments of conflict or stress that are breaking points into a new future of what it wants to be. A great example, particularly in personal branding, is feeling anxiety. Feelings of not being good enough, of not getting enough done, of making a bad decision and messing up your life forever. All these thoughts happen because you are trying to evolve into your next stage of being. When you feel those things it’s a signal to go, “Wait! I need to dig into this!” Reflect with questions like:

  1. What is happening? Is there a metaphor for this?
  2. Where is this coming from? What am I becoming aware of?
  3. What do I want to have happen, that is achievable?
  4. Do I have a plan in place? If not, what can I do to get me on track?

One of my more powerful lessons was to make an agreement with myself that when I felt anxiety, I needed to stop what I was doing to meditate for 5 minutes, and then work on an action plan of things I felt uncertain about. If it lingered, I would pull one of my supporters or advisors in to talk through my state and plan to get feedback. After all, it always returns to being systems led. Create processes and understand the system that will support you.

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