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. 

Sprint Planning

Welcome to the loop.

How to set goals and achieve them.

The Infinite Loops.

It was a Friday night and I felt incredibly anxious out of of nowhere. “What if my blog sucks?!” 

There are a lot of studies and dialogue these days around Imposter Syndrome. There is also a cultural underpinning that things must be perfect – from the way we create an Instagram feed of the ideal persona to the image we craft in our professional careers. I realized at that moment that I was going against what I really believed and had been striving towards for the past decade of my career: Continuous Improvement. The results of how to set goals and achieve them by breaking it down into smaller components. Your success comes through the process, even if that means that you miss a goal but redefine it to get yourself back on track. Just keep on going and do not quit.

I wanted to write about the process of change, and to work with the community on celebrating that journey. Life isn’t the perfect staged photograph we allow to represent us and what we are communicating. It is the grit of trying, failing, achieving, learning, and growing. 

Examples of Goal Statements

I created 2 resources/posts that I am going to put into the process of continuous improvement: budget planning and goal planning. My blog will show be a behind the scenes look at the strategy & the path to performance gains. It will invite guests from various industries to weigh in. We will not only create additional resources through that narrative, but be able to showcase the evolution of refined work visually and through data. If you are looking to set goals and achieve them, follow this blog to see a true process through pushing through to success. It’s going to be gritty and it’s going to be meta.

Welcome to The Infinite Loop. Let’s get started.

Goals of My Goals

I have a lot of ideas on where we can take this, but to form a strategy I need to make some goals. What do I want to achieve?

  • Show the process and effort of improving work/craft to inspire others to find their voice in cultivating change through small improvements in their organizations.
  • Work in a community setting to bring diverse perspectives and expertise on technical and strategic elements.
  • Create pride, confidence, and resources for all levels of experience to start on an idea they have, ideally inspiring women and other minority groups that struggle with getting started.
  • Create a product that reaches peak performance and then know when to end the infinite loop or create more products that serve the community in a different way.

Alright! We got ourselves a vision. These points are closer to a mission statement than to goals though. It’s a target, but if it’s reading like a limitless possibility, it’s not getting me closer to achieve something in the short term. This is where goals come in, and goals need to be SMART.

  • Create a list of categories of improvement for the resources contained in the blog along with a defined ranking system to determine priority over the initial 6 months.
  • Create 1-2 posts/week that touch on a revolving list of topic categories (above) which each bring an improvement to the core resource. Core resource needs to have updates visually documented over time to showcase improvements/progress.
  • Collaborate with a guest 1-2 times/month regarding technical expertise in one of the defined categories that also contribute to an improvement of the resource. 
  • Grow a following and exposure over 6 months that brings an average view count of 1000 visitors/post. Reconstruct goals, categories, and the product at the 6 month mark to be adaptive to the user base at that point.

These are clear examples of goal statements.

Up to this point, I wrote the post as inspiration was hitting me. What happened over the next couple days was even more excitement, more doubt, a wave a courage, more doubt, courage. After all, doubt comes from fear and then excuses start being made. For example, when I moved on to some of my next planning stages in strategy and structure, I found there is an oversaturation in the market for keywords around the elements that make up continuous improvement. I’ll be talking through that in more detail later, but the point now is how incredibly common it is to second guess yourself when crafting your goals into reality.

In order to make it work and to keep pushing ahead, I simply refocused on what I was trying to achieve: the experience. I’m not attempting to make a million dollar company, I am challenging myself to try something new. In some ways it is a work of art for me in combination of a social experiment. I will have the opportunity to collaborate with others and learn even more through the process. How great is that?!