J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Monthly Improvement Sprints

Monthly Improvement Sprints

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Each month I pick a focus or a theme for my improvement sprint.  I find it's easier to start and stop a new sprint each month, rather than start in the middle of a month and try and remember when to stop.  I also like the fact that each month is a fresh start.  Cycling through a new improvement sprint each month, gives me 12 sprints I can allocate to whatever I want or need to focus on.  This keeps me learning and growing throughout the year in a simple, but systematic way.  Each month I can do another sprint on the same topic or pick a new area to explore.  Periodically, I try to inject an improvement sprint that focuses on something physical.  For example, last year I did a living foods improvement sprint and in another sprint I worked up to roller-blading 15+ miles a day.

Here's the improvement sprints I've done so far this year:

  • JAN - Leadership skills / Microsoft leadership skills
  • FEB - Effective blogging
  • MAR - Effective blogging (I continued researching effective blogging practices)
  • APR - SEO practices (studying blogging practices lead me down the SEO path)

Sometimes I'll do more than one sprint for a month, but in general I try to stick with one theme.  The power of the sprint is the focus.  Its easier for me to stay focused when I remind myself I can switch focus each month.

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