Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
As I’ve delivered Agile Results training to more organizations, I’ve had to really get crisp on how to get started. Like anything, there are so many possible ways, and what people really are looking for is a simple way to test the waters to see if it’s for them.
I’ve updated my Getting Started with Agile Results page.
I think it really captures the spirit now. The most important insight I’ve learned is that the easiest way to adopt Agile Results is to focus on Three Wins: Three Wins for the Day, Three Wins for the Week, Three Wins for the Month, and Three Wins for the Year. And, the easiest way to get started with Agile Results is to write down Three Wins for today.
I remember the time when a friend of mine was telling me what he liked about Agile Results. He said he liked the fact he could write down Three Wins on a piece of paper and he’s doing Agile Results.
It took a while to sink in, because I knew how much more Agile Results is capable of. But, eventually, time and again, it’s adopting this one habit that helps adopt the others. It’s a great place to start.
Why is writing down your Three Wins a great place to start? It almost sounds too easy. In fact, it sounds so easy that it’s easy to dismiss. And, that’s exactly the problem. We don’t usually walk around knowing what we want out of our day. We usually just know all the things we have to do. We get mired in muck and don’t take a few minutes to figure out what’s the value before diving in. Imagine how many times you’ve thrown hours at something, only to find out that it didn’t matter or it was nice to do, but when you look back, it was a complete waste of time?
By writing down the Three Wins that you want to achieve for the day, you take a moment to engage your brain, and actually check whether it’s worth it. Are those really “wins” or just things you’re doing? What’s the challenge or opportunity? What’s the challenge and what’s the change? (Tip – the value is always in the change.)
Here’s a quick example. Clearing my workspace might seem like a win. But, the real win is if I re-organize my workspace so that I’m more effective on a daily basis. I move up the stack. I change my routine into something better.
My wins come from changing something into more value, or responding to key challenges and opportunities. Wins come from turning things into something that is better, faster, cheaper. Wins come from moving yourself up the stack, by turning routines and things “below the line” into value that’s “above the line.”
The value is in the change.
One of the messages I don’t think I stressed enough is how Agile Results helps you become a more effective change agent. It’s a powerful tool for personal transformation. It’s a powerful system for winning in work and life. The change agent aspect is the fact that the wins you identify as part of Monday Vision or as part of your Three Wins for the day, Three Wins for the month, or Three Wins for the year, are really powerful changes. They are powerful because you’ve articulated a change. They are powerful because they help you take action against a meaningful outcome.
Change is a challenge, and the advantage of Agile Results is that it puts the power of routines, repetition, and results on your side. By putting just enough structure in place, you move up the stack. Routines and repetition help you concentrate your effort and find ways to do things better, fast, and cheaper. This keeps you moving up the stack versus reinventing how to do the basics all the time. It also scales with you and stretches to fit. If you’re ready to take on bigger challenges, then focus on bigger wins.
Agile Results is really like a Russian nesting doll. It’s simple, but there is more than meets the eye. You can open it up and find more inside. And you can open that up, and find yet more. What keeps it “Evergreen” and timeless is that it’s a system that’s principle-based, value-driven, and built on the basics.
If you haven’t done so already, a great way to master getting results is 30 Days of Getting Results. It includes little lessons and exercises you can do to profoundly improve your ability to get results in work and life. The funny thing is I used Agile Results to create 30 Days of Getting Results. I made it my 30 Day Sprint, and each day, I used a 20 minute timebox to write as much value as I could about how to get results. What you’ll notice is that as the lessons progress, my writing flowed more, and I gradually got better at creating better daily lessons and insights. Looking back, I’m actually amazed at how I was able to create each lesson in 20 minutes or less, but I’m glad I did, and it’s a great reminder of what’s possible with focus, inspiration, and a compelling vision.
If you’re already a master of Agile Results, challenge yourself to lift others up and help them use Agile Results to win at work and win at life.