The Agile method of project management has been around for the past few decades, formed as a way to manage the fluctuating industry of software development. More recently, however, people have been noticing the advantages the Agile methodology, most notably the Scrum aspect, have given them in their personal lives.
Although there are many modern conveniences that exist to help make life easier, more and more people are seeing to be more stressed and less happy. One of the biggest contributors to this way of life is the increased communication and connectivity between people. While this can be good for society as a whole, individually, life can quickly turn overwhelming. This can lead to discontent and the inability to complete any tasks.
However, applying the rules of the Scrum Agile methodology to your everyday life can greatly help you reduce your daily stresses. Your PMP certification is no longer only effective in the business world. The techniques that can be applied to managing a large project can also be applied to your daily life, quite effectively, too.
Iterations, or copying the same thing over and over again and making small improvements each time a copy is made, are one of the best ways the Scrum Agile method can be applied to your personal life. Thinking about it from a project management perspective, your day-to-day life isn’t that different from an iteration. Most people get up, go to work, come home, spend time with family or friends, then repeat the same process over again. Hence, an iteration.
Repeating the same thing over and over again, but making small changes along the way, is a great way to create new habits and conquer those big tasks that may seem overwhelming. You didn’t learn to read or write immediately – it took years of repetitious practice to finally master the task. This same concept can be applied to anything in your life. By slightly modifying your daily routine to incorporate a new task, you will be able to finish it in no time.
Another part of the Scrum Agile methodology that should be used in your everyday life is the concept of the sprint. In Agile project management, a sprint is a block of time that is set aside to focus on one particular task. This task isn’t usually big. In software development, it usually consisted of a single coding session. The same can be used in your personal life. You can choose one small part of a project to accomplish and focus on it until it is finished, without any distractions. Breaking a project into smaller parts like this also leaves room for flexibility and the ability for easy change. Pivoting a project that is worked on in small bursts is much easier than one where the decision to alter it doesn’t happen until the project is mainly done.
Reflecting on what has already been created by testing the product with a user-base is a basic tenant of the Scrum Agile software development methodology. Needing to be able to take user feedback and immediately apply it to the project is essential to any software development. This concept doesn’t need to be limited to technology, however.
Evaluating your life, whether a few times a day or just once in the morning, is a very healthy way to maintain balance and focus. This reflection time can also be used to plan out your day, breaking it into sprint blocks and prioritizing what needs to be accomplished. Those who are self-aware and can see personal room for improvement live a happier and less-stressed life.