I am a believer in the power of project management.
As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.
Living The Agile Life
This week I am continuing my focus on tips inspired by the “Agile” approach to project delivery. As I previously described, Agile is an alternative approach to delivering projects that are focused on delivering project value more quickly and more frequently with a much smaller project management process footprint. Agile is growing in popularity and includes many techniques that can help us achieve our personal goal projects.
Baby Got Backlog
In Agile projects, sprints are an ongoing, recurring exercise where the team focuses on the critical few scope items with each execution. By limiting work in progress to only a few items at once, the team can focus and quickly produce output.
But how do agile project teams know what to include in each sprint? Believe it or not, they don’t just make up a list of things to do every two weeks. That would be a fun job, right?
Agile sprints rarely include completely new work items. Project teams build each sprint from a pre-defined repository of requested items called the backlog. The backlog contains all of the requested scope items (usually product features) that have already been defined and prioritized by the project sponsor or product owner.
A backlog isn’t just for Agile projects in a professional setting, it is important for your personal goals too. There are two main ways that you can leverage a backlog.
Your “sprints” will mean that you are focusing on short-term steps to achieve your goals; this focus is important. But this sprint is going to come to an end. What then? By continuing to populate a backlog of the next steps, you will have a starting point for your future sprints.
While you are focusing on the current sprint, your idea spigot isn’t shut off. You are going to keep having ideas and thoughts about things you want to accomplish. What are you going to do with those ideas? Are you just keeping them in your head?
When you try to hold lots of ideas in your mind about future goals, they cloud your ability to focus on today’s needs. You can’t be fully present in the moment when your brain is pulled in many different directions.
This is the second place where a backlog can help. Building a backlog gives you a place to capture these ideas so you can come back to them in the future instead of trying to hold everything in your brain. This will let you free your mind so you can focus on today’s needs.
Are you ready to be a PM Believer?
Focusing on the tasks needed today and being present in the moment are important strategies to help you accomplish your goal. But, this doesn’t mean that you should (or even can) stop thinking about the future. Building a backlog gives you a place to safely store these ideas so they aren’t lost and you can stay focused. What is in your backlog?
How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at OperationMelt.com and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.
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Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.
About Operation Melt
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.