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 is my final post focused on tips inspired by the “Agile” approach to project delivery. 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.
I hope these past few weeks have inspired you to try to live the Agile life for some of your personal projects and goals.
Less Is More
When do you do your worst work? If you are anything like me, it is when you are stretched across lots of things at once, are riddled with distractions and are constantly trying to multi-task. This is when I get slow and produce work that I am not necessarily proud of.
The situation I just described is the worst nightmare of an Agile project. The first foundational principle in the Agile Manifesto is:
Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.Agile Manifesto
This means that the goal of every Agile sprint is to deliver usable software to the customers. This usually means just two weeks of work and that is why Agile is so powerful.
The ability to deliver quality work at a fast pace sounds like the polar opposite of what I described above, right? It sounds like something that we all strive to be able to do every day but often fail to achieve. Why is this simple goal so elusive?
The answer is simple but often just out of reach: focus.
Agile project teams are usually fully-dedicated to the project at hand. They minimize the amount of process, paperwork and other overhead that gets in the way of producing their output. Plus, and maybe most importantly, they limit the amount of work in progress at any one time. They focus on one or two things for a short time, quickly produce quality output and move onto the next thing.
In our lives, as we are pursuing our goals, there are lots of things competing for our time and attention. As I write this sentence, I have a whimpering kitten in the background who wants me to stop and play with her. Everywhere you look, something wants a small piece of your attention.
The human brain can not multitask, it can just keep switching between each task and this comes at a cost. Every time you divide your attention across multiple things your focus on any one of them diminishes. You get slower. Your quality suffers.
If you want to achieve your goals the Agile way, you need to focus on one thing at a time.
Choose your most important goal and pursue it first.
While you are focusing on working on your goal, eliminate the distractions. This may mean locking yourself in a room to dedicate an hour to writing that book. This may mean adjusting your work schedule to fit in more exercise.
Regardless of the goal you are pursuing, distractions are the enemy. Remember that less is more.
Are you ready to be a PM Believer?
Agile teams deliver high-quality product at a very fast pace. What is their secret and how can you do the same thing with your big goals? I will give you a hint, it is just a one-word answer and less is definitely more.
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.
Make sure to help your friends achieve their goals by sharing this post on your social network and by following me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
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.