Lots of tech companies use the agile project management framework to promote collaboration, self-management, and high-quality products.
A few months ago, employees from Amazing.com attended an Agile & Scrum Foundations workshop, hosted by Doc List at Agile Velocity in Austin, TX.
Although our company already shared several of the values and principles Doc presented, we discovered some valuable tools designed to help a business succeed in the midst of uncertainty and change.
After just two months of using these tools at Amazing.com, we’ve noticed a remarkable improvement in how we work. So, of course, we want to share these ideas with you!
Here are 3 agile tricks you can start using today:
1. Manage Your Backlog
As an entrepreneur, your to-do list is a living, growing thing. So you might as well expect that and work with it.
This means prioritize your backlog and limit your work in progress.
This will immediately minimize distractions and overwhelm.
How to do it:
- Keep an ongoing list of all the things you COULD do.
- Chunk your time into 1-2 week ?sprints.?
- For each sprint, focus on just those tasks you can reasonably achieve in that time.
2. Visualize Your Work
Athletes know it pays to imagine their success in as much detail as possible before they actually perform.
They know that the same areas of our brain activate whether we visualize an action or engage in that same action.
To leverage ?seeing is believing? in your business, get some Post-it Note stickies and display your backlog on a wall.
This also makes it easy to group and prioritize tasks. Just move the stickies around as your understanding evolves.
You can also monitor your progress by arranging your stickies across 3 columns: To Do (the backlog), In Progress, and Done.
3. Pause to Reflect
Many entrepreneurs live by the motto, fail fast. But what good is failure if you never learn from your mistakes?
Take time regularly (1-2 times per week) to check in with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, and specific ideas for improvement.
Be sure to consider interpersonal relationships as well as business processes and tools.
These tricks are deceptively simple. You might even think they sound silly (stickies on the wall, really?).
Just give it a try. Consider it an experiment.
And let us know what happens.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.