Agile Meets Stephen Covey

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Agile is great at establishing transparency and continuous feedback loops within the product development organization – all in an attempt to deliver more frequent customer value. But how do you ensure you’re working on the right priorities for you and your team and ultimately meeting the objectives of the company? And how do you communicate those priorities in a way that is clearly understood by those outside the sprint process? Really it’s about focusing on a few things each week (ala Stephen Covey) and then properly communicating completed and upcoming roadmap items. And let’s not forget accountability – did your backlog items amount to positive or negative change? Let’s explore best practices to achieve all this using simple Microsoft office tools (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook).

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Agile Meets Stephen Covey

  1. 1. CONFIDENTIAL Agile meets Stephen Covey
  2. 2. CONFIDENTIAL What’s the objective? 2 Climb the tallest peak? Build a tunnel through the mountains?
  3. 3. CONFIDENTIAL What’s agile? 3
  4. 4. CONFIDENTIAL Agile objectives • Highest priority: – To satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software • Lean towards: – Individuals and interactions over processes and tools – Working software over comprehensive documentation – Customer collaboration over contract negotiation – Responding to change over following a plan 4
  5. 5. CONFIDENTIAL What are these? 5 climbing toolsagile =
  6. 6. CONFIDENTIAL Agile crevices • Upfront business objectives? • Integrated scorecard? How do we prioritize projects that align to our business objectives? • Communicate sprint releases, success and areas for improvement beyond the sprint team? • Review project results (not just sprint dynamics)? 6
  7. 7. CONFIDENTIAL 7 habits 7 1 Be proactive Change starts from within, and highly effective people make the decision to improve their lives through the things that they can influence rather than by simply reacting to external forces. Begin with the end in mind Develop a principle-centered personal mission statement. Extend the mission statement into long-term goals based on personal principles. 2 Put first things first Spend time doing what fits into your personal mission. Identify the key roles that you take on in life, and make time for each of them. 3 4 Think win/win Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial. Be sure to reward win/win behavior and avoid inadvertently rewarding win/lose behavior. 5 Seek first to understand, then to be understood Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of one's own experience. Rather, it is putting oneself in the perspective of the other person, listening emphatically for both feeling and meaning. Synergize Through trustful communication, find ways to leverage individual differences to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. 6 Sharpen the saw Take time out through personal renewal of the physical, mental, social/environmental, and spiritual dimensions. Maintain a balance among these dimensions. 7 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  8. 8. CONFIDENTIAL In other words • Alignment – the “right" priorities should drive day-to-day decisions • Communication – be transparent outside of the sprint team and solicit constant feedback • Accountability – remember to revisit and rework 8 Sherpa or guide7 habits =
  9. 9. CONFIDENTIAL Define business objective 9 Climb the third peak by end of year
  10. 10. CONFIDENTIAL Objectives 10 Pri Objective Weighting Target Date Worst Target Best 1 Increase subscription revenue 1.50 11/22 250K 300K 350K 2 Increase membership length 1.25 12/31 1 mo 2 mo 3 mo 3 Increase advertising revenue 1.00 12/1 75K 100K 125K 4 SEO natural vs. paid search 0.75 12/31 30% 40% 50% Q4
  11. 11. CONFIDENTIAL Backlog 11 Pri Project Lead Score Size Sprint 1 Add PayPal to checkout Bob 45% XL Nov 2 Add scorecard Dan 60% L Nov 3 Product reviews Jane 78% M Nov 4 Homepage redesign Jane 62% L Nov 5 Price changes Suzie 25% S Nov 6 Omniture update Bob 8% S Dec 7 Google search integration Suzie 52% S Dec 8 Ad banner changeout Jane 58% M Dec 9 Database dump Dan L Dec 10 Multiple billing addresses Dan XL Dec
  12. 12. CONFIDENTIAL Scorecard 12 Pri Objective Worst Target Best Weighting Points Total 1 Increase subscription revenue 250K 300K 350K 1.50 4 6.00 2 Increase membership length 1 mo 2 mo 3 mo 1.25 5 6.25 3 Increase advertising revenue 75K 100K 125K 1.00 1 1.00 4 SEO natural vs. paid search 30% 40% 50% 0.75 1 0.75 Homepage redesign 62%Project score (14/22.50) =
  13. 13. CONFIDENTIAL Weekly Update 13 Completed • Twitter integration released 11/4 • Thanksgiving promo released 11/5 Previously completed Planned Roadmap | Sprints | Backlog Pri Project Lead Sprint Est Comp Issues / Next Steps 1 Add PayPal to checkout Bob Nov 11/20 2 Add scorecard Dan Nov 11/20 3 Product reviews Jane Nov 12/1 Deployment freeze 4 Homepage redesign Jane Nov 12/1 Wireframes needed 5 Price changes Suzie Nov 12/31 6 Omniture update Bob Dec 12/31 7 Google search integration Suzie Dec 12/31 Takes 90 days
  14. 14. CONFIDENTIAL Results 14 Pri Objective Weighting Target Date Comp Date Target Actual 1 Increase subscription revenue 1.50 11/22 11/22 300K 305K 2 Increase membership length 1.25 12/31 12/3 2 mo 1 mo 3 Increase advertising revenue 1.00 12/1 12/31 100K 250K 4 SEO natural vs. paid search 0.75 12/31 12/31 40% 35% Q4
  15. 15. CONFIDENTIAL Formula for success 15 Agile (climbing tools) + Covey’s 7 Habits (the Sherpa or guide) = Ability to get up the mountain and accomplish the business objectives efficiently
  16. 16. CONFIDENTIAL Questions or comments? 16 Jesse Gant @gantjd slideshare.net/gantjd

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