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Agile Living: Or How I Learned to Stop Worry and Never Be "Done"


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The agile approach values iteration and learning over fixed outcomes and mental rigidity. Given the power of these ideas, what if we were to apply agile methodologies to our own lives? In this talk, content strategist and filmmaker David Dylan Thomas describes how he’s attempted to do just that and the impact it’s had on his life. He’ll also explore how technology has evolved to better leverage unpredictability and how that relates to agile being a better way to think about life and ourselves.

As a content strategist for EPAM, David Dylan Thomas has developed strategies for major clients in entertainment, publishing, and retail. He is the founder of Content Camp, co-organizer of Barcamp Philly, head of Content Strategy Philly, and the creator, director, and co-producer of Developing Philly, a web series about the rise of the Philadelphia tech community. He has given lectures on such topics as the future of content in a post-ownership economy and the hidden power of online links. To find out more about Dave you can find him here: @movie_pundit

Published in: Self Improvement
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Agile Living: Or How I Learned to Stop Worry and Never Be "Done"

  1. 1. Agile Living or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Never Be “Done”
  2. 2. David Dylan Thomas Content Strategist, EPAM
  3. 3. #AgileLiving @movie_pundit
  4. 4. Nailed It!
  5. 5. What Is Agile? Waterfall Agile
  6. 6. What Is Agile? Waterfall • Assumes the outcome • Little check-in in between • Final delivery is the only delivery
  7. 7. What Is Agile? Agile • Assumes the goal • Frequent check-ins • Multiple deliveries before final delivery
  8. 8. Why Is This Important?
  9. 9. “By putting the most serious planning at the beginning, with subsequent work derived from the plan, the waterfall method amounts to a pledge by all parties not to learn anything while doing the actual work.” - Clay Shirky
  10. 10. Let’s back up for a sec…
  11. 11. This is a washing machine.
  12. 12. This is a washing machine. Guess what it does?
  13. 13. This is Twitter.
  14. 14. This is Twitter. Guess what it does?
  15. 15. Perpetual Beta
  16. 16. We are increasingly able to produce tech that behaves like the natural world
  17. 17. Neither is Wikipedia The natural world is never finished Neither is Twitter Neither are you
  18. 18. “And it seems to me that that webby structure actually is a more accurate reflection of the shape of knowledge: it’s an endless series of connected ideas and facts, limited by interest, not an article that starts here and ends there. In fact, I’d say that Shakespeare himself was a web, and so am I, and so are you.” - David Weinberger
  19. 19. This is why perpetual beta doesn’t bother us Because we’re used to seeing it in the natural world
  20. 20. Nature releases early and often
  21. 21. Your life is not a to-do list
  22. 22. There is no point at which you will be “done”
  23. 23. Your life is not waterfall Your life is agile
  24. 24. You Do Not Need to Master Anything
  25. 25. Agile Filmmaking
  26. 26. The perfect weight The perfect job The perfect mate
  27. 27. Great for narratives Terrible for life
  28. 28. The phrase “Everything will be all right if…” should inspire profound skepticism.
  29. 29. Hedonic Adaptation
  30. 30. Lots of small wins > One big win Agile gives you lots of small wins (even when you lose)
  31. 31. Knowledge = Power Failure = Knowledge Failure = Power!!!
  32. 32. “Reward success, celebrate failure, punish inaction.” - Like, 50 people, apparently
  33. 33. Punishing failure is a guaranteed way to create a bureaucracy
  34. 34. Not everything is meant to be agile
  35. 35. How do we actually apply this?
  36. 36. Step One: The Backlog
  37. 37. Step Two: The Dashboard
  38. 38. Step Three: The Sprint
  39. 39. Step Four: Stand-Ups
  40. 40. Decision Fatigue
  41. 41. What am I going to do today?
  42. 42. Step Five: Retrospective
  43. 43. Bonus Step: Tie to Your Inbox
  44. 44. My Dirty Car
  45. 45. A Healthier Attitude “Failure is not an option!” “We will try and we will learn.”
  46. 46. Questions?