Agile mindset in reality

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I just had the pleasure of buying a new apartment that needed some serious love. I liked the place from first glance and I feel in love. So I went for it, how hard can it be to do a complete makeover? =)

Have I executed complete renovations projects before? No. Do I have the time? Not really. Can I afford to involve a complete team of experts and designers and let them handle the whole renovation completely? Not quite. Do I know exactly what I want and need? I wish.

This reminds me of many agile transformation projects. No previous experience. Big gap between expectations and effort level. And many companies have little to no understanding of what they want and need.

Back to the renovation. So I went for it, and I figured I could use my own common recommendations as an agile coach in this project.

  • I started with my vision and strategy (I want a place that feels like “home” and the strategy is to renovate the whole apartment and have fun while doing it).
  • I identified as many stories I could and created a backlog and made rough plan.
  • I accepted that I would get the plan completely wrong from the get-go.
  • I visualized the plan to help me identify dependencies and see future problems more easily.
  • I took in experts that could handle the complex tasks (bathroom) so that I could focus on the simpler tasks (designing a kitchen).
  • I teamed up with all my experts and made sure everybody met and exchanged phone numbers. I wanted to avoid becoming a middleman. I told them what I expected, the boundaries we have (ex: budget) and trust them to solve any problem that arises.
  • I created slack in my schedule by removing as many “should-does” and “could-does” as possible.
  • I put together my best team of friends and family to help me out and made fun activities around it.

So, where are we now?

Day 4, and my bathroom team just informed me that they had just created a hole to the downstairs neighbour. Perfect opportunity to get to know them better! With some coffee (Gevalia) and chocolate shaped like a big heart I hope for the best of conversations!

And don’t forget, the journey is the goal and the only thing you know for sure is that your plan will fail.


Agile Coach at Dandy People

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