You know those projects that come your way that are big and kind of nebulous? The ones that are challenging to articulate, visualize, and leave you and your team not knowing where to begin? We get it. Agile planning is hard. But using a little Goldilocks wisdom can make it a whole lot easier.
The “Just Right” Agile Planning Process
Remember those beloved Three Bears and that curious Goldilocks? After breaking and entering into the bears’ cottage, Goldilocks welcomes herself to eating their bowls of porridge, sitting in their chairs, and sleeping in their beds. When presented with food, furniture, and bedding options, she struggles to find the one that is “just right.”
Think back to that big, nebulous project. The struggle you and your team are feeling is not all that different than Goldilocks’. Finding your team’s “just right” is critical to creating an agreed-upon reference point that drives every aspect of agile project management. Your team’s “just right” makes doing your work a more productive and enjoyable experience, without having to taste test any porridge.
The Benefits Of A Shared Sweet Spot
Once you’ve found it, your team’s “just right” becomes a shared sweet spot. That shared sweet spot has the power to transform your team’s collaboration by:
- Unifying all work off of a central point
- Building workflow clarity
- Gaining efficiencies by recognizing repeatable work
- Enabling a clear understanding of what “Done” looks like
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How To Find Your Team’s “Just Right”
1. Start Talking
Begin the search for “just right” by engaging your team around conversations geared towards achieving clarity. These are those early discussions where the team takes a more global approach, feeling their way around a project, and asking big-picture questions.
2. See What You’re Saying
Use Get To Done’s Later Board to capture these early project discussions. By making the early stages of the project visual, you’ve taken a crucial step in fostering team understanding and buy-in; planting the seeds for future productivity.
3. Time To Trim
Continue to talk about project clarity. Encourage the team to dig deeper and trim away at the edges of the project. Ask questions that get closer to the heart of what the project is (and what it isn’t).
4. Move From Later To Soon
Recognize that the project is becoming less nebulous and more tangible. The team is gaining momentum around clarity, and you’re closer to finding “just right.” This is the time to move the work from the Later Board to the Soon Board.
5. Ask The “What Does That Look Like?” Questions
Drill down on the project by probing for specifics. Take time to ask the team, “What does that look like?” to clearly document agreed-upon requirements for completed work.
6. Soon Becomes Now
See those nodding heads around the room? That’s your team, “getting it.” They’re engaged, excited, and poised to hit the ground running. Congratulations! You’ve found your team’s “just right.” It’s time to move the project from the Soon Board to the Now Board and get this party started.
“Just Right” Is Just The Beginning
With your team’s “just right” under their belt, agile planning will be easier. Start each day anew by refining what is “just right” for that day and watch how this practice streamlines workflow. Keep at it, use the Now/Soon/Later Boards to enable your team’s conversations, and you’ll see that Goldilocks was really on to something.