Can you believe it’s May? And you know what, even if we weren’t amid a pandemic, I imagine I would still be writing this. Time is flying regardless of the events. I think when I write “can you believe it’s May?” it is with the tone of “I can’t believe it’s already May, and I should have achieved so much more given I have more time at home…”
Can you relate?
I feel like we are in the grip of a productivity crisis of sorts. The knowledge we have more time because there is less commuting etc., but realising we DON’T because of homeschooling, upskilling to operate virtually and general feelings of anxiousness because, well, pandemic. I feel like I want to take back all the times I’ve used the word ‘unprecedented’, as I realise it was inappropriate. NOW is the time to use that word – not before.
We’re dealing with a lot right now. So if you do nothing else today, pat yourself on the back. You ARE doing the best you can with what you have. No one has ever done this before. In a way, we are pioneers. Just pioneers on a journey for which we did not volunteer. It’s more like we woke up on a ship that sailed this morning for lands unknown, and we were just on that ship for the cocktail party the night before.
Yet here we are. And one thing I’m noticing is how resilient people are. And it is on this theme I share April’s bright spots.
Wherever you are, and whatever you’re experiencing, I hope you’re staying as positive as you can and looking for ways you can contribute. Because the world needs what you have.
The Agile Project Manager
P.S. Missed the March Stand Up? You can find it here.
My April Bright Spots
We moved house! Yes, and although it was stressful, I’ve decided that moving house tends to hit the top of the stress-o-meter anyway. Not unlike when you’re in temperatures of minus 20 degrees celsius. When it goes to minus 25 degrees, it means nothing – you were already ridiculously cold. The same goes for stress when moving – it really can’t get much worse. Well, that was my mantra that got us through the uncertainty of not knowing if the mover would still be able to move us and having to pack boxes myself, which, as it turns out, is not a skill of mine. However, we have moved to a house that I love, with heaps more space and in the countryside north-west of Melbourne. We’re an hour closer to the Grampians, which makes me very happy. I never thought I could love a house, but I love this house, and we’ve enjoyed making it our home over the last month.
I ran quite a few team Strengths workshops. Strengths work is something I particularly love at the moment. Mostly as these sort of conversations are needed now more than ever in this time of uncertainty. Also, with everyone individually dialling in, the dialogue is very different. I think it’s better, as people are more comfortable sharing from the comfort of their homes. So the teams I’ve worked with have had some pretty good insights, learnings and actions.
Steve Dowling and I have successfully turned our Agile Ready workshop into a virtual experience. I’ve loved experimenting with different tools, timings and techniques, and our audiences have very much enjoyed them. In fact, it’s almost like people are more engaged in workshops – perhaps the focus of Zoom helps rather than the distractions of a live venue. Time will tell, as these (and other workshops) continue through May/June.
I have been collaborating with Vative on their Lean Practitioner programs as the guest speaker sharing Agile ways of working training slices. I have always felt Agile and Lean go well together, and I am enjoying playing in the space and contributing my knowledge and experience, as well as hearing from others.
The most significant bright spot would have to be my Strengths in Uncertainty Series. It started as my curiosity to uncover how my friends and clients have navigated their way through the uncertainty of COVID-19, but has ended up being a series of interviews that I’m publishing a few times a week. In the introduction blog, I shared my own experience of uncertainty, and what I learned, and since then, I have connected with dozens of people and learned from them. Strengths in Uncertainty will roll out all through May and June, so keep a lookout! If you would like to be interviewed, please get in touch.
My online course: Agile QuickStart is also doing well. It’s good to know I’m not the only one making the most of the changing environment to keep current in my learning. If you haven’t already checked it out, I would love it if you did! Contact me for the half price discount code!
How was your April? As always, I would love to hear from you – your bright spots, what you are looking forward to, and any help you need.
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