Agile; Standup

Focusing on the bright spots

As I write this, we are experiencing a time of unprecedented change. This time last month it felt like the year was flying by. Now, for many, it’s not going fast enough, as we navigate the challenging landscape of COVID19. My heart goes out to everyone experiencing the virus itself or the anxiety that is accompanying it. As a business owner this time has been difficult. Live workshops cancelled, immense uncertainty. But as Chip and Dan Heath advise in their book: Switch: How to change things when change is hard, I’m looking for the bright spots. Some of the biggest ones have been running workshops over Zoom and WebEx. Not only am I grateful for this work not being cancelled, but the opportunity to continue to contribute and deliver value to my clients. With many people stuck at home not able to work due to illness, quarantine or being stood down, this means a lot. I know I overdo the need to be productive, then ruin any downtime with worrying about not being productive, which can turn into a negative spiral. So I’m still going to share my March with you, but it doesn’t seem right to think about it in terms of accomplishments, what I’m working on, and what’s standing in my way. Do you agree? I’m going to focus on the bright spots. And I would love to hear yours too.

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. And, of course, using the down time to rest as best as you can.

Warm wishes,

The Agile Project Manager

P.S. Missed the February Stand Up? You can find it here.


Bright Spots

My March Bright Spots

It seems like a million years ago but at the beginning of March I had my book launch. I was completely overwhelmed by the support from my friends and family as we celebrated the book and so much more. It was an incredible event that focused on the importance of leadership and social responsibility. Special thanks to Jo Smyth from Twiga Group, who organised the whole thing, Darryn Webster for doing a great job as the MC, and Simon Hart and Lynsey Devitt for being part of the leadership panel. My feet barely had a moment to touch the ground after the book launch before I headed to Tasmania to walk the Overland Track.

The Overland Track has been on my list of ‘must walks’ for a long time. Having spent a good part of my childhood in Tasmania, including many walks in and around Cradle Mountain and the Walls of Jerusalem, returning there as a grown up just felt like something I needed to do. Fresh air, breathtaking scenery, and the opportunity to focus on nothing but putting one foot in front of the other. Most of the track had no mobile reception, so our group existed in a bubble, completely unaware that the world was turning into a very different place from the world we left behind as we ventured into the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. I wrote about my experience on the Track in a Medium article when I returned.

Not having ALL my workshops cancelled – I never thought this could be a bright spot. Upon return from Cradle Mountain, the first few emails I read were workshop cancellations. I tried not to panic and reached out to my clients to discuss virtual options. I am so grateful to the clients who jumped at this chance. A team workshop to collaborate on Agile ways of working using Strengths might seem like a ‘Could’ in this crazy time, but for many teams it’s a ‘Must’, and contributed greatly to their confidence, cohesion and happiness. A big learning for me was the importance of knowing the value I can add, even in this uncertain time, and that people are more adaptable than we give them credit for.


More interest in my online course: Agile QuickStart. Amid the tough return to the real world, I fine-tuned it and made it half price. Initially for a limited time, and now for longer (get in touch if you would like the discount code!). After all, if you’re stuck at home, you may as well use the time to learn. I’ve always thought of my online offering as a supplement/bonus to my live workshops. I now see it being more important than ever – playing a critical role in a blended learning offering. So if you haven’t already checked it out, I would love it if you did!




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About Emma Sharrock

Emma is the author of The Agile Project Manager: Thrive in Change with Agile. An experienced change leader, Emma is passionate about working with people to facilitate successful change. Emma utilises Agile techniques, coupled with the Agile mindset to coach leaders and teams to achieve their business goals.