Agile; Standup

Starting with the End in Mind

One month into the new year! How is 2020 going for you so far?

I’ve been working on developing new habits around my work and business. Starting as I mean to go on. Agile is all about sustainability – sprints AND rest! To enable this sustainable pace, we need to reflect on how we show up, and be prepared to look inwards as well as outwards. My January blog talked about my experience in taking time to look inward. If you haven’t already read it, check it out!

If December was all about finishing, January was all about starting. I kicked off the year with a few new clients, one of which is based across Queensland and New South Wales. I ran an introduction to Agile over Zoom for them and am now supporting them through team and 1:1 coaching. For those of you who know me well, you know I LOVE the face to face aspect of Agile. Nothing beats two people standing together at a whiteboard or Kanban board. But I have to say, the level of focus on the Zoom conference was amazing. We not only got through my ambitious plan, but had time to dive into the next steps, brainstorm options and overall set the team up for what has been a great start to their 2020.

January was about starting with the finish in mind. Or as Stephen Covey is famous for saying: Start with the end in mind. Thinking about what ‘done’ looks like helps with that laser sharp focus!

With that focus in mind, welcome to the January Stand Up! I’m looking forward to sharing more about my month, and of course, looking forward to hearing about yours. Let’s calibrate, collaborate and iterate together.

Warm wishes,
The Agile Project Manager

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


What did I accomplish?

  • I released Agile Quick Start into the wild. Yes, it’s out there! People I don’t know have signed up – always a good sign that word is spreading! And it’s most likely thanks to you as my first audience. It’s great to see so many people go through and get the benefits of bite-sized just in time online learning. I’m especially proud that I released it when I did, as it was tempting to spend longer polishing it. As we know, releasing something valuable early is best, so people get value and you learn.
  • Agile Ready workshops started again, with some great feedback from our first few workshops of the year. I never get tired of the feeling I get when I have facilitated this course – the realisations, the ‘aha’ moments and the tangible actions that are changing how people work are the BEST. We normally only run these in-house, but we will be running another public course in April. Keep an eye on your inboxes as I’ll make sure you know about it first.
  • My take out summary from facilitating  this month:

o    Agile is for EVERY personality type. On the surface, it seems like it’s extrovert heaven, but if you’re doing it well, everyone can contribute. Use post-it notes and quiet writing to ensure everyone has a chance to think before opening up a discussion.

o    When tracking work, the right level of detail is the level of detail the team can understand and show meaningful progress. If that’s a LOT of detail and it works for you then great. If it’s high level (and it works for you) that’s great too. Experiment, and don’t be afraid to try something new and see if it works for your team.

o    If you and your team are knocking it out of the part in terms of results and business outcomes, everyone is engaged and working to their full potential and your work is aligned to your organisation’s vision, then for heaven’s sake, keep going with it! Or at least don’t drastically change how you work just so you can be ‘Agile’. Embrace continuous improvement by experimenting of course, but keep at what works and change what doesn’t. your results are far more important.

o    Catering is a must for day long workshops. Anything else risks full-scale riot. On a plus side, if that’s the only complaint for the day I’m very happy ????

What am I working on?

  • Agile capability is definitely the focus. I’m excited about working with clients in a blended way, combining workshops with follow up coaching and support. Such a powerful mix of experiences, all designed to improve the way we work and live.
  • On the Agile capability theme, I’m looking at creating more online content. I’m blown away by how well Agile Quick Start has gone, so I’m creating another program – stay tuned for more details.
  • Finishing The Agile Project Manager audio by end of March! I’ve had to do some re-work after some recording and editing issues, but I’m on track again…

What’s getting in my way?

With starting energy in abundance this month, I run the risk of over-committing. I’ve said yes to a few things that I’m SUPER excited about, but I now need to make sure I deliver on my promises. Batching tasks is working well for me. It ensures I’m minimising work in progress and avoiding multi-tasking. It also means I’m giving these commitments my full focus.

How do you ensure you can fully focus and meet your commitments?

Next Month

February brings more Leading SAFe workshops. I’m particularly excited about SAFe v5.0 – it focuses on business agility rather than just technical delivery, which I love. It’s so needed in workplaces today. I’m also speaking at the Female Influencers in Tech Meetup on the 19th February about the navigating the world of continuous change. I’ll be sharing how I have navigated my way so far from being an officer in the Australian Navy to business owner. As always, I’m looking forward to connecting with likeminded people and sharing stories and experiences.



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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.