I’ve decided to formalize my Agile/Scrum process for how I handle the side hustles, and my personal to-dos.
Huh? OK, first some terminology. Agile development or mindset is a software development mindset. It started as a manifesto and set of principles as a reaction to the traditional software development models back in 2001 or so.
Lots of larger companies and Startups are adopting Agile, or a version of it. For software development, and other efforts as well.
I’ve been using Agile on the job since 2002 or so. The benefits for teams is that it allows a focus on what’s truly important. Agile requires and promotes a growth mindset.
Scrum is a framework for Agile. There are several others, but Scrum is the most popular, I think. Scrum’s key components is the Timebox (traditionally two weeks) called the Sprint. You plan the Sprint, do the work, Review the work with the people that care about it, and then the team, in private, reflects on the Sprint in an effort to continuously improve (Growth Mindset, fits).
So, I’ll just leave all that there, happy to talk more about Agile if you want to send me an email.
So recently I’ve been acting more on the side hustles in my life. Trying to focus on some of my ideas to get them shipped. Lot’s of reasons why, which maybe other blog posts will explain. I don’t dislike my day job, but why have all your eggs in one basket? Plus there’s so much to learn and ways to help others with small projects. See Anything You Want by Derek Sivers for The Money Tree by Chris Guillebeau for more.
So I started a Sprint on June second. I took stock of all the things in flight, or on todo lists, and moved them into the Mac and iOS app Things. Things is a powerful task management / todo app. I’m purposefully not using many of it’s features for this (long story). But I went with it as I like the interaction models and ux. It looks like this:
The Sprint Review
After I pulled in the “stories” aka todo’s for the Sprint. I put some time into figuring out what the goal of the Sprint should be. The Sprint Goal is traditionally the one thing that must get done in the Sprint.
My goals were:
Soft launch of Small Agile, New Website for Rigging Dojo
Small Agile is a new service I’m tinkering with (happy to take your feedback!) and Rigging Dojo is an online school I confounded ten years ago. We teach the technical aspects of computer animation. I used to work in the animation and video game business.
Here’s the review… I did manage to “soft launch” Small Agile. I was uncomfortable doing so as it’s not perfect in terms of copy on the website. Is it clear enough? And I didn’t create the supporting content (microcasts and newsletter) yet. But why do that work if it’s not clear? I thought I should work on that first, before doing the lengthy recording and writing tasks. I did manage to setup the accounts and infrastructure. So once the clarity is there, I can jump in and get the content going, as and if needed.
For Rigging Dojo, we use wordpress to manage our main, public facing site. I really want to move away from it, but we’re so entrenched after ten years, it’ll be hard to do so.
Anyway, we wanted a better theme - for readability and to do some better surfacing of our content to serve specific peoples needs. I was able to get the first part done in this Sprint. The site is much better from a readability / design point of view, and the groundwork is there for the surfacing of our content to our types of users.
In Sprint reviews teams traditionally go over the successes they had, and talk about where they fell short of meeting the sprint goal.
- Soft launch of Small Agile
- New theme for Rigging Dojo
- Infrastructure for Small Agile content in place
- Rigging Dojo website experience design is well defined
- Small Agile content is not created as it would have been unwise to do that if the service isn’t clear, and this would have sacrificed time spent on the Rigging Dojo site
- The Rigging Dojo site redesign didn’t happen as I just ran out of time and energy
Here’s a look at my self reflection for this Sprint.