Have you ever heard the terms “agile development“, “scrum” and “sprints“? I had… but never really looked into any if it – because I’m not a software developer. And then I came across a post by Shivani Bhargava. She demystifies the sprint process and shows us how to set it up in WorkFlowy – even if you don’t have a software developer bone in your body. Here is what “Individual Sprints” can do for you:
- Find the motivation to get the ball rolling on projects
- Track how much you get done week by week
- Help you understand your personal capacity of how much you can get done in a week – especially with an unstructured lifestyle (freelancers, contractors, writers, etc.)
I asked Shivani to do a quick screencast for us, outlining her Individual Sprint hack in WorkFlowy. (If this catches your attention, her Medium post is a must-read – where she gives it to us with all the trimmings):
Shivani Bhargava – San Francisco, CA – is CEO and Founder of TheRightMargin – “a smart, goal-driven writing app that helps you finish what you write.” She also helps early-stage companies get to MVP, go to market or accelerate getting to product-market fit. You can find her on Twitter.
If you’d like to let the WorkFlowy community in on anything cool you’re doing with WorkFlowy – big or small – you can drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Thank you for the information, very insightful and detailed.
So I’ve been using this for a few weeks. I like it. For one, it prevents “stale” lists which was a big issue for me. I also like the “game” aspect of it…see how many points you can get. I don’t get caught up in the point system. Rather trust that I’m somewhat consistent in how I gauge things and it will improve with time. I consider it relative not absolute…a gauge of what can be done and how I did. I also like that it forces me to consider my week (or whatever period / freqency you choose). You can’t start your week without a new sprint.
Thanks Frank. So let me ask how would you dertetmine the number of points you have available in a week? In Shivani’s example she said her capacity is 25 points. Estimating my capacity is where I struggle.
I think it’s based on history. Don’t over analyze. Just do it for a few weeks and look at your results. You’ll start to see some trends / metrics.
Is there a template available?
Hey Ann, in the screencast Shivani made reference to the “Fibonacci Sequence” as a way of allotting points to any given activity. Here’s a great explanation/ discussion as to why:
A quote from the thread:
“Some teams also use powers of two, or have a scale like 1, 2, 5, 8, 20. The idea is that the larger the story is, the more uncertainty there is around it and the less accurate the estimate will be. Using the Fibonacci sequence helps teams to recognize this uncertainty, deliberately creating a lack of precision instead of wasting time trying to produce estimates that might also carry a false degree of confidence.”
Built into the points system is the understanding that determining one’s capacity to get a group of tasks done is by no means an exact science. More often than not, it’s discovered through trial and error/ experience.
I think there’s a similar dynamic with the Pomodoro Technique… where you work in blocks of time and are constantly evaluating how realistic your expectations are… and in so doing, we learn one day, week and month at a time how much work we can realistically take on. It all depends on your work rhythm… so in my case, it takes me 2-3 times longer to get things done than the average person – due to perhaps excessive tinkering and re-shuffling… I realize this and have learned to be comfortable with this and adjust my expectations of how much I think I can get done in a certain period.
thank you. this is a highly useful elaboration
Thanks for sharing this extremely helpful – specifically to handle your time. I am curious about Shivani’s comment, “Let’s say you think you have the capacity to do 25 points worth of tasks in a week.” I would love to get the communities’ thoughts on how you would determine that capacity in a quick manner.