Planning for 2017 – An agile and scrum approach

I posted this onto my FB page and got a lot of comments.  So, I thought I would post it here too.

It ‘s good way to plan for the next year.  When you plan, you are already half way home.

I’d thought I’d share my process.

Step 1:  Put down everything on your mind that you are running through in your mind.  Small or big.

Step 2:  Sort the list

  • To Dos – small tasks  that require less than an hour or have a finite deadline
    • Send out invites for Christmas
    • Update Driver’s License or Passport
    • Replace light bulb in guest bathroom
    • Send email to boss about Peter re:retirement
  • Personal Projects
    • Set up a Financial Plan
    • Apply for Job
  • Work Projects (Examples with estimated time)
    • Set up a CRM system – 6 months to 1 year or date needed
    • Evaluate new Project Management tool – 1 to 2 months
    • Upgrade email marketing systems – 6 mos to 1 year
    • Open an Office in another city or country – 6 mos to 2 years
    • Construct new space – 3 mos to 2+ years

Step 3:  Write the large items onto Post-it notes.  Put them on a piece of paper or foam core or whiteboard

Step 4:  Find a calendar

I used this one.  http://webascentevents.com/2017-calendar-with-holidays-us-uk-canada.html

Step 5:  Mark off unmovable dates – like vacations that are already scheduled, conferences that you are speaking at or organizing, company meetings, etc.

Step 6:  Create a scrum board

Annual Scrum board

Take the big items and decide when you want them done by.  See example

Slot them onto a piece of paper, whiteboard, foam core where you can visually see the workload.

Step 7:  Determine if these are really achievable.

Be kind to yourself.  We overestimate our ability and put too much on our plates.  Then get stressed out!  For example:

  • If you think you are writing a New Times Bestseller it’s probably not going to happen in 3 months unless you’ve already been at it and are close to finishing the project.
  • If you think you can implement a CRM system for 500 people in 3 months, it’s not going to happen.

Step 8:  Slot your projects into Quarters based on when you want them done by.  Decide if you have put too much into each quarter.  Readjust accordingly also keeping in mind you have daily/weekly items that need to be slotted in.  If you want to color code a specific type of item, use different colored post-it notes.  I used blue for product development, orange for marketing/biz dev, yellow for content and pink for major projects.

Step 9:  Take each month and slot tasks into weeks.

Monthly Scrum board

Step 10:  Schedule a planning day for Q2 mid to end of February, mid to end of May, mid to end of Aug and Nov/Dec for 2018.  Put into your calendar now and treat it as sacred!

If you know your plan by week through the end of the year, go ahead and complete now and schedule time in February or March to adjust/review.

Congrats!  You are awesome!

Have an epic 2017!

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