Changes between Version 4 and Version 5 of Productivity/GettingResultsTheAgileWay

Feb 9, 2017, 2:44:58 AM (4 years ago)
Vijay Varadan



  • Productivity/GettingResultsTheAgileWay

    v4 v5  
    44Jan 24 2017
    6 [[Image(htdocs:images/books/getting-results-the-agile-way.jpg, alt="Getting Results the Agile Way", align=center)]]
     6[[Image(htdocs:images/books/getting-results-the-agile-way.jpg, alt="Getting Results the Agile Way", align=center, nolink)]]
     8[[PageOutline(2-5, Contents, inline, unnumbered)]]
    810== Review
    9 Coming soon: ETA is Feb 01.
     11=== Verdict: [[Image(htdocs:icons/green-up-arrow.png, inline, nolink)]] **Recommended** (but only chapters 1-4)
     12The book uses Agile principles as a basis for defining a results oriented approach to work and personal life. The meat of the book is in the first part, chapters 1-4 (about 60 pages). Parts II-III and the appendix (the remaining 180 pages) expand on the information in part I (needlessly?). Be warned, there is a **lot of unnecessary repetition** of the same information with added verbosity later in the book. Despite all these negatives, I highly recommend part I of the book.
    11 == Notes
     14I've tried several systems of self-organization to prioritize tasks and reduce "wasted" time. I found some of them vague (e.g. Just Fucking Ship) or unsustainable (e.g. What the Most Successful People do at Work). To clarify, those books have worked for people, they didn't work for me.
     16"Getting Results the Agile Way" has a small set of repeatable steps, is  simple, lightweight and as a result doesn't get in the way. In fact, being dead simple makes it easy to start using and to **continue** using.
     18A focus on outcomes i.e. end results (not goals or tasks) forms the backbone of the system; first at a high level (annual), from which monthly, weekly and finally daily outcomes are successively derived. The suggestions is to keep only 3 outcomes on your radar, any more may result in lost focus. Tasks are the actions that you take towards achieving the outcomes. Also, I like the recommendation to pick 1 improvement to work on each month.
     20A strong bias towards action to overcome analysis-paralysis, time-boxing (limiting time, so energy levels are high), versioning results to avoid perfectionism, incremental results, varying your approach till one work, separate action items from informational items.
     22Some examples of improvements I was able to make:
     23* I had a problem reading non-technology, non-fiction books. I'd read the half a dozen pages and couldn't tell you what I'd just read in the last 5 minutes; go back, rinse, repeat and still not absorb the material. I was able to overcome this by changing my approach:
     24  * I used Tabata timers initially and subsequently the Pomodoro technique to stay focused and not let my mind wander.
     25  * I also started writing 1-3 line summaries or key takeaways for each page as I read it. Within 10 days, I'd finished reading 4 books and was back at my old reading pace from about 7 years ago.
     26  * I no longer need to write notes to focus, but I've started trying out the Kindle app's read-aloud feature (2x speed) while I myself read the book - it works really well.
     27  * For printed books, if I find myself losing concentration, I read aloud to myself.
     28* I added time tracking to ensure that I:
     29  * Spent at least 1 hour a day having fun.
     30  * Set aside 8 hours a week in non-work socializing.
     31  * Got 7-8 hours of sleep. Tracking showed I watched shows at night to unwind. I canceled my Netflix membership and gained the benefits of higher energy levels and sharper focus.
     32  * Became realistic about time spent on life essentials like chores, errands, etc
     33  * Started batching up tasks that could be done simultaneously. e.g. iron my clothes while watching shows.
     34* I would beat myself up about not making progress on my side-projects (come on, admit it - you have a few yourself). So, I started writing down how much time I had outside of life essentials (incl. sleep & meals), work, socializing & (minimal) fun (aka stress busters). Tracking time using a calendar color coded with broad categories (essentials, fun, work and socializing) showed me that I realistically had only 20 hours a week for my side-projects and hobbies. I've reset my expectations, altered my plan accordingly and don't feel frustrated at myself for failing to get as much done as I "ought to".
     36== Notes (only Part I)
     37**Disclaimer:** These are primarily written for my own future reference, but they may be useful to you, either to decide if you want to read / buy the book or as something to revisit. The information is not comprehensive, not in the least - so, please don't use it as a substitute for actually reading the book. As with all my content, some is verbatim from the original source, opinion may be interspersed & of course, YMMV.
    1239=== Foundation
    1340* 10 Values.
    144171* Be balanced: what needs improvement **and** what went well.
    145172* Get clarity on personal success patterns and what needs to change.