Version 4 (modified by Vijay Varadan, 4 years ago) (diff)


Getting Results the Agile Way

Author: J. D. Meier

Jan 24 2017

Getting Results the Agile Way


Coming soon: ETA is Feb 01.



  • 10 Values.
  • 10 Principles.
  • 12 Practices.
  • No big upfront design.
  • Pave a path; find a way forward.

10 Values

  1. Action over analysis-paralysis.
  2. Approach over results: results as gauge.
  3. Energy over (as in above) time.
  4. Focus over quantity: focus is the force multiplier.
  5. Good enough over perfection.
  6. Growth mindset over fixed mindset.
  7. Outcomes over activities: focus on results.
  8. Maximize strengths: spend less time shoring up weaknesses.
  9. System over ad-hoc: for basics.
  10. Value-up over backlog burndown: "What's the next best thing to do?"

10 Principles

  1. 80/20: 80% action, 20% analysis.
  2. Change your approach: tune as you go.
  3. Continuous learning
  4. Deliver incremental value.
  5. Less is more: reduce work that's in-flight.
  6. Factor out action from reference: reduce signal to noise ratio.
  7. Set boundaries: both for time and energy.
  8. Fix time, flex scope: time is a 1st class citizen.
  9. Rhythm of results: habit becomes ritual => produces feeling of accomplishment.
  10. Version your results: fight perfectionism.

12 Practices

  1. Rule of 3: focus on vital things; a buffet you can go back to, don't overfill your plate.
  2. Monday vision, daily outcome, Friday reflection.
  3. Scannable outcomes: what's on your radar?
  4. Daily outcomes: 3 action items for the day.
  5. Weekly outcomes.
  6. Strong week: do the toughest things that drain you early in the week to create a glide path.
  7. Timebox your day: optimize & prioritize.
  8. Triage incoming action items: Do / Queue / Schedule / Delegate.
  9. Monthly improvement sprints: pick 1 thing to improve each month.
  10. Growth mindset: get knocked down, get up again.
  11. Action lists: Daily / Weekly / Queue / Scripts.
  12. Reference collections: for non-actionable information.

Hot Spots

  1. Things that are important i.e. big picture items and long term goals.
  2. Clusters of important things going on in your life.
  3. At a macro-level think in terms of work, personal & life.

Hot Spots

Life Frame



  • Mind
  • Body
  • Emotions
  • Career
  • Financial
  • Relationships
  • Fun
  • Activities
  • Active Projects
  • Backlog
  • Activities
  • Active Projects
  • Backlog
  1. Set boundaries: max / min time & energy; use Hot Spots to set these boundaries. e.g. max 50 hrs for work and min 3 hrs for body (workout).
  2. Worst mistake is to continually throw more time at problems.
  3. Increase value, improve efficiency & effectiveness => reduce time spent.


  • Recurring activities like administration, mentoring, status meetings for work; household chores, grocery shopping for personal.
  • Make a list for each big activity => enables you to see stuff at a glance.
  • 3 most important results at the top.

Active Projects

1 list per project => this is your queue.


1 list per major backlog item.

Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection

  • Deliver value over backlog burndown.
  • Rule of 3.
  • Frame results for the week.
  • Test for success: (re)define outcomes based on what success looks like.
  • Scenario driven results: e.g. laying on a hammock & enjoying the rose garden, rather than tasks like mowing the lawn. Gives work meaning & improves quality of life.
  • Incremental progress.
  • Have a buffer: at a buffer, you would take smaller portions, make multiple trips. Buffers help see opportunities. No buffer => only threats are visible.
  • Use timeboxes: spend energy effectively.

Monday Vision

Identify 3 outcomes for the week:

  • Use Hot Spots as input.
  • Focus on where you want to be at the end of the week.
  • Focus on outcomes, not activities / tasks.

Daily Outcomes

Identify 3 outcomes for the day:

  • You can always add more later.
  • Don't get caught up in backlog.
  • Choose most valuable things.
  • Track against the week's 3 outcomes.
  • Must, Should, Could are the 3 buckets for the daily list:
    • Must => got to get these done.
    • Should => nice to haves.
    • Could => pipe dreams.

Friday Reflection

  • Focus on the pitch, not the scoreboard.
  • Evaluate what got done, or what didn't and why.
  • Be balanced: what needs improvement and what went well.
  • Get clarity on personal success patterns and what needs to change.