Utilising the Scrum feedback loop to achieve your personal goals

Its the new year and as is tradition, we all think about the year ahead and set ourselves some goals, for example, a popular goal is going to the gym and shedding those extra kilos. So we all write it on our wall, put some post-it notes up or do whatever we feel is going to remind us of our goals. But the issue here is that enthusiasm inevitably dies out, particularly when things change or we get complacent.

Initially I started searching the app store to help me find some tools that might keep me on track and then it dawned on me, what if I used the basics of Scrum to keep me working towards my goals? It could be used to provide a constant attention toward acheiving your goals & getting better at doing so.

Here’s how it might look:

Backlog & Release Plan = SMART Goals

Sprint = 2 weeks of actionable tasks towards achieving these goals. For example if you want to lose 5kg by March, this sprint you’re going to lose 1kg. Past performance would indicate that you need to go to the gym 3 times a week & stick to a particular diet.

Sprint Planning = Setting yourself actionable tasks to complete your sprint goals.

Scrum Wall = Includes sprint goals which tracks towards the SMART Goal / Release Plan. Each sprint goal (story) has specific tasks that need to be achieved each fortnight. e.g. I need to go to the gym 6 times in 2 weeks.

Stand-up = What tasks am I going to do today? What did I do yesterday? Is there anything stopping me from achieving my required tasks for the remainder of the sprint?

Sprint Review = Take a look at what you achieved this last fortnight.

Sprint Retrospective = What did I do well that I can amplify? What didn’t I do well that I can work on fixing for the next sprint? (pick 1-2 issues & work on them)

Velocity = Not exactly necessary, but could be useful in determining how realistic your goals are after a period of time. As apposed to traditional scrum, you may wish to estimate in hours, rather than points!

And that’s it. This could be achieved using any sort of method as long there is a commitment to continual delivery & continual improvement. As with Software Development, life is full of change & uncertainty, what better to track & iterate towards your goals than an emergent framework aimed at continual improvement?