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Drink Your Own Champagne

21 June 2017

Satpal Kaur
TD Canada Trust

Like most of you, I too have many roles to play in life: a professional, a woman, a housewife, a parent, a daughter, and a wife (did I miss any role?). We all understand that managing our personal and professional lives, with ever-increasing responsibilities, is not easy. And yet none of us want to feel defeated; we want to celebrate the achievement of our goals.

I have been involved in software project and product development for more than two decades. I have been doing Agile implementations for the past nine years, and I absolutely love this lightweight process and project management framework. I have found it useful in managing my personal life projects as well.

I would like to share my implementation of a Scrum board to manage my various life projects, aka epics, which are part of the different roles I play. It can be overwhelming to try to keep track of all the epics and related user stories in one's busy life. Every epic and its related user stories seem to be a priority. In such situations, I either procrastinate or miss some important date or milestone in some of the important stories of life. As a result, I don't achieve goals and objectives related to these stories.

However, using a Scrum board has helped me come out of procrastination, review my backlog, prioritize and track my targets, the user stories belonging to various epics of life. This board has helped me clear my mind of the ever-increasing list of user stories, which prevented me from rational thinking and productive use of time. Now I focus on the priorities that are "In-progress." The items in the "In-progress" column set a constant reminder of the prioritized list to be considered during the week. My commitment to achieve my goals has improved.

This is picture of my Kanban board at my bedside.
My daily meeting is each night before bedtime. The sprint review is with my respective product owners (my family members or myself) as and when I achieve those user stories. Sprint planning and retrospectives occur over the weekend.

Swim lanes are the various epics, each Post-it is a user story. The satisfaction of seeing items in the "Closed" cannot be overstated!

Here is a short list of representative projects, aka epics. You'll readily believe that each has a number of user stories!
  • As a professional, I upgrade my professional qualifications, write articles, take exams, consider the path of my career, etc.
  • As a woman who aspires to help myself and my community, I have hobbies, self-improvement projects, volunteer work, participation in community events, etc.
  • As a housewife, besides tons of day-to-day chores, I always have key home-improvement projects in progress.
  • As a parent, I am always learning and dealing with the challenges presented by growing children, arranging family trips, planning vacations, etc.
These are some of my examples, but most of us have similar life goals. And we want to achieve results — to "drink our own champagne" when we have completed one of these life goals. Of course, making that happen is up to us. I am delighted to find that using Agile can help me do this.

So, are you planning to drink your own champagne? I would enjoy hearing your stories about how Agile can help you achieve your goals, outside of the office as well as at work.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 3.8 (5 ratings)


Subhasish Mishra, CSM, 7/4/2017 7:07:28 AM
Visual representation really works well.

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