Agile or Waterfall: What’s the best approach for your project?

Examining 4 Quadrants of Project Extremes

Extreme Scenarios

Extreme scenarios in project management may be encountered so infrequently in your day-to-day work that it could feel like analyzing them is a waste of time.

Waterfall vs Agile: How to Choose?

But like many industries, there is often something to be learned from taking a closer look at these extreme events.

Examining extremes in business like overnight success stories versus unprecedented failures can help entrepreneurs mold better processes for successfully managing the average organization.

Examining extremes in human performance like the habits of olympic athletes versus the habits of the highly sedentary can help health professionals prescribe better nutrition and exercise plans for the average patient.

In a similar way, examining project extremes can help identify the types of work where Agile methods like Scrum can be most and least effective. Continue reading “Agile or Waterfall: What’s the best approach for your project?”

Scrum vs Agile

What’s the difference? How do they relate?

Scrum Co-founders: Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber
Scrum co-founders: Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber img

Ever find yourself using “Agile” and “Scrum” interchangeably because you’re unsure which is correct?

Do you know the history of each term or how the two are related?

Did you know that’s it’s been over 30 years since the article that inspired Scrum was published in the Harvard Business Review?

If these questions interest you or you’d just like stop confusing the terms (like me!), this article may be able to help

Quick Overview

While the two concepts are related with many of the same players involved, Agile and Scrum are not synonymous. “Agile” refers to a group of several software development frameworks that are united around a few key principles. “Scrum” is simply Continue reading “Scrum vs Agile”

Getting Things Done

How I Never Forget To Do Anything

Do you often have the best intentions but fail to follow through?

Do you make too many commitments and feel overwhelmed from trying to juggle way too many tasks?

Do you have piles of “stuff” that continually builds up in your mind that you’re never quite sure what to do about?

If so, this blog may be for you.

Ok… “never” may be a strong word. I do forget things on occasion, but I have found that it seems to happen much less frequently than many people.

In the past, I’ve been somewhat reluctant to talk much about productivity and self-improvement until a recent conversation with a couple of friends who encouraged me to share more often.

Getting Things Done by David Allen
Getting Things Done by David Allen

So today I thought I would share a simplified version of the system I use to organize everything that comes across my plate.

First off, I don’t believe that the ability to remember and keep track of commitments is a reflection of one’s character, work ethic or intelligence. It’s simply about having a trusted system in place that works for you.

The following 5 steps are Continue reading “Getting Things Done”

Evernote Tips: 3 Things I Learned Recently

1. Saved Searches Are Awesome

I’ve known that saved searches existed for a while but never found them useful in the past. Well, they are. If you use Evernote, you should use them.

Saved Search - Agendas Frequent (in Windows)

Here’s an example.

Agendas Frequent is a saved search that I have setup for agendas* that I want to be able to access quickly.

*For me, an agenda is just a meeting with an individual or a group that I keep notes for that can be accessed during (or in preparation for) a meeting. Saved Search - Agendas Frequent (in Android)

This saved search is defined in two parts: tag:Agendas updated:month-2 (image 1).

  1. tag:Agendas – This retrieves any note I’ve tagged with “Agendas”.
  2. updated:month-2 – This retrieves any note that has been updated in the current month or either of the two preceding months. This is how I’ve defined “frequent”. If I haven’t updated it within the last 3 months, I don’t want to see it here.

Once the search is created on my PC, it is available on the go on any other Evernote device. See Android (image 2).

There are tons of options for Continue reading “Evernote Tips: 3 Things I Learned Recently”

Productivity with a Purpose

While it may be easy to get caught up in the Productivity Trap from time to time, productivity can and should be a good thing.

Productivity with a Purpose is about freeing up time from the unnecessary, as well as the necessary but not fulfilling, in order to focus on higher priority or more fulfilling work. The end goal is simply about doing more of the things we love, or enjoy, and less of the things we don’t.

Two things I personally enjoy are spending quality time with the most important people in my life and helping others excel in areas of my strengths. So if the end result of my effort to be more productive is not allowing me to do more of these things, I probably need to make some changes.

When I do feel myself slipping, these 3 things can help.

Clarify Priorities

If you’re on a road trip with no destination in mind, you will arrive somewhere, but it may not be the place you’re looking for. Clarifying your priorities allows you to begin with a destination in mind.

When identifying your priorities, it can be helpful to visualize your personal and professional roles in life, like husband, colleague, mom, manager, etc.*

Be sure not to forget self which might cover areas like health, professional development Continue reading “Productivity with a Purpose”