Zan’s Challenge 9/21/15 – Push Your Boundaries

It’s time for another Zan’s Challenge! I’m doing away with the weekly format, and instead making new challenges every two weeks to fit closer to the most popular timebox for iterations, and to allow time to actually focus on one challenge before it changes. These challenges are still to help spur your thoughts, strengthen your skills, or open your mind to new possibilities in Agile.

The challenge: Push your boundaries.

It’s easy to live every day, doing the minimum of what needs to be done and never striving to improve. With Agile, however, we believe that constant tuning and adjusting are vital to remaining competitive, and that individuals should be motivated to create great projects. Some might say, “If you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind”. In that spirit, it’s important to push your boundaries and to be unsatisfied with maintaining the status quo.

So challenge yourself and your team to find new ways to become more efficient. It is not about working harder (unless you feel like you’re slacking off!). Find things that are slowing you down, and make efforts to rectify that. Eliminate wasteful processes and find ways to simplify your work. Set a personal growth goal, and strive to achieve that goal.

Most importantly: Don’t be satisfied with “Good Enough”. “Good Enough” does not exist when it comes to how we work. There is always something to be improved, somewhere.

Good luck with this challenge. Please let me know your results, what you think of this challenge, and if you have any ideas for future Zan’s Challenges!

pushboundaries

Advertisements

Zan’s Weekly Challenge 9/9/15 – Examine Your Assumptions

It’s time once again for “Zan’s Weekly Challenge”! Each week, I will pose a challenge to help spur your thoughts, strengthen your skills or open your mind to new possibilities on your Agile journey.  I welcome you to post your feedback on this challenge as a comment on the blog, send me a tweet @zandterman, or any other way you see fit.  Due to the short week, this challenge will run through next week.

This week’s challenge: Examine your assumptions.

Everyone has biases. Our knowledge, skills, and past experiences color our perception of everything we take in.  Given our viewpoint, we then make assumptions without even consciously doing so. These assumptions are often different from others assumptions, which is why collaboration is so important. Even with collaboration, though, if a team’s assumptions are close enough to the same, we might blind ourselves to other methods or paths to solve our problems. When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

It is therefore important to stop and examine what you assume when posed with a problem. Not all problems are nails.  There are different ways to solve every issue. You may even assume you must do certain things together, when in fact, it would be more advantageous to do a small portion first, even it doesn’t complete the entire problem as specified.

Note: The first step is to recognize that you have assumptions, and to understand what you assumed. The next step is to examine why you made that assumption.

Good luck with this challenge. Please let me know your results, what you think of this challenge, and if you have any ideas for future Zan’s Weekly Challenges!

hammer-f
When all you have is a hammer…