Project Management Sprints: Applying Agile Principles to Personal Productivity


Originally used in the field of software development, Scrum is a popular agile methodology that is now being used in a range of other fields. Its use in project management is becoming increasingly popular and whilst some of the techniques used in agile do not always apply the idea of iterative processes, empowerment and continuous improvement together with collaboration are useful in everyday life as a personal productivity tool.

Agile at home

There are not many amongst us who don’t wish that home life could be a little more organised and freer from stress. Agile processes can be applied within the home and can certainly have a positive impact on everyone. Things like morning checklists and family standup meetings together with the idea of using retrospectives in order to empower family members and give rewards and consequences can help everything to run smoother. The following principles can help you to implement this idea in the home:

  • Continually adapt – Look at ways to experiment with new ideas, be open minded and flexible
  • Empower your children – Allow them to plan their own goals, evaluate their work, and succeed on their own terms. On occasion they should be allowed to fail and then learn from this failure.
  • Tell your story – Set out your mission and identify the core values of your family

This might not be a way in which you saw the things you have learnt during project manager courses being used, but it does work.

A personal productivity tool

Agile methodologies centre around the idea of collaboration and some of its concepts still work even when they are only for you. If you are looking to use Agile to manage your personal life then consider things like limiting the work you have in progress, making regular reflections and making sure that you are prioritising your workload. Working on a weekly basis of tasks you want to get done can be really satisfying and can help you become more organised.

Event planning

As we have already mentioned, agile techniques can be used in a number of ways beyond the workplace and one of the more creative options is to use the techniques to organise events. That’s right, agile can actually be used to help plan things like weddings and other big life events.

Take weddings for example. The wedding planner assumes the role of scrum master, whilst the wedding couple become the product owners. The entire process of planning a wedding is then set out in careful detail in much the same way as you would set out a project. Daily tasks are undertaken along the way such as picking a florist and choosing the flowers. A daily stand up will allow all involved to ensure that they are on target and discuss what has been achieved.

This can be a good way of sharing out all of the tasks associated with a wedding and ensuring that you are not only on target to get everything planned out and booked, but also that you are sticking to any budget that you have.

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