How to get things done

As a manager I am expected to “get things done”. I use Agile Scrum or Agile Kanban to plan out my execution when it comes to ensuring that my team is planning and executing at it’s best. I also follow a strategy by David Allen called “Getting Things Done®” in which he outlines the following strategy that will enable execution.

Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done

I ‘capture’ the list of things to do for my team in a product backlog. I then go through the backlog and ‘clarify’ the items in it to ensure that they are actionable. Avoiding vague terms such as “improve speed of web application”, I replace them with more specific terms such as “web app has latency of  ‘X’ ms, instead it should have latency of ‘Y’ ms.

Following that I ‘organize’ the backlog by priority and move items  in a given sprint or release into the ‘To Do’ swimlane in Kanban at the begining of the sprint or release. I either have daily stand-ups or weekly standups to ‘reflect’ on the progress of the work that I have ‘engaged’ in.

There are of course other strategies of execution as well. Dr. Stephen Covey has written ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ which can help in improving personal execution. Tony Buzan has written about ‘Mind Mapping’ as a technique for unlocking our brains potential. Nick Cernis also has written about ‘todoodlist’ which is another way of organization to improve execution.

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