May Reflections — Part Two

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In Part One of my May Reflection series, I played philosopher around positivity, intention and the Golden Rule. Really, paying yourself by ‘paying-it-forward’. Yada-yada. Today, I want to share two very different experiences. I’ll stitch the ideas together in Part Three.

Last Saturday, I tested myself with the Eco-Endurance Challenge. It was hard. I hadn’t been orienteering in 20 years and I felt the sum of my years and weight of my girth.  We clambered over deadfalls and clearcuts. We tromped across mossy boulder fields and boggy marsh. We did battle against the snarling tangle of landkill and scrub-brush. Our team visited 9 of the 60 Control Points in the 8-hours, finishing 17th of 30 in our category.

No internet, we were real people having real conversation over a shared experience through teamwork, brain and body. There was lots of think-time too. When you’re tired, it’s just putting one foot in front of the other. I reflected on an abundant life and felt thankful. Not in a boastful way, but in a more practical sense. A shift in perspective, the scales of life tilt to the good. I have a great family, a purposeful job and the freedom to grow as a person.

Nothing clears the mind better than a stomp through the woods.

The following Monday, I attended our organization’s Project Management User Group (PMUG) and gave a little bit of a primer on Agile flavors of project management. As with most things, the discussion was more valuable than the the bullets. My mind kept looping back to the weekend’s activity, working to build context: plot and plan, change and adapt, act and react.

Gather your team. Evaluate the ground. Plot your course. Take a bearing. March forward. Take a bearing. Course-correct. Cheat right. Place one foot in front of the other. Find the Control Point. Celebrate your win. Re-evaluate. Learn. Adapt strategy. Improve. Take the next bearing. Place one foot in front of the other. March forward.

That’s agility defined.

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”  ~ Winston Churchill

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable. ~ Dwight Eisenhower

Oh, and one more thing…

For those that don’t know, Agile methodologies are those that ‘fix time and flex scope’ and is great way to move a project forward when the scope is in flux, cheekily called ‘requirements churn’. It’s not a short-cut or an excuse not to do planning and creating the artefacts of good PM practice. You still need a business case, charter, risk assessment, communications plan… the whole ball of wax. The details are fodder for a much longer post.

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