Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Resolution: Kaizen!

If old acquaintance be forgot and never thought upon then you're not holding retrospectives correctly.
I've never been a fan of making New Year's Resolutions - their short life spans are clich├ęd for a reason. I've also been reading Scott Adam's new book "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big", and one of the major themes in the book is that goals are for losers; winners use systems. This resonates with the Agile principle of continuous improvement through inspecting and adapting.

So my New Year's Resolution this year is not a goal, but truly a resolution. I resolve to exercise personal Kaizen. Continuous improvement has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, but it hasn't always carried the urgency associated with Kaizen. I'm going to experiment more so that I can fail more so that I can learn more. I'm going to schedule Introspectives (1-person Retrospectives) on a regular basis whereby I can challenge my own personal status quo.

I wouldn't be an Agile Coach if I didn't encourage each of you to adopt Kaizen as a New Year's resolution as well. If you don't like the commitment associated with that term, can you commit to trying it just for January? Each Friday in January, I challenge you to hold your own Introspective. Ask yourself what you did well and what you could have done better. You may have made good decisions, but did you make the best ones? Did you have an answer for each time you were asked "Why"?

I'll be sharing the results of my own Introspectives every Friday this year. What I share may not be comprehensive, seeing as how I don't have the time to write out all the context for my results, but I'll share as much as I can within reason. I'll also work hard to blog frequently between Introspectives in an attempt to get more of a dialogue going than I've been able to in the past.

If you decide to take on my challenge, please share your results with me. You can comment on my blog, message me on LinkedIn, or tweet me @MLCarey321. I'd love to see the effects of personal Kaizen in your life!
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