My wife and I moved into our house 22 years ago. It needed updating in a lot of places. We couldn’t afford to do the updating all at once, nor did we want to. We wanted to move into the house sooner rather than later. Looking back on that we did a hell of a job MVPing. We took down the wallpaper and painted before moving in. A year later we got new carpet. A few years after that we redid the kitchen. After that we redid the bathrooms. 22 years later and all is well.
Corporate MVP isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are many barriers or reasons why traditional “by the book” MVP doesn’t always work in lager corporations. Some of these barriers include management demands, giant project roadmap, cross commits to other teams, budgets, established expectations and migrations.
I had time to reflect the other day about my own New Year’s resolutions. A couple months ago, I sat down and pondered what I wanted to accomplish in 2019. I thought to myself, “this will be my year to accomplish everything and redeem myself for past new years resolution flops”. The opportunties were endless for self improvement, I just had to narrow the choices down. The usual suspects flow out from pen to paper: spend less and save more, become more fit, workout, travel to a new place, become a better snowboarder and host a fun social soiree for friends. How could I not accomplish this all?
Fast foward to present day self, I was at local brewery with a group of friends. We stumbled upon a conversation about our 2019 goals. I was telling my friends about the plethora of goals I had set for myself. Much to my chagrin I got probing questions and troubled facial expressions. My best friend asks: “Do you think you can really accomplish all of the goals you set for 2019? They seem pretty lofty”. My answer was simple, why yes I do and they are all my priority. After all New Year equals new me.
It took this latest podcast on Moscow for me to realize my mistake. I simply priortized everything as my number 1, and had too may things on my plate to focus on. I’m happy announce that I have paired my list down to 3 priorties that I hope to accomplish this year. Those goals were simplified into: work on my fitness, save more money & spend less money on dinners out. By sliming the list down to something more manageable, I know I can to meet these without feeling overwhelmed. Often times, we all try to list out a million and one things we want to accomplish and it overwhelms us. We aren’t able to improve incremental chunks because of everything we choose to bite off. If you find yourself needing motivation, you can watch the Arnold Schwarzengger speech (below), to help find your own . I know this will be the year I get out of my rut, what about you?
American Pickers is a TV show on the History Channel. Mike and Frank “earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure.” They will go to a hoarders place and see something they really really want (high value). Usually Mike spots a vintage bicycle or motorcycle from early 1900’s. However the guys realize, in order to break they ice, they must go after lower priority items like old toys and oil can first. This tactic builds some trust with the collector, so after a full day of buying up toys, oil cans and signs they try their luck with their number 1 priority. Sometimes they are able to get the motorcycle, but other times they build that relationship so one day down the road they may be able to purchase the item.
This is a real life example of understanding top priorities but not going after the top priority right away. It sure is easy to say to go after high priority first, but sometimes the real world gets in the way. Doug and Jack talk about some reasons why Agile teams don’t always go after the high priority Roadmap items from the get go. Come check out our new episode, Value is in the eye of the beholder, that identifies why companies and teams don’t always tackle the highest listed Roadmap items right away.