Agile Attention

Dave Prior, PMP, CST, MBA is an Agile Consultant for LeadingAgile, where he provides training and coaching organizations who are transitioning to agile.

At SXSW, FeedMagnet CEO Jason Ford and licensed therapist De Sellers gave a presentation called “Tools and Processes for ADD Project Managers/Entrepreneurs”. During the talk, Jason Ford shared his own experiences as a project managers and entrepreneur whose ADD led him down a path which finally resulted in him seeking professional help, which is how he met De Sellers.

As the two provided background on Attention Deficit Disorder, they shared many of the ways it can drive incredibly creative people and give them an infectious level of energy. It was very interesting to hear someone who has been diagnosed with ADD present it in a light that did not leave you feeling like it had to be stopped, but merely managed in a way that would allow the creative energy to shine through (but not at the expense of everything else).

While the title of the talk brought me to the room because I thought it would involve project management, what kept me in the room was the fact that most of the solutions offered for an individual with ADD to try and manage their “disorder” were actually a direct match with agile.

One of the techniques that De Sellers uses with many of her patients is to hold a daily discussion during which the person with ADD will make an agreement with Sellers regarding what they plan to do during the next day. In the example provided, Ford was…

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"One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

- Bertrand Russell