Project Management

Agile Tools & Techniques for Self-Improvement

PMI Chennai Chapter

Rajakumar is a Senior Consultant working in a reputed IT company. He has successfully managed multiple customers' strategic projects. He has gained expertise by managing different types of projects including end-to-end Development, Maintenance & Support, Production Support and Hybrid. Currently he is a faculty member in the Project Management Academy. He trains and mentors potential project managers and project leaders in his organization.

As project managers, we learn many tools and techniques that help us successfully complete many of our projects. But how many times have we used those techniques in our personal lives to overcome challenges and better ourselves? This article discusses some agile tools and techniques—and how they can be useful for the betterment of our personal life.

Some of those include:

  1. Customer valued prioritization
  2. Information radiators
  3. Trend analysis and fast failure
  4. Gamification
  5. Active listening
  6. Conflict resolution and negotiation
  7. Participatory decision models and empowered teams
  8. Adaptive leadership
  9. Value stream mapping
  10. 5 “Whys” and fishbone diagrams

Let’s go through these to help further understand them…

1. Customer valued prioritization: Agile strongly recommends understanding customer values—and prioritizing them. Our deliverables should add value to our customer’s business. Let’s look at an example.

A father and daughter go shopping. The child looks at a toy and asks her dad to buy it. He says no. Later, he decides to buy a different (and costly) ornament for her as a surprise gift on her birthday. On her birthday, the daughter says, “I thought you would buy that toy as a birthday gift for me.” Though the ornament is expensive, it doesn’t impress the child—who valued the toy …

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"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."

- Pablo Picasso