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What helped get you through the pandemic? Here's what helped me

So, what helped get you through the pandemic? Chocolate? Wine, or something stronger? Hugs?

Those who know me well might not be surprised to hear that for me, one of the big things that helped me get through the pandemic was Agile. 

But even they might ask: really? Really? Why Darryl?

I often get comments on my passion for all things Agile. I've even had people say "wow, that's not just a facade Darryl puts on for running training courses and doing speaking engagements, he's actually really like that!". It's true, I am :-)

Here's why: 20 yrs in traditional ways of working left me disillusioned and in despair, right down at the bottom of the barrel. Then I discovered that the elements that makeup Agile, from the mindset and culture to the principles and practices, provide a more humane, fulfilling, successful way to do things.

I've had many opportunities to see this proven true in work settings. But the pandemic changed everything and suddenly I had an opportunity to put things into practice at home, and apply all that I'd learnt to the most VUCA situation in my life.  

Simple kanban boards for the kids remote schooling let my wife and I know where they were up to, hand over back and forth effortlessly throughout the day, without a word needing to be spoken. And they let the kids see what they had on for the day, plan and then adapt those plans as needed, and take responsibility for their work. And they created acknowledgement when they completed things - we ended up doing intricate dance and 'high-five' routines celebrations which they loved - and I honestly believe helped keep their motivation up.

The Personal Agility System helped me in profound ways

Here's how the Personal Agility System helped me:

  • What Really Matters (WRM) - to be clear on what my 'big rocks' are in times like this, and to focus first on the activities that move those things forward
  • Urgent and Important - to visualise and track all the things I needed to do and distinguish between what needed to be done now but not lose track of the important things I needed to do soon, and
  • Celebrate and Choose - just like my kids, to acknowledge and celebrate the things I was already doing (visualising them made me realise just how many there were!) and then to choose with discernment what to do next.

Sure, the pandemic was still crazy, and stressful, and a big ole serving of 'what the hell is happening here!' but being able to be agile at home, in my personal life, made it a heck of a lot less of all of those things than it would've been otherwise.

So, yeah, really, Agile was one of the big things that helped me get through the pandemic.

How about you?

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