A Thommen TX22 Altimeter

Reading time: 2 minutes

One time when my sister and I were little, my father took us for a hike. He was an avid mountaineer all his life, and he wanted us to appreciate the outdoors, too.

Like little kids often do, we started dragging our feet and complaining about how steep the trail was. Nothing he said to encourage us worked.

Then he gave us the altimeter. After that, he couldn’t keep up with us. We charged up that trail, holding that gorgeous old altimeter in its leather case, wanting to see that needle go round and round as we gained altitude.

I’ve been thinking about this over the past month, as I’ve been organizing my life according to the Scrum framework. I’m learning JIRA, and I’m also improving my ability to work effectively.

My Sprint burn down chart is like an altimeter for me. As I’m organizing my life according to scrum principles, I’m seeing my life and my work differently. And I find I enjoy watching the line on the scrum burn down chart go down. Being able to move tasks to the “done” column motivates me.

Of course, as we all know, you have to work at a sustainable pace.

My father was always a methodical, steady climber. He might be climbing with younger hotshots, and they’d go charging up the trail, leaving him behind. Then they’d have to stop for a rest. Along about the time they were ready to get going again, there’d come my father up the trail.

My father got up the mountain just as fast with his steady pace as the others did with their rush and rest.

Looking at my Sprint burn-down chart, I look for a steady incline of the progress line, not deviating far from the projection. If it does, I look at what I’m doing: how I’m decomposing my epics and stories, how I’m setting priorities, how I’m estimating story points.

My journey in Personal Scrum has been fun.


Photo credit: © 2013 Christer, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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