Leading people and managing life using Scrum

While I’ve never held a “project manager” title, I have managed and facilitated countless projects. I mean, literally, countless. And that’s exactly I don’t see the point in tracking all the hours I’ve invested just to make things official and get a project management professional (PMP) certification. The whole damn tracking would be one heck of a project. Not worth my effort. But that’s me — if you’re an aspiring project management professional, you should get one.

Another reason why I believe a PMP won’t make a difference is because it’s a set of the best standard procedures and practices. You can pick and choose one that best works for you. That, for me, is a challenge because I would rather have a set process (a step-by-step system) or a framework to operate with than a set of guidelines that are good to have. It’s neither here nor there and I hate the lack of direction.

That said, I’ve never been comfortable with a rigid process (like PRINCE 2) either. The nuances of real-world challenges cannot and should not be ignored. And the worst thing you can have is a team that’s stuck because step # 9 says get an approval from a particular team member when that dude’s busy fighting another crises elsewhere.

As you can tell, as much as I wanted to adopt a project management system, I hated almost everything out there. Almost. Until I discovered Scrum. Yeah, I know, it’s a framework and part of the Agile methodology but I, honestly, haven’t cared a bit. It’s a simple process for getting things done and has blended quite well with my leadership responsibilities at the workplace. The best part is it’s versatility — I’ve probably used Scrum to manage almost each and every aspect of my life.

The best part is that it helps me continue on with my role of facilitating conversations that are not just game changing but make people think for themselves and their teams. Precisely what an organization expects from a leader. And for that, Scrum has and will continue to serve me well.

Of course, it’s not a perfect system. There isn’t one. But the objective is to use and adopt something that adapts to your unique challenges than becoming slave to a system.

What system do you use to manage your projects?

P.S. For more insights on Scrum, check out the following books:
1. Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
2. Scrum For Dummies.
3. Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership

P.P.S. These books are a great place to start. And please don’t fall into the trap of becoming “certified.” You don’t have to unless you’re into hardcore software/product development.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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