Category: Agile & Lean Life

Welcome to The Agile & Lean Life category. This category is a collection of all blog posts about applying advanced startup management and software development techniques in personal life to improve personal productivity and odds of success.

Why is that important? There is no harder challenge in business than to build a new disruptive high-tech startup. Building a new startup doesn’t only take courage, innovative ideas and attracting a lot of funding, but also a systematic scientific approach to finding the right product – the market fit.

Managing personal life and becoming successful is also not a piece of cake. Many techniques, approaches and lessons from the lean startup and agile development can be applied to personal life. They can help you achieve a completely new level of personal performance, productivity and success.

Sounds interesting? Before browsing the articles posted under this category, I suggest you read the main idea of how you can benefit from the transference of advanced business knowledge to personal life management.

Blog posts under this category are organized by date published. As a better alternative, you can check out the AgileLeanLife Productivity framework track, where blog posts are arranged in a more logical and systematic sequence, so you can acquire knowledge and concepts for applying lean and agile methodologies into your personal life in a more step-by-step way.

Besides that, the AgileLeanLife productivity track also offers a collection of other productivity tips and tricks, outside the scope of agile and lean life.

PDCA cycle and continuous improvement

All the change in the Kaizen and Kaikaku philosophy is done by following the PDCA cycle. PDCA cycle stands for Plan, Do, Check, Act; and that’s the also process to follow in your personal life to become the best version of yourself. Following the PDCA cycle doesn’t only lead to Kaizen Blitz and constant improvement, but also helps you stay flexible about how you will get to your goals.

The one change that matters and the one metric that matters

The one metric that matters in the startup world shows if a company is building something that people want to use and pay for or not. It answers if there is any value in the product or points in the right direction of how to build it. Together with other metrics, it helps company management build a sustainable business model around the product. The one metric that matters is always simple, actionable, you can easily compare it with the past results, and it answers the most important questions related to the progress of the company. It forces you to draw a line in the sand, it completely focuses you actions and inspires a culture of experimentation and innovation. It’s a goal you hang on the main wall in the company and then everybody is fighting for.. We can, of course, use the concept of OMTM pretty well in personal life.

Split testing – when you’re not sure how to decide between two options

The idea of split testing in personal life is that you go a step further from only weighing advantages and disadvantages of each option that you have on a piece of paper – you know, drawing the standard table with pluses and minuses and then still going for the option with more minuses, just because you feel differently from what the table is showing you. Sometimes a simple pro-con table can’t give you good enough insights to match your instincts. But your instincts can still be wrong. That’s why it often makes sense to do real experiments in life that give you deep insights and understanding of the situation. An understanding that’s more reliable than only your instincts and assumptions. Split testing is one of the best ways to do such experiments.

The 5 Whys technique – dig deep to find the root cause of any problem

5 Whys is an analytical technique that helps to explore cause-and-effect relationships when you encounter a problem. The basic idea is to repeat the question “why?” until you find the root cause. That most often requires asking the question why at least five times. That’s where the name comes from. Nevertheless, don’t stop at the fifth why if you need to dig deeper. Employing the 5 Whys technique when you encounter a problem especially helps to avoid logical traps, discussions based on wrong assumptions, and avoiding the essence of why the problem is really happening. Consequently, you can easily avoid playing the blame game, feeling sorry for yourself and doing any other unproductive activities, and go straight to finding the source of the problem. It's popular in business, but you can use the same principle to identify many root causes of problems in your personal life.

The execution mode – without execution skills everything is futile

Disruptive innovation, superior organization and flexibility are the most important front runners of any success. Creativity, exceptional execution and regular adjustments are the three building blocks that lead straight to the top. You have to work smart, you have to work hard and you have to stay agile in the process. From the trio – innovation, execution and flexibility – execution is the most important. Here’s why. If you lack creativity, but you are a good executive, you still get somewhere in life. You can outwork and outperform others to a certain level. You have to work much harder and life might not seem fair to you compared to people who work much smarter, but hard work still gets you somewhere.