Agile Project Management: EPICS
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By now you have likely heard all about Agile Methodology and how it can “help” your business or personal goals. That’s all great, but what exactly is Agile and how can it help, and more importantly – how do you start?
Agile methodology is the use of what is called Perpetual Beta to continue growth throughout an idea, goal, project, or business. This is the belief that work is never completely done and is always evolving and there is always ways to improve, redefining the definition of “done”, from “finished” to “complete” – as you are never completely finished with something, only have completed a milestone.
Got it? Good. No? That’s okay, let’s break it down on where to start.
There are multiple pieces that make up Agile; Epics, Themes, Sprints, and Requirements (or as we call them “Bricks”). These components are the steps and check points on your end goals – or your Epics, which is exactly where you need to start.
EPICS. What are they? They’re where you’re going. If you were to get in a car, would you only set short term goals? Would you just drive and then say, lets make it to that stop light, and then reassess your progress? No, of course not, and if you do – you might be a wonderer and that’s all well and good – but you won’t accomplish anything set out (which I guess is the point of wondering?).
Any good road Trip needs a Destination.
Any good road trip needs a destination, and in that destination it needs pit stops and a plan on how to get there. So what do you say? Do you just get in the car and say, “I’m driving across the country” or do you write out a plan on how to get to where you’re going? This same idea is the thought process behind Agile Methodology, and choosing the destination is the first step in this process.
Your destination is where you start, whether it’s in working out, your personal life, a road trip, or your business goals. It something that all other milestones to get to that goal are measured. They’re part of any win, goal, project, or business. You don’t pick up a ping pong paddle and say okay let’s play until we’re bored. Maybe you do, but will that push you to get better? No. You say – “best to 21” and you compete. Whether against yourself, the clock, another person, or anything else – competition and tracking of progress is the only way to get better and to achieve your goals.
So where do you start? At the end, with your Epics. All other goals and check points stem from this. So set your Epics and set them high, unrealistic even.
Setting unrealistic goals, or goals just out of reach are what will push you to be better.
Back to ping pong for a moment. When competing, do we know that you are going to get to 21 first? Of course not, and this is what drives our competition. We don’t set ping pong rules like – once we both have 21 it’s over. We don’t set goals or Epics based on things we know will happen, we set them on what we don’t. We set unrealistic goals, or goals just out of reach as that’s the only way to improve and to push ourselves to obtain greatness. We call them Epics because they should be EPIC.
Epic, by definition means something that is particularly impressive or remarkable.
Remarkable, not good, not okay, not average or even what is needed to get by. It’s Remarkable. Epics should be just that. A goal that is just out of reach, that will set yourself, business or project aside from competitors or anyone else.
So plan high, set long term goals on an Epic scale, and then challenge yourself through Themes, sprints and Bricks to reach those remarkable goals.