Do you want to achieve more in the sprint? Work less!
And time and time again, the team fills their sprint with work, which they are then unable to complete by the end of the sprint! Oh dear! More and more slips into the next sprint, the frustration and pressure builds, so they take on more and more. They work harder and harder, more and more, more and more frantically, yet they can’t get ahead. What is the solution?
Take less, for heaven’s sake! But a lot less! Not as much as you think you can do, but much less.
Because this way you can learn to focus. Focus on the few things, but only the few things! And really do it, don’t slack off in the knowledge that you have plenty of time for it! And refuse all other tasks!
If you can do this, you get a sense of achievement as well as a sense of focus. Then you can start to take on more and more, but in a way that maintains the focus and the sense of achievement. The moment this is lost, take a step back again!
You will be able to take more and more, and with much more reliable commitments. Soon you will be able to go beyond the speed you could have dreamed of at the beginning.
It’s a bit like the motorway. You can drive much faster on the motorway if it is not full of vehicles. For a while, adding more and more vehicles increases the throughput of the motorway, but as the traffic increases, the speed will eventually decrease, and even become congested if, say, a single vehicle suddenly brakes. But once a jam has formed, it is much harder to regain even a fraction of the original speed, even if no new vehicles have entered the system since. Forcing progress, zigzagging between lanes, sudden starts and braking will not reduce congestion, but will only increase chaos.
In summary: slow down to go faster. It’s worth it. What are you waiting for? Try it!
Written by: Gábor Erényi, Sprint Consulting