This week I have been listening to a book that claims to help people achieve twice as much in half the time compared to normal. The system is called Scrum. The author Jeff Sutherland, an ex-combat pilot turned business coach has clearly done well coaching big businesses in the practice of this system.
There are some positive ideas in this book but strangely I would not recommend you listen to it. Perhaps it would work better as a physical book, but the audiobook version is quite frustrating to listen to. Rather than front-load it like most authors do, giving you enough of the bare bones to hook you in and then filling in the details and the why later, instead Scrum is completely the opposite. By 3/4 of the way through it I was thoroughly versed in why it is a good idea and how traditional business plan systems are rubbish but I still had no idea how to implement Scrum. It is only in the last chapter that things really come together.
There are other problems too. For a book written by someone driven by measuring progress there are some worryingly poor statistics thrown out e.g. "One study indicates that burnout was reduced by 124%." That just doesn't make any sense. The most something can be reduced by is 100% without getting into abstract concepts.
Having said all that there are some positive points I will be taking away:
The idea of estimating the amount of effort required for a task therefore allowing me to gauge whether the amount of things I am aiming to do on any given day is likely to be achievable.
The idea of taking a weekly view of my tasks and not just a daily view. Sometimes I complete all daily tasks early and resort back to my old habit of not really knowing where to turn to next because my overall to do list is so large. This would also allow me somewhere to park tasks that I intend to do on a day off or at the weekend.
The idea shown in the diagram above that your business should be based on the items that fall in the middle ground of what you can build, what you can sell and what you are passionate about.
If you think you might like this book then I would suggest getting the physical version, read the appendix first and then use the other chapters to find out more.
Dr Chris Harper