Hard choices

Should I get pregnant again? And move to a new house?
Should I dump my boyfriend? And finally buy a new car?
Should I adopt a dog? And go for that new job?

I did 2 of these things today. Can you guess which?

Big plans lead to small decisions

In Scrum, as in life, (or was it the other way around?) there are 2 types of choices. There is the masterplan, your roadmap, your PI planning, which is built up around hard decisions. Big, life changing choices. Those decisions that seemingly take forever to make. And there are the little decisions you (have to) make each day. Sometimes without even thinking about it. Sometimes because you have to move forward.

In Scrum, as in life, you need a roadmap to know where you are going. What is the end goal? Whether you are trying to manage one team with multiple projects or product backlogs or managing multiple teams that have dependencies you will need some form of PI or Big Room Planning.

But to decide on a roadmap, to make those hard choices you need input from the world around you to weigh your choices. Requirements people! So you try and give business value to adopting a dog, calculate risk on moving to a new house and determine effort of getting pregnant again. And you make your plan.

Yes! This is where we’re going guys!

Dealing with the unexpected

And then every single day unexpected things come up that will force you to make endless tiny decisions that determine whether you stay on plan or adopt a new plan. Bugs will come making it hard to adopt a dog, finances will change making it difficult to move to a new house and people will get sick making getting pregnant again nearly impossible. The original plan seems a goner.

Crap. Where were we going again?

Tell me how you steer your life with all those little decisions you make every day. Do you stick to your masterplan or are you Agile enough to allow change? Do you welcome changing requirements?

Don’t be afraid to change the big plan with all your tiny decisions. Change is a part of life. You cannot stop change. Change creates new chances, new insights. Change is a good thing people!

Someone once told me “one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to face in life is choosing weather to walk away or try harder”. Which for me was idiotic because if you are asking yourself that you are resisting change that will happen sooner or later anyway. Falsely trapping yourself in those hard decisions often means you’ve already gone past a breaking point and you are actually waiting for things to explode. You must feel miserable you poor soul. You cannot stop the world from changing. You are actively making yourself unhappy keeping yourself stuck in this situation.

Embrace changes

So make a lifeplan, create a roadmap, but welcome change. Don’t get stuck trying to stick to the original plan or loose precious time (we have so little time together!) making hard decisions. The requirements for your product will change, the requirements for your life will change. And let me tell you; creating a happy life is paying attention to every day small choices and moving forward.

Should I have another beer? And go out to dinner tonight?
Should I really say this to you? And send this text to him?
Should I wear this blouse? And blow-off work for something fun?

2 of these things I might do today. Which ones do you think?

Happiness is in the little things. And that happiness will help you create a new and better masterplan. Embrace change. Creating a happy life is in little choices that change your life each day. Be happy.