3Bs is a guideline which I use to balance my effort within a project
Using agile can often be frustrating, since we do not have a set of defined processes as we find in the Prince2 or PMI frameworks. There is a good reason for this, since we rely people to implement the process individually. The topic is discussed in my previous article which does an overview of Individuals/Interactions over Process/Tools. Using a formal guideline or rule, will be against the spirit of agile development.
Applying agile gives you the opportunity to be creative. It is much easier to implement a personal guideline to achieve goals, than prescribed formal rules. The guideline can in some cases still use information from formal frameworks. Agile thinking gives you freedom, which can be used to be more effective in a practical way.
I have developed a personal guideline, to keep me focussed. I call it the 3Bs which stands for Boundaries, Balance and Brains.
Boundaries is a guideline, which reminds me to understand the boundaries in each situation. There are boundaries imposed which one cannot change. In addition there are boundaries you can change. The Serenity Prayer goes a long way to have peace, when you encounter boundaries you cannot change. Finding the boundaries is key, since we need to know from the start where the limitations are.
Balance is the next guideline I use, to ensure my efforts are managed. This can be applied to time, scope of the project, people’s involvement and costs. It is important to deliver the project, but you should ensure it is within your abilities.
The final and key guideline is Brains, which reminds me to think things through. It is good to have boundaries and balance. It is however not a fail-safe way to manage a project. At some stage the specifics of each task, needs to be taken into account. The decisions within the boundaries or keeping the balance should always make sense.
I have found that keeping each guideline in mind, helps me to focus during the project.