I’m facilitating a certified scrum product owner workshop today. We talked a lot about how to give product requirements guidance to the scrum team. Then I shared this video.
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”
From The ‘Busy’ Trap by Tim Kreider (New York Times), the best essay I’ve read in a long time about the value of slack, down-time, etc. (Our own Steve Bockman has designed exercises to teach software teams and software managers that utilization–ie, “busy-ness”–does not equal productivity).
Why, just yesterday Chris and I spent part of our 4th holiday on a fool’s errand, running to Daly City to look at an unlocked cell phone he found on Craigslist. It was a beautiful day, and we rode surface streets, with the top down on the convertible. Along the way we started looking at crazy stuff on Craigslist, and having silly conversations. We almost bought a private island, and a sailboat, but in the process we stumbled on office space that may just become the new Agile Learning Labs world headquarters. All because we took the time to run a fool’s errand, slowly, on a gorgeous day. Today is another gorgeous day… so try it!
Seriously, this video (via David Chilcott, via Mitchell Levy) makes me think: I want to do this with people some day. It may be in software, or it may be in publishing, it may be in basket weaving (it certainly won’t be in guitar playing or singing), but I want to be one of these guys!
The most common thread in the video’s comments on YouTube seems to be about the bearded guy on the left. He seems to answer the question of whatever-happened-to-The-Captain, which still leaves unanswered the question of whatever-happened-to-and-Tennille.
We here at Agile Learning Labs are determined to make the world a more funner place for our clients and for ourselves, in accordance with our operating values. So we kicked off a brand new tradition in the lab today: Formal Fridays. Of course, there were only two of us here today, so for now, you will have to make do with feasting your eyes on La Gonzalez and Miss Hillary, although rest assured, there will be plenty of whiskered gentlemen in top hats and tailcoats appearing in future editions (you know who you are, boys!). If you feel like joining us, just tweet your #formalfriday pics!
We’ve had a particularly busy month here at Agile Learning Labs–the phone is ringing off the hook, so to speak, and our sales and biz dev team has been very, um, agile. As in light on their feet. We thought they might need a good laugh, so this is a thank you to Steve and Laura! Party on, peeps!
Who knew Innovation Games could be a competitive sport? Our own Director of Biz Dev, Laura Powers, is in a class with Deb Colden called “Innovation Games for Customer Understanding” today, and sent us this pic of her winning entry for “best design and product pitch.” She calls it Scrum Master in a Box:
We never thought of ourselves as a product company before, but that may have to change!
On the bright side, you definitely can’t call him/her a stuffed shirt…
We learned earlier what it is a scrum master does. Now it’s time to see what makes a product owner tick:
If this makes you want to become a scrum product owner (and we’re certain it does!), you can take one of our product owner certification classes. The next one is February 25-26, and includes a free Kindle.
Great sketch from the BBC…