By November 14, 2011 Read More →

Monthly Planning with Agile Results

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Trying to plan for a month can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have an approach.  I’m going to share with you a very simple way to plan your month.  It’s simple, but powerful.

You can use Agile Results as a way to simplify your monthly planning.  Agile Results is the system I talk about in my book, Getting Results the Agile Way.

3 Steps to Plan Your Month

To plan the month using Agile Results, simply do three things:

  1. Pick a theme for the month.
  2. Identify three wins you want by the end of the month.
  3. Write them down.

Monthly Theme

The monthly theme will give you focus.  You can use it as a mantra.  For example, let’s say the focus for this month, is simplicity.  (I happen to like that one because I used simplicity as a focus for one of my projects at work, with great success.)   For the entire month, you will have this one theme to keep going back to.  It will remind you of what’s important.  It’s like a mini-mission for the month.

Three Wins for the Month

The three wins you identify will help you set a target for the month, in a way that’s goal oriented.   As soon as you start to think about what you can achieve in a month, you will start to ask better questions.  You’ll start asking questions about what’s important.  You’ll start asking questions about what’s next.  You’ll also start asking questions about, what’s possible.

Meaningful Months

Meaningful months are made up of your weekly wins and your daily dos.   The Rule of Three is your friend and will help you focus, as well as zoom in and zoom out.  For example, you can use The Rule of Three to identify three wins for the day, three wins for the week, and three wins for the month.   This helps you avoid getting overwhelmed, and we tend to be pretty good at remembering three things.  Three is also a good way to focus your time and energy.

The best part is that each month is a chance to turn the page and start fresh.  You are the author of your life and you are always writing your story forward.  Use each month as a way to add great chapters to your life.  When things don’t go as planned, carry the lessons forward, and use each day, each week, and each month, as  a fresh start on your path of meaningful results.

4 Comments on "Monthly Planning with Agile Results"

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  1. The number I have always heard we can remember is 7, +/- 2.

    But you are right, 3 seems a lot less intimidating… even than 5.

  2. alik levin says:

    JD,
    Good stuff – simple and actionable, and the one that gets results. Is tick with this practice for the last several years and I must report it works exceptionally well for me.

  3. JD, I’ll admit, I’m not sure what Agile Results is, so I’m headed there to check it out. But I’ll be in the loop soon. :) I do like the idea of planning out themes for life and timing them out for sustainable and measurable growth. Thanks for sharing.

  4. JD says:

    @ David — In this case, it’s less about remembering, and more about directing your focus. The more you wider you spread it, the thinner it gets.

    @ Alik — Your results have been stellar, and you set a great example for what’s possible. You continuously to take things to the next level.

    @ Bryan — In a nutshell, it’s a personal results system for work and life. It helps you make the most of what you’ve got.

    One of the most powerful patterns in the system is the pattern for weekly results. It’s called Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection:
    – On Mondays, identify three wins for the week.
    – Each day, identity three wins for the day.
    – On Friday, identify three things going well and three things to improve.

    There’s a lot more to it, but that’s one part of Agile Results that people especially like.