I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest the past few weeks. And because of this I haven’t been keeping up with my weekly posts. But yesterday, after getting through the guilt trip, I realized that I was missing more than just blogging. I was missing my weekly retrospectives and thereby losing focus of my priorities. Currently, I am an “Army of One” so the only retrospective I’ve been conducting is with me, myself and you – the reader.
Not writing about and contemplating my experiences, successes and failures from the week’s work meant I wasn’t improving, wasn’t honing my focus. Last week, I had a velocity of 0. For the first time in over six months, I literally delivered no customer value in my weekly sprint. And I chalk it up to not blogging – or at least not holding my strange sort of online weekly retrospective.
Being too busy to hold retrospectives can be dangerous especially if you’re working alone. It’s too easy (and ofttimes down right seductive) to just grab the next story and jump in head first, finishing chores left and right and feeling good about your progress. Luckily, however, I’m religious about tracking and sharing my work with Pivotal Tracker so at least I knew I missed out on doing some for our users last week.
So, what the hell have I been working on? Setting up a new server to host our relaunched portal and putting the finishing touches on our corporate blog. But, wait, why isn’t this customer value? First of all, customers don’t care about how your Nagios install interfaces with Munin to collect server metrics. And while CSS often means the difference between a “ho-hum” site and “nice”, it’s definitely not the reason why users will read your content or yawn and click away.
What’s been keeping you from delivering customer value? Are you honest with yourself, your company and your users about delivering real user value?