XP Planning and Stephen Covey

Ron Jeffries did tried XP Planning for his own life management. Here what is he does. He creates big story cards like that:

House. This includes cleaning the basement, putting in the new kitchen,
improving the master bath, getting more storage for books and impedimenta,
general cleaning, doing something with the broken grill, …

Then breaks these big cards into several smaller and assigns some of them on short iterations. Pretty easy and similar with XP Planning practice.

I am reading excellent Stephen Covey’s book Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People. There are some parallels between Covey’s advises and Ron Jeffries’ approach. Covey wrote, that you should determine the most important things in your life and focus on them. You can write down them and then split them on smaller parts (big and small user stories in fact).

Then Covey gives an interesting advice about planning. You’d better use one week as a basic planning unit (like an iteration in XP?) for all important tasks in your life and track progress every weekend. A single day is a bad planning unit, since you will plan very strict and feel yourself under pressure. And the pressure will increase in the course of time. Single week gives more freedom.

So Stephen’s methodology for life management (the book was published in 1989!) is something like XP Planning for software development. It has three essential things:

  • Focus on important things
  • Small manageable chunks (features)
  • Small (weekly) iterations for better progress tracking

The question is… Can we consider life as a Project? 🙂

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