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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Applying Agile in the snow cleaning job

We have just survived through the Nor'easter "Juno", and to my biggest relief, without any power disruption. As forcasted, the snow accumulation was more than 2 feet. I had cleaned 3 feet of snow in past but this time I thought to apply one of the Agile principle for the snow cleaning job which is: Deliver increments that add value to the customer (i.e. myself) in a small iteration. 

Let's go into detail of my Agile project. I have defined "Cleaning snow of my house" as the Epic. And here are the stories: 
  1. Clean the entrance stair so that we can come out of our house through main entrance
  2. Clean the snow of the driveway in front of the garage so that I can take out my van, which I use to drive on the highway
  3. Clean the snow of the other driveway so that I can take the sedan out so that I can drive inside the city
  4. Clean the sidewalk, which I have to do as a city law and also my kids would use that to go to school
  5. Clean the bus stop at the end of the sidewalk, so that people can use that stop
  6. Clean the patio snow, so that we can use the patio door to go out for fresh air
  7. Clean the extra two spot of my drive way so that the guests can park the car

 I had started first prioritizing the stories based on the business value, to be said in simplistic term, how fast can I take my car out of my garage and driveway and then make a way out from the house. Also, I have re-prioritized the stories while progressing through the backlog of stories. I had also dropped the story#5: cleaning the bus stop due to the fact that the cost is too high for the benefit. Also, the snow plower guy from the city always dump the snow on the stop, so there's no point of cleaning this hardest part without getting sustaining benefit.

I have tried the Agile snow cleaning just for fun but after doing that I found it's actually fun and beneficial. It was "beneficial" because I was seeing the value of my work quicker and it was "fun" because I didn't have time to be tired by thinking too much down the road as I was taking a small bite at a time

Disclaimer: I have written this short post in March, 2015 after the massive snow apocalypse but kept it in Draft status as I didn't think this as valuable but while reviewing it today, I changed my mind and decided to publish.

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