Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

Personal Agility

Its been a while since I’ve posted – many reasons, mostly excuses and of course the big one, as always, time.

I have been inspired by Maritza to plan a project in my life using agile techniques and blog about it.


My BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) is to: Be Fit and Slim

See how nice and airy and fairy that is? No clear definition just a fluffy ideal 🙂 And like so many projects out there it has a deadline: February 2013.

I will wear short shorts

Now all projects should be explained using their “WHY?”. I am getting married next year in March, but more importantly the honeymoon is to be on a sun kissed beach somewhere. I want to be feeling fit and energetic and looking good in a bikini by then.

As good agilists know, we should ask “why?” a few times … Currently I am feeling fat and lazy. I weigh the most I ever have. I dont fit into the vast majority of my clothes. Yes I’m exercising: gym with trainer twice a week, running twice a week – but really I use that as an excuse to eat what ever I want. Also, I’m smoking again. I know. Believe me I KNOW.

screming at the scale

The Plan

To try something to help with the diet and exercise for one month, inspect and adapt, and also think about the weather in the next month and its effect on exercise (we are heading into winter here).


We will sprint for 1 week, starting on a Sunday. On the Sunday we will plan in detail for the following week.

This includes:

  • coming up with a menu for the next week – when you pre-plan meals you are less likely to stray
  • take into account socializing with friends, eating out etc.
  • buying all food needed for the menu
  • planning the weeks exercise – take into account business trips, weather impact, races etc


We have no idea of what we can achieve realistically, so for the first sprint we are just going to aim high and use the results to plan better next week.


Every Sunday morning we will have a review. This will include measurements, reflect on progress of week – what did we achieve, what was easy, what was hard, where did we slack off.


Every Sunday after the review we will look at our process and adapt it. What did we learn from the review, what else did we notice, what were our moods like.


Every day in the evening we will discuss and plan for the next day. This might include laying out clothes and setting alarms for early morning gym sessions, preparing breakfast and lunches etc.


On the wall in our passage I have put up:

  • Notes for the diet – this would be similar to best practices for a dev team.
  • Weekly meal plan
  • Weekly exercise plan


We have a burndown chart for our weight, but I think we need a way to measure fitness as well. Thinking of having a fitness test once a month, something like: number of pushups in 1 minute, number of sit-ups in 1 minute, time for a 1.5 km run.

Keep Calm

I would love to hear your thoughts … today is day 1 and I must say I am feeling apprehensive. VERY.

This site makes me smile and feel positive though – I must remember to look at it often!


7 responses to “Personal Agility

  1. Maritza van den Heuvel May 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Good for you! I think you’ll soon find that taking an inspect-and-adapt approach, rather than saying “I will lose 10 kg in 2 months” is a much healthier and more realistic way to go. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip and fall a few times, especially in the beginning. Just get up, and keep going, and try something different.

    I think your fitness test is a good idea, too. But consider doing it more regularly. When it comes to fitness, a month is a long feedback loop. If you don’t exercise for 2 weeks, your body already loses tone and stamina noticeably. A simple quick fitness test like number of pushups and situps in 1 minute, run once a week, gives feedback early, and helps to keep you honest. Then you can do the 2 km or 5 km run once a month.

    And thanks for posting TODAY. I didn’t train this weekend …

    • sam May 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for the comment 🙂 I expect to fail a few times. Trick being to dust myself off and get back on track without doing too much damage.
      I agree with the fitness test. Will try doing the situp and pushup test once a week and the timed run once a month.
      Cant believe you didn’t go for run this weekend – weather was lovely and dry.

  2. Chani Macauley May 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Wow! Good luck.

    Join TLC – they have a great food plan worked out according to your blood type, sugar etc… they also do blood tests that gives insight into other health issues that you might not know. Eg. I discovered cholesterol was 5.8 last year. Was shocked. I lost 8kg’s in 9 weeks and with a weekly weigh in it was sure to keep me disciplined.

    All the best.

  3. Joel Oosthuizen (@joeloost) May 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Good on you for recognizing the problem/s and making corrective action plans! Big up for using a personal agile approach. And don’t be too hard on yourself, we all have very similar things that we must fix ;=@

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