Agile: A medicine for a healthy life.

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We heard a lot about Agile methodology that agile is good for fast process deliverables, valuable products, and many more things. As I’m new to agile and when my senior colleagues told me about agile, then all of sudden a thing hit my mind: Agile can also help us to live a healthy life.

Well, before getting deep into the statement “Agile: A Medicine For A Healthy Life” let’s focus on what’s wrong with us nowadays and how Agile can help us. And how working remotely affects our health and fitness.

Well, First of all, I would like to divide Human health into two phases :

  1. Physical Fitness.
  2. Mental Fitness.

        So, If we can see before Co-vid we all go to our offices on daily basis we all have things to do on time or you can say that we all have a proper time table which we follow on daily basis like to get up at 7 do some workout or at least we can go on a walk, then come back to home prepare our lunch boxes and go to offices. 

And in offices, we do daily stand-ups by standing in front of each other and discussing our tasks what did we do yesterday?

What we will be doing today? And, 

Are there any impediments in our way to achieving our goal? 

We have our colleagues too, for discussing various things even in offices we used to take tea or coffee breaks and have some chit chats with our colleagues. And these things keep us healthy.

I know when we were in the offices we have our colleagues with us and now we are having our families with us But we all know that colleagues have their place and family has their own. The things which can be solved by our colleagues or project mates can not be solved by our family members and vice versa. 

But right now we are working remotely and we all have very few things to do. Or we can say that we all have become lazy/procrastinated these days. No matter how much we refuse, internally we all know – That we become lazy. Now, our morning routine is completely changed. We wake up late in the mornings and only freshen up ourselves, & At last, we sit in front of our laptops turn them on and start doing our office work till the end of the day. And in the evening we have lots of things which keep running in our mind, having lots of tension and anxiety for our office work and we have nobody to discuss these things because family members didn’t understand what is happening in our offices. 

All these things keep making our body as well as our mind more disease prone and our immunity keeps decreasing.  

So this is the time we all have to do something for ourselves, this is the time to bring positivity in ourselves, we have to overcome and to deal with all these things the Methodology – Agile can help us with its Principle and with the working way of agile team members.

We all know that we have “Daily stand-ups” in Agile methodology. As I say before that when we have our offices to go there on daily basis to do our work. We do our stand-ups by stand-in in front of each other. The Same thing we can still do, we can stand in front of our laptops turning our cameras on and do a proper stand up which we used to do in our offices. This will be helpful for our physical fitness. 

 We all have time but aren’t spending it in the right manner.

We all use social media right, and we all see celebrities, influencers, and bloggers. They are way too physically fit. And then we think why we aren’t like them. BCS they people spent hours making themself look like this. I’m not saying that we all have to look like them but for ourselves, for our health, for our body, we should spend some time in physical activities as in the graph which I shared with you above you can see that how much our physical activities get reduced. And AGILE provide us this opportunity. When we are looking/reviewing into our Jira board or comments we can engage ourselves in some cardio activity side by side or we can just simply climb the staircase again and again.  

Well, We’re not that busy, It’s just a matter of priority.

And right now we make our work a priority not our health. But A principle of Agile is – “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
And we all know that we feel motivated when we have positivity in our mind so, we all try to support and trust each other at this phase we all need a positive environment because currently, a lot is happening in the world. And now we do not have our coffee or tea breaks as we were having. So, we all can schedule a time or we all can make a social hour in a day where we all catch up together and have some fun. Also, what we can do is we can turn our cameras on and can have tea/coffee breaks virtually. And we can talk to each other for having some mental relief. A time when we all forget about our work tension or a high-priority task that needs to be finished. So, that we can feel positivity around us and can feel motivated.

For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned. And to earn that hour we all have to spend some time on ourselves.

A principle of Agile also says – “ The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.”  And we all become self-organized when our minds are stress-free and tension-free. To make ourselves more organized we need to be more disciplined and to make ourselves more disciplined we have to keep our minds calm and peaceful. And when we are completely organized so, things become easier and we can concentrate more on our work. To get disciplined and to become self-organized in life we can do “meditation” on daily basis. And for tracking this we can prepare our OKRs and update them on weekly basis. Also, to keep our mind more calm and relaxed we can have a toy at our workstation – like a desktop punching ball or magnetic decision-maker. This will improve our mental health and make us more organized.

And now let’s consider an environment where organizations are not using Agile methodology. Suppose someone has an issue with a task it might be because he lacks the technical ability or domain functionality. But he doesn’t have any platform to raise his concern and get help. We’re all humans and we all have this tendency to hide our shortfalls. So, he just keeps on investing more time without finding any solution. This can happen to anyone whether he is a tester, developer, manager, or he/she is in his early stage of the carrier or later stage of the carrier. And this creates a catastrophic level of escalation for the project. And also cause high mental stress and many sleepless nights.

Here Agile can help us with another principle which says – “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.” So, here the coworkers can help each other when someone is sharing their impediment during a daily stand-up meeting where everyone shares their statuses. This will be helpful to solve the problems in their initial phase. And this will reduce mental stress and anxiety. 

We can also use Agile in our day-to-day life. As we know that in agile we create a board where we put :

What do we need to do?

What’s in progress? And,

What’s completed?

Similarly, if we create our tasks list for every day, in advance that would be helpful for us. As this will make things more clear and visible to us. We do not need to re-think again and again what’s the next thing which we have to do also this will help us to set the priority of our tasks. And provide us mental relief.

There is also a thing that keeps hitting in my mind and would like to share it with you all.

Nowadays, we all have to develop and improve our skills but in today’s environment because of the work pressure so, we aren’t able to spend time on improving ourselves. Because of this, we found ourselves stagnating to a point. And this could lead us to further frustration and stress. Here Agile also can help us via its “Retrospection”. As this is the part of agile where we discuss the last sprint (which we completed recently) in form of the three main questions : 

What went well throughout the sprint?

What didn’t go well throughout the sprint? And,

What still puzzling us? 

So, here every member of the team is gathering and discussing openly these points. This will help to improve the overall quality of the product itself and everyone will get feedback on their shortcomings. And from further sprints, we try to improve ourselves in the field of our work and skills.

We are always more satisfied by human interaction than a digital connection. 

I’m saying this because not only I’m saying this The Agile also, says the same “Individuals and interaction over processes and tools”.

Let’s consider a situation, One employee of the project is stuck somewhere and found an impediment while working and he just keeps working and trying to solve that impediment which he’s facing by using different tools or by applying different processes however they all aren’t working because maybe there was some other way to solve that particular impediment, and he wasn’t aware of this. And after trying so many times – He becomes frustrated and gets tense at the same time, and this will cause hypertension sometimes and can lead to depression. As we all know little things cause blunders. And if in that project we use Agile so, these kinds of issues never appear in front of us. Because in Agile we have people with whom we can talk, whom we can share our issues/impediments on daily basis. That’s why Agile says: “Individuals and interaction over processes and tools”.

Conclusion

At last, I would like to say that Agile is a better way to improve ourselves mentally and physically. As I shared my points with you that there are many principles of agile that focus on our health. We all say that Agile is just a methodology but when we think more about agile than we can find out that this is not only helping us in our work but also helping us in our personal life in improving ourselves and tends to live a healthy life. So, Don’t you think that this is the time we all need to do something regarding our health?, We all need to change our lifestyle? As a proverb says: It’s never too late to start. So, if we start it by today it’s not that late.