The Scrum Alliance hosted an interview series where they invited Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli to talk about Personal Agility and how people can apply this simple approach in their life to do more of What Really Matters. Here, Peter and Maria discuss how to resolve relationship conflict using powerful questions which are a core staple in Personal Agility.

Read the full article: https://resources.scrumalliance.org/Article/resolve-relationship-conflict-powerful-questions-agile-coaches

 

The Scrum Alliance hosted an at-home agility interview series where they invited Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli to talk about Personal Agility and how people can apply this simple approach in their life to do more of What Really Matters.

Watch the video interview: https://resources.scrumalliance.org/Video/high-impact-agile-practices-partnerships-families-friendships

Read the full article: https://resources.scrumalliance.org/Article/high-impact-agile-techniques-partnerships-friendships-families

 

Lyssa Adkins is best known as the author of the foundational book Coaching Agile Teams, which connected the Scrum Master role and Professional Coaching to give definition to the profession Agile Coach.

She co-founded the Agile Coaching Institute (ACI), which specialized in coaching agile coaches through their agile transformation. She led the development of the ACI until it was acquired by Accenture.

Challenge

Selling the company gave her a clean slate. “The key challenge I had around that time was how am I going to reorient myself and my business and even my public persona so that I can attract the business I wanted to attract, and so that I can do it in a way that didn’t sacrifice the sustainable pace I had very willingly and arduously crafted in my life?”

Desired Outcome

“I wanted clarity in how I spend my time, and to have more kindness to myself. I often didn’t count the things that were in the category of joy and play and family and community and alone time and recharging as valid or real. And I needed to.”

Result

“I definitely achieved that goal. One of my main categories under what really matters was called ample time. I wanted to have ample time to do everything I’m doing fully and well. I absolutely achieved that. Meanwhile, while the business piece was coming back up and getting reinvented, I found myself at the cusp of launching into new business ideas and new business ventures.”

“I had to constantly bring my attention to know relaxation is part of the job. Rejuvenation is part of the job; you’re actually doing tasks. You’re doing work by attending to your own foundation and the resilience that you will need in the future. This is what was going on in my head.”

“It took a long time to rewire the addiction to work, the addiction to achieving, and the addiction to saying yes to too many things (which meant I had to get them done). Getting past this addiction was a huge benefit. It took me a while to consistently direct my attention to what was really important.

That created a lot more happiness and joy in my own life, or maybe just helped me notice how much happiness and joy was already in my life.”

Tools

“Of all the tools of the Personal Agility System, what really stands out for me is the brilliant naming of the ‘Celebrate and Choose’ event.”

“I was on an addiction-to-work rollercoaster where I was moving from one thing to the next. And yes, I would have moments of recognizing my accomplishments or celebrating, but it was not a weekly ritual of celebrating what actually did happen.”

“Since I was tracking all this in my Priorities Map, I could clearly see what I accomplished.”

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh — I can’t believe I got that much done,’ even though I didn’t feel like I had been pushing myself. This new way of being was both more effective and more relaxed at the same time.”

“Personal Agility reminded me strongly that I do not celebrate enough. I wasn’t noticing enough what I accomplished or the gains I had made. I wasn’t giving myself any breaks or even trying to give myself a break. I had to rewire myself around the ritual of celebrating.”

“The ‘Celebrate and Choose’ event helped me recognize what actually did happen. Good, bad, or indifferent, it represents learning and I know I can choose differently next time. That was huge.”

Path to Success

“I think that the biggest thing about Agility itself is transparency.”

“That’s really it in a nutshell. When I get it all out on the Priorities Map — and I’m working my Priorities Map every single day — I’m seeing what’s going on and I’m seeing what I am not getting done. This allows me to be a more conscious choice maker. When I say I want something, and then notice that I’m making different choices, it’s easier to correct my choices toward what I want.”

“I am so aware that Personal Agility will continue to benefit me because it helps me ensure I have the right things on the calendar. My Priorities Map helps me do things completely and not overbook myself or go crazy with too much work in progress.”

Tips for your Journey

“I love the stories that we have heard from people pulling themselves out of desperate financial situations, to people getting in and out of business partnerships, and just making a lot of very declarative and meaningful changes in their lives.”

“Working with the Personal Agility Institute, I have really loved being involved with the groups that Maria Matarelli and I have led through the process. What I’ve learned is that everyone does it a little bit differently. And I love that. So I think to replicate my success, you just use the tools and follow along the process, and you’re going to do it your own way.”

“You will have different things that matter to you, you will have a different way that you’re charting your course across the ocean of your life, you will have different things that get in your way. My particular ways of getting in my own way will not be your particular ways. But all of this can be revealed and worked with in a really kind way.”

 

Janani Liyanage is an enterprise agile coach who is passionate about helping people embrace the agile mindset. “I want to support people on the road to their success.” Janani is married with an 8-year-old son and lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka. When she started with the Personal Agility System, she was working toward her certifications as a Scrum Trainer and Enterprise Coach. She wanted to connect her passion more with her profession. How could she feel that she is living her purpose every day?

Challenge

“As a person, I wanted to lead the life of a coach, not just do coaching. I wanted to know which opportunities would help me realize my purpose. I was doing too many things. It looked like many things were helping me achieve my purpose, but I wasn’t actually making any progress. I needed to do some filtering to focus on what really mattered.”

Desired Outcome

“I wanted to be my profession. To me, living the life of a coach means I want to lead an agile life. I want to share my inspiration with more and more people. An agile life for me means I want to do things that are meaningful and not always have to say, ‘I am too busy’. We are living in uncertain and chaotic times. I want to be able to stay calm and evaluate what really matters so I can do the right thing. I want to be open to new ideas and new opportunities. I want to get away from being perpetually busy.”

Result

“Initially, I was not able to accept that there was a problem. I would make excuses for why I wasn’t changing.”

“The first thing I achieved was awareness and acceptance. I became able to take accountability for my actions. I had to do some tough negotiations with various people in my life, like my family and my employer. It became much easier to have these crucial conversations.”

“Before, I was plagued by self-doubt and “inner chatter” that interfered with what I really wanted to achieve. Now I am able to act. I’m not sure if I can ever say that I have achieved an agile life, but I feel I am well on the path.”

Path to Success

Janani used the Celebrate and Choose Event, the PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, and the PAS Stakeholder Canvas.

“The Personal Agility System helped me build awareness and acceptance of myself. I could stop making excuses, face the challenges, and take action on the things that matter to me. Now it helps me to take the steps continuously. The next step is, I want to feel more accountable. The visualization of the PAS Priorities Map with the color codes helps me. Before, I needed someone else to appreciate my efforts. Now, with the Celebrate and Choose event, I realize it is more important to explain things to myself than to others. I can appreciate myself for the things that I did and have accountability for the things that I didn’t.”

 

Ben Sever is CEO of eRemede, the rapidly growing Health Tech company in Tampa, Florida. Their focus is enterprise level services that are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Challenge

The goal was to quickly establish the company as a player in a new line of business, despite the complexity and compliance requirements of health care solution. The whole team had already been through Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training and they were already working more productively thanks to the training.

“My biggest challenge was the inability to let go and delegate large projects and deliverables to others. As a CEO, I was underutilizing my team and taking on too much. I wasn’t effectively delegating to my leadership team which led to me not working at a sustainable pace.”

Desired Outcome

“I hoped that the Personal Agility System would assist our entire company in understanding both ourselves and interactions with each other. I wanted my executive team to thoroughly understand the Agile mindset because they were already receptive to the business application. They knew Scrum, they knew Agile, as a concept, but Personal Agility allowed them to embody, embrace, and live optimally. If achieved, the outcome would be an organic co-creation of self-organizing teams and optimized performance.”

Result

“We reached our desired valuation in half the time.”

— Ben Sever, CEO eRemede

“Our original roadmap was to be worth $35 Million by the end of 3 years. We shortened the timeline to reach our desired valuation in half the time.”

“I gained clarity from stepping back and shifting my focus from doing all the work myself to delegating and shifting to self-organizing teams, so instead of having just a patient engagement platform, we added two other enterprise platforms that allowed us to penetrate any vertical and expand our market reach on a global level.”

Path to Success

Ben took advantage of the full palette of the Personal Agility System, including What Really Matters, the PAS Forces Map, PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, Celebrate and Choose and hearing stories from other Personal Agility Recognized Practitioners.

“The Personal Agility System allowed me to better understand my executive team because we’re empowering each other’s personal lives. It’s helping us all to be able to motivate each other and understand each other.”

“When you actually understand what really matters to each other, by looking at each other’s Priorities Maps you can more effectively hold each other accountable to their goals in their overall life. We had visibility into each other’s Forces Maps where we could see what was important to each other. This process increased the effectiveness of how the leadership team set the tone for the entire organization in getting business results. Celebrating each other’s growth while reflecting on smaller wins allowed for clarity in necessary ongoing steps and actions for continuous improvement.”

“We don’t just use Agile in development and leadership; we truly integrate Agile in a holistic view from business to our personal lives. This accountability helped us achieve our priorities in our personal lives and in business.”

“Overall, the Personal Agility System helped us achieve a culture in which delegation and motivation are appropriately in alignment. At the end of the day, we connected with people’s true motivations which evolved into organic self-organization and increased efficiency. Personal Agility brought transparency to the surface which led to increased trust, which led to more effective delegation. As people felt trusted, they felt empowered and motivated. Personal Agility helped us create trust, empowerment, and alignment, which is the backbone of culture.”

“Coaching had a profound impact and was an essential element of our success. I believe It’s imperative for a leadership team to have a coach. It is a great way to strengthen accountability in the team. Thanks to our coach, people spoke up more authentically. Although we had worked together for years and I thought I knew them, I learned things I never knew about my leadership team and we as a team grew together.”

“Having a coach maximizes the output by keeping the conversation on topic and facilitating true collaboration. There is something in the visualization and simplification that makes complex new projects seem simpler and more doable. We could see that exponential improvement didn’t need exponential effort. The essential service of a coach is to ask the right questions. When the coach has experience with leaders in similar situations, their authenticity and relatability help maximize insights. Our coach ensured that our conversations covered what really mattered and created an environment where deep thinking was possible. We were able to generate new insights and genuine answers.”

And

“The Personal Agility System helped my leadership team and I get visibility into each other’s lives and what was important to us, which helped us become even more connected as a team in all facets of our lives. I thought they were already rock stars, but it gave me the confidence as the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company to begin to effectively delegate so that my team could grow as autonomous leaders and the company could scale. By doing this, it freed me up from doing extensive operational execution so that I could be able to focus more on the vision and strategy with my advisory board. In that step alone, we were able to go from one flagship product offering to three which tripled our total addressable market.”

“As a culture-centric transparent CEO, I would recommend making Personal Agility mandatory as a part of the onboarding and business formation process, so that understanding people is the baseline and foundation of your teams.”

“I do believe that if we had learned Personal Agility sooner at the beginning of our Agile journey, this road toward exit would have been smoother. Personal Agility builds trust beyond what’s tangible so when you have to make tough decisions and innovative pivots, the foundation of trust minimizes disruption and enables self-organization around the change in direction. It enables increased accountability and ownership through delegation. When your culture is connected through shared trust, the roadmap to output will be smoother. We have a track record of operational efficiency, but to be able to pivot and shift seamlessly is where Personal Agility becomes essential.”

“I recommend other CEOs do Personal Agility with their executive team and maximize their insights by working with a coach to create cohesive alignment between personal and professional goals. This approach will ensure that leaders will have ongoing actionable realizations the way our team did that leads to true continuous improvement.”

“As our team grew and our clientele became Enterprise, we realized that it was essential to better understand our people. When leaders take the time to reflect on what really matters and take the time to understand the motivation of the people they work with every day, they are able to optimize the individual connections that lead to increased alignment.”

“When we first started, our success was reliant on the value of our product, however as we began to grow, the value of our people became equally as important to our focus on the value of the product.”

“If you’re asking people to execute critical tasks that affect business and culture, but you’ve only shown them the business application of Agile, you haven’t yet fully holistically empowered the person, you only gave them 50% to do the job. You didn’t hire a business to work in your business, you hired a person to work in your business. Therefore, the strategy I chose to empower every person on my team was through the Personal Agility System.”

“When you choose to go beyond developing a person’s performance in business to include the overall quality of their personal life, it becomes true optimization because a person is at work only one third of their day. You’ve got two thirds of other variables impacting their mood and productivity when they come into work. It’s a leader’s responsibility to enlighten people and show them that their personal wellbeing is a direct catalyst to their professional happiness and growth. It’s imperative to empower both if you want an ideal culture.”

Excerpted from Personal Agility, by Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli.

 

In April 2019, Tuhan Sapumanage from Colombo, Sri Lanka was a last-year student at Coventry University (UK), working towards his BSc (Hons) Computing. He was also working as Operations Coordinator at TAC (the largest Social Media Marketing Company in Sri Lanka) and was President-Elect of the Colombo Gavel Club.

He had a lot of plates on his table. There was his degree, his job and his duties with Gavel Club, and a few other things. So he had a high workload and a lot of things to keep track of.

Tuhan explained his goals: “I wanted to systematically allocate my time to each of my duties. Not to give too much time to the wrong aspect. “

“Despite my high workload, I wanted to have time for family, friends and recreation.”

— Tuhan Sapumanage

“I was thrilled by the results. I was able to master my time management problem. Late in 2019, I was appointed Secretary of the All Island Gavel Community. I was able to discover a new passion which is to be an event-host compere (MC) as a hobby.

Cultivating my relationships with friends led to my becoming a recurring guest speaker for a national TV program aimed at giving the youth the opportunity to voice their opinions. And I successfully completed the Bachelors with a first class (with honors) and completed CIMA Mgt Level. Personal Agility also helped me to understand the Agile Module during university.”

The Personal Agility tools that Tuhan used included the 6 Questions of PAS, the concept of What Really Matters (WRM), the Celebrate and Choose Event, the PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, and the PAS Stakeholder Canvas.

Tuhan felt the “Celebrate and Choose” event was the single most important element.

“The Personal Agility System helped me to manage time, or better, helped me to manage myself to use the time available. Rather than get stressed out, I could appreciate what I did. I could take a break without feeling guilty about it. PAS helped me to identify the people who could help me achieve my goals. Asking the right people gave me an inside understanding and support for my future job application. This would not have happened if I hadn’t been using the PAS Stakeholder Canvas.

‘What Really Matters’ helped me establish my personal brand. By knowing WRM, this helped me to avoid chasing distractions.”

 

Many of us have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Why do people stay in that situation. Often because they feel trapped. Like many of the people featured in our case studies, Hugo Lourenco discovered how to say no to things that cost time but did not bring value or happiness.

Hugo is an entrepreneur based in Lisbon, Portugal who owns a consultancy and several other businesses. He wanted to kick off a new generation of products and services for his customers.

Portrait of Hugo Lourenco 300x272
Hugo Lourenco, Entrepreneur, Lisbon, Portugal

“I was working for, or rather involved in, seven organizations. I was working like crazy, but not getting a valuable return on the time that I was investing. I was too busy working to achieve my long-term goals. The problem was that I had to recover from a previous business failure, support my family and reinvent the business. I felt a strong need to accept every paying gig I was offered, regardless of whether it was profitable or serving my long-term interests. I couldn’t bring myself to say no.”

“I wanted to concentrate my efforts on things that matter, have more income and have more focus. Ultimately, I wanted to do things that would put our work and Portugal on the map. I knew I had a lot going on and needed better concentration, and to get more control of my life. I was just working, not enjoying things. I really needed to be able to say no, despite the risks involved, so I could be successful.”

“I started saying no, to myself first, then politely getting myself away from those activities that consumed so much time without bringing any joy. I have more perspective and can make better decisions. I am working smarter, not harder.”

Today, in addition to running his businesses, Hugo is the President of the World Agility Forum and the Experience Agile Conference, two of the most prestigious global conferences in Europe.

“‘What really matters’ helped me find my balance.”

— Hugo Lourenco

“What Really Matters (WRM) played a key role. If I know why I am doing it, I can justify it, even if there are risks involved. Today, I use the PAS Priorities Map every day, as does our staff, so that we all stay focused on What Really Matters.”

“I looked at the organizations I was working with, how much time I spent with them and how much I earned. WRM gave me focus on the 7 organizations I was involved with. Some of them were good for me, others less so. I never prioritized myself, never prioritized quality time. It’s kind of normal for me as an ex-military officer. We live to serve others. But in your own life, that approach can be self-destructive. WRM helped me find my balance.”

The next level – Managing Stakeholders

Seven months after starting with the Personal Agility System, Hugo had shed many non-productive activities, and had taken an engagement as an external Agile Coach and Project Leader for a large consulting company.

“I was taking over the leadership of a project that was to deliver a solution to the customers of my client. The situation was challenging, because there was the client, and the client’s clients, each with their own set of stakeholders and potentially conflicting interests. How do you work with stakeholders in such a complex environment?”

“I needed to figure out what the customers were really looking for. I had a client who wanted to use agile practices for a project for their customers, but the situation was very complex. I wanted to build trust and alignment. The idea was to understand the situation, the stakeholders, and the real issues so I could build trust and the stakeholders would understand what we are trying to achieve.”

“I interviewed all my key stakeholders, both at my client and at their customers, using the PAS Stakeholder Canvas to understand the situation.

“During the conversations, the questions of the stakeholder canvas triggered strong feelings of happiness in people. They told me, ‘I have worked on several projects, but no one has ever asked me about success or failure.’ I was alone with the people, I took time with them, which people don’t usually do. People almost had tears in their eyes, because people never seem to care about them or their contribution. No one in the company had done this before.”

“By the content of the answers, I was also able to identify which people belonged in the project, but also who shouldn’t belong in the project. Some people would take an open-ended question and turn it into a closed-ended question. It became clear that some people just didn’t have a clue.”

“I engaged with and energized the people who belong in the project.”

“I was able to build a good relationship with my client. I was also able to identify who would be a good contributor to the project. Most importantly, I could identify the existential risks to the project.”

 

“I needed to change basic things fast to save the company.”
— Walter Stulzer

Walter Stulzer is the executive director of Futureworks, a creative consultancy in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2017, his company was no longer profitable. “We had liquidity problems, that is we were close to having no money in the bank account. We were about to run into a wall. Without changing things rapidly, bankruptcy was inevitable. I needed to change basic things fast to save the company.”

“The timeframe I gave the team was a year, but we needed to make the turnaround in 6 months. Our Vision was that we are a company focused on bringing value to our customers. People should know why they come to work every morning. Everything they do should produce value for the customer. Obviously, we also wanted to be profitable again, but profitability is a result, an outcome, not the goal of what we do.”

“We did not go bankrupt. People now know why they come to work, we produce value for our customers, and we are profitable. We did have a loss in the first year, but it was a loss that we could afford, and the following year, we were profitable. I considered profitability to be my challenge, not the company’s. I kept the bad news to myself, so people could focus on the right things and not act like ‘a deer in front of the headlights.’

“People know why they come to work every morning. We had lost 41 people in two years and had hired as many. Since then, we have had 2 exits per year, and even these were ‘good’ separations. No one is talking badly about the company.”

In the second year, we were able to fix the problem of delivering value. Previously, we thought we knew what the customer valued, but the customer didn’t always agree. We were able to address this in the second year.

“Without Personal Agility, I wouldn’t have done this.”

— Walter Stulzer

“We had half a year to avoid bankruptcy. The first year was for people to feel secure that they bring value to the customer. The second year was about bringing actual value to the customer, which improved our profitability.”

The Personal Agility tools that Walter used included the 6 Questions of PAS, the concept of What Really Matters (WRM), the PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, and the PAS Stakeholder Canvas. His company also used Scrum to organize and coordinate the work of the leadership team.

The Personal Agility System helps to prioritize and focus. Walter explains, “In a challenging situation, there are so many things you could do. The trick is to do the right thing, but you don’t know in the forefront what the right thing is. So the system helped me make educated guesses about what to do next. Then you do something, you probe and sense to see what happened. The next step is to learn, that is to inspect and adapt. Even if what you did was the wrong thing, you can learn quickly, and the damage from one misstep step is limited. So you have the possibility to reorder, re-prioritize and make a better guess next time.”

For Walter, the most important thing is to “finish every week with satisfaction and to start each week with confidence. This is number one on my What Really Matters column on my Priorities Map.”

Furthermore, Walter’s company uses the Stakeholder Canvas to understand their customers. “We used this as an analysis tool rather than an interview template. This helped me and my team understand what motivates our customers.”

 

Since Maria Matarelli and Peter Stevens started sharing the Personal Agility System, real people from all walks of life have been transforming their lives for the better, both personally and professionally.

When we set out to write Chapter 6, “Case Studies,” we had an idea what we would find, but even we were surprised by the powerful stories we uncovered. One early adopter never believed she could run her own business. Thanks to the Personal Agility System, and some help from her coach, she discovered that she could! She is now so happy by the changes she made in her life. She can pursue her dream in a way she never really thought possible. Another, a successful entrepreneur, was able to unblock his leadership team, expand the potential of his company and get his life back. Work-life balance is not either-or, but rather both-and!

With this post, we are starting to share the case studies that will make up Chapter 6. Let’s start with Shweta Jaiswal. Shweta is the owner of her own startup company in Gurgaon, India where she is an agile consultant and coach. Shweta is also passionate about traveling.

In 2018, Shweta quit her job of 15 years to start her firm. “I thought being my own boss would make my life easier. I was confronted with many different activities, product marketing, website creation, accounting, etc… I had too much to do. It was overwhelming and it was impacting my personal life. I didn’t have time for my kids. Everything seemed very important, but I was not able to get closure on things. The company was not growing and I was not getting any return on my investment. I was wondering whether quitting my job was the right decision.”

“I wanted to be more organized and able to prioritize my work. I wanted to strike a better work life balance and bring my level of stress down. I wanted the company to be more successful.”

“I started feeling that my life was getting sorted out. I was feeling organized and structured. My life no longer felt like a messy picture. Learning to prioritize helped me a long way. The Personal Agility approach became my lifestyle. I don’t have to put any extra effort into doing it. It’s just part of the flow. I automatically reflect on whether something is important or not. I became a better decision-maker.”

“The company is going well. In one year, I have established a good client base. My company has opened the world for me. It is not just training and consulting, we are expanding into workshops, one-to-one coaching, and cultural transformations. The more you feel sorted, the more you can start growing into other areas. So I can now hire people to help. People want to work with me because they know they will grow with me.”

The Personal Agility tools that Shweta used included the 6 Questions of PAS, Celebrate and Choose Event, knowing What Really Matters (WRM), the PAS Priorities Map and the PAS Breadcrumb Trail.

“The Personal Agility System brought in a new discipline to my life. I used the PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail to gain clarity. I don’t miss important things. The Breadcrumb trail helps me with reflection and retrospection, so I can see what I have done and can ask myself what I could do better. It helps me not to miss important work, whether personal or professional. I update it every week and look at it every night to see that I did what I intended to do.”

“On Fridays, I look at my PAS Priorities Map and really feel a sense of accomplishment for what I have done (and it is really motivating). Every two months or so, I reward myself with a short vacation because I have usually accomplished so much more than I thought I could. A sense of achievement gives you happiness.”

 

When Maria Matarelli and Peter Stevens started to collaborate on Personal Agility, they did market research to find out what people wanted from a better way of organizing work. Especially from companies, they heard “Perform with Precision,” that is, people need to get done what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it. Today’s case examines how The Personal Agility System fulfills that promise.

“The first customer call ruins your plan for the day!”

— Larry Pakieser

Larry Pakieser has been an Independent Contractor based in Denver, Colorado since 2016. Prior to that, he worked over 40 years in commercial service companies, focused on operations. Everything from commercial services and fire system installation to IT Services.

“My current problem is getting things done, and getting them done on time whether for personal, professional or client projects. All my previous attempts were based on managing time. The nature of the services business: you come into the office and the first customer call ruins your plan for the day. As a service provider, you are focused on what matters to other people, not on what matters to you.”

“I don’t like unfinished work. Most of my projects were not finishing or not finished on time. I wanted a system that is simple and robust in guiding me to delivering results ≥ 90% on-time. I wanted to select clients with projects that align to my “what really matters” and with clients who hold values that are compatible with mine.”

I’m in the 75-100% range for timely completions over the last 4 weeks. That’s up from my 2020 First Quarter average of only 24% completion. I’ve already walked away from one potential client because there was no clarity and a huge values mismatch.”

“Equally important, I’ve turned the page and opened up a whole new way to manage myself towards what really matters for me. I have applied various time management techniques since 1993. I’ve tried them all and I have a slew of documents to show how intense and clever I’ve been about trying to get a system in place. Not one of those efforts turned out to be sustainable.”

Since engaging PAS, I have an emerging management system that is better than anything I have encountered. The big difference is I used to manage time, whereas now I manage my work. I can decide which tasks to do now, which to do later, and which not to do at all. With PAS, I am producing completed results at an unprecedented rate and I’m having fun.”

“I started out using the PAS Stakeholder Interview Canvas to qualify projects by talking to the project sponsor and evaluating their clarity. I quickly realized that using the canvas allowed me to go very deep, very quickly—to the point where I could sense their clarity and conviction the more they talked. It allows me to just guide the conversation.”

“The PAS Stakeholder Interview Canvas is adaptable to individuals and their personal or professional initiatives. The magic comes from getting people to think deeply about their challenges. Looking at the transcripts, I can see interconnections that the customer is not aware of.”

“What Really Matters is simply brilliant. It is simple and robust. I get instant clarity when I ask myself the question: If this activity doesn’t add to what really matters for this day, week or month—why am I doing it?”

Excerpted from Personal Agility, by Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli.