Focused learning, the Agile inspired way

For a few years, I’m working in Agile environments, some more than the other. But the most of the are using the Agile principle’s to optimize the way they work.

A few weeks ago I started thinking of learning new things (coding, design, photography etc.) with these principles in mind.

In this blog, I just want to share that idea with you. I’m not gonna explain all the principle’s to you but will take a few to help you create a focused learning process.

Create a learning-backlog

Before you start learning new stuff, please write down in a list what you want to learn. I would suggest making a list of 10 things (or less) you want to learn.

This is gonna be your learning-backlog! In the Scrum teams I’ve worked with, the backlogs were sometimes massive. But I would advise don’t make it to big, it’s gonna distract you!

The items you put on your backlog can be anything you want to learn! It is totally up to you.

2 weeks sprints

Let’s say you want to learn more about a topic in JavaScript. For example, “how does a Promise works in JavaScript”. (sorry for the non-developers, I picked a JavaScript topic, but please follow the idea I’m going through)

So the coming 2 weeks I’m gonna focus on how a promise works in JavaScript.

Why 2 weeks, you said? Well, learning can be endless. And by saying this coming 2 weeks I’m gonna focus on the Promise in JavaScript, you have a fixed period to dive in. So it’s gonna give you focus!

Learning story

After a sprint, you want to make sure you learned everything you had thought on. Before you start with your topic, formulate a learning story (in scrum it is a user story).

An example can be: “As a developer, I want to learn how to use the Promise in JavaScript, so I can use it in my recent project”.

Like this example, you can formulate your own learning story!

Retrospective

After you finished your sprint and learned all the things you had in mind, you can do a retrospective. In this retro, you can go through your story and check if you have gained all the knowledge you wanted.

Analyze if there were things you could do better or things you should stop within your learning process.

I hope you’re gonna discover things you didn’t know to optimize your learning process.

This step is also gonna help you create more learning stories for later in your process of learning new things!

Never stop learning

This process can be used for anything you want to learn! So I hope this is gonna help you give focus, by learning new things!

My message to you and my future me, “Never stop learning”!

If you have any thought or comments about my vision on learning new stuff, please share it in the comments!