This year I am focusing on my work life balance. At one moment I was talking to a customer about project portfolio. While I was explaining why they needed it, I realized that I needed that also for my own life.

My creative mind invents new projects to start every free second. For a lot of these, I have find collaborators that help me to do the project. Last year my colleague Deborah told me that she toughed it was a bad idea to start yet another project. I was not ready for that message.

This year some of my the teams I’m working with, have a hard time stopping projects. Then it struck me. Start stopping projects is exactly what I should do.

There are multiple ways to stop a project.

* Finish it, in a way it goes into production, is the best way.

* Not starting (Saying no to) new projects is another way to keep my life into balance.

* On top of that, a project that is not working and dragging my time should be stopped.

A coaching talk with Johanna (from project portfolio fame) made me realize that it is hard for me to stop a project I believe in. Reflecting on the talk, I though of how Jerry Weinberg writes about writers block. If he is blocked on a book, he starts writing on what he has energy for. It felt totally logic for me when I read it. Until I have to tell people I failed at a certain project.

I know failing fast is good. Failing at a first iteration is good for the project. That does not mean it feels good.

My positive brain rephrases the experience as ‘It’s good as a coach to fail from time to time’ and my heart says damn you positive, it hurts and I need time to digest that pain.

I’m mad, sad, afraid that I failed at the first attempt to create an agile games book. Trying to release a version for agile games 2011 was a good learning experience. I learned an awful lot about myself. Learned about book writing, learned about distributed collaborative working and sustainable pace. The agile practice that is hardest for me.

So what is the future of the Agile Games books?

I will let the DropBox folder live. When I have energy I will add stuff to it. I hope other people will do the same. From time to time I will compile what I have in a PDF.



Ps Michael, Deborah I know you warned me for this. I am glad that I did not listen to you as I learned a lot. 😉


Update: I forgot to thank Jurgen De Smet for the perfect picture match

13 Responses to “Sustainable pace & failing in public…”

  1. Yves, so glad that you got the learning. There is so many exciting choices, it is hard to say no for me too.

    In the last 6 months I turned into a “Hell Ya!” guy ( This plus GTD and Pomodoro is working great for me.

  2. YvesHanoulle says:

    Hi Michael,

    I had no heard from “hell yeah”, but the idea is exactly why I stopped. I did not find many peopel who said “hell yeah”, and I lost my “hell yeah” for the project.

    We are again very much aligned…

  3. Corry says:

    Hi Yves
    I was motivated to work on this project. I “hell yeah”. I just didn’t come round to it because I didn’t really know where to start, what my contribution could be, where to find things, what the next step was, … Practical reasons – and I did not take to time to find out those things.
    I still want to work on this.

  4. Yves, you are not failing. You have successfully parked a project. You recognized you cannot do it *now*. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it later. It does mean that right now is not the best time to do it. That’s a great thing to know.

  5. yhanoulle says:

    Thanks Johanna. These are nice words.
    yet I disagree. I promissed to create a version of the book for Agile Games Boston 2011. I failed in that.

    I agree on the larger project of the agile games book, I parked it.

    I go crazy when I can not keep my commitments. So yes it is a failure right now. And it is ok. I feel bad, but failing is OK.

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