As an agile practitioner, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my skills and knowledge to be effective in my role. One of the approaches that I’ve found to be useful is to create a personal development backlog. This backlog helps me keep track of what I want to learn, what skills I want to develop, and what knowledge I want to acquire.
But, this approach isn’t just limited to work-related skills. I’ve found it to be useful in my personal life as well. For example, I’m an avid cook, and I’m always looking for ways to improve my culinary skills. Therefore, my personal development backlog includes my cooking skills too. Read on to find out just how I make that work.
Here are some of the steps that I take when using a personal development backlog:
- Identify the areas where you want to improve
The first step is to identify what areas you want to improve. This could be anything from work-related skills to personal hobbies. Once you have identified the areas, write them down in your personal development backlog.
For example, my personal development backlog for cooking includes the following items:
- Learn how to make homemade pasta
- Improve my knife skills
- Experiment with new flavour combinations
- Research and plan your experiments
The next step is to research and plan your experiments. This could involve reading books, watching videos, attending classes, or even just trying out new things.
For example, to learn how to make homemade pasta, I watched several YouTube videos and read some articles on the topic. I then planned my experiment by setting aside an entire afternoon to make pasta from scratch.
- Conduct your experiments
Once you have planned your experiments, it’s time to conduct them. This could involve practicing a new skill, trying out a new recipe, or even just experimenting with a new approach.
For example, when I was experimenting with new flavor combinations, I tried adding unexpected ingredients to some of my favorite dishes. Some experiments were a hit, and some were a miss, but I learned a lot along the way.
- Reflect and improve
The final step is to reflect on your experiments and improve your skills and knowledge. This could involve tweaking your approach, trying new experiments, or even just continuing to practice.
For example, after making homemade pasta for the first time, I reflected on the process and realized that I needed to work on my technique. So, I watched more videos and tried making pasta a few more times until I felt more confident in my skills.
Go ahead and get started
Creating a personal development backlog has been a useful approach for me to learn and improve in both my personal and professional life. By identifying what I want to learn or improve, researching and planning experiments based on my backlog, conducting the experiments, and regularly reflecting and improving based on what I discover, I can develop my skills and become a better at my work, at cooking, and really a better person overall. So, go ahead, give it a try, and see where it takes you!
Want some advice to get started? Feel free to drop me a line and I’d be happy to share some advice