Everyone has one: a project that you have been putting off for weeks, even months. It’s just too abstract, too vague and therefore too intimidating. Until now. If you work according to this mini scrum, then you make every project tangible, specific, nice and practical. This way, you stop postponing and start executing! Get started.

You don’t postpone tasks because you find them difficult – but because of this

All sorts of things have been wrong with your website. For months now. 

Every time you visit it, you are reminded that you need to optimise the loading speed – and that cover photo could do with a refresh too. And every time you think:

“I really need to do something about that soon.”

Only to not do it. Because let’s face it: you’re busy enough as it is. You have invoices to pay, a report to review and a birthday present to buy. Optimising your website is something you can easily put aside. 

Not necessarily because you don’t feel like it or because it is difficult, but because it is abstract and vague. This makes a project not only complicated, but also intimidating.

Fortunately, the solution is simple:

You will have to make big projects manageable. Less intimidating. Less grand. Specific, please. Actionable. Taking the sting out of it. Whatever you want to call it: getting down to a project? Make it as small and specific as possible.

How? With a mini scrum!

In our book ‘Elke Dag om 15.00 Uur Klaar‘ you can read all about it. We tell you how to set up a project in a few simple steps; so you can finally get started and avoid procrastination. Now, especially for you, we dedicate an article to it. Meet Scrum:

In between

Do you want more of these tips and handy advice? Then follow us on Instagram. There, both Björn and Tijdwinst.com share the best tips with you in the field of time management and personal effectiveness.

Making projects less complex with a mini scrum (6 steps)

Scrum, you have probably heard of it. 

To cut a long story short, Scrum is a way of working. A workflow method that allows different teams or departments to work on a large project. Useful, in a certain setting, but also to get inspiration from. To make your own projects manageable, for example.

In a mini version, it helps you with the following three points:

  • You know what the project will look like when completed – in other words, you know what you want to achieve.
  • You know what actions are needed to achieve this result – in other words: you know what you are going to do.
  • You know how much time is needed to carry out the project – in other words: you know how long you will be working on it.

Three crucial questions you want answered. Which help you to tackle every project and make it feasible. That is what you use the mini scrum method for. And now you can do it yourself.

How does a mini scrum work? Björn Deusings, director and time management expert at Tijdwinst.com, explains it to you in this short video. Want to read the tips again? We wrote them down for you below the video (in Dutch only).

1. Determine the finished state

You can only work towards something when you know where the imaginary finish line is. Therefore, think about the desired end result of your project – what should be the specific outcome of your hard work? What is your goal?

Open the online form and describe the state of a successfully completed project.

2. Set the deadline

Very simple: when do you (or your boss or customer) want to have achieved this goal? That way you know the time you have to complete your actions. Be realistic. Don’t plan too tightly, but also don’t leave so much time in between that you start procrastinating.

Make a note of this in the online form.

3. Determine the actions

What steps do you need to take to reach this final goal? This is an important step. You can only start working on your project when you have completely broken it down.

So think about the specific actions you need to take to carry out this project. You do not have to consider the order yet, just write down what comes to mind. 

Bonus tip: make it extra clear by starting the sentence with a verb – one that describes the action.

4. Divide the steps into simple categories

The next step in the mini scrum is to determine in which category each step belongs. This way, you can plan the project better.

3 options to choose from:

  • Major action – actions that take longer than 30 minutes. Think of thoroughly reading a file
  • Minor action – actions that take less than 30 minutes. Think about paying that invoice
  • Waiting for – reminders to keep an eye on the actions of others. Think of a reminder for a quote you’re waiting for.
  • Discussion point – things you want to discuss or ask a particular person or group about later. Think of something you don’t want to forget to discuss with a colleague.

Now go back to the online form and decide what each action is. Do you have to do it? Wait for it? Discuss it perhaps? Indicate it.

5. Determine how long the task will take

As you know now, you often put things off because you don’t know how much time it will take. Therefore, you often prefer small, quick actions. However, if you know in advance how much time you will need, then the action – and thus the project – becomes less daunting. 

For each action, make an estimate of how much time it will take. Again, be realistic and do not plan too tightly.

6. Determine the order of actions

This part of the mini scrum is about determining the sequence – especially the first step. Making this specific will help you to get the project off the ground. 

So take the list out again and look at it critically. Often, the order in which you have written down the actions does not correspond to how you will carry them out in practice. Change this.

Indicate the order of the actions in the online form. Start with the step you need to take first to get this project up and running.

7. Determine who has the responsibility

In the last column, indicate who should perform the task or who you are waiting for if it is a ‘waiting for’ action. 

If you work in a team, then in the last step you determine who is responsible for an action. Indicate this directly in the last column so that everyone knows what is expected of him or her. An additional advantage: this way, everyone in the project has an overview of the process.

That is how you manage projects – with mini scrum

If you follow these 6 steps, you will end up with a nice overview – one where your project is specifically written in black and white. It is no longer vague, abstract, complicated or intimidating. On the contrary: you know now what end goal you want to achieve and what steps you have to take to get there. 

That is what this mini scrum did:

  1. It helped you define the finished state.
  2. Made you think about the deadline.
  3. Helped you think of specific actions.
  4. Break them down into clear categories.
  5. Made you think about the duration of an action.
  6. And put it in order so that you can start right away.

Nothing stands in the way of you tackling that big project you may have been dreading for months.

Read more?

Want to know more about managing big projects or finally getting around to jobs you’ve been putting off for ages? Then read on (Dutch only):

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