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  • Nancy Beers

Happy Scrum Master Booklist: When - by Daniel Pink

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

WHY YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY READ THIS BOOK! WHEN – The Scientific Secrets Perfect Timing – Daniel H. Pink

I'm a firm believer of sharing knowledge not only because it makes me happy but also because I'm convinced that by sharing knowledge, we all benefit. Play it forward, people! Thanks to the XTREM Reading method (read my blog about it here) , I've finally managed to get a handle on my 'must-read' book-pile and I thought it would be fun to share does books with you that I rated a 5/5.

One of these books is:

'WHEN - The Scientific Secrets Perfect Timing' by Daniel H. Pink.


Oh, and, that XTREM Reading method? Have you tried it yet? It's amazing! I'm such a fan!

But back to the book. Why should you read this book? Because it completely changed my daily routine. What the book taught me was that there actually is such a thing as perfect timing. How about that? Using a variety of examples based on scientific research, Daniel explains how we tend to completely overlook the importance of the actual moment in which something takes place, or in which you should be doing something, or in which you've achieved something. But it turns out that the impact of the right (or in many cases the wrong) moment can have humongous consequences. He demonstrates, for example, why it's possible for someone to start out with a disadvantage purely based on the particular moment in time in which they graduated and how it can take them years to overcome this disadvantage. Who'd have thought? He also explains that it might not have actually been my 'fault' when I didn't do as well on those exams as I, myself, and everyone around me had expected all those years ago... Daniel shows us how we could be more efficient with our time by being more aware of how we plan our day in an accessible and structured fashion. He also explains why progress in most projects isn't a linear process but that there's actually such a thing as a 'curve of endeavour' that's been scientifically proven. And why successful groups dynamics depend how well individual members are able to align their activities with each other.


By using the practical tips at the end of each chapter, I've restructured my workload and I'm more productive as a result. By taking into account when to do or plan certain tasks, I'm saving myself a lot of frustration. I've drastically altered my workday which allows me to plan various tasks and jobs in such a way that I'm able to do them during that period of the day when I'm actually in the right frame of mind for that particular task. But it also got me thinking about the way I organise my projects and about when it would be the right time for me to start a new project and do for example some writing for my blog. What would be the right moment to plan a brainstorm session? Is it that nice big empty timeslot in my calendar on Monday morning? Or would it be better to reschedule that meeting with my accountant on Wednesday afternoon? You've guessed it, reschedule my accountant! By thinking not only of how and why but also of when, I'm better able to remain in that productive and creative flow that allows me to bounce through life like a Happy Nancy and, for me, that's what life is all about. But this book has not only been useful to me personally. It has also been a real eye-opener when it comes to my work as a coach. I'm more aware of the way I plan my sessions and it has also changed the way I look at the group dynamics of the team I'm working with as Scrum Master. I've started some experiments to see if I can improve things by trying to answer questions such as: which chronotypes are part of my team? And what is the best moment to plan various sessions and Scrum ceremonies so they suit my team instead of purely looking for the first available timeslot in everybody's calendars. By reshuffling your planning to suit the needs of your team members instead of forcing your team members to comply with a schedule that prevents them from working at their best, you are also able to create that flow for your team too. It'll be a bit of a 'hassle' in the beginning, trying to figure out what works best but you'll definitely have a more productive team in the long run.

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