Every species on Earth grows in the Fibonacci sequence. Deemed the “blueprint of creation”, seashells, flowers, insects, and mammals all grow and develop in patterns around this golden sequence of integers and ratios. But you’re probably wondering what that has to do with you – and your growth…
The answer is – everything! The Fibonacci sequence for planning and understanding complexity has been leveraged by engineering and design thinking based teams for decades. One of my pivotal pieces of learning – Fibonacci based estimation – is the key to breaking down your goals and actually achieving them without burn out, fatigue, or underestimating the effort and underdelivering after overpromising.
HINT: We want to do the opposite of that last line.
This process is not my own. It is one that I’ve used in every engineering and product development organization that I’ve worked in and I’ve seen it work time and time again. In the world of Agile Scrum, this method is the thermometer with which you measure an effort’s complexity, rather than time. In measuring complexity – a metric gauged by difficulty of completion, volume of unknowns about the piece of work, and interdependence on others – one can really understand how much they can accomplish. This metric is derived from using the Fibonacci sequence 1,3,5,8,13…. to estimate each sliver of work towards a strategic goal. By completing slivers throughout a set timespan, you can understand your daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly throughput.
In understanding that, you are then able to set better, more realistic goals for yourself and sliver projects and tasks into accomplishable pieces. Often times it is human nature to get discouraged by what we perceive to be “spinning our wheels”. If we don’t see progress, we lose heart about a particular goal or outcome. In order to continue growing we must be inspired, and to be inspired we must see fruits for our labor. Organizing and structuring your efforts to actually catalyze forward movement is key.