Monthly Archives: July 2017

Contributing to Mekon’s Bitesize on Business Rules – 10: The S1000D community is a big family – an S1000D project is a big family too

When I gave my presentation at the S1000D User Forum in Amsterdam in June this year, with the title “How to Accelerate S1000D Implementation by Slowing Down”, I have mentioned that users working with it sometimes complain about too many players in an S1000D project. I then named several of the many different roles involved in or related to a project implementing S1000D.

This statement was met with nods during the presentation. Later at the coffee break, several participants at the forum stressed how true this statement was and how this fact was sometimes forgotten, ignored, or even that many in a department or organization implementing S1000D were simply not aware of that.

This recent memory of discussions at the forum moved me to write a short article for the Mekon‘s Bitesize on Business Rules series to point this out again and also explain why knowing who is involved in the S1000D implementation process (even if remotely) is so important, also for business rules definition.

Click the title of the article to find out more: “The S1000D community is a big family – an S1000D project is a big family too.”

(Credits: Photograph © under the keyword “family”)

P.S. These two books were displayed at the User Forum (click on the image to check out the book details):

Importance of Having a Good Overview in a Game – Lesson Learned during the June Round of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game (as well as Plans for July)

Another month of open gamification of my life went by. I’ve played and learned a lot during this past month. Some projects in June (see the list below) were concrete projects, but many were generic activities. I found it sometimes challenging to distinguish among what I did during the day and attribute that to one or another activity taken into the game. For example, I found that some tasks could be assigned both to “Book marketing” and “Pitching new projects.”

My eagerness to gather as many points as possible led me to take more and more projects into a monthly round of the game. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I can achieve more. Well, this is typical for lives, and this is also standard for games. We always want to step up to the next level.

I might have jumped, thought, a little too high this past month. I did gather in total more points than in May (271 in June and 236 in May), but was that the goal? Or was the goal to manage the higher fraction of the projects I have taken over for the given month. Because if so, then I did worse. In May, I earned 69% of all possible points, and in June 60%. I can’t say how well my performance was in the months preceding May of this year because before that I haven’t analyzed my performance in the 5 Minute Perseverance Game as I did in the past few months. In the coming months and with more recordings, the picture will become clearer.

But the question about the goal of the game started occupying me. I thought having fun was the main aim. And it is. But I also noticed that I had to have a good overview of the game plan. Otherwise, I become overwhelmed and start having less fun. So stepping on a too high of a level might reduce the fun.

This need for a good overview is important in any game. I remember how in a board game where you build a map of a country with cards, I used to lose overview and become pretty restless as I noticed hanging more and more behind my rivals. And I also remember how I was having less and less fun in such situations.

So, taking on too many projects can reduce fun.

What is then the right number of projects for me?

I looked at my game book (see the picture above) for months preceding May and found that I didn’t take on more than ten projects. In April I even had only seven in that round. But I seemed not to have enough and took eleven in May and in June even fifteen.

There were many days when I was frustrated that I wasn’t getting “enough” points, “enough” probably meaning all, although I would probably not want to admit that on any of those days. I do now.

The question I have for myself today is, do I really need to gamify every activity I carry out every day? Even if only theoretically? In practice, it is impossible to do so because I can’t foresee at the beginning of the month (when I plan each round) what surprising commitments might arise in the middle or end of a month. But is it even important?

Yes, I did discuss before that even private projects might work well when gamified, become gratifying and fun both in recognition of what we do but also in making unlikable tasks fun. But do I have to take every single repeatable activity into the game? I don’t do it already today. There are things, which I do organically, like taking a shower, brushing teeth or preparing myself a cup of Espresso. I don’t give myself points for those activities, even if some of them might sound unusual for other people.

No, a game is about taking on a challenge. A manageable challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. OK, brushing teeth might appear a challenge at times, but I am not talking about those cases.

Now, I have it! I am speaking here about a fun challenge. Just as the Bob the Builder in the famous children’s cartoon asks, “Can we make it?”, I find myself curious about whether I can make some of the tasks, which at first glance seem daunting. My competitive spirit awakes and shouts cheerfully, “Yes, I can!”

The best thing about the 5 Minute Perseverance Game and its rounds go for a month, is that I can adjust my strategy for the next move or phase in the game as I want to, without attributing too much drama to what I managed or not during the previous month. I can just try out various strategies and adjust them along the way. Approaching time management as a game, was one of the best and gratifying discoveries I made in the past two months of blogging on self-gamification.

So for July, I have a new challenge for myself: to slow down, to relax and simply have fun. I am still taking a few work (including writing) projects into this round, but these are my favorite and doing them relaxes and entertains me.

Below are the results for June round of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game and my plans for the July round, with a few words why I am taking on one or another project/activity.

Results for June for each of the project (in points and percentage):

  1. Working on new Projects: 26 points out of 30 possible = 87%
  2. Cheerleading for Writers -> self-edits: 17 points out of 30 possible = 57%
  3. BRWG CPF work (voluntary work in a professional community): 5 points out of 30 possible = 17%
  4. BRWG Admin work and other S1000D work (voluntary work in a professional community): 6 points out of 30 possible = 20%
  5. Book update and marketing: 22 points out of 30 possible = 73%
  6. 5 Minute Perseverance Game Blogging: 26 points out of 30 possible = 87%
  7. S1000D and Business blog: 9 points out of 30 possible = 30%
  8. Learning Danish: 9 points out of 30 possible = 30%
  9. Learning Chinese: 7 points out of 30 possible = 23%
  10. Meeting and communicating with friends and family: 25 points out of 30 possible = 83%
  11. Family and personal (official) matters: 20 points out of 30 possible = 67%
  12. Household and un-cluttering (including the hard disk on my computer): 19 points out of 30 possible = 63%
  13. Sports or workout (at least 1 exercise): 30 points out of 30 possible = 100%
  14. Sleeping at least 6 hours per night: 20 points out of 30 possible = 67%
  15. Doing something purely for fun: 30 points out of 30 possible = 100%

Projects for July 2017:

  1. Do something for fun, which is neither reading nor writing.
    Reading and Writing comes very naturally to me, but I must admit that my eyes and my brain need sometimes to switch off from the pages patterned with letters. Images, views, or objects having nothing to do with text (like beads out of which I made two bracelets for my children yesterday) are the welcome but also challenging break. Challenging because if you ask me what I do to relax, my automatic reply is, “Read a book.” Even putting this activity in the first place for the list of projects in this round was a challenge. 🙂
  2. Develop content for “Tools” page on my site.
    This task is work, but more like a riddle-solving-game and I simply love it. Especially, because I realize that the results of it will be used by other people, who asked for it.
  3. Finish “Cheerleading for Writers” / Work further on memoir collection “Everywhere at Home.”
    I sent “Cheerleading for Writers” to my editor on July 1st, so the rest of the month in this project will be devoted to my friends Marcy’s and my memoir collection, which I call “Everywhere at Home.” I am quite excited about selecting stories and drafting new ones for this book, which I am going to publish next year. A happy gamer (that is me) can report today that she had a great idea for the structure of this book, which was not quite clear until now.
  4. Draft blog posts for Writing (especially, 5 Minute Perseverance Game), S1000D, and Business Rules.
    Since I won’t manage to stop my brain from thinking about the future, then I could use its drive creatively and let it come up with ideas for the content which I will post in the future for you.
  5. Reading about, brainstorming, or acting on book (and other) marketing, publishing, writing craft improvement.
    I find myself very insatiable after learning and brainstorming on something new. And since I would like to improve my book marketing habits and possibly also try my foot in traditional publishing, then I want to learn about it as much as I can during this month. Articles saved and printed, books downloaded. Now it is time to learn. Summer holidays are perfect for this purpose. Even during my school years, I remember being more eager to study during summer break than during the regular school days.
  6. Sleeping at least 6.5 hours per night.
    I’m trying to increase the time here as I noticed that my idea of not needing much more than 6 hours a day of sleep didn’t confirm. I found my usual headaches recede after a longer sleep night. Even if I was very reluctant to see this at first. So now I am challenging myself to sleep a half an hour longer each night. From the first three nights in July, I managed to do this only once. So this is definitely a challenge. But I am up to it.
  7. Straight posture for at least 10 seconds a day.
    I’m standing or walking around like a question mark. I tried several times to straighten my posture once and for all, but it never worked. So now I call for help kaizen and the minute-or-so-perseverance game for help. The task this month is to manage at least 10 sec a day to sit, stand or walk straight during another activity. I am doing it now and earning my first points this month. 🙂
  8. Sports, workout, or dance (at least two exercises).
    I am moving here to the next level by adding one more exercise since this activity was very successful in June (100 % done).
  9. Read “Heksens Arving,” a book in Danish by a friend and award-winning YA fantasy writer Sascha Christensen.
    I would like to improve my Danish, also because I will teach in September two training courses in it. And what is a better way to improve one’s language than by reading a book written by a good friend?
  10. Read a paperback book.
    I usually read on my Kindle, but I have many paperback books which I wanted to read and then give them further because I usually don’t keep books. I like sharing them. So, I would like to support a habit which will with time make some of our bookshelves a bit lighter.

I will be posting less during the summer vacation in July. However, I will continue playing the game and report about at the end of the month. I will recommence my work end of July, as well as blogging.

If you play this or any other game, then have fun with it, and all you do.

What is your opinion? What is the primary factor that helps you keep an overview of all your projects and activities? Is it also fun? Or is it something else? And why?

On the picture above: My score sheet for June 2017. Just recording and counting the points is already fun, and then seeing the results is simply uplifting.

What is this blog series about? You can find this out in its first blog post called “5 Minute Perseverance Game – Moving my Favorite Game to my Writing Blog.”

And now on how my 5 Minute Perseverance Game (5MPG) is progressing for various projects:

Results for days 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 of the round June 2017 of the 5MPG: 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, points out of 15 possible for each day.

Results for days 1 and 2 of the round July 2017 of the 5MPG: 10 and 9 points out of 10 possible for each day.

Results Total for the week 26 (end of June and beginning of July) 2017: 48+19=67 out of 75+20=85 possible (79 %)

Results Total for June 2017: 271 points out of 450 possible = 60 %. That is more points than in May but less percentage of what I managed of the total possible.

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels