ACTION DRIVEN FAITH:
HOW TO GAIN PROSPERITY USING AGILE METHODOLOGY – Part 3
During the course of the past two (2) weeks, we have discussed the first 4 steps that we can take as Christians to gain prosperity through the application of Agile Methodology. These steps are:
- Praying for guidance, direction and purpose for our lives
- Formulating clear goals
- Breaking down each goal into smaller, actionable steps
- Executing iteratively
For this week, we will cover the next three (3) steps in the process. These next steps include:
- Defining our acceptance criteria or how our results will be measured
- Identifying accountability partners and
- Measuring our results
Recall that Agile Methodology is based on the concept that businesses need to respond quickly to changing needs by using iterative, flexible, well-structured and continuous improvement processes. This concept can also be successfully applied to our personal financial situations. One of the most important steps in the process of achieving financial prosperity is clearly defining our Acceptance Criteria.
Defining Our Acceptance Criteria
In Agile Methodology, Acceptance Criteria are used to determine how well, or whether the objectives of a project have been met. Ultimately, it is the end-users or the customers who determine what the acceptance criteria ought to be since if they are not satisfied with the outcomes, we would have failed to meet our project objectives. In our case, we are the end-users or customers and so we are the ones who should determine how our results will be measured.
In the bible, we see that Joseph applied Acceptance Criteria to the “project” of preparing for the seven (7) years of famine that would come upon Egypt following the seven (7) years of plenty. His acceptance criteria may have included things such as the adequate supply of food to meet the daily needs of all Egyptians for the full seven (7) years of famine and the absence of death or disease due to starvation of the people as well as the animals. If these acceptance criteria were fully met, it would mean that the project would have been successful. The fact that there was enough food to spare and to sell to other countries outside of Egypt, clearly demonstrates that the acceptance criteria were fully met.
The same thing applies as we strive for financial prosperity. Each of us should decide what we will use to determine whether we have achieved financial prosperity or not. For example, you may decide that if you have a certain net worth and a certain level of cash flow that you would consider yourself as financially prosperous. Whatever your criteria are, they should be clear and measurable.
Identifying Accountability Partners
It is always a good idea to have accountability partners who will help to keep us on track to meeting our goals. These accountability partners should help us to remain focused whenever we stray and should be able to guide us back on to the path to success.
In the story of Joseph, his accountability partner was Pharoah. Everything that Joseph did regarding preparation for the famine, he had to report it to Pharoah. Since Joseph was accountable to Pharoah, Pharoah naturally became his accountability partner. “And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharoah for bread: and Pharoah said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph: what he saith to you, do” (Gen. 41:55)
Measuring Our Results
Once we have clearly defined our acceptance criteria and identified our accountability partners, we need to measure our results. Note that your results should be measured against the acceptance criteria which will become the standard of performance.
Joseph’s acceptance criteria were fully met as he was not only able to satisfy the food needs of all Egyptians, but he was able to even give away food to his brothers who had journeyed from far to seek food. Since his expectations were exceeded, it is safe to say that the project that was being led by Joseph was successful.
Agile Methodology is useful for helping us to achieve financial prosperity. Clearly defining our Acceptance Criteria is a vital step in achieving financial prosperity. This step will form the basis of measurement that will determine whether we are successful in meeting our project objectives or not. We are the ones who should decide what our financial prosperity objectives ought to be. Once those acceptance criteria have been defined, we should find accountability partners who will hold us accountable to successfully completing the project as planned. Finally, our results should be measured against the Acceptance Criteria that we had established for ourselves. Only when our Acceptance Criteria have been fully met, can we regard our project as being successful.
Next week we will look at the remaining 5 steps in the process of achieving financial prosperity through the application of Agile Methodology.