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As some background, the Scrum process is a project management process used primarily in software engineering (it's what's sometimes called a type of Agile methodology). Its focus is on developing software iteratively. In general, a particular team will work in one to three week increments called sprints; at the beginning of the sprint, the team will select which outstanding tasks and features they are working on for the next sprint.

One major part of this is the daily stand-up meeting, which includes three questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you working on today?
  3. Do you have any "blockers"?

These are limited to 15 minutes at most - if there are other, non-checkin-related issues, they're discussed later.

Often, there will be a physical board containing sticky notes with everyone's tasks. Each column contains a particular status type (not started, in development, in QA, complete). People will physically move the sticky note with their particular task across the board as it becomes closer to completion (e.g. halfway across the development column = halfway done with development) and changes status (e.g. when you're done with development, you physically move the sticky note to the "In QA" column).

I'm curious about the applications of this to a partial hospitalization program or residential treatment program. It seems like virtually all of them will have some kind of process group, but that they follow a different format than this.

It seems like regular accountability for specific goals and results as well as the idea of iterative progress towards some kind of final outcome could be useful. It seems like this could be particularly beneficial for complicated compulsive behaviors like eating disorders and compulsive hoarding.

Has anyone tried to apply something analogous to this in one of those kinds of programs? Could this be effective?

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  • $\begingroup$ Your question is a bit ambiguous. It sounds like you're talking about tracking progress towards a goal or outcome. Is that a correct assumption? Is there a specific program or type or program you'd like addressed? Do the steps need to follow precisely moving sticky notes on a board, or just awareness of progress? $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '17 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ @DhruvSaxena I was thinking AA as well. The issue would be that not every step has a project date or goal, and setting one then failing to meet it could be detrimental to recovery. Also each person is their own "project" so the structure would be different. Very interested to see the answer to this, but I have an assumption in mind. $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '17 at 22:51
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    $\begingroup$ @ReedRawlings Yes, I'm thinking in terms of breaking down recovery into specific, measurable goals/tasks (to the extent that it's possible). I do agree that the primary difficulty is getting goals and tasks to be adequately specific to be able to implement this kind of thing. $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '17 at 22:53
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    $\begingroup$ I know that AA and related programs have "steps", but are they really that formalized/proceduralized that they could be tracked using IT Project Management techniques? E.g. "Yesterday I made it to Step 3. Today, I am going to complete Step 3 and the first action item for Step 4. I have a blocker in the fact that someone put the new TPS Report cover sheets behind a case of beer and I would get very tempted going near it, and I have to get one to fill it out to complete Action Item A on Step 3." I thought the "steps" were more organic and less like a checklist (do, sign, and forget). $\endgroup$ Mar 22 '17 at 2:38
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertColumbia No they aren't. They're specific but day to day tracking would amount to, "I did not touch alcohol today" which is tracked at meetings. Certain goals have time constraints like entering relationships and time with sponsors. But they develop for each individual. I'm going to attempt a response to this, based on other compulsive disorders, later. $\endgroup$ Mar 22 '17 at 21:45

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