All old team members warn you for it, and it is really true: a year working in a DREAM team goes by faster than you’d think. As of writing, we are already halfway our project year. Currently, we are at the start of our production phase, and we realise how much work still needs to be done. Therefore, it would really help our team to work in the most efficient and effective way possible. Our partner Brunel has helped us to achieve this by giving us a Scrum training.
Scrum is a way of working that is developed in the IT industry, and works with the concept of short sprints, or cycles. In every sprint, lasting only a few weeks, you try to accomplish a list of tasks with your team. Simply put, a cycle consists of a few phases: First you plan the sprint with your team, during which you make a list of things to do, when to do them, and who will do them. Then, the team carries out the tasks, and during short daily sessions in the morning, you explain what you will do during the day and if you need help from your colleagues. At the end of the sprint cycle, a review meeting is held to reflect on the tasks done, and a retrospective meeting is held to reflect on the work process.
The concept seems straightforward, but experiencing a real-life sprint is far better than only explaining a theory. And that is exactly what our trainers from Brunel did. Our team was challenged to build a city with Lego (childhood memories!) within three sprints of about 20 minutes. We were given cards with building names on it, for example ‘supermarket’, ‘zoo’, and ‘university’, where some buildings had priority to make over others.
The first sprint was chaotic, as people did not know what to do, and what a realistic planning would be. Luckily, that improved after the retrospective sessions, where we reflected on the process itself. The third sprint session was much better coordinated, and communication played a key role in this! Eventually, a nice city of Lego arose, even with neighbourhoods and streets! The most important thing I have learned is that a deadline really is a deadline! No more small design revisions or tweaks that only take a few minutes are allowed, although it is very tempting. Furthermore, it is important to stick to the planning you have made, and don’t let other incoming to do’s distract you too much from your task.
The training has been really helpful to us, and we’re incorporating the Scrum theory in our weekly planning sessions now. Also, I’m doing a daily scrum session in the morning with a few of my teammates to discuss the planning of the day. So, many thanks to Brunel for this workshop! Looking forward to our next training!
For more information about our partnership with Brunel, check out their website.