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Agile Marketing: Sprint Three

Holidays continue and a surprise guest

Our last sprint faced some challenges as it ran over through the week of Christmas. We had planned for it by running a two week sprint that allowed us to come in Monday morning of the second week (12/22) and be off and running even with half the team out.

Unfortunately, a three week sprint didn’t really make sense, so this week’s sprint (12/29) is far less prepared. It was a three-day week and was again a skeleton crew. As a result, we missed a few stand-ups and cut some corners in our processes.

However, a surprise guest helped make us extra productive

Despite these challenges, we were actually able to produce a large amount of work…520 points to be exact. Much of this was due to a surprise guest showing up at the office at 8am Monday morning.

We were happily surprised to have an old intern show up Monday morning to try and get some work before heading back to school for her Spring semester. She was originally scheduled to work the week of 1/5, but some schedule changes had actually made her free to work this week. Even with a short week, her contribution is noticeable in this sprint’s points. She’s a great worker, especially having been an intern between school for two-years, meaning she needed very little training. She took to our Agile changes quickly and was off and running. It’s great to now actually have a quantifiable number to show her effort and work, instead of just the intangible value we know as a team. We can point to that number and show how valuable she was. I’m excited to see how much more she will add with a full 5-day work week next week.

The ability to quickly implement incremental changes continues to provide value

Our latest retrospective identified a few more changes the group wants to implement. They seem small to an outside observer, but these incremental changes continue to prove their value.

For instance, this go-round, we added initials to Post-Its as we added them to the Work In Progress column on the task board. This allowed team members to know who was working on what when looking at the board. We also implemented different color Post-Its for tasks that repeat, i.e. daily, weekly, monthly. The color helped to identify these tasks more quickly, especially the daily ones.

In general though, we had another productive sprint despite the challenges with holidays and people being out of the office. We continue to learn, grow as a team and adapt our processes to the needs of our team members. We continue to prove value and be transparent with each other and our stakeholders. Our team velocity is growing and Sprint 4 should be great with a full team and extra help.

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