Posted on May 08 2013
We were intrigued about using a system to organise our non-work life. Turns out agile project management is mainly used in programming and manufacturing projects to keep development cycles small and nimble, allowing for risk taking and quick response to changing needs. In our work we want to have constant development and push innovation every day so agile seemed like a perfect fit. It took a few hours of research and we arrived on Scrum. It's a specific system used in agile software development. Armed with just the Wikipedia article we fell upon Scrum like the rabid dogs we are, hungry for organisation. Research and preparation for the first cycle of work (or 'sprint') took around 12 hours in total. And it was pleasant to organise, for a change. Planning poker is actually lots of fun and takes away most conflict from differences in opinion.
Was it all worth it? I will answer it like this: I had no idea how ridiculously inefficient we were. I'll probably be misquoting someone here but something I read went like this: "A genius designer working hard in the standard way can be easily outperformed many times over by an average designer working within a Scrum". I now believe that. Within the first three days of work we cleared a backlog that had been pestering us for weeks. Within a month the very nature of our business seems to be evolving. We ploughed through tasks that we both were avoiding and finished them effortlessly and with no stress. While developing and marketing we also spent ample time creating new designs. And we squeezed in various non-work tasks that were necessary and time sensitive. All these in a strict 7.5 hours work day, not a minute more, not a minute less. I know I should probably wait until a few of months pass before I declare a victory but I'm excited and I even have time to write this long blog post. I know there is no turning back now. Feeling efficient has never been so much fun. I didn't know what I was missing. tl;dr The Scrum is an incredible and mighty way to organise your work. Go research, get efficient.