March 22, 2012 - FILED UNDER Agile Business
Benefits of Working in Sprints
Sprint /sprnt/ noun: The act or an instance of sprinting, especially a short race at top speed. While, I’m sure we all know what a sprint is, we’re seeing this idea of short, intense bursts used more and more in marketing. So why has this become so popular? What’s the benefit of working in a sprint?
Recently at Mindjet we’ve fully embraced the concept of agile marketing and with it working in sprints. Today, I wanted to share several benefits from working in sprints that I’ve noticed with you.
Increased Focus: Because you’re only working for a short, quick period of time you have to focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you commit to a sprint, you are essentially telling all others involved that “yes, I am going to accomplish this task in this set period of time.” Now you’ve set a certain goal and are expected to come through.
Increased Communication & Transparency: One of the many benefits of sprints, is increased transparency. When working in sprints daily meetings are recommended (see chelsi’s post on stand up meetings). The point of these meetings is to facilitate the sprint and increase team communication. It’s expected that if you are facing problems or potential issues that they are voiced so everyone is made aware and can help troubleshoot these obstacles. This not only increases individual transparency (where people are in their respective projects) but also overall team transparency.By having daily status meetings project leaders kept the most up to date on important project info.
Prioritization Made Easy: Find it hard sometimes to tell co-workers that you can’t do that favor asked for because you’re swamped? It’s OK, we all do. Sprints can help. Sprints consist of a series of tasks. Each individual task is assigned a level of difficulty. This is then used to help prioritize all the tasks in a sprint and is usually made public. So, next time you’re slammed and a co-worker asks for a favor, you now have a legitimate reason to say “sorry if I help you, then I won’t be able to complete this task.”
Team Building: As the case with most projects, various departments working together is the norm. However traditionally, each department usually works on their own section independently. When cross-departmental interaction is needed it is very limited. Usually, it only involves the symbolic passing of the project baton. Once this hand-off has been completed, teams revert back to their normal state and interaction is space and limited. In sprints, cross-departmental team member intermingling is necessitated by the speed in which the projects move. So we see increased teambuilding and strong cross-departmental relationships develop.
While change is rough, I think it’s plain to see that adopting sprints brings a lot to the table. Have you recently tried sprints out? How did it turn out? Tell me your experiences in the comments