The 1 Day Sprint
by Matei Puiu
In Agile Scrum, which is a lightweight process framework for managing project, like a small process, everything it’s done in iterations, which are repetitive and always fix as duration, iterations called Sprints. They normally take anywhere from 1 up to 4 weeks, in duration, but remember, that 1,2,3 or 4 weeks is always fixed in duration.
And then, what would you say about a 1 day Sprint?
You think that the 1 Week Sprints are tight? Wait until you see the 1 Day Sprints. Every day, for 256 days a year. You should work as a columnist to The New York Sun!
Not sure if you saw the 1994 The Paper movie directed by Ron Howard, but it’s a hit (those days it was tough competition, did not even got nominated for Screenplay, Directing, not even for Supporting Actors Robert Duvall or Marisa Tomei).
In this movie you get two amazing Agile items: one are the daily meetings (2 of them) and the other amazing thing is the Scrum Team.
To start with the Dailies, go ahead and say it:
Daily Stand-ups are overrated. You think it, you know it, you feel it, they are inefficient, just to respond to the 3 Scrum questions, you will never get the feedback that you need. J Well… these guys are a real team. They are just having 2 meetings a day, in which they are going round the table, and each Main Editor is giving his main proposed daily headline, and gets instant reaction from all the other round the table. Doing it like this, it does not turn into a chief’s decision about what gets printed or not during that day, but gets to be a group decision. Everybody hammering everybody, instant group feedback, what could you want more? And the best thing: not even group calls survive over the day. If you get a heroic Main Editor that wants to do differently than decided into the meetings, the Scrum Team will support him (so even the Group makes mistakes, God forbids…).
Which brings me to the Scrum Team: 5 things on which you can recognize a great Scrum Team:
- Transparency – everybody knows and hears about the Main Editor going to a job interview to another big opponent newspaper. What is the team doing? It just jokes about it. Nothing fancy, nothing under the line, everything wide open in the air (probably it’s even a sincere mutual hope that the guy will get the interview and will escape from the gutters).
- Jokes and pranks – they are constantly making jokes between them – pranks with a chair, riddles, the Chief makes fun of the lady Chief, all very relaxed, in an atmosphere which tells you that they don’t give a f… about hierarchies. But they work as a great team and respect one another. I would say that all this starts with the Chief, who is the first one to make a mock of himself. If you are good at making fun at yourself, then the team is safe.
- Gifts – the secretary makes a “tour de force” and collects coins to give the Main Editor for the coffee, chocolate and Cola machine, at 10 PM in the night.
- Scrum – they all work as a team to the final front page, with content, title and picture, helping as much as possible for the Scrum to make the Sprint (the Day!). Note that even the print downstairs is part of the team and contributes to the failure or success of each day, or the pregnant wife in her 9th month who cannot stay away and goes into investigating a hint for the Daily Sprint.
- Commitment – it’s a group commitment for the Daily Sprint. Even if sometimes the diabolic Chief Glenn Close wants to postpone the Daily Sprint or the desperate pregnant wife Marisa Tomei just wants her family dinner and to postpone the Sprint, the group still fights very hard to keep the commitment and make the Daily Sprint. And they make it, saying that the New Yorkers will believe what they are printing, even for 1 day, so it needs to be accurate.
If you don’t believe me, go see the movie. I would have Oscarized it, at least as a nominee for the Script 😉 Plus I love Michael Keaton and Robert Duvall, not to mention Glenn Close and now Marisa Tomei. 🙂
About the autor:
Matei Puiu is an Agilist, not a purist but a doer, Agile Coach and Trainer at Colors in Projects for Scaled Agile and startups, Agile game boarder, Design Thinker and drums kicker.