We were rejoined by our consultant Doc this week, as we continued our Sprint Zero.
(In Agile, there is a ton of preparation that goes into the team and discovery of the work before you actually start the work. This is called Sprint Zero, the sprint that happens before your first actual sprint.)
Definition: A sprint is a time boxed cycle of work, that is typically 2-4 weeks long. We will be trying for 2 weeks sprint and will see how those go before adjusting.
The first part of the week was spent prioritizing our work for the week, finishing up some team charter work and stakeholder meetings and preparing for our Wednesday session with the team we're piloting with in GID.
As we prepared for the GID session we reviewed the hiring process value stream map done previously. It is now captured digitally - The Hiring Process on Prezi
We talked a lot about what would success look like in the session: what activities would add the most value? Every time we jotted down an agenda item we analyzed it through these filters:
- Does this add value to our participants' experience?
- Do we gain any critical information by doing this exercise?
In the past, we have found that we create agendas with an ice breaker activity, a breakout exercise and then gather back up and have each team share out. When we asked ourselves why we were doing these things, we realized we were doing them to be "nice" or "get to know folks". The most important thing to accomplish with GID was to understand their current hiring process, pain points, insights and ideas. If we left the room not knowing these things, we failed.
One of our team members came up with a great idea to engage our participants: instead of asking them a boat load of questions about their process, why not let them illustrate the process themselves? We gave them index cards with all the steps to the process in no particular order (plus some extra blank cards) and had them piecetogether their process by moving the cards around. Then they recorded the activity time of each step, the time between each step and any pain points or solutions they had.
Not only was everyone engaged the entire time, but we received the information we were looking for to help us with our next step of aligning on what the most valuable items are for us to work on first with our pilot group. Here are a few pics from our session:
Another win for us this week - we dedicated time to brainstorming how to get to our vision (1/2 the time with the best candidate possible). It felt great to build a big exhaustive list of every idea we'd been holding in. We found it hard to choose just one idea; the options for improvement are limitless! We're continuing to refine our idea for our first sprint and could not be more excited to land what we're working on.
There is more work to do in Sprint Zero to be fully ready to go, but we are feeling anxious to get to our first sprint!
Our Win: We each have unique strengths that when leveraged we can get great work done AND come up with some truly winning ideas. Building the content and executing on the GID session was a huge win for our team this week. Winning means learning - we learned a ton about each other, the content and our pilot group this week.
Our Learning: That people and interactions, are valued over process and tools. Not that process doesn't need to exist, but that if the people are having the right interactions it will improve the process. This is part of the Agile manifesto and we realized that this is great to keep in mind when we work as a Agile team AND when we work on the Hiring process.