Week 5 Update

During our 5th week together we spent some time learning how to work as a distributed team in a ROWE environment.  As a team, we believe that it is important to have the flexibility necessary to live a balanced life while delivering your best work/results.  Over the last month we have spent the majority of time together in our room. We knew it would be an adjustment and a challenge to not be together all the time, but we are committed to making it work well for all.

The first day we had our fair share of technology problems and we began to look for solutions.  In order to have the feel of all of us being together we needed to have a camera/vidyo room up and running pretty much all day. This allows for any team member who may have a question while working can ask it without  missing a beat. Meaning, they don't need to stop what they are doing and call or IM someone, they just un-mute and ask their question.

We found an extra laptop and put it at the end of our tables on top of a chair so we could look at it as though the team member was sitting there.  It worked well and so we began to see how we could get a bigger screen, better technology etc. After some conversation with Laura Crosby she asked if we would be up for testing some new technology solution for our future more collaborative work space - we said YES!  We are very excited to test the Steelcase collaboration solution out and will share more on that front as we learn.

Here are a couple pictures of us working remotely as a team (doing our morning stand-up)

By day 3, we had a good rhythm down and felt a sense of urgency to get our first sprint (time-boxed activities and work) prioritized, estimated and tasked out.  So we did just that! We re-prioritized our meetings and spent the afternoon landing our first sprint.  After some healthy debate as a team and getting our project setup in Jira (Thank you to Lang in IT for your help!) we feel ready to go!

In Agile it is important to complete planning and any spikes (research) that may need to be done before starting your sprint.  Also, you never start a sprint of work on a Friday or Monday (due to holidays etc.) so after some discussion with our consultant we landed on starting our first sprint on Wednesday, April 27th. We decided to try a 1 week sprint at first to see how much we can get done and how well we estimated.  Then we will start our regular 2 week sprint cycles of work. 

Sprint 1

  • Conversations with key stakeholders on the current background check process
  • Starting on the framework for coffee chats and potentially doing some mock-up coffee chats (using folks from our TSS & CF team) and video taping them as training for our GID hiring managers

  • Creating and testing some pre-coffee chat interview questions (job assessment questions) with a hiring manager in GID

Jira: Is the tool that IT uses for their Agile projects. They were kind enough to set us up with a project.  
All employees have access to Jira and you can follow our work in detail if you wish.  

Squarespace Coming Soon: We also made the decision to build out a Squarespace page in order to share our work out to the broader HR and Gap Inc. community in a different way. 

Our Team Learning: that we all need to keep asking questions about our work, sharing our thoughts and past or current experiences.  Every piece of information we learn is essential to how we define and understand the work as a collective team.  We all need to be super clear about what the work is that we are doing so that anyone can pick up a task and know exactly what they are supposed to be doing.  Don't presume, just ask!

Our Team Win: We didn't give up on technology, kept trying new things until we found a way that worked for all and we committed to keep tweaking, talking about what is working/and not.  We are prepared and excited for our first sprint of work too!