Work Week: Sprints without the Jargon

Our team of 3 at big tech was constantly bombarded with the next big fire to put out on a weekly basis, requiring us to shift focus as soon as something came up. In the last 2 months, I've used the following strategy on how we work, and we've found this very effective. No fancy tools, no agile sprint jargon, just the barebones of what made sense to us.

Once you've figured out what the team needs to roughly do in the next year, then it's all about execution. Here's what our week looks like.

Monday Morning = Plan
  • We meet on Monday morning at a time most convenient to all and decide the agenda for the week. Each team member takes about 5-10 minutes.
  • A minute on the past week
    • Is there something that came up because of which you couldn't complete the planned work?
  • Agenda for the next week
    • Was there something that came up during the past week that you noted important enough to work on immediately?
    • What's your focus for this week?
      • Aim
        • Plan only as much as you can complete in 4 days.
      • Prioritization order:
        • Release blockers.
        • Leadership chain's focus (your manager, or above points out an urgent topic)
        • This work item seems very important.
        • Previous week's work continued.
        • Quarterly goals.
        • Misc tasks.
Mon - Thu = Focus Time
  • Focused time to work on what was planned on Monday morning.
  • No daily stand ups.
  • If anything urgent comes up during the week, ask yourself: can it wait till Friday?
    • If yes, make a note and wait for Friday, and if it spills over, discuss it on Monday morning.
    • If not, chat with someone on the team and temporarily shift focus.
Fri: Misc Day
  • Run through the topics that came up during the week that you put off till Friday.
  • If there's nothing that came up during the week, treat Friday as spare time for if you run-over the planned estimate.
  • And if there's further nothing more, take a chill day.
And that's the week. 


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