Nel Pontejos - Seasoned QA and DevSecOps
We brought Nel on with a league of experience at EA and Nokia, to name a few, to look at how we were doing things and improve our approaches to agile. We can leverage his experience, coaching, and skills to make ourselves better organized for project management, agile methodologies, role definitions, and team communication. Nel was able to capture his observations on our process and recommend a number of improvments.
Areas Nel targeted for improvement :
Perform Retrospective Exercises:
This works internally, to work externally. We need to have structure in place to review what's happened, what's going on, and what's coming up. We need to have metrics to measure client satifcation and identify pitfalls from experience. We need to use this time to become better communicators.
Team buy in:
As in, gaining the support and commitment of team members for a project, plan or idea. It is important because it helps to ensure that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal and that their efforts are not wasted on tasks that do not contribute to the overall success of the project or organization.
Build out a scrum master role:
The Agile Scrum Master facilitates the Scrum events, such as daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprint reviews, and retrospectives. They ensure that the events are run efficiently and effectively, and that the team stays focused on the goals of the sprint. They're also responsible for leading and managing the Scrum team. They ensure that the team is working together effectively, and that team members are communicating and collaborating effectively.
We would have various people leading the charge to get deliverables built. Having a single person assigned to being "the octopus", as in the one integrating the various tasks assigned to team members would be a role to build out.
this is also a function of money...
Proceed with 2 weeks sample sprint
It's easy to throw around agile jargon but the whole idea is to practice and get good at it. Saying things smart doesn't really matter if you're not disciplined about it. Nel created a framework to whip us into shape here from his observations, and continually schedules check ins to make sure items are being accounted for in our sprints, and things are not cluttered.
Evaluate the gap, situation, challenges, limitations and make predictions
All of this work to delegate tasks and have time to check in on how things are going (not too much now, Shopify) allows us to channel inputs from our customers to limitations, and blockers, from our team. The more we can have good correspondence between what needs to be done, what can't be done, what can be shelved, and so on the better working relationships we can have internally and externally.
Nel has created a new role called FEDS is born, Fun and Engagement Designer Strategist. It's not like a ping pong tournament by contract. It's about employee satisfaction from a mixture of clarity of purpose, agency in role, clear direction from team members, and well established milestones for project fulfillment.
This role is designed to push the boundaries of what can happen within a two week sprint. More on this to come.
Role based paradigms for task and ticketing:
Nel interviewed the team to get a better understanding of the day to days of their role. He isolated those roles into ticket categories with clearly defined task categories. He wanted to build this out as a way to make remote work sane, and practical. He wanted to find ways to ease the cognitive burden of distributed workflows using Jira.