SCRUM: How might we introduce efficient production processes into our team projects?

Day one of first year introduced us to design thinking; a process that taught us to think outside the box, say yes to the crazy ideas, fear boring, love risk, organise to our heart’s content and build community amongst the year. It set the stage for how we approach projects. Three years on and we’re refining that approach, reminding ourselves of what an agile production line looks like. Today Steve Stopps, Director of Lumo Developments came over to Belfast to teach the agile framework of Scrum.

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What’s Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that applies an iterative approach to projects to manage tasks and control risk. It consists of multiple short sprints which flow back to back, with review and refinement upon completion.

The basic rules of the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

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Application of Scrum

To get our heads around the process Steve walked us through the production line, using scrum to lead our group collaboration on building the world’s best LEGO beach resort. The first couple of sprints saw a number of mistakes being made in each team, but as each sprint came to a close we were getting better and better. At the end of every sprint we reviewed and improved our sprint strategy before the next one began. By the final sprint we had the hang of it, coming up with some pretty ingenious sculptures(although we say so ourselves) and buildings for our LEGO world. Personal favourites were the Pandas serving cocktails, the Total Wipeout course and the little easter eggs like characters floating around in their rubber tubes in the water.

One of the best parts of the day was the fact that everyone was buying into the process. Nearly everyone was there and we were all having the craic as we built something together. For this process to work in our projects, it’s really important that that the teams all engage with the framework like we did today. I’m hopeful that we have it in us this year, and excited to see the projects unfold over the next few months.

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