Looking back, it all happened in a blink of an eye. When the company staffs received a notice on their mobiles, which was an invitation to an event that will last for 5 days starting next working day, everyone had thoughts within their mind. Some are confusion, some are excited, but most of us had an empty mind, for we do not expect what was to happen for the next 5 days. Our boss called it, the “sprint meeting”.
Getting Ready to Start “Sprint-ing”
Referring to a book, we followed the steps one by one, on what to prepare, who should join, and what to do. 9 members was gathered in total, that consist of 2 event organizers which manages the whole meeting, and 7 meeting members which includes staff from different departments, consisting of marketing, technical support and designing. Thus on the first day, the first thing was to explain to everyone about the plan. This 5 days back-to-back meeting is supposed to help resolve an issue we are facing, in which the process will include everything from brainstorming, getting professional advices, making prototypes, and actual testing of the product. Everyone thought that all we had to do was to follow the instruction, but we never saw what was to come afterwards.
The Day, It All Began
The first day was a Monday. On the day, we made a structure for our upcoming progress. We had a discussion in the morning as the first activity, which then helped us decide on the objectives and goal for our sprint meeting. A process map is then constructed based on our topic and our goal. It was a relatively fast progress, as we all are on the same page in terms of objectives we would like to reach. We made slight adjustments to our map after consulting the professionals from different field of expertise. By the end of the day, we had a draft of our first day’s progress; our goals and objectives, as well as our process map on our topic of the week. There were a few delays in our schedule on the day but no big mistake was worth the mention. And thus the first day ended just like that
Inspiration is Everywhere. Seriously
On the second day, we got to present in turns about ideas we surveyed at home yesterday night. It was a session where everyone present about ideas they refer from other places, be it your competitor or company in another field, as long as it contains important ideas to solve our problems. From there, we identified few critical points that are essential to answer our questions. Based on the points we collected, we redesigned the process map and made improvements to the problematic steps that was giving us a dilemma since before. In this step, different voice of opinion starts to pop up, as different members have different takes and ideas on the matters. Everyone’s idea is then dropped down and made into their individual’s process map. This concluded day 2’s activities. Everyone leaves with a smile on our face that day, looking forward for the next day.
They Say 2 Brains is Better than One
The next morning, we had a stack of process map from Tuesday’s individual brainstorming. The compiled process map is then listed out, and we break it down to few different steps. This is to identify the process map bit by bit, and we criticize the pros and cons of each model. The session took a whole afternoon, as every member gets their turn to share about their ideal model. The discussion could go on for the whole day, for not someone gets to do the final say. In the end, our bosses get to do the final decision. They have chosen a few steps from each model that they think is the best, and compiled them into one final process map model, which is called a “prototype” model. Our Wednesday ended along with their decision made.
By Wednesday, everyone was already exhausted from trying to keep up with the sprint meeting’s schedule. We left the office with a slight worry about what to come on the next day, because we know that on Thursday we have to “create” our prototype model. As expected, that Thursday felt like the longest day in the week. We got to produce an actual test unit based on the prototype model we made. It then requires all our effort from different departments to construct every details of the prototype. After our task is assigned, we got to our job right away. The one that sustained the most stress was probably the technical department, for our prototype requires a lot of coding and adjustments from the technical department. Throughout that day, no one really ever sat down and had a rest during the session, for there is so much to be completed, that the technical department even stayed for over-times. Our team shares the same emotion throughout the day: “exhaustion”. At the end of the day, our mind are blank; no one can expect what to come next, for each day seems to get longer and exhausting than ever.
Anxious and Excitements Are So Confusing
It all came down to Friday, the last day where everything will be decided. It was the day where we will have 5 testers to try out our prototype, and give their comments on our product; our effort. We got more and more anxious, as the tester came in one by one. We are so eager to find out if our expectation was correct, and to prove that our effort was worth it. After all the 5 testers, we have collected tons of comments, and we have pinpointed few important facts from the analysis. We were quick to derive the conclusion from the analysis, and made clear on the solutions to our question. Everyone was happy in the end of the sprint meeting program, not only because that it ended, but also because that it proves our effort to be worth the time, and that we have found a direction on our upcoming route to take.
The Rainbow after the Storm
Overall, the sprint meeting was an interesting program to follow about. We can see why big companies utilize this method to decide some critical matters for the team. Compare to a meeting or execution that takes few months, sprint meeting gave an insight of the solution in just a week. Although it will be a very mind and body consuming week, the end result are quite promising; as long as the steps and direction and taken correctly. Not only that, we also felt teamwork working at its’ best; as everyone come and work together on the same goal. It just felt as great as it sounds. One thing about sprint meeting is that it reminded us the importance of teamwork, and reflection, where both are significant for a team to solve their problems.
Definitely, more to come
And so our one week of “sprint meeting” ended with a smile on our face. But the end of this does not stop our continuing progress to provide a better service to our customers, and achieve a better product satisfaction. We will continue to strive for perfection in our software services, just because this is our passion.