It was a left-field customer enquiry that lead us to discover Hotbox and begin to build new tools for supporting the adoption of Scrum.
Two people spoke to us at a meetup, both from the same organisation, both with the same need. Scrum masters, tasked with supporting the operation of key enabling processes in innovative settings were joining their team and finding their first task was to beg steal or borrow a caddy for lugging stationery around. Then they had fill it with everything they needed.
They were not foolish to do so. Scrum teams have lots of meetings, and sometimes they have to happen in places away from their main seating area, which may itself be fluid. The meetings are a mandatory part of the process and getting them to run smoothly, and quickly, is crucial. You cannot be popping out for post-it notes mid - excuse me - sentence. So we started to look for caddies that we felt met this need. We jumped on the phone and found Hotbox.
With a background in interior design and a legacy of innovation in storage for hot-desk users, they were already on the path to producing Hotbox 1 - a new mobile storage caddy that was designed for this purpose.
The new design was conceived before "Drowning in Plastic" aired on the BBC. Hotbox are responding by moving to recycled plastic, boosting the demand for ex-consumer plastic and making the clean up of that plastic more profitable. We're now expecting the slick new Hotbox version to launch in February.
We have partnered with Hotbox to produce a fantastic kit aimed squarely at Scrum adopters. We started with our own concept of a kit for Scrum teams. We designed these to make the recipient feel valued. They have a range of great quality items that meet specific needs and we pack them in in layers. You take one thing out and another thing is waiting to be discovered. It is a great experience to open up a kit like this that your organisation has found for you.
The great stationery for the kits included our own version of the ever-popular sticky-note, our own versatile index-cards tailored for collaborative settings and some more prescriptive A6 user-story cards based on popular user story templates. We shrank the definitive Scrum Guide down to a pocketable size, for use as a reference. We also included our Management 3.0 inspired Thank You stickers to help teams stay motivated and empowered from within.
Estimation Poker and Squad Healthcheck were dropped for T-Shirt Sizes and a new "Kick Off Questions" deck which we invented for this purpose. Both are now available to buy separately.
This new deck of questions enables teams to have useful conversations about every aspect of their set up. It is more fine-grained and suggestive than Squad Healthcheck, respecting the needs of new adopters, but still leaves teams firmly in control.
The T-Shirt sizing deck avoids talk of arcane mathematical sequences while still enabling sizing, forecasting and sound statistics gathering, if not an actual velocity metric. We have made T-shirt size decks before, but we simplified and focused this version to create a more gentle introduction to the estimation process.
Two versions of an introductory guide to Scrum are now available. One in-box version takes people through key processes they need to master that are not covered by the Scrum Guide. It gives them sensible "default" options that they are free to build on. You can also get a printable large-format guide to Scrum directly from Hotbox. It has a much broader focus as they are using these resources, and their beautiful hot-orange kits, to help reach out to new markets and bring them on-board with Scrum.
We're delighted to be working with a partner with international reach on a project that will help bring new audiences to Scrum and to agile methods.