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Why Scrum stationery must feature in relocation plans

Scrum teams value visualisations and adapt their environment to ensure the visualisations they need are constantly visible. The largest and most important visualisation is the board, a visualisation of workflow state, and shared repository of team process and work items. There are also mission statements, policies and  various charts showing the rate of progress toward milestones.

Scrum teams are mandated to have very specific kinds of meeting every day. Their gold-standard way of working is to gather around a whiteboard for the daily stand-up and have a complex visualisation set up on that whiteboard. The gold standard is that this set up is based on paper stationery. In the event of an office move or refurbishment, new blank whiteboards will be provided. For standard daily meetings to take place, someone needs to complete that set up work on the new whiteboard on day one.

Is this a reasonable bar? Well we don't do office moves, but apart from re-cabling your computer equipment and unpacking a single crate what else would you expect a typical knowledge worker to do before getting back to work? Even assuming there is some reason for a long term effort to be needed by a team post-relocation, taking away the teams primary tool of self-organisation is unlikely to improve the employee experience.

The framework may feel unfamiliar to those in the interiors industry, but Scrum is now 24 years old. Assuming most relevant workers join aged 22 a great many of the workers in high tech firms will not have worked without a Scrum board at any point. An appropriate comparison is asking workers to cope without the internet, something few office managers would have accepted as long ago as 2001. This state of affairs is steadily spreading beyond the tech industry.

Agile Stationery observed that this common use-case is nevertheless under supported. Bigger ticket items like the AV solution, and laptop docking stations have come much more quickly to market. Scrum workers' need for stationery is left for Scrum workers to sort out exactly because the problem is inexpensive to solve, which seems backwards to us. Spending a little time on inexpensive details seems like a great way to create a best-in-class experience.

Our partners, Hot Box Storage, were quick to recognise this. They are also in the business of sweating over the details. Like us they want to make sure people thrive in the environments they increasingly find themselves in. As storage leaders in the interiors industry they are working with us and others to support the adoption of Scrum everywhere it makes sense. We have produced for them a beginners Scrum kit, based on our kit for established Scrum teams, and the new kit will be available from Hotbox in February.

Either kit is a perfect way to signal that the practice of Scrum is recognised in the office environment. Teams receiving such a gift will feel supported, rather than ignored. It can even be customised with literature and artwork reflecting your client's brand and giving credit to all the partners involved in the project, ensuring this good will is reflected on your client as well as yourselves.


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