19 Aug /Sprints at T R I M

Posted by Casey Schumacher

You’ve probably heard of Google Ventures Design Sprints. We’re big fans of them here at T R I M, and we run them often, but most of the time when we say “sprint” at T R I M, we’re referring to our timeboxed work week. Every week our team of consultants is on sprint from Monday through Thursday. We have a brief stand up meeting every morning where we take turns sharing what we worked on yesterday, what we’re working on today, and whether or not we have any blockers. A blocker can be classified as anything that is preventing us from getting our work done. Maybe a designer needs buy in from Product Owner on a UX decision, maybe a developer needs an asset from design, these are just a couple examples of blockers. After stand ups on Monday and Tuesday, we roll up our sleeves and get to work but on Wednesday and Thursday we have extracurriculars after stand ups.

On Wednesdays we have Inspo Day and on Thursdays we have Training. Inspo Day is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a time for team members to share inspiring things they’ve discovered in the tech space throughout the week. On Training days, a team member puts together a short training presentation to educate the rest of the team. These presentations are brief and high-level but they are a great way for our different departments to get acquainted with the others’ skillsets. Developers sit in on product design trainings and vice versa. The rest of the week, the team is devoted to production.

We wrap up our sprints by end of day Thursday. Fridays are dedicated to demoing our work for Product Owners, sprint planning for the following week, investment time, and retrospective. Investment time is when we sharpen our skillset to ensure that we’re always at the top of our game. We build this time into the work week for our consultants to learn new things and tinker. Retrospective happens at the end of the day on Friday and it’s a time for us to celebrate what we did well that week and talk about what could have gone better. We create action items for the weeks ahead based on what we learned from what could have gone better.

With all that said, we expect each of our consultants’ output to be no less than 20 billable hours of high quality work each week. We do not bill for extracurriculars, daily meeting time, our Friday demo and planning time, nor do we bill for our weekly retrospective. Our sprint schedule has been instrumental for us in shipping many successful products over the years.

So there’s a bit about what “sprints” are at T R I M and what they look like each week. If you’d like to work together and experience our sprint process first hand, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line here and we’ll get the ball rolling. Let’s build something great together!