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Sometimes, especially under pressure, we can lose focus on what’s really important.

During this ShipIt, our 24-hour hackathon, we maintained our focus on delivering the highest value first. We used agile methodologies in the most effective way we could (yes, in a period of less than 24 hours), so:

The plan

  • We had a backlog (which consisted of Post-Its on a whiteboard). Every new problem or idea went into the backlog so it could be prioritized after the current sprint. No change of priorities or scope were allowed during the current sprint.
  • Sprints? Yes. Sprints. We did 1.5 hour sprints. For a particular sprint, everybody had a well defined scope, a realistic goal, and something to deliver at the end of it.
  • After the sprint, we did a retrospective and a demo (all in about 10 minutes). It was very important to stop the micro-task you were doing and actually focus on the big picture.
    • Was our work still aligned with the final team goals?
    • Were we spending too much time on something that was not really important?
    • Is this way of solving the problems going to cause friction later on in the ShipIt? Should we just throw it away now and reimplement it?
    • Does any other member of the team need my help?
    • Do I need any help from others?

How did it go?

We felt really productive and enjoyed working this way a lot. You are probably wondering how it went. Well…

Shipit 24 1st prize winner team

The ShipIt 1st prize winning team

IT DEFINITELY WORKED!

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