The Smart Wall and a Scrum organizazional system

A fun all day for a few bucks or a revolutionary To-Do System?

Lenka Hrnčířová

We are a young collective and we’ve always had problems with several things. We like to take advices from somebody older and more experienced than us, but we are the generation Y kids who like to do things their own way and have their own opinion on everything. We often do things the way we feel and we don’t know if it’s right or wrong.

The biggest problem always concerned the organization and meeting the deadlines. Neither of these two things is one of our strengths, but we’re really trying. To make everything work the way it should we’ve already underwent several steps (which were not always a success). When I joined the firm, Tom pushed through his favorite app Trello. Let me introduce you Trello just briefly. Each one of us has there its profile in the app. You can write in various tasks and add their priorities and a person who is supposed to fulfill the task. The app may come in handy but after a while we figured that it’s just not for us. This app managed to create several disputes between Tom and us 😀 He was the only one motivated enough to keep updating the tasks and marking them complete.

But what comes next? 

It didn’t take long and Tom found a new way of having at least a partial control over us. The revolutionary idea was the Calendar app. None of us likes the traditional Calendar app and we have problems even with a simple updating of meetings. There isn’t enough space in the Calendar and the tasks can overlap and it simply doesn’t feel right. I believe that’s no surprise for you that even this effort towards coordination and clarity of our work didn’t end up well.

Note: We currently use the calendar only for scheduling the work meetings, holidays of the team members and birthdays of our loved ones.

The revolution (at least for us)

After unsuccessful efforts the dark period came in place. This period can be characterized by a little chaos in the firm. We all knew what and when we’re supposed to do, but hand on heart, we didn’t always do it. By that time, guys started to watch an HBO very popular series the Silicon Valley. No offence, but that series is the exact copy of how it looks in our office (I mean the “guy part” of course). One day, there was a very interesting thought in the series. The guys from the Silicon Valley came across the exact same problem like us, the problem with organization. And that’s how we came up with the working title “the table”. We got ourselves inspired immediately.

Recently, we’ve gotten the Smart Wall. It’s spreading across one entire wall of the office and you can write on it with the regular wipe-off markers. It is a great thing. Except for painting pictures in the times of procrastination, Tom’s and Marcel’s brainstormings and Lukas’s naughty pictures, we started to use the wall also for other things. One third of the Smart Wall is being represented by the Scrum system or how I’ve written previously “the table”. This system has three columns: TO DO, IN PROGRESS, EMERGENCY and DONE.

Each member was given a specific color of a phosphorescent sticky paper and one row in the table. Each Monday morning we have the joint meetings and we distribute tasks that have to be fulfilled. The Scrum System is very simple. It starts with the TO DO column, which is the most stressful one. It contains all the tasks that have to be done but we still haven’t started working on them. As soon as we proceed to working on the task, we move it into the IN PROGRESS column and we start to feel quite alright again. The best is the DONE column. A task gets there once it’s finished. On the contrary, the worst column is the EMERGENCY. In the office, we call it the “sh*t column”. There you can find the tasks that need to be done within just a few minutes/hours.

The “sticking paper game” or else the Scrum system

The “sticking paper game” or else the Scrum system

It’s a real fun watching grownup men stepping from one place to another moving their colorful papers. And seeing them moving some of those papers into the last column is priceless.

Believe it or not, the system is flawless. You can see everything in front of you and you can see who has how much work, what’s everyone working on and how many things you’ve already done. All the organizing apps and softwares can go to hell. All you need is a notice board and colorful sticking papers.