At 1.30pm every Friday all of Tariff Street down tools on their current work load, send that final email and gather together to begin work on a Micro Project. But why do we Micro Project? What is a Micro Project? And do we not have enough work to be doing?! Is the constant stream of sprints, emails and phone calls not keeping everyone busy enough?
Working in an agile way, like we do, our projects get full investment from all of the team and the sprints take over our weeks in an exciting and consuming way, but that leaves little to no time for any of our own projects. Therefore around two months ago it was decreed that Friday afternoons would be Micro Project time.
Micro Projects are not client projects, they are ideas, interests and aspirations from members of the team themselves. The rules? You just need one or more other members of the team to believe in and want to work on an idea that you present. Upon presenting your idea, members of the team will put themselves forward for the projects they have the most interest in or think they could add the most value to.
But what can you achieve in a single afternoon? Well a surprising amount actually! We’ve even surprised ourselves how quickly a product can come together when you have such a short amount of time. It forces the team to hone their processes. Still working in sprints; tasks, designs, stories and backlogs get created (all be it, often on a series of post-it notes and random bits of paper!) and everyone cracks on with a heightened buzz around the office brought on by the time pressure.
What do we get out of the projects? Micro projects give team members opportunities to stretch their creative grey matter and develop their very own products, it also gives opportunity to showcase key strengths or time to explore new ones. The atmosphere spawns inspiring work, fast results and quick releases which gives the whole team a sense of achievement, something we may need time to time when our everyday projects can be weeks and months long!
At the end of each Friday afternoon, we showcase our work (aided by a chilled beverage in hand) ready to be reviewed in the following week. At the beginning of each Friday afternoon session we reflect and review; Is this a product we still believe in? Is it something we all still love? Or shall we move onto something new? And so the crazy afternoon begins again…
The first official Micro Project release is the web app - TeaTally, an in office brew making tracker! So please raise your mug and cheers, here's to many more Tariff Street Friday Micro Projects.
Here is a little sneaky peak at what else we are working on: