As one of GFM's "technology specialists" and a self-proclaimed nerd, I take a lot of pleasure in sharing my technology-related loves with my fellow GFMers. While they may not always share my passion for the latest Web 2.0 technology or sympathize with me when I'm trying to kick my Twitter habit, they're always open to learning more and willing to try new things. It's one of the things I love about working at GFM.
A few months ago, GFM began working with Rally Software, a provider of on-demand Agile software lifecycle management solutions. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Agile development practices, it's a type of software engineering that promotes development iterations throughout the life-cycle of the project. In other words, it makes better software faster in a more people-centric way. There are numerous principles, methodologies and processes behind Agile, but one of the more well known is the daily scrum or daily stand-up. Stand-ups are short team meetings (team members stand in order to keep the meetings short - usually under 15 minutes) where each member shares their work commitments for that day, schedule updates and identifies any obstacles that might prevent them from reaching their daily goals. The goal of the stand-up is to foster team building and - for lack of better words - get things done quicker.
Having worked with multiple software companies through the years, I've been exposed to Agile on a number of different levels. (If you've ever noticed a wall full of insanely organized post-it notes while walking through a cube farm, chances are you have too.) However, my recent tenure with Rally, where every team - including the marketing team - does stand-ups, has been my first experience of being able to actually participate in daily stand-ups. And I have to confess, I've become a big fan. It's like making yourself publicly accountable for your daily to-do list while also hearing about all the cool things your other team members are working on. After most stand-ups I walk back to my computer thinking "I'm up-to-speed, I'm committed for the day... and it's only 9:15." Love it.
After witnessing the virtues of stand-ups first hand, Laura and Ramonna had the brilliant idea to replace our bi-monthly staff meeting with our own semi-weekly stand-ups at GFM. Yes, we're a PR firm, but it's a good idea and who ever said that software developers had the monopoly on good ideas? We're calling them the :19 @ 9 and we're starting them next week.
I'm very excited to share my fondness for stand-ups with my GFM friends and for them to have their own Agile experience. I'll keep you posted on our stand-up success!