My employer lets take one day a year as a "Day of Caring" to be used at a non-profit organization of our choosing. I did mine with an associate pastor of Life Community Church in Columbia IL. I’ve spent two and a half years immersed in Agile software projects, and the way we manage teams is different to anywhere else I’ve worked. We spent the day doing an Agile Transformation bootcamp on these subjects:
- Incremental improvement
- Experiments and the scientific method
- Big visible metrics
- Kanban and acceptance criteria
- Brainstorming and dot voting
- Meeting agendas
- Stand-up status meetings
- Retrospectives and feedback
- Office layout
The goal was to improve visibility into who is doing what, put in some lightweight structure around projects, and make sure important stuff got done. We did a brainstorming exercise, a demo of Kanban using Trello, some ways to make meetings short and useful, and a lot of time management and project management lessons.
My plan is to return around February and continue the Agile transformation. It’s cool to see the tools and methods I’ve been taking for granted applied in a completely different setting, but still be amazingly useful.