Escrito por: Equipa Growin

How we achieved a sprint burn-down during a pandemic

One of the biggest challenges facing development teams in the midst of this pandemic is to keep working and at the same time motivated so that we can continue to deliver to our customers the same, and perhaps even better quality than before. And this was effectively what happened to our team, as shown in the email below.

First of all, a very simple explanation of a burndown is needed. It is nothing more than for your team to be able to deliver all the tasks planned for the sprint. We completed the activities of the sprint and 1 day in advance, just remembering that the two activities leftover were done after the email and the other was dependent on another team.

But how did we achieve this? Are we working overtime? Are we working more than our capacity supports?Are we stressed?

Behold, the answer is no, no and maybe, not because of the work we are doing, but because of the situation we are experiencing all over the world!

But “What's the magic?” you must be asking yourself. And the answer I have to give you is: I don’t know! =)

Disappointing isn't it? But let's do it this way, I will list below some things that we are doing, it may be some of them. In the end we will be able to make a comparison with the solutions you found and then maybe together we can understand what worked and what we can replicate.

#1 Keep safe

Here we go again, focused on health!

It is of utmost importance that you stay at home, but when staying at home some things must be taken into account:

1. Do exercise for at least 20 minutes, whether it's push-ups, jogging, or anything that moves you.
2. Don't be lazy and keep your environment clean and airy (open the window from time to time).
3. Eat the best you can, it's a good time to get the chef in you up and running.
4. Sit on a chair and table! Don't work in bed!

If you don't know any exercises to do at home, here’s a link to help you:

#2 Keep the sanity

One of the most important things we can do in times like this is to stay calm and try to make the best of it all, which is why we try to have fun even if it's from a distance.

#3 Keep connected

I believe that this is one of the most important topics of all, one of the things that our team has done is to stay connected, effectively connected, we open the hangout, with video and everything and we do it the same way as if we were working locally, we say good morning, we “go out” to eat, and all the time staying connected.

I believe this is one of the keys to our success. And the reason why is when a developer has another developer close by, that he can discuss the code, thinking about solutions together is a way of getting us to perform together and that's why we do better.

In addition to the daily and constant contact that our team has, we still have weekly meetings (sometimes more than once a week) with PO, PM, Managers and the like. It is extremely important that they are very accessible because these people influence a lot in our daily activities.

#4 Keep organized

This is one of the topics that teams usually end up leaving aside, but it’s very important that you keep your tasks organized, that you keep your routine, wake up in the morning, make your bed, take your shower, dress for work and then sit in front of the PC and start your activities.

This will let you tell your whole body that you are working and that this is the time to focus on your tasks.

The second important lesson on organization is to stay focused on tasks, and always follow Johnny Cash's advice: “one piece at a time”. Do not try to do everything at once, take a task and go with it until the end, whenever you have dependencies, mark this in the task and notify PO / PM as soon as possible.

#5 Keep the friendship

One of the little things we did before the pandemic was to keep the habit of going out every Thursday, some Fridays too, to get a beer at the Casa do Pasto.

But now with the pandemic, it is no longer possible, right? WRONG!

We continue to have drinks, we continue to meet on the same days, at the same times, but now we play games, play guitar, sing together.

One of the most important things in overcoming social isolation is that we can somehow feel that on the other side you are there.

As the poet would say: “Enquanto houver você do outro lado, Aqui do outro eu consigo me orientar" or “As long as you are on the other side, on this side I can get my bearings” – Teatro Mágico.

#6 Keep lovin

These are complex times, we will often, in our homes, give in to anger, anguish, fear, but I know that as humanity we will overcome this.

We have been through other pandemics and are still here.
We have already faced other crises and we are still here.
We were already afraid and even so we continued.

Some of us cross an ocean and venture out in search of better days in Europe and here we are. That's because we have an incredible capacity to develop, adapt, to go beyond overcoming and to do it all together.

This will all pass and for that to happen it will have to be together, united, because I am sure we will come out of this stronger and more prepared.

Keep lovin!