So! If you are working or are about to start working with After Digital, you’ll very quickly hear us refer to ‘Stand up’ and ‘Sit down’ time. To take away a little of the mystery and to better understand how these time slots benefit both the studio/delivery team and you, the client, we thought we’d introduce you to the detail and exactly what they are used for.
As an agile studio, we look to pre-plan our schedules as far in advance as we can. We work in planned two-week sprints, with all work discussed, agreed and booked in advance for the delivery teams. Sprint planning takes place on the last Friday of the current two-week sprint (though there is a lot of pre-planning and careful negotiation and prioritisation ahead of this!). Once the work is agreed, it is scheduled with the team, with the majority of our UX designers and developers working through 5.5 hours of planned/scheduled work each day.
Importantly, this then facilitates one hour each day for ‘Stand up’ in the morning and one hour of ‘Sit down’ at the end of the day. This is the time we use to deal with all requests outside of the planned work and can include, but definitely isn’t limited to:
- RFP initial review
- Client questions
- Helpdesk tickets
- Small investigations or bug fixes
- Internal review of design or build
- Review of client feedback
- Ad hoc requests
- Project team discussion
The team will come in each morning, and again at the end of the day, and review what has been allocated to them in the JIRA ‘Sit down’ sheet and the prioritisation level that has been set by the digital producer. As they work through the list they will update and report back to the DP, who will then relay this information back to the client, the team, or feed into further work planning, costings etc.
The main benefit of this practice is to retain and ensure a level of flexibility within a planned two-week sprint. We protect the time needed for the delivery team to work through the scheduled actions, without interruption, but have points in each day where we can touch base and keep other smaller works, enquires and support actions moving through the studio; as well as helping with planning and costings of works for future sprints.
Most importantly, each morning we have a daily ‘Stand up’ with the full delivery team. The DPs, UX designers, developers and digital marketing team come together with the Studio Manager — and yes we ‘stand up’! We discuss:
- What we worked on yesterday
- What we will work on today
- Any questions or blockers that would or could affect the planned work.
It’s our daily point to come together and understand where the individual members of the team are in their work, to understand project progress, any dependencies and anything that might need further discussion or escalation; to start the day with an understanding of what lies ahead and to best plan for it.
Protecting our and your time in this way allows continual ‘flow’ in the studio. It allows interactions, collaboration and keeps us flexible, agile, alert and able to quickly respond to change — all core values of the agile methodology.