You’ve gone through the backlog, prioritized what needs to happen, and planned your next sprint. There have been meetings and messages, and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. Now you just need a way to stay updated on how their work is going. You trust your developers to get things done, but you want the ability to identify and address blockers as they happen. You’re here to help your team, and you want to know exactly where and when to give that support.
That’s what the sprint execution workflow is about.
Defining a sprint execution workflow
If the product backlog workflow is about centralizing and prioritizing development requests, the sprint execution workflow covers everything that comes after. Most agile methodologies use a series of sprints — short bursts of intense development work — to achieve particular goals. Sprints can cover everything from fixing certain bugs to pushing a new feature or paying off technical debt.
The workflow itself is about finding ways to simplify the reporting and dispatching aspects of this work. For instance, while a development team lead might be working in a work management tool, their developers probably live in a Git platform. This makes getting visibility into the work happening across a development team more challenging.
Friction points of a sprint execution workflow
The tool disparity between a team lead and their developers is at the core of this workflow’s friction points. While developers might be able to get everything done in Jira and a version control platform — like Git — the same can’t be said for their leaders. They usually need to stay abreast of the wider organization’s needs, meaning they need to have a presence in whatever work management platform other teams are using. That can create a certain disconnect between developers and the people leading them.
The dreaded copy-paste
One way to deal with this disparity is to copy-paste information across tools. Sometimes it’s developers copying their updates over into a team lead’s tool; other times it’s the other way around. In either scenario, people are losing tons of time each day getting information from one place to another. Repeat that process enough times throughout the day, and it’s enough to make anyone feel like a robot.
Constant reports and meetings
Copy-pasting, dreadful as it is, can’t begin to cover all the information that needs to go through a team. When executives and other stakeholders need regular updates, they generally ask for progress reports or weekly meetings. For the former, team leads have to sift through dozens of tasks in multiple tools to extract the information they need. For the latter, they’re spending valuable time in a room — virtual or otherwise — just to go through points on a presentation. In both circumstances, it feels like there should be a better way.
Low visibility across the organization
Because the sprint execution workflow is locked in a tool silo, it can be difficult for anyone to know exactly what’s going on. Developers might ask themselves why they’re working on a specific issue over another. Marketers might wonder why their development request is taking so long. And executives might be at a loss as to what their development teams do all day.
Development work is inherently focus-heavy; developers need as much focus time as they can get. That’s why often their lead needs to act as a buffer between them and incoming requests. That, plus the tool difference, means development work can be particularly tough to get an eye on.
How Unito eases that friction
Unito is a workflow management platform that integrates some of the world’s most popular tools so everyone can work their way. With the visual workflow designer, anyone has the power to create a workflow for their team so information can flow seamlessly between tools. So how does this help you with this sprint execution workflow?
Trash the copy-paste
When you build your workflow in Unito, you’re breaking down the barriers between your tools. Your work management tool and Git platform go from being individual silos to making up a single collaborative environment. Pull requests in your Git platform of choice can become tasks in a work management tool like Jira, and vice versa. As comments and updates get added to either side, they’re automatically transferred to the other, meaning everyone stays in the loop no matter where they’re working from.
Reduce meetings and reports
In some cases, a meeting is the best way to get information from one place to the other. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you shouldn’t have to set up meetings every week, especially in a remote work situation. Because Unito works across such a wide variety of tools — with more on the way — everyone across the organization can get access to the information that would otherwise be trapped in a development team. You can use Unito to get information from a repository in a Git platform all the way to an executive-level Kanban board. With Unito’s robust rules, you can filter out unnecessary information so only the most crucial updates get to the top. Have fewer meetings, spend less time writing reports, and maintain visibility and accountability.
See what’s happening when it’s happening
One of the best ways to get someone to do something is to remove barriers. With Unito, you can democratize access to information rather than keeping it locked in reports and closed meetings. Imagine building a “key insights” project across tools, giving each team access to high-level summaries of what development teams are working on, and populating these projects without any extra work. Doing this means potentially eliminating the most common questions thrown at the development team by giving everyone access to the information they need.
A sprint execution workflow with Unito
Now that you know what Unito can do for your workflow, let’s look at an example. Imagine a development team that works exclusively in GitHub while their team lead uses Jira. Executives and other stakeholders across the organization use Trello. The development team works exclusively on new features for a software product. Here’s the workflow:
- Developers work on code and make pull requests from GitHub.
- Comments, updates, and other crucial information is synced from GitHub to the team lead’s Jira project.
- High-level information is filtered from the Jira project to Trello boards across the organization.
- Questions and requests are made from the Trello boards and synced to the lead’s Jira project.
- The team lead dispatches work and updates from Jira to GitHub as needed.
In this example, the lead’s Jira project essentially serves as both a filter and dispatcher, making sure only necessary information gets from developers in GitHub to the rest of the organization and vice-versa. Even if this might seem like a lot of additional work, Unito does all the work for the team lead, essentially acting as a virtual assistant.
Race to the finish
Unito turns work management tools from silos to the building blocks of a company-wide collaborative environment. By managing a sprint execution workflow in Unito, you can give everyone access to the information they need to get visibility on a development team’s work. No more meetings, no more throwaway reports, and no more notifications pulling developers out of focus mode.