At Yodle we’ve been practicing agile development for the past 9 years and have been utilizing the concepts of sprints for the past 7. Yodle currently uses the scrum framework to empower the 19 scrum teams to inspect, adapt, and make improvements to their own workflow and own their success. Scrum is an agile development framework that uses sprints which are a short cadence of work, generally within 1-4 weeks. At Yodle we number our sprints sequentially by week with the most recent being sprint #300 which represents about 6 years worth of agile development using our current naming conventions.
The short work cycle allows for the teams to review their process and make improvements to not only improve the workflow but ensure we are building what our customers need. Getting feedback throughout the product development lifecycle is key to building a product that customers love. And if an idea doesn’t go well, you can fail fast and not overly invest in development work that won’t satisfy the users.
What does this mean has happened over the past 10 years?
- Growing a team of 1 engineer to over 100
- 4,959 Daily standups a year
- 494 sprint planning sessions a year
- A product department of none to 18 visionary people
- From “What is UX and Design?’ to having an awesome team of 19
- From one team, 1 sprint and 1 sprint goal to 19 individual teams
“But really, what does this mean?”
It means Yodle has powered through 10 years of hard work to create not only an innovative product for small businesses and brand networks to navigate the bumpy road of online marketing, from customer acquisition to retention, but has also created a culture where innovation and teamwork can thrive. And how best to celebrate this amazing accomplishment of sprint 300? With a good old fashioned egg drop. Teams were given 300 seconds to create a small contraption to protect a raw egg from a 300 centimeter drop.
Teams of 3 stepped up to the plate to give it their best. From packing an egg into Jello powder to literally using a Ham sandwich, teams were only limited by their imagination and using a small cardboard box. The first round only one egg soul was lost to an inventive and resourceful, but not successful, solution of using a cone to cause friction to slow the egg down. All other teams moved on to the next round which meant adding about 5 feet on to the initial drop.
For the final round, to up the ante, we made good use of our majestic staircase and extended the height of the drop by even more and stated that all external objects on the contraptions had to be removed. This included, but was not limited to, parachutes, packing materials, and even a device of plastic forks. This final challenge proved to be the downfall of many of the egg drop builds.
We lost a lot of good eggs out there, but in the last and final round, 3 eggs kept their shells together and were able to move on to fulfill their destiny of becoming omelettes, banana bread, and even cookies. Both builders and spectators had a great time with the egg drop. It was a great way to have a little fun before getting back to sprint 301.
The real question is, what will we do for sprint 350 and will you be a part of it?