As you know, with the COVID-19 outbreak, all the companies that have a project management in every way have looked for ways to work online. For this reason, many options of voice / video communication channels were started to be shared and used. But here is a detail that is an even more important detail, not only to communicate but also to share tasks and manage remotely.
For this reason, as Yesil Science, we decided to open the our Scrum system (what is Scrum?), which we have modified, completely based on Google Drive tables, for all teams that need online task management. You can use it for your own project management free of charge, without the need for any other tools.
As Yesil Science, it was a system we have been implementing for a long time as a semi-physical and semi-online team before the epidemic. I hope it will be useful for all other teams.
It is advantageous to know the basic Scrum concepts before using the table, but even if you do not know, you can easily grasp and apply it by reading the section below, which explains how you can implement the system.
The system we apply and describe here is a system based on the Scrum method, but as our own system, it contains differences.
1- What is Sprint, PBI, Task, Assign, Effort, Daily Scrum ?
Sprint actually means running, as its name suggests. It is your running period that you will do as a team. This continuously repeating period, ie sprints, varies from team to team, but is usually between 1-4 weeks. We recommend 1-week sprints for teams working online to avoid losing in-team focus. You should set a goal as a team for each sprint, and this goal should be a product if possible. By product, all kinds of output are meant, not the final product you are trying to develop.
PBI (Product Backlog Items)defines the targets you set for each sprint. These goals can be measured by a meeting at the beginning of the sprint, and you must set them as metrics.
Task is actually the task as we know it. Each task should be assigned to only one person (Assign) as much as possible, and should be written in a specific and clear way. For each sprint (example 1 week), you must specify how many hours that person will spend on that task during that week. (Effort)
Daily Scrum, for each task you set here, you should gather each day briefly as a team and update each other by explaining how you are doing and enter your effort in the section corresponding to that day in the table. For example, if a 5-hour task was entered, if I spent 2 hours of effort that day, I should enter the remaining time in the table, namely 3. You can make daily updates through the communication channel (Slack, Discord, Whatsapp etc.) you use at a time you set every day.
2- How can I understand and use the table ?
There are 3 tabs in the table:
– BurnDown Charts
– BurnDown Inputs
– Scrum System
First I want to start from the “Scrum System” tab:
This table shows roughly how long you have a sprint cycle in the long run, how many sprints you run for a month and how you plan for time. In the table, our own plan is in the form of 1-week sprints for 2-month periods. The Daily Scrum, which is also in this same tab, contains an article format that you can use in the communication channels for the daily in-team updates mentioned above.
You should set the targeted outputs as a whole team at the beginning of each sprint and write them to the PBI (Product Backlog Items) section. Depending on these PBIs, you should detail the work to be done, turn each one into a task, assign it to a person and enter the effort to be spent on that task. The whole team should update this effort on a daily basis, deduct what they spend and record the rest on the table. You can examine the examples of all the narratives in the table.
In the graphs on this tab, you can examine the change of the remaining effort according to the days depending on the efforts you entered in the previous tab, and you can instantly monitor your performance according to your goal.
I hope you will be able to use the system that will allow you to keep up with the remote working system. You can contact me (Yusuf Yesil) or my teammates from my social media accounts for any questions and contributions.
Yusuf Yesil, M.D.