Working in an agile manner

Our project will last 12 months and has three partners with multiple team members plus our funding partners team. As we’re all spread out across Bristol we need to lean heavily on a couple of solid web tools.

We’re working using Agile workflows, Brooklyn Museum recently wrote extensively about their process in Agile Baby Steps.  We work in two week ‘sprints’ starting and ending with a three hour face to face group meetings for the core team of about five.  During our two hiatus from each other we use Basecamp for keeping in touch  and Trello for assigning and reviewing tasks.

Why not use email I hear you ask? The problem with email is that you can’t easily share threads with entire teams and isolate the project communication quickly from all your other email (stick with your fancy email filtering if your a sucker for punishment!).  Basecamp works very well for remote communication as it is designed to take the best bits of email and apply them to teams. However I struggle with using Basecamp to stay on top of the task management part and this is where trello comes into play. We have a series of “lists” and use the same process for each sprint, enabling us to see where we are at any given time, who is assigned a task and which tasks are in a ‘done list’. We can then make our face to face meetings more productive as we just need to review trello. We expect doing this will make writing project documentation smoother too.

We have been lucky that two of the three partners were already using both these tools to make this easier. If you struggle with managing projects Basecamp and Trello (free) are worth looking at. Onwards to the next sprint.

About Zak Mensah

I'm Head of Transformation for Bristol Culture, the best Bristol City Council Service. We welcome over 1 Million visitors each year. My job is to help the service and you make connections and DO the work that needs doing.

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