eSmart Systems is still a company in the startup phase, which means that the road is shaped while passing and everyone is prepared to make an extra effort when and where needed.
We are used to high activity and work pace, especially when deadline for Sprint delivery approaches. When some long nights of concerted effort are needed to reach the Sprint goal in time, dinner is purchased and jointly consumed before we continue hammering away on the keyboard.
However, the employees at eSmart have recently shown that they can handle more tools than keyboard and mouse. eSmart moved to brand new offices in October, and although this was known well in advance, we still were not able get everything ready before we first stepped into the new location. One mistake was to not include decision of wall colours in a Sprint, so all the walls were delivered with default color - white. Completely harmless, but oh so boring - eSmart are aiming higher than default solutions!
So how do you outdo the default solution in such situations? Well, you put painting and wallpapering on top of the Product Backlog and define a separate Sprint for this. Next, you buy paint and wallpaper, bring appropriate tools from home and do the job yourself. Value-added work can mean many things.
Four weeks is a normal Sprint duration at eSmart, but our Sprint for painting and wallpapering was probably the shortest in history. During a Saturday afternoon and a couple of weekday evenings the job was done.
In the subsequent Sprint Review, the Product Owner made some comments on the resulting work, but only category C (Insignificant) issues. Luckily, no category A (Critical) or category B (Unattractive) issues. Result: Delivery approved!
Overall, this special Sprint was a great success. Employees working together with great enthusiasm is never a bad thing, even on not so everyday tasks.