How to bake a cake while juggling chainsaws, or: Agile project management in web operations

How to bake a cake while juggling chainsaws, or: Agile project management in web operations

1 vote

Vote for this session.

In this talk, I'd like to share the story of how the freistilbox team nearly broke down under its workload and how switching to lean and agile methods brought us back on track.

In 2016, the freistilbox team experienced — I'm saying this without hardly any exaggeration — first the failure of our project management and then the breakdown of parts of our team. The first symptom was that both internal work and feature projects got delayed, in some cases by months. Then we noticed a huge drop in customer satisfaction and trust. And finally, team members started showing severe signs of burnout such as fatigue, frustration and the feeling of letting everyone down.

It was not until the end of November that we realised that something needed to be done. Since then, we’ve completely changed how we manage the flow of our work, and all signs say we're back on a good trajectory.

Things to take away from this talk will be:

* How we adopted the Kanban method to handle a large workload with a tiny team
* How we introduced the RICE formula to make priority decisions easy
* How our “sweeper” tackles unplanned work like support requests and system outages
* The role of business values and team culture
* How to communicate effectively in a distributed team


We've learned a lot from our mistakes and these lessons are worth sharing.

Session Slides:
Jochen Lillich
Jochen Lillich
freistil IT
Founder