Working in an Agile squad and working in an Agile company are completely different things. It is so, because of the increased number of people that have to be aligned. When I was in university, I worked Agile while doing a project with a team of around 10 of my classmates. In comparison, Gladwell Academy has more than 40 employees, and all of them have to effectively collaborate and communicate with each other, which makes the process more complicated and requires additional effort to ensure productivity. That’s why there are a number of Agile rituals and ceremonies that accompany this way of working.
For example, every morning, I had a 15-minute daily stand-up scheduled with my team. The goal of this meeting was to meet with my marketing colleagues and discuss the progress each of us has made, as well as share any news, updates, risks, and impediments we’ve encountered. It is important to be open and honest during this meeting, both about successes and learnings. The team can then offer their help in task prioritization, finalization, and responsibilities division. The Agile mindset promotes collaboration to achieve a common goal, and the team stand-ups exist to align and share the successes or impediments in a safe, judgment-free space.
Besides the stand-ups, the company has recurrent biweekly demos. The idea behind the demo is similar to that of the stand-up: to show the progress made during a sprint, the finished PI objectives, talk about the news from each team and squad, and share the advancements made in one sprint. The difference between demo meetings and stand-ups is that demos are organized for the whole company, rather than just for one team or squad.
Another ceremony worth mentioning is the PI retrospective. Before the PI event, each team reviews the previous PI’s collaboration and the way everything went. This is a chance for colleagues to exchange their thoughts on the things they liked or didn’t like during the last PI, as well as a chance to offer ideas on how to modify certain processes within a team in order to facilitate growth and improvement.