A long time ago, when agile methodologies began to become a reality in the world of software development in Spain, I spoke with a workmate who told me that she had a couple of friends who applied Scrum in their daily lives.
These friends are both computer engineers and although this may sound trivial, we get all shocked when we realized the project they want to apply Scrum to, the management of their own wedding. From that point on, every time I have to lead a workshop to people not started in the software development world, I use this example where I sincerely think everyone can understand the whole process and what it entails.
8 years later, I have had to manage my own wedding and to give example, guess what agile methodology I have decided to use!! The work of my fiancee is not even remotely related to the world of technology or software development, rather the contrary, and it is really curious to check how someone not involved in the technology world, has seen how we were managing the sprints, understood the process and the iterations, but above all, checked how the progress and the development of our own product was fluid and constant.
After explaining to my fiancee how Scrum worked, we got down to work and the first thing we did was to create the initial Product Backlog, which would be alive during the development of our project, using the brainstorming tool to produce a set of ideas (User Stories).
What User Stories can we define at the end of the process in the case of a religious ceremony?
- Groom’s suit
- Wedding dress
Roles Definition and Acceptance Criteria
Once the initial Product Backlog was defined, we had to define the features/functionalities of our product to know exactly what we had to work for each functionality, but first of all, we needed to define the roles that each one was going to have and in this way, distinguish the different workflows.
- Product Owner = Fiancée
- Scrum Master = Fiancé
- Scrum Team = Fiancee, fiancé, fathers, mothers and brothers
Now that we already knew who was who, the Product Owner could now, with the help of the team and Scrum Master, in defining the User Stories of our Product Backlog, including the acceptance criteria for each of them.
Below, a couple of examples:
As a fiancée, I want my wedding dress to be gorgeous so that everyone stays a long time with the open mouth Acceptance Criteria: • The wedding dress has to cost less than 2.000€ (VAT included) • It has to be white • It has to be a short-sleeved wedding dress • It has to be with strapless neckline, draped and decorated with embroidery • The train of the wedding dress must be at least 65cm long • Wedding dress arrangements can cost at most 150€
As a couple, I want the food to be spectacular so that all the invited leave satisfied with the food Acceptance Criteria: • The average cost per invited should not exceed 160€ (VAT included) • Must have canapes, starter, first course, second course, dessert, coffee, shot and drink • The wine has to be a Vegasicilia of the year 2003 • The second course must me sirloin steak done in a wood-fired oven
Prioritization of the Product Backlog
Once the initial Product Backlog was defined and its acceptance criteria specified, we had to prioritize the User Stories and for that, we needed the Product Owner to be able to prioritize the functionalities:
- Wedding dress
- Groom’s suite
Now, it is responsibility of the entire team, Scrum Master and even the Product Owner to estimate, in order of priority, the User Stories and in this way, have a vision of the difficulty of a functionality in a sprint.
For this, we used the Fibonacci numbers and voted a few functionalities to be able to start working.
Sprint Planning y Sprint Backlog
We were already ready to start working on it, so we decided to do 3-weeks sprints.
We did a small sprint planning in which we were checking what events/impediments/tasks,…, that’s it, the time we had during this period of time, to be able to accomplish more functionalities or not. Once the sprint planning was done, we started working on our sprint backlog, splitting each user story into tasks that could undertake individually.
Once the sprint was over, we did retrospective of those 3 weeks and we saw how everything had gone: what was completed, what was not completed, what impediments we had, but above all, how to improve for the next sprint.
This project lasted about 8-9 months from its beginning to its final execution, so we had about 11 sprints in total.
The progression from sprint #1 to sprint #11 was amazing. My fiancée already had the process so internalized that she already knew what to do and what not to do, why something had gone wrong, and taking it seriously, we have perfectly managed our wedding to become a total success.
We started to feel that the methodology was working in sprint #3-#4, where we really checked that the division of the functionalities in subtasks was truly effective and it helped us to get our objectives.
Did the management of the wedding work better using Scrum or not? From my point of view, I know what I am talking about, and I can confirm that of course, but that is something I am going to leave you just in case someone has the courage to manage their wedding with Scrum
If you encourage yourself, do you want to share your experience with us?