Do you think Agile is just an IT thing? Well you’d be surprised!
It’s the 24th February 2013, and my girlfriend and I just got engaged.
I’m sure many couples planning a wedding can relate to the
“OMG moments” when realising that they have agreed to get married, but also agreed to plan this once-in-a-lifetime event, where everything will be beautiful and run more smoothly than a precision racing team.
Having run many projects and led large teams across multiple timezones – I seem less than puzzled by the thought of arranging everything. After all it’s just another project isn’t it? Wrong! At least that’s what my fiancé reminded me 🙂
I’ve spent the past 12 months myself on an Agile journey, learning the ways of visual management, lean and flow. With much gusto I pulled together a Trello board. I was excited, but not sure that my fiancé shared in my enthusiasm. None-the-less we pushed on and started to plan our wedding.
This was the fun bit – we really didn’t know exactly all the details of the wedding, but what we did know was our brief : “A modern, low-fuss affair with a mix of tradition and an opportunity to party with our families and friends”. What did this mean in specifics? We had no idea.
After numerous coffee chats we managed to pull together a list of Must have’s and Nice to haves –
- Great ceremony venue
- Great reception venue
- Good food and drinks
- Small bridal party
- Melbourne CBD locations
- Great band
- 100 guests
- Stick within our budget
- Our mate Dan as MC
- A civil celebrant
- Modern and simple
- All our guests to have great time
NICE TO HAVES
- Wedding cake
- Wedding cars
- Throwing of garter or bouquet
- Seating plans
Our Must Haves did change over time, but never too dramatically. Our budget and desire to keep the wedding modern and simple meant when we wanted to add something to the Must Haves list we really challenged ourselves. Will it really make the wedding better or us happier? In most cases we canned the idea – and were happy that we did.
I love it when teams come up with something extra in a sprint. Something you deemed as Nice To Have is picked up and delivered. We had a couple of moments like this, my nephew offered to take some video footage with his fancy new digital SLR and friends of ours offering up the use of their shiny new Audi to get my fiancé and her father to the ceremony on time. These were little hidden surprises that made our wedding that little bit extra special.
Trade off Sliders
When I was writing this post I thought about what levers we pulled when trying to make decisions. We hadn’t actually put in place a set of trade off sliders, but subconsciously we did – there were 4 key attributes that regularly came up in conversation:
- Budget: Least Negotiable
- Guests numbers: Somewhat Negotiable
- Date: Somewhat Negotiable
- Location: Least Negotiable
The Customer and Product Owner?
Every Agile team has a Product Owner and an identified Customer – in our case my fiancé and I were both. Quite a unique position to be in as at the end of the day we are prioritising and making decisions to keep ourselves happy.
After a couple of ad hoc “wedding chats” early on, my fiancé and I soon realised that we need to lock in every Sunday night after dinner to review our plan, check in on the design of our wedding and then replan for the week ahead.
We did our retro, informally, on the flight to our honeymoon destination. We asked ourselves one question – “Did we have any regrets on our wedding day?” – we both said “No” – we both got the wedding we anted.
Very happy newlyeds.