Flexible – the literal meaning of agile – makes you think of a ballerina, nimbly performing her pirouettes. The image of co-workers in an office is not the first that comes to mind. Still, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to picture that group as a ballerina. Or rather, a team of ballerinas gracefully performing on stage, creating an elegant routine with each turn. We put a number of questions about agile working to colleague Lucien Ramdin of Digital and asked him what it has brought him.
In which way do you work agile?
Lucien: "I’m the visual designer in the editorial team. I design and create the lay-out of the web pages we make. From the lay-out of text and image to the entire page design. Our ‘scrum team’ is furthermore made up of three editors and a web analyst. It is a fully dedicated team making its own decisions as to which tasks to focus on, how to approach them and when they will be ready. In a so-called sprint, a fixed period of time of one week, we set to work on certain tasks. After that week we discuss what went well and what needs to be improved."
How has this changed your work?
"We now really work as a team. As a designer I’m purely allocated to designing our entertainment site. I now work closely with the editors and web analyst. In this way we can really join forces and align our work. Previously we had to meet with each other to discuss something, now we are working in the same place. It results in far more focus and it makes us much more flexible. If an article needs to be online quickly, it may also require a design for part of the site and image and text to be aligned. Because we have given this task a high priority as a team, we can put something online within an hour."
Is agile working the future?
Lucien: "I’ve been working at Ziggo for more than 25 years now and I’ve seen a lot of different ways of working during that time. I wonder if we will continue this agile way of working. I could also imagine a hybrid form of agile working, in which we will keep certain aspects but not all of them. In my view the focus we now manage to give to our work is particularly valuable, but I don’t find it necessary to evaluate every week."
And, is your team really as nimble and flexible as ballerinas?
Lucien: "Yes, especially because we share our work immediately and improve along the way. In addition, we’ve also been given more freedom. Because we determine at the beginning of a sprint which tasks we will work on, you are not wasting any time on that later that week. It provides space and time to be creative, to think things through. And when a new job comes along, we don’t have to interrupt the things we’re working on. We simply schedule that task for the week afterwards. However, we do leave some room for emergencies. In this way, we stay flexible in every possible way."
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