Grape Minds Incorporate Sprint Planning

Grape Minds Incorporate Sprint Planning

Kaizen

Authors: Kaizen

Agile practices are an iterative approach to developing products and software in just about any industry. This methodology is a powerful way to rapidly and collaboratively achieve business goals due to its flexibility and strength in bringing together a team to hit targets. At Kaizen Analytix we employ an Agile methodology to develop and deploy analytics and software solutions.

To illustrate how Agile can be used in nearly any application, Kaizen decided to use it to produce something most everyone loves: Wine. With the initial goal (often referred to as the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP), of debuting an awesome first batch of Cabernet Sauvignon in time for a team wide wine tasting party, we began the wine making process by planning out our first 2-week sprint.

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Sprint Planning is when decisions are made on what to tackle (organized into small chunks called user stories) or iterate upon in the upcoming sprint (typically set at a cadence of every 2 weeks) which results in short term goals, a vital part of any Agile process. Each sprint planning session provides a necessary layout for defining those goals along the way to the MVP, or next product iteration launch.

  • To begin the wine making process, our first sprint was focused on purchasing and sterilizing all of the equipment required for primary fermentation, as well as completing the primary fermentation process. During the primary fermentation process, we had to wait for several days for the specific gravity to hit a certain target (not unlike a KPI).
  • In the next sprint we tackled the secondary fermentation process, began designing the wine labels, and started the clearing and stabilizing process. The user stories for this sprint included removing the grape skins, decanting the wine into a new container, sterilizing the carboy, letting it sit for a few days, creating sketches of the wine label, and purchasing the materials needed for stabilizing and clearing.
  • In sprint 3 we repeated the decanting and cleaning process, added preservatives and flavors, let the wine stand for a few days, iterated upon the label design to form a mid-fidelity mockup and repeated the decanting and cleaning process once more.
  • Sprint 4 was a bit slower moving, as we needed to continue to let the wine sit, but nonetheless we utilized the sprint to iterate upon our label design, create high fidelity mockups and place the order for the wine bottles.
  • Sprint 5 then encompassed cleaning and sanitizing the new wine bottles, followed by bottling, and corking the wine to prepare for the debut launch at the Kaizen team tasting party.

This process is much like the sprints in an agile framework – there are procedures of setting a foundation for the project, adding in design or style elements depending on the scope (say, depending on the wine), and then ultimately clarifying the goal and shipping the product. It’s an iterative process that builds upon itself, while encouraging teamwork and a group consensus on the goals to achieve. Cheers to that!

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