Notes Day is a day in which employees tell management how to make Pixar better. No visitors allowed and everyone must attend.
‘we have a problem and we believe the only people who know what to do about it are you’
People submit discussion topics in advance
Go through them (pick ones which you can imagine 20 people talking about for an hour) (1, page 283)
Schedule sessions and let people sign up for it themselves (1, page 284)
Start the day off by a intro speech
John Lassiter gave an example of being thankful for the feedback that he personally received and reminder how important honesty is and not to feel attacked personally
First session was within departments to warm everyone up being candid with people that they worked with regularly before having to do it around strangers
Subsequent discussion sessions scheduled that people submitted and signed themselves up to in advance of the day
Executives and directors did not join these sessions (to allow safety) and addressed their own issues together separately
Each session has exit forms to be filled in to capture the discussions
The exit form included the final line of ‘who should pitch this proposal (i.e. a volunteer) (1, page 286)
Social event afterwards
Afterwards volunteers who signed up to pitch the proposal presented them to the execs who immediately began implementing the ones that made sense, or earmarked to do at a later stage when it was more logical (1, page 292)
Reasons for success (1, page 293)
Clear and focused goal
They used the fact that it was costing too much and something needed to be done to hit specific financial goal
Championed by the highest levels of the company
It was led from within, no outside consultancy running it
Pixar use regular meetings every few months called Braintrust Meetings to inspect progress made on a film, talk through what works and what doesn’t, and how to adapt the film to improve (i.e. similar to a Sprint Review).
‘put smart passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid with one another’
Structure (1, page 94)
Lunch together in a conference room (to gather thoughts)
Director will give a summary of where they think they are
Feedback (page 93)
Braintrust notes, then, are intended to bring the true causes of problems to the surface – not to demand a specific remedy (page 93)
The director (as mirrors the PO role) is able to change whatever he/she wants from the feedback
Feedback is given as constructive criticism (page 103)
“The writing in this scene isn’t good enough” (just criticism)
“Don’t you want people to walk out of the theater and be quoting those lines?” (more of a challenge and shows you want the same things)
“The work to be performed in the Sprint is planned at the Sprint Planning” (1)
Definition:Sprint Planning is a meeting involving the entire Scrum Team to collaboratively decide what work will be taken up for the Sprint and how the work will be done (2, pg 27)
Length:Maximum of 8 hours for a one-month Sprint
Input: Product Backlog, Definition of Done, Retrospective Improvements, Team Capacity Planning, Impediments, Product Increment
Outcome: Sprint Goal (The What) and Sprint Backlog (The Why)
People: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Development Team
By the end of the Sprint Planning, the Development Team should be able to explain to the Product Owner and Scrum Master how it intends to work as a self-organizing team to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment. (1)
What can be done this Sprint?
Product Backlog Items
The Development Team forecasts the functionality that will be developed during the Sprint for the Product Owner’s objective
The number of items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint is solely up to the Development Team.
The Sprint Goal
Definition:The Sprint Goal is an objective that will be met within the Sprint through the implementation of the Product Backlog, and it provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment (1)
During Sprint Planning the Scrum Team also crafts a Sprint Goal
The Sprint Goal is one coherent function
The Sprint Goal means all the Development Team work together rather than on separates objectives
The Sprint Backlog items can be negotiated with the Product Owner whilst the Sprint Goal
How will the chosen work get done?
The Development team decides how it will deliver the selected Product Backlog Items for the Sprint
The Development Team designs the system and the work needed to convert the Product Backlog Items into an Increment
Just enough to forecast what it can do in the Sprint
Work for the first few days of the Sprint is broken down more
Work may be of varying size, or estimated effort
The Product Owner helps to clarify and negotiate the selected Product Backlog items
The Development Team may also invite people with specific expertise to support them
Are we on track to achieve our forecasted Sprint Goal?
Definition: […] for the Development Team to synchronise Development Team activities, create a plan for the next twenty-four hours, and ensure everyone in the team is aligned toward the Sprint Goal (3, pg 31)
Inputs: Sprint Goal, Sprint Backlog, open impediments, (optional) information radiator
Outcome:Update Sprint Goal, updated Sprint Backlog, updated impediments, (optional) updated information radiator. Optimises the chances of achieving the Sprint Goal.
People: Development Team, (optional) Product Owner, (optional) Scrum Master
Timing and Location: Same place, same time every day to set a routine
The structure is set by the development team.
Common 3 questions (1)
What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?
Daily Scrum Questions (2, page 152)
Is anything stuck?
If something is stuck, how can we all work together to get this work unstuck?
Who needs help?
What’s the most important thing we need to accomplish today?
How do we increase the odds that the most important things get to done?
“The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself” (1)
Definition:The Sprint Retrospective is a formal opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint. (formal opportunity as improvements may happen at any time)
Length: 3 hours for a month long Sprint. For shorter Sprints the event is usually shorter.
Inputs: People, Processes, Practices, Definition of Done
Outcome:Improvements for work processes in the upcoming Sprint, updated Definition of Done
People: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Development Team
INSPECT the people, relationships, process, and tools in the last Sprint
IDENTIFYwhat went well and what could be improved
PLANfor implementing improvements
Scrum Master Role
The Scrum Master…
ensures that the event takes place
ensures that attendants understand its purpose
ensures that the event is positive and productive
teaches all to keep the event within the time-box
participates as a peer team member from the accountability over the Scrum process
encourages the Scrum Team to improve, within the Scrum process framework