Recently, while chatting to on colleague at work we were talking about setting up an automated deployment process so that the testers could deploy the solution by themselves. At first, I wasn't sure how we would fit this into the sprint as we had other tasks as well as other improvements that we came up with during our retrospective. Later on I thought *"Why not have a larger improvement, that the team aims to achieve? It can span multiple sprints, kind of like an epic", and so the idea was born!
Turn The Flywheel
In a recent previous post, I talked about eliminating waste and this topic ties in closely to that. The basic thing is that you need to start with something, even if it takes a while to do. When you do start, you get the flywheel moving, you will slowly overtime you will start to gain more and more momentum.
Large & Small Improvements
By having a larger improvement for the team that can span a longer period of time you still give yourself some leeway to do the smaller improvements. You essentially allow them to run in parallel. I like the idea of getting the team on board and focusing towards the goal of completing the large task.
What About Time?
Our initial idea for completing the large improvement task was that when anyone in the team had spare time they could work on it. However, we were fortunate enough to have a new graduate join our team and as such, he has taken this on as his mini-project.
I understand that most teams aren't so lucky with timing, but you could always allocate whoever is on support do some of the task hasn't been much to assist with. Another idea is that you can allocate someone a few hours each week to the task. Usually, the time invested will pay itself off in the long run.
I hope that inspires you to take on some of those larger improvement tasks on your team. Even it it takes a while to complete, you will have already overcome the biggest hurdle, getting started.
Until next time...keep learning!