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A few years ago, I coached an agile video production team. It was a highly collaborative, tight-knit team with super specialised skill sets. The team churned through the work and delivered lots of high-value outcomes for the organisation.
However, what the team and I noticed was that there seemed to be a lack of ownership and accountability when it came to developing user stories. User stories often omitted crucial details and quality considerations, such as:
The team held regular retrospectives, not only at the end of each sprint but also after production events and shoots.
However, the retrospectives involved a lot of blame and finger-pointing when things did not work well, so it was difficult to produce tangible solutions. One idea I had was to assign a ‘hero’ to each story - this was in keeping with the team’s Hollywood theme.
The idea was to have one person on the team serve as a ‘hero’ for a particular story - this person could have been part of the pre-production admin, pre-production, production and post-production teams.
They were not expected to do all the work entailed for a story, but they acted as a ‘guide’ to ensure consistency and alignment around the story for the team. They ensured that the right people collaborated so that stories were good to go.
This work included:
Essentially ensuring quality and consistency through delivery and ensuring it met the needs of the product owner, client, and director.
Anyone on the team could opt-in to be a ‘hero’, including graduate students, animators, camera specialists and so on. The ‘hero’ role was a needed role and was shared amongst team members.
Posted by Michael Huynh.