Last week, on the 2nd of November 2022, BBHT Solutions hosted the 4th SCRUM Workshop. The event was held by Andrea Kelemen, Operations Manager at BBHT Solutions, SCRUM Master and Product Owner, and 9 of our colleagues attended it.

 

 

We started the day with the theoretical knowledge, we learned what an Agile project management looks like, and we compared the classical and the agile approaches. Then, we discussed about the SCRUM framework, the SCRUM team, roles and members, SCRUM’s pillars and values, events, and artifacts.

We also took a lunch break, where we enjoyed good pizza, conversations, and fun time together.

Afterwards, we continued to learn more and discuss about SCRUM and the Agile methodologies. We talked about the importance of SCRUM’s 3 pillars (transparency, inspection, and adaptation), and its 5 values (commitment, focus, respect, openness, courage).

SCRUM also contains a number of 4 formal events during a sprint, which are: sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review and sprint retrospective.

This framework is also based on 3 artifacts: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and Increment.

The most important part in SCRUM, the SCRUM Team, consists of one product Owner, one SCRUM Master, and the developers.

We talked about each notion mentioned above and tried to understand the role and utility of each of them. At the end of the presentation, we also looked at the Nexus framework - the implementation of Scrum in larger teams.

In addition to pure theory, what was learned was deepened with practical exercises. For the beginning, with the help of online planning poker, each of us distributed their "story points" to the "user stories" that were presented to us, and then we compared each other’s points. Those who gave fewer points or too many then the other colleagues, had to present an argument for their decision and try to convince the rest of us why their argument is valid. Thus, we learned how to estimate a user story and how to decompose it and understand what the stakeholders’ requests are.

Further, we divided in 2 teams, and each had to build a spaghetti tower out of 20 spaghetti and marshmallows. This activity was fun and challenged us to work in a team, cooperate and communicate effectively.

The last activity consisted of building a city of Lego. This time, all of us formed a single team, and together we had to run 3 sprints, 20 minutes each, with timeboxed events. Based on the user stories, we built together a city made of Lego, and we were able to successfully complete almost all the tasks. The short time for each event challenged us, and during the first sprint, we realized that many of our user stories went back in the product backlog. Why? Because although we planned and set realistic expectations, we did not communicate enough. Thus, in the following 2 sprints, we organized much better and divided the tasks among us, so we can finish them by the end of each sprint.

With this practical exercise, we understood how important communication and collaboration are in a team.

 

 

Adaptation, one of the 3 pillars of SCRUM, was crucial here, as we had to adapt to a very short timebox, get out of our comfort zone and work together, even if we encountered setbacks, so the final product is done in time and has value.

Here we also learned about commitment, one of SCRUM’s 5 values. The whole team committed to the sprint goal. We helped each other, and together, we successfully did a great job.

At the end of the day, we prepared for the “Professional Scrum Master I" certificate, and we solved an exam simulation of 80 questions.

We gained so much through this workshop: knowledge, information, teamwork experience, practical exercises, as well as a general view of how SCRUM works and how we can adapt this framework to almost any field of expertise and workplace, so we can obtain great results.

As a retrospective, it was a great day filled with useful information, learning and fun. Now the next challenge lies ahead: getting our PSM I certificate.

Back on the Track

After participating at the 6 km race at ‘Crosul Companiilor’, in May 2022, 4 of our colleagues accepted a new challenge and ran last Sunday in Cluj-Napoca, at the 4 km Cross and the 21 km Hervis Half-Marathon, respectively.

This was the second race where the BBHT Solutions team participated, and our colleagues were very enthusiastic to be part of this event. But this time, some of them took the challenge of running further than before.

The race took place throughout the city center, on a sunny and chilly Sunday morning.

Our colleagues at the Wizz Air Cluj-Napoca Marathon

 

T-shirts and medals from 'Crossul Companiilor' (blue) and 'The Wizz Air Cluj-Napoca Marathon' (white)

 

Participants, Races, and Stories

After a period of training, our 4 colleagues, Alexandra, Norbert, Alexandru and Mihaela, proudly represented our company at this race.

Alexandra ran for the 4 km Cross, which she enjoyed, and she recommends that 'anyone should accept this challenge'.

Norbert, Alexandru and Mihaela ran a half-marathon, the 21 km race.

For Alexandru, it was the first time he ran such a long distance, and although it was hard, it has been a great experience: 'I enjoyed running together with my colleagues, the mood was great, people were singing, playing instruments and yelling ‘You can do it!’ from the side of the road. I usually prefer running shorter distances and faster but next year I wouldn't mind going to the half-marathon race again'.

 ‘I find running an activity with many benefits on my personal and professional daily life’, says Norbert, who runs several times a week in order to ‘feel upbeat and energized’. Also, he mentions that running helps him remain focused on the tasks that are ahead of him. ‘It gave me great pleasure to participate together with the BBHT Solutions team at the 11th Wizz Air Cluj-Napoca Marathon.’

For Mihaela it has been the first time when she participated at a competition. Although she trained before, it was more challenging than she expected, but in the end, all the effort paid off: ‘I strongly believe that each of us needs to constantly push their limits and go beyond the barriers, as those are only in one’s mind. But we for sure can achieve much more than we think we actually can.’

Our colleague, Alexandra, after finishing the 4 km Cross

 

Our colleagues, Norbert, Mihaela and Alexandru, after finishing the 21 km half-marathon

 

Atmosphere and Results

The atmosphere throughout the race has been great, the participants were encouraged by people. The live music and the beating of the drums motivated the exhausted runners to reach the finish line.

All in all, it has been a nice experience, exhausting and challenging, but rewarding, as we tested our limits and realized we can achieve great results.

 

Future Goals

For the future, we hope to participate in a larger number at races and competitions, and to represent the BBHT Solutions team. As our colleague Norbert affirms, ‘having healthy extra-professional activities is one important pilar in building a good professional environment’.

So, keep up the good work and keep running!

The medals received after the race

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