The Tip of the Month, brought to you by Atlassian University, is a monthly series to help master Atlassian tools. Products are more fun to use when you know all the tricks.

To build great products, we use the same exact products we offer to you.  Lets take a sneak peak at how the Interactive Marketing team uses GreenHopper to plan sprints and get stuff done.  The 8 of us in the Interactive team at Atlassian manage the Atlassian websiteAtlassian Universityvideos and various design tasks.

How we organize

Every day the marketing team makes small changes to the website. Since these are so minor, and there are so many of them, no tickets are filed. Instead, our marketing team makes the changes to our internal staging server, and we push everything to the production server at the end of every day.  For all other tasks, we require a ticket.

Every week tickets come in such as ‘Make a video for an upcoming Stash campaign’, ‘Create Tip of the month banners (see top right of this blog)’, etc.  Unless the ticket is marked urgent, we don’t look at it until our weekly sprint planning meeting on Monday morning.

This one hour meeting is the only time we meet as a team. Besides a few minutes of general announcements  and recognition for great work in the previous week, we spend the rest of the time planning the week ahead.

Close out last week’s sprint

We start off the weekly sprint planning meeting in GreenHopper’s ‘Work mode’, by closing out last week’s sprint and discussing it.  How did last week go? Did anyone have too much or too little work assigned to them? Was there anything assigned for the week that didn’t get finished? Why was that?   We will take all this into account when when delegating responsibility for the upcoming week.

Planning

Most of the time not every task in previous week’s sprint gets finished.  When we close out the previous sprint, the unfinished tickets go to the top of the next upcoming sprint in GreenHopper’s ‘Plan mode’.  Since last week’s unfinished tickets are above the sprint marker, they will be included in the upcoming week’s sprint (they will be assigned to the same person, and be in the same column).

In ‘Plan mode’ we filter all tickets from the previous week using the ‘Created this week’ and ‘Updated this week’ filters. We prioritize all ticket into upcoming sprints based on urgency and impact to the company. We continue until all issues are triaged into a sprint or the backlog.

We label our sprints by week. We usually have the next 5 or so sprint named so if we get a task that needs to be done a month out, we can allocate it to the correct sprint.

The team is comprised of specialists for video editing, graphic design, front end work, university courses, etc, so the ScrumMaster then assigns all tickets to individuals based on needed skills.

Are you good?

Up until this point only the Scrum Master has his computer open.  At this point we all open up our laptops and filter by our name.  We can see how much work is assigned to us.  If anyone is assigned too much or too little work, now is the time to speak up.

Starting the sprint

Once everyone has a good chunk of work for the week we start the sprint and the meeting is over.  At this point we all know exactly what we need to get done in the next week, and we get chained back to our desks until the next sprint planning meeting.  Just kidding, Atlassian is beautiful and amazing place to work.

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