You’ve just started your site re-design. You’re excited, the team is fresh-faced and ready to take on the challenges that come their way. Then one day your inbox fills up with emails, your phone rings off the hook, your day is jam-packed with meetings—suddenly your site redesign moves down the list of priorities.
So what do you do when your re-design team needs your sign-off, but you can’t seem to get a moment of free time? Here are some tips for staying responsive even in the busiest of times.
Make the Most of the Daily Scrum
In traditional Scrum speak, the Daily Scrum happens well... daily. Many agencies choose to make the "daily" Scrum meetings weekly since developers working on many different projects at once couldn't physically do a Daily Scrum on each project. It is not uncommon, instead, to schedule a Weekly Scrum so that everyone can check in.
As a Product Owner, you are responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. A good way to stay on top of that responsibility is by scheduling a Daily or Weekly Scrum call to make sure you are up to date on the important items being worked on and stay on top of anything that might need attention to move forward. Remember, Scrum calls should be at the same time and place every day to reduce complexity, meaning, you won’t need to struggle to find a time that works for everyone.
Block Off Time for Catching Up On Tasks
Sometimes a site redesign requires more than just a quick Scrum call. Throughout the process you can be tasked with some actionable items such as: performing Quality Assurance, providing answers to questions and, providing feedback on new designs or site functionality.
With all that, it’s easy to get bogged down by an ever-growing list of tasks you need to get done. Therefore, it’s a good idea to block off some time for yourself to get through these tasks all at once. Try scheduling time at the same time every day to work through your To Dos. Treat it as a meeting so that you can stay focused on the tasks without getting pulled into more meetings, or discussions.
Your contributions are crucial to your website's success, and you don't want to regret not making the time after launch.
Come Up With a Flagging System
In peak busy time, you can’t answer all emails immediately, but that doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge them. If a team member working on your site re-design needs your input before moving forward, and they don’t hear from you, it could cause panic or even more emails and phone calls sent your way. Ugh .
Try always to acknowledge an email even if you don’t have time that moment to take a deep dive into it. A simple, ‘looking into it’ message can go a long way. Come up with a personalized system to star or flag any communications you intend to go back to (just don’t forget to go back to it!).
Think Outside the Email (In)Box
While many teams use email for communication, it shouldn’t be your only way of connecting to team members. Sometimes you need a quick answer or to quickly notify the team of a new development—that’s where an instant messaging solution comes in handy.
A great instant messaging program like Slack facilitates quick and easy collaboration across teams. If your team needs input, they can tag you so you can instantly weigh in. Try adjusting settings so that you get notifications when you're mentioned directly so that you won’t miss a thing.
Don't Let Yourself Become a Blocker!
It can be hard to balance your site re-design with other work priorities, but if there is a deadline in mind then there’s no time to be busy! Avoid becoming a blocker and stay in the Scrum mindset by using these tools as a framework.
Be flexible, and adapt as necessary depending on how busy you get. Remember, if other work priorities need to take over, just make sure to inform your Scrum team so that there are no surprises. Maintaining clear and responsive communication is the key to a successful site re-design and keeping up with your tasks ensures that you’ll stay on track. So get out there and work it.