September 11, 2023
min read
Metrics & Performance

Managing Your Work with GTD & Scrum

Getting Things Done (GTD) and Scrum are incredible tools for improving productivity in the workplace. The practices within can work for individuals and teams in the workplace or outside of it.

We don't dive into how to use either framework in detail.

Instead, we'll address how to use the basic concepts in Holaspirit to increase your individual productivity and efficiency.

Managing your actions

A key part of GTD and Scrum is having a list of your next-actions; all the individual tasks you need to accomplish before moving onto the next thing. Actions are an integral part of the Holaspirit platform, with a variety of ways to organize them to use in the best way for your own personal needs.

After defining your "next-actions" or "to-do's", you can create each one of those as an Action in Holaspirit. This allows you to keep track of everything that needs done to complete your project or sprint.

Best practices on a regular basis

Both GTD and Scrum frameworks have a list of best practices. In case you use one, both, bits and pieces of either, or your own personal mix of these and more, here are some generally good practices.

  1. Capture actions daily. The most important thing you can do is to make sure you're capturing every single task you need to do the moment it comes up. Some people write these down on sticky notes or a notepad while others take a quick note on their phone. In either case, it's vital to consolidate your actions in a single place every day, such as Holaspirit's Actions tab. This gives you a one-stop-shop to see everything you need to do.
  2. Glance at your actions at the end of each day. By giving your list a quick scan before you call it a quits each day, you can better stay mentally organized. This end-of-day review will remind you to check off the things you accomplished that day, keeping your list neat and accurate. It also allows you to visually see your tangible accomplishments, which is a personal uplift we all benefit from. Finally, it gives you an idea of what still needs done so you can have several hours to calmly think about the best way to tackle things when you get back to work the next day.
  3. Review your list of current actions weekly. While capturing everything you need to do can be helpful, it can also be overwhelming to go to your to-do list only to see hundreds of items with no idea where to start. This is why we recommend thoroughly reviewing your list on a weekly basis to see which things can be quickly and easily accomplished, which are no longer needed and be removed, and which you've already done and forgot to update. This way, your list will not only stay up-to-date, but it will prevent it from getting overwhelming.
  4. Review completed actions monthly. While looking at actions you've already completed may seem redundant, it can act as a way of investigating your workflow to see what can be improved. Did you have to do the same type of task over and over and it might be beneficial to automate that step? Are you doing the same task for a variety of teams and you could reduce your own work by sending a single copy of that work to every team? Are you doing a lot of things that probably make more sense for another role to take care of? Regularly reviewing your completed work is a great way to improve future work based on past lessons.

Managing requests

A key part of being productive means accomplishing the tasks that others need you to do for the good of the organization as a whole. This means knowing how you will manage your work when your peers request you to do certain tasks for them. As mentioned above, jotting these requests down immediately will prevent you from forgetting it and looking at your list as a whole enables you to organize and prioritize what needs done. Additionally, it provides a stress-free way to give updates when your peers ask about the status of the work. You will know what still needs done and which tasks have to be done prior to getting to their needs.

Holaspirit makes peer-to-peer updates even easier. Every action has a unique URL, so showing someone what you're working on is as easy as sending them a link to keep track of it themselves. Each action also shows whether it's still being worked on or if it has already been marked as completed. Finally, notes can be added to any project, so you can choose to update the description at any point to keep your peers in the loop whenever they choose to look at your own project.

Managing requests

Customizing your team

Another way to use Holaspirit to make your team better reflect Scrum principles is by changing the core roles to better reflect your Scrum practices. Since practically every aspect of Holaspirit is able to be customized, we recommend changing the following core roles for teams that focus heavily on Scrum:

1. Change Circle Lead/Lead Link to Product Owner and give the Product Owner the following accountabilities:

  • Clearly expressing Product Backlog items.
  • Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions.
  • Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs.
  • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next.
  • Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

2. Change Facilitator to Scrum Master and give the Scrum Master the following accountabilities:

  • Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible.
  • Finding techniques for effective Product Backlog management.
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items.
  • Understanding product planning in an empirical environment.
  • Ensuring the Product Owner knows how to arrange the Product Backlog to maximize value.
  • Understanding and practicing agility.
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed.
  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality.
  • Helping the Development Team to create high-value products.
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress.
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood.

Additionally, you can create these Scrum roles as role templates for your organization, allowing any team to easily replicate all the Scrum roles.

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