Houston Bell


CEO Belling

Few weeks back our CEO rushed into our office. He looked thrilled. He had just closed a big deal and wanted to share this with everybody. “I just wish I had a deal bell I could ring!” We thought what the heck. We are 40 software experts so let’s give him his bell. Let’s invent a whole new way of shouting your really important messages. Let’s give the word belling a new meaning!

“We can try to self organize a complete product development!”

In the spirit of self-organizing, we set up a product launch. It was a planning and a visioning session at the same time. We decided to use crowd sourcing to boost internal commitment from this first stage on. Why? Because we can. Because we have 40 agile experts to start with. We can try to self organize a complete product development! Our only true constraint is time. Everybody works full time so we have to include the development in training exercises and similar.


Groups planning, rotating agents circle between the groups

We started by visioning for fifteen minutes in five groups. The groups pondered about the targeted users, benefits of the bell compared to e.g. twitter, rough schedule estimate etc.

We agreed that Belling is targeted to people/companies who have something important to announce; whether it’s about closing the biggest deal ever or letting my family know that my baby was born. People can decide to listen for bells they find interesting. When the bell tolls they know it’s always something they truly want to hear. There are no spam messages – you decide what you listen!

“But then our pizzas arrived.”

Backlog wall being prioritized

Backlog wall being prioritized

Next the groups had 15 minutes to write down the most important user stories they could think of. We presented the stories on the board. But then our pizzas arrived. The time box for planning was done. We decided that during the evening everybody puts five dots on the stories they find most important.

Finally we got the idea to list possible interest groups where everybody could sign into. The resulting interest groups were iPhone, Android, Windows phone and backend. This should boost the development.

All this in two hours.

“Now we have to see how the self-organizing starts to produce results”

Houston Bel

Houston Bell

Finally we had a good time at our kick off party! Now we have to see how the self-organizing starts to produce results so stay tuned on this blog. Let’s all be “belling” soon!

Sincerily yours,

Ohto Rainio

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