By Hackerbilt, Inc.
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The Scrumball Lite is a countdown timer that auto-restarts when motion is sensed. Use it with the Scrumball foam rugby ball iPhone enclosure to pass the timer to other team members in a status meeting to keep the meeting on track.
The Scrumball Lite app was specifically designed to keep Daily Stand-ups on track. Daily Stand-ups are fast, daily status meetings used in Scrum/XP and other agile project management methodologies. Project team members take turns answering 3 questions: 1) What did I do yesterday? 2) What will I do today? 3) What blockers do I have?
When Daily Stand-ups are performed as designed, teams communicate effectively, miscommunications or blockers are identified quickly, and course-corrections are made frequently. However, in reality, members can find it difficult to 1) keep on time by sticking to the 3 questions and 2) remember what to say (especially on a Monday!). People go overtime, leaving others just a few seconds; this often comes with subjecting the entire team to details that many don't need to be present for. Important assumptions, decisions, and blockers go unsaid because team members are busy in general, unprepared, or feel on the spot in the Stand-up.
The Scrumball Lite app addresses the first pain point with the following features in a beautifully designed, deceptively simple UX. This version includes the following
* Visual countdown timer so you know how much time you have left
* Digital countup timer so you can see how much time you're spending on your status
* Configurable timer duration
* Configurable motion sensor on/off
* Configurable auto-restart based on motion sensing, with audio cue
* Pause timer
* Audio alarm and vibration when time is up
* Timer restart for next team member
* Pass (share) the Scrumball via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Email in order to enable features and customization
* Link to order The Scrumball Ball foam rugby ball iPhone enclosure
* Link to purchase Tomatoes & Flowers 360-degree management feedback tool, also by Hackerbilt, Inc.
About the motion sensor: if the Motion Sensor is switched on (in Settings), Scrumball Lite notices a toss of the device from one member to another and auto-restarts. If off, the app floats a large "Next" button for manual restart. In this manual mode, if indeed the phone was tossed to a new person, the new person taps the "Next" button. Otherwise, it was a false motion sense and the timer continues.
Accelerometer/Gyroscope sensing in smartphones to date is not fine enough to always accurately distinguish between shaking/gesticulating and a toss/catch, so this UX was designed to minimize inaccuracy and maximize intuitiveness.
The Pro version with beta targeted for Q1 2013, addresses the 2nd challenge-remembering what to say-by allowing team members to instantly connect to email, calendars, issue trackers, project management tools, and source control. With this account link feature, they can quickly scroll through what they did yesterday, what they're supposed to do today, and any blockers. If the team is using the Scrumball foam rugby ball smartphone enclosure, they can toss the Scrumball to the next person. The Pro version will be a premium paid service.
WARNING: Use caution and common sense if throwing the phone to another person. If using the Scrumball ball: Although we have designed the Scrumball to securely and safely hold an iPhone for short passes and drops, Hackerbilt, Inc. does not warrant, and is not responsible for, any smart phone or device.
*The Scrumball Lite v1.0*
(c)2012 by Hackerbilt, Inc. Fun at Work.
Great for training
Our teams exhibited talking in too much detail, going over time, and interrupting each other. The Scrumball Lite app solved both within the first week of use. It's great for training new members in the Daily Standup process (whether you use Scrum, XP, or another agile methodology) and makes what could be a chore into a game. Using the ball to throw around the timer adds to the fun, as it can be set to auto-restart by motion.
Fun idea, great for the right teams
My team tested the scrumball for a while. It's a great idea, fun, and helps keep stand-ups moving. I'm looking forward to seeing development continue.