How do you take a bold home renovation dream and make it a profitable reality in 6 weeks? - Agile!
So, the story begins back in September 2020, after 6 months of the new normal and many conversations Su, my wife, and I decided it was time to chase the dream of returning to Perth. To make this happen we needed to renovate and sell our family home of 7 years, we started by engaging our estate agent and whilst sat in the Twenty2 Collective home office will never forget his words "Guys, if you want to make this work you need to renovate and sell this side of Christmas" the reformed project manager in me couldn't stay hidden so started drawing rough schedules on the white wall. The three of us stood there looking at what was to many people impossible, we had 6 weeks to renovate and sell before we hit the dead zone of December, many would have given up at this point..
It was at this point I decided to introduce our Estate agent friend to some of the basics of Agile, Sprinting, Cross functional teams and prioritized backlogs, with a fresh perspective and Su valiantly stepping up as Product Owner we all virtual high fived, from a safe distance and decided to dig deep and experiment!
We quickly identified our scrum master and then set about identifying a cross functional team of tradies, from carpenters to brickies, electricians to painters, we went through some very useful Lean Agile Procurement techniques to find the most available and most committed group of individuals willing to do this, the promise was learning Agile on the job and a great case study. We kicked off with "The Toolbox Talk" A Planning session to explain the goal, the list of jobs and how we were going to operate, initially there was scepticism but we had some progressive mindsets willing to take on the challenge. Day1 ran and incredible progress was made, We made a conscious decision to manage it tightly with a daily "Huddle" and "Walkthrough"
Day 3 came and we had issues, just like any good software project there were things we simply couldn't know upfront and risks we hadn't foreseen. I'll admit we really wondered whether we had bit off more than we could chew, but, what was amazing about the self organising team was the ability to swarm and step up, Our Painting crew came to the rescue with a solution none of us could expect. By Day 5 of 10 we were on track with our sprint goal. The amazing thing was with increased commitment and communication the velocity increased! I'll never forget day 7 and us driving past our family home and seeing more people and stuff outside our house than in it!
Day 10 arrived and we finished ahead of schedule, below budget and with the cross functional team enjoying a gluten free beer! Mission accomplished, we had taken what many perceived as a 3 month job and achieved it in a little over 3 weeks, the house went on the market the week after and reach 20% above asking price at auction. Our estate agent reached new levels of fame overnight and in our one job we created a new model that may well change the face of home renovations. Our deepest thanks go out to all of those that helped us, were patient with us and made this happen.
As for us, we caught the bug and we're already planning Agile Renovation 2.0 in Perth! I'm continually amazed at how much I have learned and how far we can apply this little 5 letter word in life.
If you enjoyed this blog or would like to know more about the Agile Renovation then comment below