Planning Is Essential at ITCE

Recently we told how flexible working time affects us, and now I will tell you about the most important ingredient of the flexible working hours – planning.

I will reveal little inside secrets from ITCE of how our team plans its time. Actually after the perception that time is not so important for us, we have a new measure and it is called results. At ITCE we picked the best of few methodologies like Agile, Scrum, Lean and Kanban and combined it into our planning ritual. Every week, each of us makes a plan what he/she is planning to do the week ahead and give a brief retrospection what has been done, what is left to be done, if there were some difficulties or share lessons learned (if there’s any). At the middle of the week there is one small 15-minute standup, where we shortly describe if we manage to stick to the plan, or if there are some changes.

If you instantly think that your tasks and projects are too abstract to plan them, I will tell you that there isn’t any project that cannot be allocated to smaller and more specific subtasks which lead to concrete results. In our planning we always aim not to have many task in progress, but to have tasks that have clear deliverables.

When we plan out our work one week at a time, we have the space to reconnect with our long-term goals and values and to look at the big picture, while not being distracted by clutter of everyday tasks that we have all the time.

Probably you think about how the meetings between us are organized, when we don’t necessarily have to be in the office from 9 to 6. The answer is that at the actual planning meeting everyone after having planned what needs to be done, adjust his/her calendar with the respective colleague and arrange a joint meeting in the office. When everyone knows what to do and everything is scheduled, the entire organization and coordination becomes very manageable.

Once tasks are cleared and meetings arranged, everyone has the freedom to work wherever and whenever he feels productive. It can be in the office, in a café in the center, on the balcony at home or in the villa in the mountains. The presence in the office is needed only for the arranged meetings or because of the need to be more social with you colleagues, to share with them how your life is or any interesting ideas or stories.

For easier following and planning of our resources and tasks, we use visual board and task manager of ServiceNow. The visualization of the board resembles the Kanban practice and visually shows what is going on at the moment. After few weeks of adaptation, we found this way of working much more convenient and efficient. 

Planning enables us within one week to leave enough time for important tasks for us and the projects on which we want to work on. The rest time we fill with small or long-term non-urgent tasks. This ensures us that we spend adequate time working on those items that can have a positive effect in long term. For us, this means to provide quality and professional services in consulting, training and certification and be the partner you trust and want to work with.

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