Sprint Retrospective – Round Five

A reflection on what I learned from this week’s sprint is that establishing a working line of communication between multiple groups working on a singular product plays a large role on the work flow. The “Theas-Pantry” repository is currently utilized between two different sections of the same class. As each section is either in a separate time slot or day of the week, there is no physical communication between both groups.

In order to solve this communication problem, it is presented to us to use a communication program called Slack. Within this program, there is an established group that allows communication between the following groups: all class sections, professors, and owners of the food pantry. However, a second line of communication can also be established on the repository in the form of discussions found on independent issues posted within the repository.

The theorized result of the primary communication program, Slack, is that all related groups will be periodically or frequently communicate with each other. If this is the behavior that exhibits through the limited development time, which is the length of a single semester then there should be significant productivity between both groups.

However, this was not the behavior that was observed during the development time. The slack group made available to the students is under-utilized in two ways. This first way is surprising, which is between the members of the same group. I suspect that this is the result of being students and having other priorities where the project is second to completing course work for other classes. In the second way, which is not surprising, is communication across multiple groups.

The core lesson of communication comes from the in-existence of communication between multiple groups. One major example of an issues that arose from this lack of communication is within the process of establishing and managing the project within GitHub. There were task duplications, wrongful closure of tasks, mismanagement of branches and many more. It was only until the middle of April where a successful link of communication was established to rectify the situation. If both teams took the communication aspect of group work seriously, the problems found should have been minimal or solved relatively quickly.

Although many of the issues have been solved as of today, only one on-going mystery remains. There is a possibility that both groups do not have a clear idea of what the other group is doing. We hope to sort this out, as both groups seem to deem the other as the one at fault for any issues that arise. This is the not ideal work environment in any situation and is likely a product of poor communication.

During this sprint, I focused my efforts on solving the communications problem as described earlier in the blog. This includes updating descriptions of GitHub issues that lacked a meaningful description, removing duplicate or irrelevant issues created, or removing older Git branches. Other things that I worked on would be creation of newer tasks as indicated by our recent meeting with a representative from the University’s food pantry. Finally, the last significant thing I worked on would be finalizing the initial creation of the back-end, where it currently only serves a purpose at redirecting data from the intake form app to a server. I can only hope the last sprint finishes strong so that a working product can be presented.


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