At the beginning of this year, the company I work for got acquired by Medialaan, an important player in the Belgian broadcast landscape. While this might seem like just another takeover, it is rather interesting. Two, what initially seem like completely different worlds collide, eager to create new opportunities.
I was fortunate enough to go on a guided tour and visit the new colleagues. During the visit we walked into the newsroom where Kris Hoflack, editor-in-chief, and Elke Pattyn, local news anchor, gave an explanation of what a regular day looked like in there. It was awesome, and I certainly did not expect that, to recognize something I knew. They practice scrum. It all broke down to this, their sprints are 12 hours long, they have a plannings meeting where they distribute the stories together and work towards a product (news broadcast) at the end. There’s also a board that shows the progress per story, green indicates good to go, red means it isn’t finished yet.
The difference is they never have a nice burndown chart. It always boils down to the last few seconds. And they manage it. It’s quite amazing because when you watch the news, you rarely realize that. For me, this means there’s a lot to be learned from watching how all of this flows towards that end product people expect to uphold the level of quality they are accustomed to.
I don’t know if they have any idea what scrum or agile are. All I know is that I can’t wait to sit there for a day or two and study how all of that is done. Might be better than 5 years of developer/manager courses combined. So, Kris, Elke, can I invite myself? I promise I’ll be invisible 😉