Plan Your Wedding with Scrum

So many people think that Scrum is an IT-thing, but Scrum is such a flexible framework for managing complex products and projects that it can be applied just about anywhere!

We’ve seen Scrum used in technology, marketing, finance and human resources, but guess what—it’s not just a framework for business. Scrum has been successfully applied in education, flipping homes, managing homework and getting this—planning a wedding!

Scrum Roles in Wedding Planning

The two key Scrum roles for planning a wedding are the Scrum Master and Product Owner. The Scrum Master assures that all of the Scrum events happen such as the Daily Scrum and Sprint Planning, removes any obstacles that may occur (like the caterer who isn’t returning calls) and keeps everyone focused on the sprint goal (such as confirming the catering order).

The Product Owner creates and manages the wedding backlog, a prioritized list of everything that needs to get done. The wedding PO also maintains the budget and decides which items will get done and which ones won’t based on the goals and vision for the wedding.

Communicating & Sharing Your Wedding Vision

Is your dream wedding an intimate gathering on a deserted island? Or perhaps a giant bash where you party all night is more what you have in mind? Either way, making sure that the bride and groom, as well as the key stakeholders (also known as the parents who may be writing the check) are all on the same page is a key component.

In business, while not an official part of Scrum, aligning on a shared vision is a key ingredient for a successful product launch.

For your wedding, getting alignment will also help with the success of your big day. Scrumyourwedding.com has a lot of great activities your can try for creating a shared vision such as a wedding planning canvas, modeled after Roman Pichler’s product vision board, sketch your cover story which helps you to creatively communicate how you would want your wedding to read if it was a magazine cover story and more.

Create a Backlog

In Scrum, the product backlog serves as the prioritized list for any future work items and ideas. For your wedding, it’s easy to apply the same concept. Think about all of the things that may need to happen such as:

  • Pick a venue
  • Select a dress
  • Decide the menu
  • Get invitations
  • Order the cake
  • Order flowers
  • Invite guests
  • Choose a honeymoon destination

Once every item is thought of, the Product Owner would prioritize the list in order of importance in relation to the shared vision. Items at the top of the list will get done first, whereas items at the bottom are considered less important and can wait, or maybe won’t happen at all. This list should be continually re-prioritized as things change. Also, a big item such as ‘invite guests’ may need to get broken into several smaller tasks such as ‘decide guest list’, ‘write invitations’ and ‘mail invitations’.

The backlog helps you to not be overwhelmed, stay organized and work on the highest value item first.

Establish a Ceremony Cadence

When we work with business teams, the first thing we do is establish a cadence for the four standard Scrum ceremonies—Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective.

Since planning a wedding can move quickly, a one week cadence (including weekends) may be your best option. In this instance, you’ll typically begin with Sprint Planning at the beginning of the week, such as Sunday night, conduct Daily Scrum at a set time each day (such as during dinner or right after) and end your week with the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective, which could also be done on Sunday morning/afternoon if that works for your schedule.

There’s no perfect way to establish a cadence—the important factor is that both the bride and groom agree to the cadence and that it is maintainable and consistent. The repeatable flow is what makes Scrum really work!

Plan Your First Sprint

The sprint will be the cycle in which you plan your work. Assuming you choose a one week sprint, you’ll plan everything you can commit to accomplishing that week.

First, the Product Owner should establish a sprint goal such as, ‘Select the catering menu’. Once you both agree to that goal, you’ll select items from your wedding backlog that help you accomplish your goal such as ‘schedule meetings with catering companies’, ‘taste test’, and ‘make final selection’.

The goal of sprint planning is to take the stress and guesswork out of planning and to know exactly what you hope to accomplish and what you’re going to do to meet your goals.

Use Scrum for Wedding Planning & More

You can probably see by now that Scrum is a lot easier than people think and it doesn’t require elaborate processes and tools. You can use Scrum to plan your wedding and a whole lot more! For great guidance on wedding planning, check out Scrum Your Wedding.

Lance Dacy is a Certified Scrum Trainer who’s passionate about applying Scrum beyond technology to all areas of business and life. If you’d like to become a Certified ScrumMaster®, check out the upcoming class schedule.


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