How We Work
At Two Barrels, we like working together as a team, so we use an open office floor plan to promote dialogue and collaboration. Our company consists of three main teams: Software, Systems and Digital Marketing. Each team follows an Agile methodology that works best for the group, and we track our work and progress through Jira and Asana to communicate throughout the company.
The Software Team follows Scrum as a framework – meaning it is a self-organizing, cross-functional team, and no team leader decides which person will do which task or how a problem will be solved. Those are issues decided by the team as a whole. Scrum Team members include the Software Development Team, Product Owner and Scrum Master.
In keeping with an agile methodology, projects progress by means of a series of sprints, and we typically work in a series of 2-week sprint cycles. As part of the 2-week sprint planning cycle, we hold a series of standing meetings:
Sprint Planning Session:
Sprint planning sessions are held at the beginning of each sprint. At the spring planning session we identify a sprint goal and review all stories (to do items) that currently reside in the product backlog. The team identifies which stories should be moved to the sprint backlog to be worked on during the course of the 2-week sprint cycle, using its sprint goal to prioritize its work.
At the end of each 2-week sprint cycle, the scrum team meets to review the previous sprint, and each team member identifies the following:
- what they believe went well in the sprint
- what could be improved from the past sprint to the next sprint
- and, as a team, what they will commit to improving in the next sprint
Daily Stand Up Meetings:
The Scrum Team meets Tuesday-Friday for 15 minutes to discuss and synchronize our work activities. At each stand up, each team member outlines:
- What they worked on the previous day
- What they intend to work on today
- What, if any, blockers the team member may have that needs to be addressed in order to move forward
Backlog Grooming Sessions:
The Scrum Team meets a few times each month to review the product backlog and determine how much effort the backlog items will require of the team. The goal is to get a high-level understanding of how much work is required of each backlog story and to determine if the backlog story needs to be broken into smaller, more manageable steps. This also provides the team the opportunity to better understand the scope of the story.
Systems & Networking
The Systems & Networking team uses Asana for ticketing and project planning. We use Agile fundamentals to plan and execute our day-to-day operations which allows for business continuity. We are a highly collaborative team that touches base first thing in the morning and throughout the day.
The Digital Marketing Team uses KanBan methodology through Jira to track tasks and the status of projects. This method allows our team full visibility into what our peers are working on and what is coming up next so we can continuously deliver maximum output in minimal cycle time. We organize our work into four categories:
- Selected for Development
- In Progress
As a company, we recognize that the agile methodology that we are currently utilizing by any one of our teams may change or evolve as needed as the process matures. We are continuously improving and striving for better; whatever it takes.
We Check-In With Each Other
Hey, what are you doing?
We’d like you to take 5 minutes to remind your co-workers what you’re up to at the beginning of each day, let others know if you need something from them, and see if there’s anything they need from you. We prefer bite size interactions that move the ball forward instead of hurting our heads with 3 hour meetings. We’d simply talk to the people we work with and get stuff figured out in real time.
Consensus-Based Decision Making
We have developed a consensus-based decision making process to get things done without a lot of oversight from stakeholders and customer service managers.
Our goal is to make decisions as a group. We are continually learning from the past and each other, and we are always willing to experiment. We believe self reflection is the best way to adjust to our mistakes and move forward.
Sometimes we really like someone, but they just don’t have the experience to justify our full pay. When possible, we’ll bring this person on as an intern and typically pay 50-75% of the position’s regular salary. This is a great way to prepare an inexperienced worker for a regular position down the road.
Tired of Regular?
Two Barrels provides its employees the stability and comfort of working in-house at a regular boring corporation but with a few subtle differences. Two Barrels only makes and maintains applications for its parent company. Its funding has nothing to do with getting a job or contract or an idea that will fade away or get bought out by a big company. It has nothing to do with profit. Two Barrels employees are a vital asset and a big part of our company.
Two Barrels also provides all the benefits of a startup company: a cool work environment; the ability to shift gears fast and be extremely nimble; but, most of all, Two Barrels is an environment where its employees feel free to be creative because they don’t have to directly deal with C level management at a boring corporation and greasy venture capital investors trying to boss them around.
Two Barrels provides inventive, creative ways to get the job done, all in the comfort of our own building, free from the irritations of people who don’t understand what we do.
Two Barrels pays well and we care about the people who work here. We try to take care of you. It’s a daily challenge to treat each other well and do right. It’s the continual forward movement that we strive for. It’s the continual willingness to look at something we suck at and admit we didn’t have it all figured out, pivot, change, and try something else. That’s our heart. That’s our core. It’s a ride and we have amazing people willing to ride that swell with us. If you’re talented and looking for a good job, let’s talk. We work full throttle, though. We give the world two barrels every day. Never one… always two.