Leadership Network Production Process How we ship products and projects

Each of the production teams is operating on the same two-week sprint schedule (we call them “heartbeats”).

The Leadership Network Two-Week Heartbeat Cycle
The Leadership Network Two-Week Heartbeat Cycle


We currently work like this:

  • Teams have heartbeat kickoff meetings every other week. PMs bring a prioritized list of items to each kickoff meeting, and we aim to exit the kickoff with a forecast that we can share with the rest of the organization.
  • In order to create a shared understanding of the work, we sometimes employ estimation techniques such as Planning Poker as a way to surface discrepancies and build agreement about the technical work to do.
  • Each team has a daily stand-up that largely adheres to the traditional format (What did you do you yesterday? What will you do today?  Are there any obstacles in your way?) We use a collection of github repositories to track our work during the heartbeat.
  • Teams also meet outside of the stand-up as needed to talk with stakeholders, create engineering plans, and conduct design critiques.
  • We hold a demo at the end of every heartbeat, where we show what was accomplished. Everyone from across the organization is invited to not only observe, ask questions, and offer feedback, but also to demo progress on their own projects.