What I Learned at My Second NPSP Sprint

What I Learned at My Second NPSP Sprint

Last week I attended my second NPSP sprint event.  In a lot of ways it was similar to my first experience, but it was also quite unique.  Let’s start by talking about what my two experiences have in common.

What my sprint experiences have in common

The basic format hasn’t changed much and that’s OK.  We still start out with introductions and coffee; we still use color-coded stickies to come up with our list of what works, what doesn’t work and what’s unknown; and we still break into teams which will focus on different ways to improve the NPSP.  I found it reassuring that the format stayed consistent because it allowed me to jump right in and make myself useful.  Even for first time attendees finding a way to contribute happens very quickly and naturally, which is essential.

It’s just not a sprint without sticky notes!

How my experiences differ

The difference between the two sprints lies mainly in what we worked on contributing.  The five major categories this time were (Click on the category names below for more info):

  • DocumentationFocusing on creating help documents for all the aspects of the NPSP and multi-language translations of those documents.
  • Tips, tricks, and best practices: Just as important as how-to documents are business practice and shortcut documents.  That’s why there was a group dedicated to writing tips and tricks.
  • Reporting: Being able to put data in is only really useful if you can quickly retrieve that data.  The reporting team worked on finding new ways to help you get your data out of Salesforce.
  • Video documentation: For many people it’s easier to learn by watching than by reading. With that in mind we had a group focus on creating several brand new how-to videos with many more on the way in the coming weeks.
  • Coding: The last group was focused on contributing code to the NPSP.  Specifically we worked on some of the issues on the bug list as well as beginning discussions on some new features that might be implemented down the line.

I was in the coding group and in addition to bug fixes we spent a lot of time discussing an interface for automatically assigning donations to allocations based on customizable criteria (Safe Harbor: just because we spent time discussing this feature doesn’t mean it will be added to the NPSP any time soon, if ever).  Aside from the coding group I know that both the reports group and the videos group were both able to create new content that we should be seeing rolled out soon!

What I learned

The most important thing I learned is that the NPSP is here to stay; in fact, it almost seems inaccurate to call it a starter pack at this point, with all the new features that keep getting added it’s really more of an ongoing pack.  As long as the community stays involved it’s just going to keep getting better and better. So, what are you waiting for?  Go get involved! Oh, I also learned that no matter how much white board you have for brainstorming, it’s never enough.

I choose to believe the Boston weather is always this fantastic