Using agile practices to run Church operations can be quite effective. The only challenges I see is if there’s opposition from leadership because they’re orthodox. Otherwise, you can really make strides in projects, save cost and actually complete projects by using agile practices. As long as the culture of your particular organization allows it, I would recommend having weekly huddles or stand ups for each team, set up a task management board, create a backlog of initiatives and tasks, and make all this visible for the entire volunteer team.
Sending your church team for agile training may not be a bad idea either. Your Pastor and other leaders can learn Product Ownership, the volunteers can learn Scrum. There’s just so much upside to leveraging agile practices to managing tasks in a Church organization.
Work In Progress (WIP)
Having a visible board showing the work in progress will cut out a lot of unnecessary status meetings. It also give leadership a go-to location to know exactly what’s going on with initiatives they delegated. Setting limits on how much is in progress also ensures that your organization gets works down and doesn’t just pile on. The more you study your WIP the better you can estimate just how much your organization can take on and when you’re overloaded.
It really doesn’t matter which one you choose, both help you manage tasks. For operational activities or teams with repetitive tasks, a Kanban board may be more suitable. For a specific time based initiative or project, you may want to use scrum to see it through. Below are resources listed to help learn and apply agile practices.
A backlog of items to work on can be one of the best things for a creative or ideas-filled leadership team. Using a backlog, you can list out all the ideas in your pastors head, her/his vision for the Church and what s/he hopes you can get done in a time period. As an administrator, your job will be to help the pastor prioritize for the list of potential work, what’s most important.
It may sound crazy, but the most radical and effective thing you can do may be to keep a single document that is collaborative for every single documentation your church needs. Be sure to catalog and index the content, but having a single source of truth for your Church documentation will mean you’re not looking all over the place for specific details. You may feel, “we don’t want just anyone seeing our secret sauce”. The truth is that you may be better off if all your volunteers can read your documentation and understand what’s important to your organization.