Avinya Foundation

#5 GitHub, Sprinting and Mission Statements

When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say, “Wow, that was an adventure,” not “Wow, I sure felt safe.” (Tom Preston Werner, GitHub Co-founder)

It’s only apt that I use a quote this week from the GitHub Co-founder. It’s for two reasons.

1) I have used this quote many times to give me the kick I needed whenever I got all settled in my comfort zone. Trust me I really like my comfort zones!

2) I learnt about GitHub! To be fair I learnt about it a few weeks ago. Let me start from the beginning. I mean I haven’t lived under a rock all this time. Though being the introvert I am, I do like my rocks and hiding under them from time to time 🙂 Back to my story – when we talk about project management I have used Gantt charts for example in the past and other tools. I’ve had some great outcomes with all. So what has been so special about GitHub?

Well for starters remember I told you about my resident IT guru and our CTO Samisa? Well, he makes all the difference by forcing us to take the time and actually input everything on there.

Then we have our second resident IT guru Rukmal who swooped in and organised everything into fancy labels, milestones and wait for it…sprints.

Now, you may not believe this but I was somewhat of an athlete in school. So I’d like to think I know one or two things about sprints. Or did I?

Remember last week? Learn Early. Learn Often (Drew Houston).

Well this time I didn’t assume. But I can see definite parallels.

I’m so happy we took the time as a team to just lay out everything we need to get done within the next few months to get our first Avinya school up and running.

It was all worth it!

So what is sprint planning really?

I’m no expert, but let me tell you what it means to me. I’m at the start of the race track on Monday morning, ready to ‘sprint’ and as a team we aim for the target/ targets and prioritise. Some get pushed back and some get brought forward. Then we as a team…’sprint’.

Next Monday, we do it all again! It’s so nice to see those ticks, close those ‘issues’ (that’s what our key deliverables are referred to on GitHub) and breathe a content sigh of accomplishment. That lasts a grand total of two minutes when Samisa reminds me that we have five million six thousand more to go (I jest of course, but you get my drift ;))

So after my little anecdote, what else have we been up to this week?


  • We continue to make strides in our Foundation Programme Educator recruitment. We are nearing the finish line and will have updates for our candidates first of course and will then share with you all! We can’t wait to have our pioneer team on board. Goodness knows we need the extra hands!
    • Dee our Foundation Programme Head should have some sneak peak Foundation Programme materials to share soon. They are baking away in the oven of academia 😉
  • Rukmal took us back to basics on Monday where he sat us all down and asked us to think about Avinya’s mission. I called it one of those meetings that really “feed your soul” and take you back to why you do what you do with passion and purpose.
    • What do we want to achieve? How do we make it realistic and time bound? Who are we? What’s our brand identity? Poignant questions which we argued, debated and discussed in our usual animated way.
    • We came away with a fishbone. I kid you not. Our mission statement outlined on a fishbone diagram. Now it moves to our next stage of clear articulation. Watch this space! We will share our mission as soon as it is ready.
  • Our ambitious target is to start our admissions process in October. We are busy working behind the scenes on this and will unveil details soon.
  • Our amazing tech team are working wonders with the system architecture. I don’t think I will be able to ever count how many lines of code they write on a daily basis.
  • We are still looking for any kind and web savvy volunteers to help us out with our website design 🙂 Please do get in touch if you’d like to volunteer to help us.
  • You may have noticed that we haven’t shared our location yet. We’ve got to wait for some documentation but we are working hard to announce this as soon as we can. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Right, five weeks and counting Team Avinya! Remember ‘Wow that was an adventure!’ – do you have that story for your grandchildren? I think I’m writing mine…


See you next week…

– Anju