- Administrator2021-03-02 at 10:14 pm
We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly, so we can all discuss it. Our hope is by sharing our stories we can learn from each other. Please be vulnerable and ask the hard questions and even the questions you have that might be “dumb questions” because the dumb questions are almost always the ones that spur incredible discussion and learning for everyone!
- Member2021-03-02 at 11:36 pm
Hi Bob, thanks for creating this, I can certainly get it started 🙂
One topic that’s fresh on my mind because we just went through this with my team recently was in regards to poor communication which led to a whole host of problems that snow balled throughout our sprints. I’m sure it’s been a challenge for us all in the current climate with having to work remotely, and it’s hard to recreate those flowing collaborative discussions that naturally happen when a team is in the same office together. I do have a distributed team spanning multiple time zones, but at least in the pre-covid days I was fortunate to have enough of my team in the same office that we were able to quickly tackle issues as we worked through a sprint by simply “yelling across the room” so to speak.
I’m curious to hear from others how they’ve been getting on by managing effective team communication through these times.
- Administrator2021-03-03 at 1:14 pm
I’m going to go grab some popcorn 🍿 and watch what happens here. It will be interesting to see if there are responses to your questions, or more sharing of what is happening. C’mon everyone, chip in here!
- Member2021-03-04 at 2:17 pm
I don’t have great suggestions for you here – it is a struggle. Our teams have really utilized Slack as a tool to help with “real-time” communication. It is nice that you can throw in code or designs that you are working on and there is a record of the conversation so others can weigh in in their own time. Good luck!
- Administrator2021-03-04 at 7:07 pm
@James here are a couple of things I’ve heard that other teams are using to get people in the mode of more frequent communication:
1. As @Chrisco mentioned, using Slack can be useful, but sometimes our goal is to just get people to “yell across the room” more often. In the virtual world we have to get them habitually using a tool. One way to do this is to make the tool fun. I have some clients that have set up a “Watercooler” channel in Slack, where almost anything goes. It is place to brag about your kid winning an award, a cool recipe you made and loved, posting a funny video of your pet. It is just a place to be yourself and let others see the real you.
2. Some clients are having a daily “game” of sorts. Each day the ScrumMaster sets out a task and the team members show their results. It is always something that is simple so you aren’t taking a ton of time away from work. One is giving prizes to the “overall winner” each week as voted upon by the group. Tasks are things like “Upload a picture of the funniest orange thing in your home” or “Take a picture of a left-handed coffee mug”. It lets people be creative and express themselves. Again, around the theme of letting them be human!
3. Some clients are scheduling watercooler times on Zoom. One has 10:00-10:20 and 2:30-2:50 each day blocked out as an open Zoom for anyone to get on and chat. They have Zoom set up so people can go in and out of breakout rooms for more private conversations if needed. One has created some standard breakout rooms like “Music discussions”, “Sports discussions”, and “Video game discussions”. Again, getting people interacting together.
4. One client simulates “yelling across the room” by having one channel in whatever their collaboration platform is (whether Slack or Teams or whatever) that is deemed the emergency channel. If something comes through that channel it is treated like someone needs help right now. You can ignore discussions in every other channel, but not that one. If a message comes through that channel, someone is drowning and needs to be saved right this minute. The channel is rarely used, but it gets everyone’s attention when it is.
Maybe some of these ideas can help you out. Others of you, please add more ideas!
- Member2021-03-04 at 12:17 pm
Hi all! I am looking for some advice on how to handle decisions that are made outside of a team that are negatively impacting the team. The team works in Infrastructure and is underwater with work right now. They are working late nights and weekends. When the team tries to say no to a piece of work because they can’t fit it into their workload, the Director over the area will give the work to someone else to implement, but the original team still has to support the solution long-term, or decisions about design are taken away from the team but the expectation of executing on that design still exists. What are some ways to visualize the problem – overloaded team members, too much work in flight, prioritizing work over mental/physical well-being? Conversations haven’t worked so we are open to trying anything. For context – the team runs Kanban because of constantly shifting priorities. TIA
- Administrator2021-03-04 at 7:12 pm
@Chrisco leaders understand dollars and sense. How can you turn this into a fiscal problem? For example, is there a way to quantify how much it is costing in extra support or rework? Is there a way to figure out how much other work isn’t able to be done because of this extra support burden? Can you calculate the cost of turnover or burnout? These are just probing questions to get you started. If you can turn a problem into a dollars and sense problem you can get the attention of any leader. Their bonuses are often tied to numbers and if you can help them get numbers better, then it is in their best interest to listen! Always remember the phrase “WII-FM” What’s In It For Me. If you can help them see it is in their best interest to solve the problem then they will. Until then it is all just hot air they can ignore. 😉
- Member2021-03-24 at 6:54 pm
Hi Bob, I have been a programmer, a Business Analyst, discovered agile – and recently retrained as a Scrum Master. I work at a gaming company. They are new to agile, but super passionate about what they do. We’re based in New Zealand. I have encountered agileforall.com articles a few times over the years and joined to see if I can learn something, and listen in. They have benefited a lot from learning from Clinton Keith, who tailors his Scrum writing and training for making video games. I’m interested to connect with other Scrum Masters in this industry.
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