So as mentioned in prior entries on my Friday scrum I like to play little games or put challenges to the team to determine the order that we’re going to go proceed through the scrum. I’m particularly proud of the way that this one came off.
So on Wed’s scrum I told the guys that I was going to give them a hint towards the Friday challenge. It was a simple hint, ‘Get to know each other.’ Man did that ever fuel their creative juices. They grilled the heck out of me for further information but I was stalwart in my information scroogery. At Thursday’s scrum they asked me pretty please for another hint. So I gave them an even more dastardly hint, ‘Remember what you’ve learned.’
On Thursday I received a questionnaire from a team member about hobbies and favourite colour and stuff like that. I answered the questions and sent them out to the entire team. And I found out on Friday that across Wed and Thurs the team spent a bunch of emails passing information about each other around. Even if I ended up sick on Friday and the challenge had never happened, this would still have been great team building. The team worked together to attempt to beat the challenge and help each other succeed at the same time as building stronger connections with each other.
So we come to the scrum this morning. One of the team members asks me before we go in if they are allowed to bring in notes. My response to that was essentially the same as the one I had to the team member holding a sheet of paper when I got in there and took it away from him.
The challenge had two parts. The first part was that each person around the circle was given 2 seconds to say out to the team the first names of their siblings and/or children. I stressed that even though they had to be fast that they should be clear in their statements or their team members would have trouble with the next phase. If they took longer than 2 seconds they would not be considered for the prize at the end of the challenge. I included this simply because a common theme in our challenges is building up their capabilities to think and respond quickly. In addition we only have 15 mins for our scrum and the challenges make it quite, um, challenging to get out on time.
For the prize, which I only told them was something small, it was just an entry coupon in the charity draw that we’re working this season. Each coupon was only .25 cents so it really was a small prize.
We got through the naming sections pretty well, although some could have been faster and I laid out the proper challenge for them.
Each person, on their turn has to first pick another member of the team who had not gone and choose a name from their prior list that had not yet been used in the challenge. That person would go next. Then they had to name one name for each other team member that had already gone. These secondary names could be repeats of prior usage (ie it could be the name was used to pick the last guy). No one could use their own names. You may not ask anyone for any further information once the challenge commences – which while I love that my team really likes to try and help each other succeed with their challenges, isn’t
Usually at my scrums I go last. This doesn’t always hold on challenge day and in fact today I went first. Specifically because two of my team members are brothers and I wanted to take that selection out of the equation. I chose one brother and used his brother’s name as my name choice. It proceeded. Not everyone succeeded but they had fun trying (I think) and the best part was by the time we got to 4 or 5, people were reciting the other names pretty quickly and getting them right. The hardest go was the last guy, who had to pick one of my sibling’s names. And unfortunately one had already been used so he had to pick the only one left. He didn’t make it.
There were complaints that siblings and children’s names wasn’t one of the things that they studied but there’s a lesson in that about assumptions being made as well.
To Paraphrase, ‘the challenges will continue, as evil or greater, until morale improves.’