Scrum events are meant to be productive opportunities for collaboration that replace more tedious, wasteful meetings. If you find your planning meetings becoming passive events where no one is asking questions or actively seeking to understand the backlog, the problem might be in the execution or the preparation.
Laughter is a sign that people feel relaxed and safe. In a workplace, safety leads to environments that enable more idea generation and innovation, so one approach to improving teammates' creativity and connection is to encourage laughter. But how can you do that so it doesn't feel forced? Steve Berczuk has some ideas.
Scrum events are well-defined points where team members communicate, but they shouldn't be the only times. If you’re not considering coding, tests, and the delivery process as opportunities for a conversation, you are missing an important chance to leverage individuals and interactions, as the Agile Manifesto states.
Creating environments at work that acknowledge that failures will happen—and supporting the efforts team members make to recover—can help your organization become more effective. You cannot predict every challenge, but by embracing risk and providing opportunities for people to experiment, you can be more productive.
As software professionals, we need to work continuously to improve our skills. But two common challenges are how to best work to improve, and how to find the time to learn when we’re busy. The answer is deliberate practice—practice with a clear goal and defined measures for success that pushes your usual boundaries.
The ways we listen—and not listen—are detailed in the Five Levels of Listening model, which goes from most distracted to most focused. Ideally, we’d all practice the fifth level: empathic listening, where we try to understand what matters to the person who is speaking, delaying our problem-solving and responsiveness.
Some kindergartens are experimenting with new approaches to teaching, including letting students form groups to accomplish tasks that interest them, which also allows them to support and engage with each other. This is self-organization, the heart of Scrum. If five-year-olds can do it, your agile team likely can, too!