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!
For distributed teams, activities usually get scheduled based on constraints such as availability and time zone, but people don’t often take into account when the most effective time to meet would be. Neglecting people’s work tendencies and schedule preferences could make it harder for the team to be successful.