Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Measuring team happiness

At this sprint's upcoming retrospective, I plan to try a new exercise, involving measuring the happiness of the team.

We've attempted this in the past, with everyone drawing a graph of their mood throughout the sprint. This proved fairly useful in identifying factors (often external to the team) which brought down morale during the sprint.

The massive drop in morale was when our application failed load test which blocked the live release.

We tried this method for 6-7 sprints, but eventually the graphs fell out of favour because nobody felt it was giving us that much value in terms of concrete actions to resolve issues and improve morale.

So, this time round, I want to try a slightly different tack, the Happiness Metric.

I'll ask the team 4 questions, and get them to write their responses on sticky notes:

  1. How happy are you with your team?
  2. What feels best right now?
  3. What feels worst right now?
  4. What would increase your happiness?
I'm actually considering making a little Survey Monkey mid-sprint to gauge the team's happiness, and have something to compare it with at the end of the sprint, but I'm not sure how valuable that will be.

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