Effectiveness of Scrum based team depends a lot on motivation level of team members. It’s important to understand the factors which motivate a Scrum team irrespective of the background of Scrum Master/Project Manager.
I this post first I will focus on the reasons of de-motivation. If we fix these problems, I see no reason why people are not happy in the team. The points mentioned below are based on the experience of working with multiple project as developer, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Please feel free to add more based on your own experience.
- Consider the team as the key stakeholder for creating exciting product. However sometimes developers have no clue what they are going to achieve in next 2-3 sprints as PO doesn’t share the vision or product roadmap. It’s one of the important factors causing de-motivation as sense of achieving something gives some exciting reasons to a developer to go to workplace.
- It’s important to encourage the team-members to provide inputs which focus on effectiveness rather than efficiency (read velocity). Suggestions with which business logic could be simplified. So you are not really talking about numbers (story points churned) but the real effectiveness of the software product.
- People leave companies just because they can never come out from a legacy project. It’s important to have rotation of developers instead of keeping one single team for a long time.
- Celebrate success. It’s a very important point but often most ignored. There can be thousands of good ideas to celebrate and which don’t cause a lot of money too everytime. For instance our team used to watch a movie together in the company’s conference room along with pizzas and beers.
- It’s very important to appreciate the small achievements of team members. If that appreciation comes from customer, that’s even better. But it’s important to have a culture of appreciation.
- Haven’t you observed many a times that some people are not comfortable with one or two individuals. I have seen that if team and organization has a feedback culture, these problems do not remain for long. Anybody should be able to give feedback to anybody. That can be done through interesting games. It helps in removing any negativity between the individuals.
- Physical Scrum board and information radiators. It’s much more encouraging for a team-member to see burndown going down when he moves his user-story to DONE.
- Team outings like trekking, travel on the weekend really help in team-bonding.
- Everybody should be considered as team members and no segregation between developers, architects and testers. Team has to nourish the feeling of “US”, “ONE TEAM” and working towards Sprint goals. Heroism shouldn’t be encouraged. Though personal efforts require appreciation.