Happiness checks

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

I believe that if you take some good people, keep them happy and give them interesting work, you get good output. So at the start of a retrospective, I've started doing a quick anonymous happiness check, similar to the Retrospective Safety Check.

The How-to
Everyone takes a post-it and writes on how happy they are: 1 to 5. '1' being totally fraked off, '5' suggesting they are having a pretty damn good time (considering its work). The team fold these up and put them in the middle and then we stick them to the whiteboard. There is a quick chance for the team to make any comments and to take a second to reflect before we move on to the rest of the retrospective.

However its a guide to us all in the group to consider how everyone else is feeling, and another dimension to safety, but its as its not about the session, it something the group should continue to think about.  Its also something I take away and can help me make choices, particularly if I take samples across a number of Retrospectives. 

Current Thoughts
I don't think this will work for every team as the the trust and honesty has be high (sometimes an trust/honest check might be better), but it can be a good feeling or maybe a warning indicator to the team.

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