Team Success Beacon

Gather team sentiment and observations to incite team discussions
Contributed by

John Westcott IV

Kellie Montgomery

Published September 20, 2021
Collection
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What Is Team Success Beacon?

This is a simple practice that can be used as an alternative to the daily standup or sync meeting where we dig into deeper process items, gather team sentiment and incite discussions for continuous improvement using prompts to guide team discovery.

Why Do Team Success Beacon?

There’s many use cases for this practice. The world is your oyster!

  • Drive conversations especially for teams in forming/storming phase or new to agile.
  • Drive participation as the practice visually calls out gaps or non-participation.
  • Drive continuous improvement discussions outside of the retrospective cadence.
  • Ideate about overall process and potential experiments.
  • Guided questions contribute to team learning and curiosity.
  • Gain insights into team skill-sets, sentiment and potential knowledge gaps.
  • Gather and share observations on metrics.
  • Drive adoption of a new tool (ie Mural or other virtual whiteboard tool).

How to do Team Success Beacon?

  • Set up a canvas (virtual tool or wall/whiteboard).
  • Pick a couple of agile and/or facilitation practices to add to your canvas. Some examples include:
    • Something to track team sentiment such as a mood target (or mood marbles).
    • Guided open-ended questions that spark conversation or a parking lot for open topics.
    • Guided questions via sticker survey to gather information on a likert scale.
    • Provide metrics or other information radiators to gather team observations.
  • As a facilitator prepare all questions and metrics ahead of time. Think about areas of continuous improvement opportunities and use prompts to guide team discovery.
  • Set a timer for ~10 minutes to allow teammates to silently collaborate.
  • ~20 minutes for facilitated team discussion:
    • Note overall team sentiment and invite teammates to speak of their personal sentiment.
    • As a team, walk through the findings of the open-ended or sticker survey questions.
    • Let the conversations flow. You never know what may come up.
    • As a facilitator, note potential action items and/or additional experiments to try.
    • When larger topics of discussion come up, decide as a team if it should be moved to a team parking lot to discuss at a further date.

Tips

  • Prepare all questions and metrics for the canvas ahead of time.
  • Works well when ran by a Team Lead (i.e. Scrum Master) and Team Member (i.e. Architect or Developer) together.
  • If virtual, encourage the team to use their camera for this activity.
  • Keep the practice short and simple while letting the conversations flow organically.
  • Change up the questions each time to keep it interesting and relevant to improvement and uncovering new things.
  • Prompt those not participating to share.
  • Keep artifacts to track trends over time (i.e. sentiment, participation, metrics). Embedded Content

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