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Re: ongoing peer feedback

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  • entretriens
    Anonymous feedbacks are sometimes effective in that they sometimes get the teammembers to speak. But not always. What are the size of your teams? Who s being
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 1, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Anonymous feedbacks are sometimes effective in that they sometimes get
      the teammembers to speak. But not always.

      What are the size of your teams?
      Who's being rated? Their role? Their status?
      What's the potential backlash for speaking openly?
      What's your team like? Are the feedbacks objective?

      Anonymous is well intentioned, but sometimes it's too easy to figure
      out who rated what on who, in which case it's not very anonymous.
      Moreover, it can potentially worsen morale if the rated think he is
      doing fine and then is slapped with low ratings from his peers.

      If there are barriers to feedback exchange amongst teammembers, then
      it might be worth taking a step back and focusing on bettering the
      relationships within the team. I don't refer to eventful morale
      boosters as the good feelings soon fade after the moments are gone,
      but measures that might improve the day-to-day interactions amongst
      teammembers. If people can't honestly talk to each other, then it's a
      sign of weakness on another level.

      If the relationships are strong within the group then formal feedback
      tends to work better regardless of what tool you use. Moreover, it's
      also important for feedback occur less formally in small conversations
      throughout the iterations in which case you can potentially fix and
      avoid some problems -- the PM/scrummaster should foster this behavior.

      For formal evaluations, I think a conversational element is important,
      but I for one am not against a numbered rating system: I think it's
      useful particulary for matrixed enviroments.

      Thank you Dr. Sutherland for your template, I give it a whirl in my
      upcoming releases.



      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Esther Derby" <derby@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi, Christophe -
      >
      >
      >
      > You wrote: "To break the mental barrier to providing feedback about
      people,
      > a suggested idea was to run anonymous quick peer reviews at the end
      of each
      > iteration (maybe with a 1 to 5 score), and provide everyone on the
      team with
      > their personal average peer score and the total team average, so
      they can be
      > made aware of the other teams member feeling about them while comparing
      > themselves to the rest of the team (without not knowing anything
      else about
      > anyone in particular). The assumption being that someone getting bad
      reviews
      > over and over by his team will do something about it, or at least not be
      > surprised when the team decides to reject him/her."
      >
      >
      >
      > People need to feel safe in order to bring up tough issues. So part
      of the
      > work in retrospectives is to help people agree on ground rules that will
      > help them be able to do that.
      >
      >
      >
      > Anonymous ratings won't help people feel safe. If someone receives
      a low
      > rating, he's likely to feel *less* trusting. Further, people don't
      know how
      > to change based on a number. They need clear descriptive information
      about
      > behavior/results and impacts.
      >
      >
      >
      > So rather than try an anonymous review system, I'd try to find out why
      > people don't feel safe and try to increase the level of safety. And I'd
      > train the team on how to give peer-to-peer feedback congruently.
      >
      >
      >
      > If you'd like to learn more about peer-to-peer feedback, I'll point
      you to
      > some articles.
      >
      >
      >
      > ED
      >
      >
      >
      > Esther Derby
      > Esther Derby Associates, Inc.
      > 612-724-8114 www.estherderby.com
      >
      > Now available: Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Esther
      > Derby and Diana Larsen (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006)
      >
      > Secrets of Agile Teamwork PUBLIC workshop December 5-7. Email me for
      more
      > information.
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christophe
      Louvion
      > Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 11:05 PM
      > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] ongoing peer feedback
      >
      >
      >
      > Trending committed story points vs. done at the end of each
      iteration is a
      > great feedback to the whole (taking too much on, getting stuff actually
      > "done" etc).
      >
      > We also have the retrospective: sharing the good, bad and ugly helps the
      > team be aware as a group of their current issues. You can only fix
      problems
      > you know about.
      >
      > Really well jelled teams will tackle any issues, including individual
      > issues. Nobody runs without making mistakes.
      >
      > But sometimes, team members are not providing much feedback to each
      other
      > (new to agile, cultural thing etc).
      >
      > One of my team is of the latter type. They will only discuss simple
      issues
      > and table some hard discussions involving resurrent troublemakers --
      > chickens do not participate to retros.
      >
      > To break the mental barrier to providing feedback about people, a
      suggested
      > idea was to run anonymous quick peer reviews at the end of each
      iteration
      > (maybe with a 1 to 5 score), and provide everyone on the team with their
      > personal average peer score and the total team average, so they can
      be made
      > aware of the other teams member feeling about them while comparing
      > themselves to the rest of the team (without not knowing anything
      else about
      > anyone in particular). The assumption being that someone getting bad
      reviews
      > over and over by his team will do something about it, or at least not be
      > surprised when the team decides to reject him/her.
      >
      > Has anyone done something like this? How did it go?
      >
      > Any alternatives for helping team members speak their mind during
      retros?
      >
      >
      >
      > Thank you
      >
      >
      >
      > C
      >
    • Esther Derby
      He, entretriens-- ... Sometimes it is easy to figure out who gave the anonymous feedback...and then the feedback receiver wonders Why didn t s/he tell me
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 1, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        He, entretriens--

        > Anonymous is well intentioned, but sometimes it's too easy to figure
        > out who rated what on who, in which case it's not very anonymous.
        > Moreover, it can potentially worsen morale if the rated think he is
        > doing fine and then is slapped with low ratings from his peers.

        Sometimes it is easy to figure out who gave the anonymous feedback...and
        then the feedback receiver wonders "Why didn't s/he tell me directly?"

        Sometimes feedback receivers only *thinks* he knows who gave the
        feedback...and then he wonders "Why didn't s/he tell me directly?" about the
        wrong person.

        When people guess where feedback came from, they get it wrong as often as
        not.

        When feedback is anonymous, the feedback receiver doesn't know who to go to
        for clarification, nor can they put the feedback in context.

        The result? Anonymous feedback breaks trust.

        > If there are barriers to feedback exchange amongst teammembers, then
        > it might be worth taking a step back and focusing on bettering the
        > relationships within the team. <snip> If people can't honestly talk to
        each other, then it's a
        > sign of weakness on another level.

        Indeed. And sometimes, people don't know how to give feedback in a way
        that's congruent and helpful. Peer-to-peer feedback is a skill that agile
        teams need to support inspecting and adapting working relationships.

        <snip> I for one am not against a numbered rating system: I think it's
        useful particulary for matrixed enviroments.

        So let's do a thought experiment:

        Suppose someone tells you: "You are a "3". Do you know what you need to
        change to be a "4"? Do you know why you are a 3 and not a 2 or a 4? How
        does it feel to have someone tell you that you are a "3"?

        Ratings tell you something about another person's judgment or evaluation of
        you. They don't give the information that would help you improve.

        >Are the feedbacks objective?<

        On some level, feedback is always about the feedback giver - it's his/her
        perception of you, not the truth about you.

        Esther

        Esther Derby
        Esther Derby Associates, Inc.
        612-724-8114 www.estherderby.com

        **Agile Retrospectives named one of the TOP TEN TECH BOOKS of 2006 by the
        editors at amazon.com!**

        Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Esther Derby and Diana
        Larsen (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006)

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of entretriens
        > Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 9:16 AM
        > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: ongoing peer feedback
        >
        > Anonymous feedbacks are sometimes effective in that they sometimes get
        > the teammembers to speak. But not always.
        >
        > What are the size of your teams?
        > Who's being rated? Their role? Their status?
        > What's the potential backlash for speaking openly?
        > What's your team like? Are the feedbacks objective?
        >
        > Anonymous is well intentioned, but sometimes it's too easy to figure
        > out who rated what on who, in which case it's not very anonymous.
        > Moreover, it can potentially worsen morale if the rated think he is
        > doing fine and then is slapped with low ratings from his peers.
        >
        > If there are barriers to feedback exchange amongst teammembers, then
        > it might be worth taking a step back and focusing on bettering the
        > relationships within the team. I don't refer to eventful morale
        > boosters as the good feelings soon fade after the moments are gone,
        > but measures that might improve the day-to-day interactions amongst
        > teammembers. If people can't honestly talk to each other, then it's a
        > sign of weakness on another level.
        >
        > If the relationships are strong within the group then formal feedback
        > tends to work better regardless of what tool you use. Moreover, it's
        > also important for feedback occur less formally in small conversations
        > throughout the iterations in which case you can potentially fix and
        > avoid some problems -- the PM/scrummaster should foster this behavior.
        >
        > For formal evaluations, I think a conversational element is important,
        > but I for one am not against a numbered rating system: I think it's
        > useful particulary for matrixed enviroments.
        >
        > Thank you Dr. Sutherland for your template, I give it a whirl in my
        > upcoming releases.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Esther Derby" <derby@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi, Christophe -
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > You wrote: "To break the mental barrier to providing feedback about
        > people,
        > > a suggested idea was to run anonymous quick peer reviews at the end
        > of each
        > > iteration (maybe with a 1 to 5 score), and provide everyone on the
        > team with
        > > their personal average peer score and the total team average, so
        > they can be
        > > made aware of the other teams member feeling about them while comparing
        > > themselves to the rest of the team (without not knowing anything
        > else about
        > > anyone in particular). The assumption being that someone getting bad
        > reviews
        > > over and over by his team will do something about it, or at least not be
        > > surprised when the team decides to reject him/her."
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > People need to feel safe in order to bring up tough issues. So part
        > of the
        > > work in retrospectives is to help people agree on ground rules that will
        > > help them be able to do that.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Anonymous ratings won't help people feel safe. If someone receives
        > a low
        > > rating, he's likely to feel *less* trusting. Further, people don't
        > know how
        > > to change based on a number. They need clear descriptive information
        > about
        > > behavior/results and impacts.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > So rather than try an anonymous review system, I'd try to find out why
        > > people don't feel safe and try to increase the level of safety. And I'd
        > > train the team on how to give peer-to-peer feedback congruently.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > If you'd like to learn more about peer-to-peer feedback, I'll point
        > you to
        > > some articles.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ED
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Esther Derby
        > > Esther Derby Associates, Inc.
        > > 612-724-8114 www.estherderby.com
        > >
        > > Now available: Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Esther
        > > Derby and Diana Larsen (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006)
        > >
        > > Secrets of Agile Teamwork PUBLIC workshop December 5-7. Email me for
        > more
        > > information.
        > >
        > > _____
        > >
        > > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        > > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christophe
        > Louvion
        > > Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 11:05 PM
        > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] ongoing peer feedback
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Trending committed story points vs. done at the end of each
        > iteration is a
        > > great feedback to the whole (taking too much on, getting stuff actually
        > > "done" etc).
        > >
        > > We also have the retrospective: sharing the good, bad and ugly helps the
        > > team be aware as a group of their current issues. You can only fix
        > problems
        > > you know about.
        > >
        > > Really well jelled teams will tackle any issues, including individual
        > > issues. Nobody runs without making mistakes.
        > >
        > > But sometimes, team members are not providing much feedback to each
        > other
        > > (new to agile, cultural thing etc).
        > >
        > > One of my team is of the latter type. They will only discuss simple
        > issues
        > > and table some hard discussions involving resurrent troublemakers --
        > > chickens do not participate to retros.
        > >
        > > To break the mental barrier to providing feedback about people, a
        > suggested
        > > idea was to run anonymous quick peer reviews at the end of each
        > iteration
        > > (maybe with a 1 to 5 score), and provide everyone on the team with their
        > > personal average peer score and the total team average, so they can
        > be made
        > > aware of the other teams member feeling about them while comparing
        > > themselves to the rest of the team (without not knowing anything
        > else about
        > > anyone in particular). The assumption being that someone getting bad
        > reviews
        > > over and over by his team will do something about it, or at least not be
        > > surprised when the team decides to reject him/her.
        > >
        > > Has anyone done something like this? How did it go?
        > >
        > > Any alternatives for helping team members speak their mind during
        > retros?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Thank you
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > C
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-
        > unsubscribe@...
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • entretriens
        People frequently make errors when attempting to pinpoint the source of anonymous feedback, I didn t mention that, but that doesn t mean I disagree. Did you
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 4, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          People frequently make errors when attempting to pinpoint the source
          of anonymous feedback, I didn't mention that, but that doesn't mean I
          disagree. Did you mistake my response as being strongly in support of
          anonymous feedback? As I mentioned earlier, anonymous feedback can
          cause problems, but in the right environment the issues are minimized.

          Did you look at the template set forth by Jeff Sutherland? It doesn't
          appear so. I don't advocate a strictly numbered rating system, but
          numbers tell a story of their own (they provide something
          measureable), which I think is valid especially for larger scale
          environments. Both the numbers and feedback are important as far as
          I'm concerned.

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Esther Derby" <derby@...> wrote:
          >
          > He, entretriens--
          >
          > > Anonymous is well intentioned, but sometimes it's too easy to figure
          > > out who rated what on who, in which case it's not very anonymous.
          > > Moreover, it can potentially worsen morale if the rated think he is
          > > doing fine and then is slapped with low ratings from his peers.
          >
          > Sometimes it is easy to figure out who gave the anonymous feedback...and
          > then the feedback receiver wonders "Why didn't s/he tell me directly?"
          >
          > Sometimes feedback receivers only *thinks* he knows who gave the
          > feedback...and then he wonders "Why didn't s/he tell me directly?"
          about the
          > wrong person.
          >
          > When people guess where feedback came from, they get it wrong as
          often as
          > not.
          >
          > When feedback is anonymous, the feedback receiver doesn't know who
          to go to
          > for clarification, nor can they put the feedback in context.
          >
          > The result? Anonymous feedback breaks trust.
          >
          > > If there are barriers to feedback exchange amongst teammembers, then
          > > it might be worth taking a step back and focusing on bettering the
          > > relationships within the team. <snip> If people can't honestly talk to
          > each other, then it's a
          > > sign of weakness on another level.
          >
          > Indeed. And sometimes, people don't know how to give feedback in a way
          > that's congruent and helpful. Peer-to-peer feedback is a skill that
          agile
          > teams need to support inspecting and adapting working relationships.
          >
          > <snip> I for one am not against a numbered rating system: I think it's
          > useful particulary for matrixed enviroments.
          >
          > So let's do a thought experiment:
          >
          > Suppose someone tells you: "You are a "3". Do you know what you need to
          > change to be a "4"? Do you know why you are a 3 and not a 2 or a 4? How
          > does it feel to have someone tell you that you are a "3"?
          >
          > Ratings tell you something about another person's judgment or
          evaluation of
          > you. They don't give the information that would help you improve.
          >
          > >Are the feedbacks objective?<
          >
          > On some level, feedback is always about the feedback giver - it's
          his/her
          > perception of you, not the truth about you.
          >
          > Esther
          >
          > Esther Derby
          > Esther Derby Associates, Inc.
          > 612-724-8114 www.estherderby.com
          >
          > **Agile Retrospectives named one of the TOP TEN TECH BOOKS of 2006
          by the
          > editors at amazon.com!**
          >
          > Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Esther Derby and Diana
          > Larsen (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006)
          >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of entretriens
          > > Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 9:16 AM
          > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: ongoing peer feedback
          > >
          > > Anonymous feedbacks are sometimes effective in that they sometimes get
          > > the teammembers to speak. But not always.
          > >
          > > What are the size of your teams?
          > > Who's being rated? Their role? Their status?
          > > What's the potential backlash for speaking openly?
          > > What's your team like? Are the feedbacks objective?
          > >
          > > Anonymous is well intentioned, but sometimes it's too easy to figure
          > > out who rated what on who, in which case it's not very anonymous.
          > > Moreover, it can potentially worsen morale if the rated think he is
          > > doing fine and then is slapped with low ratings from his peers.
          > >
          > > If there are barriers to feedback exchange amongst teammembers, then
          > > it might be worth taking a step back and focusing on bettering the
          > > relationships within the team. I don't refer to eventful morale
          > > boosters as the good feelings soon fade after the moments are gone,
          > > but measures that might improve the day-to-day interactions amongst
          > > teammembers. If people can't honestly talk to each other, then it's a
          > > sign of weakness on another level.
          > >
          > > If the relationships are strong within the group then formal feedback
          > > tends to work better regardless of what tool you use. Moreover, it's
          > > also important for feedback occur less formally in small conversations
          > > throughout the iterations in which case you can potentially fix and
          > > avoid some problems -- the PM/scrummaster should foster this behavior.
          > >
          > > For formal evaluations, I think a conversational element is important,
          > > but I for one am not against a numbered rating system: I think it's
          > > useful particulary for matrixed enviroments.
          > >
          > > Thank you Dr. Sutherland for your template, I give it a whirl in my
          > > upcoming releases.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Esther Derby" <derby@>
          wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Hi, Christophe -
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > You wrote: "To break the mental barrier to providing feedback about
          > > people,
          > > > a suggested idea was to run anonymous quick peer reviews at the end
          > > of each
          > > > iteration (maybe with a 1 to 5 score), and provide everyone on the
          > > team with
          > > > their personal average peer score and the total team average, so
          > > they can be
          > > > made aware of the other teams member feeling about them while
          comparing
          > > > themselves to the rest of the team (without not knowing anything
          > > else about
          > > > anyone in particular). The assumption being that someone getting bad
          > > reviews
          > > > over and over by his team will do something about it, or at
          least not be
          > > > surprised when the team decides to reject him/her."
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > People need to feel safe in order to bring up tough issues. So part
          > > of the
          > > > work in retrospectives is to help people agree on ground rules
          that will
          > > > help them be able to do that.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Anonymous ratings won't help people feel safe. If someone receives
          > > a low
          > > > rating, he's likely to feel *less* trusting. Further, people don't
          > > know how
          > > > to change based on a number. They need clear descriptive information
          > > about
          > > > behavior/results and impacts.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > So rather than try an anonymous review system, I'd try to find
          out why
          > > > people don't feel safe and try to increase the level of safety.
          And I'd
          > > > train the team on how to give peer-to-peer feedback congruently.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > If you'd like to learn more about peer-to-peer feedback, I'll point
          > > you to
          > > > some articles.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > ED
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Esther Derby
          > > > Esther Derby Associates, Inc.
          > > > 612-724-8114 www.estherderby.com
          > > >
          > > > Now available: Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by
          Esther
          > > > Derby and Diana Larsen (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006)
          > > >
          > > > Secrets of Agile Teamwork PUBLIC workshop December 5-7. Email me for
          > > more
          > > > information.
          > > >
          > > > _____
          > > >
          > > > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > > > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christophe
          > > Louvion
          > > > Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 11:05 PM
          > > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > > > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] ongoing peer feedback
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Trending committed story points vs. done at the end of each
          > > iteration is a
          > > > great feedback to the whole (taking too much on, getting stuff
          actually
          > > > "done" etc).
          > > >
          > > > We also have the retrospective: sharing the good, bad and ugly
          helps the
          > > > team be aware as a group of their current issues. You can only fix
          > > problems
          > > > you know about.
          > > >
          > > > Really well jelled teams will tackle any issues, including
          individual
          > > > issues. Nobody runs without making mistakes.
          > > >
          > > > But sometimes, team members are not providing much feedback to each
          > > other
          > > > (new to agile, cultural thing etc).
          > > >
          > > > One of my team is of the latter type. They will only discuss simple
          > > issues
          > > > and table some hard discussions involving resurrent troublemakers --
          > > > chickens do not participate to retros.
          > > >
          > > > To break the mental barrier to providing feedback about people, a
          > > suggested
          > > > idea was to run anonymous quick peer reviews at the end of each
          > > iteration
          > > > (maybe with a 1 to 5 score), and provide everyone on the team
          with their
          > > > personal average peer score and the total team average, so they can
          > > be made
          > > > aware of the other teams member feeling about them while comparing
          > > > themselves to the rest of the team (without not knowing anything
          > > else about
          > > > anyone in particular). The assumption being that someone getting bad
          > > reviews
          > > > over and over by his team will do something about it, or at
          least not be
          > > > surprised when the team decides to reject him/her.
          > > >
          > > > Has anyone done something like this? How did it go?
          > > >
          > > > Any alternatives for helping team members speak their mind during
          > > retros?
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Thank you
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > C
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
          > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-
          > > unsubscribe@...
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
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