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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Best scrum team award - good/bad?

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  • Paul Tiseo
    Rajesh: Instead of being a top 1 award, simply make it a level or threshold all teams can strive for. Assuming all teams adopt scrum well, then you will
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
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      Rajesh:

      Instead of being a "top 1" award, simply make it a level or threshold all teams can strive for. Assuming all teams adopt scrum well, then you will enter into an unrewarding "splitting of hairs" as to who is best. Simply make it a pass/fail test with all-hands evaluation.

      And, IMO on Mr. Levinson's post, you need to be careful. Dan Pink puts forth a view that is based on slightly outdated research. More current research indicates a more complex reality. This list had a debate on this issue and you can find it on the group's yahoo archives, starting here:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/46734

      _________________________________
      PAUL TISEO
      paul_tiseo@...
      (904) 382-5704 (cell)

      On 6/30/2010 5:48 AM, Rajesh Velliyatt wrote:  

      We have several scrum teams in the BU, associated to different product developments. In order to promote adoption of agile and create a healthy competition between the teams, management team is thinking of a "best scrum team of the quarter" award. 


      What could be the possible downside of such an award system? 

      Few things I can think of are, 
      - Subjective ( like any other such system ) 
      - If all teams are doing well ( or even otherwise ), picking one among them can pull other teams down
      - May work against collaboration across teams
      - Too much overhead ( data collection ) to substantiate "we are best of the pack" to the panel ( for the scrum master? )
      - Different product teams, no apple-to-apple comparison

      Am I being paranoid?. Please share your thoughts.

      thanks,
      Rajesh.
    • Mark Levison
      Thank you Paul - you ve inspired me to write a blog post. A few points you ve asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can you provide us with
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
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        Thank you Paul - you've inspired me to write a blog post. A few points you've asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can you provide us with a reference to that effect? My experience and reading of the literature is that competition will destroy cooperation.

        Paul if you think otherwise baseline the teams in your business, run a competition and measure the results. I'm not going to risk running this experiment with my clients.

        Cheers
        Mark
      • Paul Tiseo
        Mark: I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
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          Mark:

          I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown me otherwise and I've always prized myself as being agile of mind, not just method.

          As for reference, I feel like I am alone in an echo chamber. Did you not participate in the June thread on raises and promotions? (Link in my last email if you need a refresher.) Did you not get the copy of the research paper PDF I sent you personally?

          I look forward to your blog piece.

          On 6/30/2010 11:48 AM, Mark Levison wrote:  

          Thank you Paul - you've inspired me to write a blog post. A few points you've asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can you provide us with a reference to that effect? My experience and reading of the literature is that competition will destroy cooperation.


          Paul if you think otherwise baseline the teams in your business, run a competition and measure the results. I'm not going to risk running this experiment with my clients.

          Cheers
          Mark
          _________________________________
          PAUL TISEO
          paul_tiseo@...
        • Mark Levison
          ... I ve been insanely busy in the past 6 weeks working with two successive clients. In both cases they have expectations of knowledge in areas I didn t know.
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
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            On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM, Paul Tiseo <paul_tiseo@...> wrote:
             

            Mark:

            I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown me otherwise and I've always prized myself as being agile of mind, not just method.

            As for reference, I feel like I am alone in an echo chamber. Did you not participate in the June thread on raises and promotions? (Link in my last email if you need a refresher.) Did you not get the copy of the research paper PDF I sent you personally?

            I've been insanely busy in the past 6 weeks working with two successive clients. In both cases they have expectations of knowledge in areas I didn't know. Honestly I had completely forgotten about the paper.

            I just spent 20 minutes skimming it at lunch. First up in it is interesting but I don't think is applicable:
            • The team task fighting a battle - doesn't seem inherently creative in the same way software development is.
            • The teams worked on the task for a short period of time (30 minutes?). 
            I would find an experiment that tracked performance: Individual vs. Team vs. Hybrid vs. None over a long period of time (a tear), where the work was knowledge based - far more interesting and relevant.

            In addition one of the things that has struck me studying the neuroscience of this business in the past few years, I can't find any evidence that money acts as a positive reward. Whereas I do find evidence that there are many intrinsic motivators: Status, Fairness, Autonomy, Relatedness (i.e. socialising) and Certainty are important. I see examples of these all the time i.e. people need to feel their voice is heard (Fairness), a BA used to producing large documents needed to feel their work was valued (Status), concern around leadership changes leading to layoffs (Certainty). Dealing with these is where I put my time and effort. See any David Rock's writing on the SCARF model for more detail.

            As I think about I would worry a reward for team performance will seem unfair no matter how its handed out. I.E. Team 'A' gets more measured work done, but everyone else thinks they got there by sacrificing quality. We've just violated their sense of fairness.

            Back to preparing for Innovation Games.

            Cheers
            Mark
          • Bachan Anand
            Rajesh, ... I have experiences with such healthy competition turning to un-healthy in a very short term. Teams started comparing Velocity and wanted to
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
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              Rajesh,
              On 6/30/2010 2:48 AM, Rajesh Velliyatt wrote:  

              We have several scrum teams in the BU, associated to different product developments. In order to promote adoption of agile and create a healthy competition between the teams, management team is thinking of a "best scrum team of the quarter" award. 



              I have experiences with such healthy competition turning to un-healthy in a very short term. Teams started comparing Velocity and wanted to standardize on story points .It also lead to each Scrum team starting to work in silos and not really collaborating with other teams working on the same product. What helped was to start having mentoring / coaching session involving people from different teams to that they can learn from each other .
              What could be the possible downside of such an award system? 

              Few things I can think of are, 
              - Subjective ( like any other such system ) 
              - If all teams are doing well ( or even otherwise ), picking one among them can pull other teams down
              - May work against collaboration across teams
              - Too much overhead ( data collection ) to substantiate "we are best of the pack" to the panel ( for the scrum master? )
              - Different product teams, no apple-to-apple comparison

              Am I being paranoid?. Please share your thoughts.
              Would be interested in knowing the reason behind creating healthy competition?

              If you objective is to spread what works best and to motivate others in the organization to adopt agile  , my suggestion to have these coaching circles or mentoring circles that goes across different teams. To clarify what I mean is to promote / encourage team members from different team share lessons learned , what work best etc through lunch and learn session , master mind groups and Scrum clinics kind of setting . If you would like to have more details on any of these feel free to shoot any questions.

              thanks,
              Rajesh.

            • Roy Morien
              Too much data collection - but what data? What are the competitive measures? Regards, Roy Morien To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com From:
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 30, 2010
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                "Too much data collection" - but what data? What are the competitive measures?
                 
                Regards,
                Roy Morien
                 

                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                From: velliyatt@...
                Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 15:18:28 +0530
                Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Best scrum team award - good/bad?

                 
                We have several scrum teams in the BU, associated to different product developments. In order to promote adoption of agile and create a healthy competition between the teams, management team is thinking of a "best scrum team of the quarter" award. 

                What could be the possible downside of such an award system? 

                Few things I can think of are, 
                - Subjective ( like any other such system ) 
                - If all teams are doing well ( or even otherwise ), picking one among them can pull other teams down
                - May work against collaboration across teams
                - Too much overhead ( data collection ) to substantiate "we are best of the pack" to the panel ( for the scrum master? )
                - Different product teams, no apple-to-apple comparison

                Am I being paranoid?. Please share your thoughts.

                thanks,
                Rajesh.




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              • Rajesh Velliyatt
                Roy, High level competitive measures that can be obtained from various data points could be, Velocity trend of the team, Sprint execution effectiveness,
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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                  Roy, 

                  High level competitive measures that can be obtained from various data points could be, 
                  Velocity trend of the team, Sprint execution effectiveness, Adherence to DoD, Commitment/attitude of the team towards Scrum process

                  thanks,
                  Rajesh.


                  On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 8:06 AM, Roy Morien <roymorien@...> wrote:
                   

                  "Too much data collection" - but what data? What are the competitive measures?
                   
                  Regards,
                  Roy Morien
                   


                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  From: velliyatt@...
                  Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 15:18:28 +0530
                  Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Best scrum team award - good/bad?

                   
                  We have several scrum teams in the BU, associated to different product developments. In order to promote adoption of agile and create a healthy competition between the teams, management team is thinking of a "best scrum team of the quarter" award. 

                  What could be the possible downside of such an award system? 

                  Few things I can think of are, 
                  - Subjective ( like any other such system ) 
                  - If all teams are doing well ( or even otherwise ), picking one among them can pull other teams down
                  - May work against collaboration across teams
                  - Too much overhead ( data collection ) to substantiate "we are best of the pack" to the panel ( for the scrum master? )
                  - Different product teams, no apple-to-apple comparison

                  Am I being paranoid?. Please share your thoughts.

                  thanks,
                  Rajesh.




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                • Rajesh Velliyatt
                  Bachan, Regarding.. ... competition? Speed up agile/scrum adoption by Recognizing/Rewarding the team leading the pack. Teams have already gone through
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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                    Bachan, Regarding.. 
                    >>Would be interested in knowing the reason behind creating healthy competition?

                    Speed up agile/scrum adoption by Recognizing/Rewarding the team leading the pack. 
                    Teams have already gone through training. Coaching is in progress with individual teams. 


                    On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 11:15 PM, Bachan Anand <bachans@...> wrote:
                     

                    Rajesh,


                    On 6/30/2010 2:48 AM, Rajesh Velliyatt wrote:
                     

                    We have several scrum teams in the BU, associated to different product developments. In order to promote adoption of agile and create a healthy competition between the teams, management team is thinking of a "best scrum team of the quarter" award. 



                    I have experiences with such healthy competition turning to un-healthy in a very short term. Teams started comparing Velocity and wanted to standardize on story points .It also lead to each Scrum team starting to work in silos and not really collaborating with other teams working on the same product. What helped was to start having mentoring / coaching session involving people from different teams to that they can learn from each other .

                    What could be the possible downside of such an award system? 

                    Few things I can think of are, 
                    - Subjective ( like any other such system ) 
                    - If all teams are doing well ( or even otherwise ), picking one among them can pull other teams down
                    - May work against collaboration across teams
                    - Too much overhead ( data collection ) to substantiate "we are best of the pack" to the panel ( for the scrum master? )
                    - Different product teams, no apple-to-apple comparison

                    Am I being paranoid?. Please share your thoughts.
                    Would be interested in knowing the reason behind creating healthy competition?

                    If you objective is to spread what works best and to motivate others in the organization to adopt agile  , my suggestion to have these coaching circles or mentoring circles that goes across different teams. To clarify what I mean is to promote / encourage team members from different team share lessons learned , what work best etc through lunch and learn session , master mind groups and Scrum clinics kind of setting . If you would like to have more details on any of these feel free to shoot any questions.

                    thanks,
                    Rajesh.


                  • Rajesh Velliyatt
                    Good thought. This could be an alternate approach. Wondering what could be the measures to set the bar, pass/fail test? 1. Velocity trend of the team (
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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                      Good thought. This could be an alternate approach. 

                      Wondering what could be the measures to set the bar, pass/fail test? 

                      1. Velocity trend of the team ( Assumption: team is consistent with point estimation, *could be* influenced by the reward system? ) 
                      2. Sprint execution effectiveness ( Burn down chart, Impediments raised and How the team dealt with impediments ) 
                      3. Adherence to DoD ( Data comes from PO ) 
                      4. Commitment/attitude of the team towards Scrum process ( Data comes from SM )

                      Missing any other important aspects?  


                      thanks,
                      Rajesh.

                      On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 8:39 PM, Paul Tiseo <paul_tiseo@...> wrote:
                       

                      Rajesh:

                      Instead of being a "top 1" award, simply make it a level or threshold all teams can strive for. Assuming all teams adopt scrum well, then you will enter into an unrewarding "splitting of hairs" as to who is best. Simply make it a pass/fail test with all-hands evaluation.

                      And, IMO on Mr. Levinson's post, you need to be careful. Dan Pink puts forth a view that is based on slightly outdated research. More current research indicates a more complex reality. This list had a debate on this issue and you can find it on the group's yahoo archives, starting here:
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/46734

                      _________________________________
                      PAUL TISEO
                      paul_tiseo@...
                      (904) 382-5704 (cell)

                      On 6/30/2010 5:48 AM, Rajesh Velliyatt wrote:
                       

                      We have several scrum teams in the BU, associated to different product developments. In order to promote adoption of agile and create a healthy competition between the teams, management team is thinking of a "best scrum team of the quarter" award. 


                      What could be the possible downside of such an award system? 

                      Few things I can think of are, 
                      - Subjective ( like any other such system ) 
                      - If all teams are doing well ( or even otherwise ), picking one among them can pull other teams down
                      - May work against collaboration across teams
                      - Too much overhead ( data collection ) to substantiate "we are best of the pack" to the panel ( for the scrum master? )
                      - Different product teams, no apple-to-apple comparison

                      Am I being paranoid?. Please share your thoughts.

                      thanks,
                      Rajesh.


                    • Mark Levison
                      ... Velocity inflation here I come. For more details: Misuse of Velocity of an Agile Project
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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                        On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 3:02 AM, Rajesh Velliyatt <velliyatt@...> wrote:
                         
                        High level competitive measures that can be obtained from various data points could be, 
                        Velocity trend of the team, Sprint execution effectiveness, Adherence to DoD, Commitment/attitude of the team towards Scrum process

                        Velocity inflation here I come. For more details: Misuse of Velocity of an Agile Project

                        Along with inflation, I will cut corners - do little or no refactoring. ....

                        Be careful you will get what you measure and most measures will hurt your quality.

                        Cheers
                        Mark Levison

                        Blog | Twitter | Office: (613) 862-2538
                      • Jay Conne
                        Hey guys, how s this for a market driven alternative? Let business units bid on the teams they want to do their projects? That would cover many dimensions in
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 1, 2010
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                          Hey guys, how's this for a market driven alternative?

                          Let business units bid on the teams they want to do their projects? That would cover many dimensions in one fell swoop. And as a balancing factor, have the teams bid on the projects. That would demonstrate earned trust both ways.

                          What do you think :-) ?

                          Paul, I'd like to see your research paper if you'd be so kind.

                          Jay
                          jay@...
                          www.jconne.com

                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Paul Tiseo <paul_tiseo@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Mark:
                          >
                          > I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown me otherwise and I've always prized myself as being agile of mind, not just method.
                          >
                          > As for reference, I feel like I am alone in an echo chamber. Did you not participate in the June thread on raises and promotions? (Link in my last email if you need a refresher.) Did you not get the copy of the research paper PDF I sent you personally?
                          >
                          > I look forward to your blog piece.
                          >
                          > On 6/30/2010 11:48 AM, Mark Levison wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Thank you Paul - you've inspired me to write a blog post. A few points
                          > > you've asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can
                          > > you provide us with a reference to that effect? My experience and
                          > > reading of the literature is that competition will destroy cooperation.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Paul if you think otherwise baseline the teams in your business, run a
                          > > competition and measure the results. I'm not going to risk running
                          > > this experiment with my clients.
                          > >
                          > > Cheers
                          > > Mark
                          > _________________________________
                          > *PAUL TISEO*
                          > paul_tiseo@...
                          >
                        • Ilja Preuß
                          That paper is actually supporting Pink s position, as it shows, as Pink says, that rewards and competition work *for tasks that don t need a lot of
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 7, 2010
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                            That paper is actually supporting Pink's position, as it shows, as Pink says, that rewards and competition work *for tasks that don't need a lot of creativity*.

                            Take care, Ilja

                            2010/6/30 Paul Tiseo <paul_tiseo@...>


                            Mark:

                            I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown me otherwise and I've always prized myself as being agile of mind, not just method.

                            As for reference, I feel like I am alone in an echo chamber. Did you not participate in the June thread on raises and promotions? (Link in my last email if you need a refresher.) Did you not get the copy of the research paper PDF I sent you personally?

                            I look forward to your blog piece.


                            On 6/30/2010 11:48 AM, Mark Levison wrote:
                             

                            Thank you Paul - you've inspired me to write a blog post. A few points you've asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can you provide us with a reference to that effect? My experience and reading of the literature is that competition will destroy cooperation.


                            Paul if you think otherwise baseline the teams in your business, run a competition and measure the results. I'm not going to risk running this experiment with my clients.

                            Cheers
                            Mark
                            _________________________________

                            PAUL TISEO
                            paul_tiseo@...



                          • Steven Janvrin
                            My two cents - I asked the team (of which I am the CSM) what they thought of a Scrum team of the month award . Given that they are currently the only Scrum
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 7, 2010
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                              My two cents -
                               
                              I asked the team (of which I am the CSM) what they thought of a "Scrum team of the month award".  Given that they are currently the only Scrum team in my business unit they thought the idea was great.
                               
                              I then went on to ask "how would you feel if there were multiple Scrum teams and you didn't win the award?"  Their answer was "we'd be mad at them and wouldn't want to work with them."
                               
                              Not a scientific test, but in my mind a useful one.  I remain opposed to the concept of a "best Scrum team" and any associated award.
                               
                              Steve.
                               

                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              From: iljapreuss@...
                              Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 19:53:59 +0200
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Best scrum team award - good/bad?

                               
                              That paper is actually supporting Pink's position, as it shows, as Pink says, that rewards and competition work *for tasks that don't need a lot of creativity*.

                              Take care, Ilja

                              2010/6/30 Paul Tiseo <paul_tiseo@comcast. net>


                              Mark:

                              I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown me otherwise and I've always prized myself as being agile of mind, not just method.

                              As for reference, I feel like I am alone in an echo chamber. Did you not participate in the June thread on raises and promotions? (Link in my last email if you need a refresher.) Did you not get the copy of the research paper PDF I sent you personally?

                              I look forward to your blog piece.


                              On 6/30/2010 11:48 AM, Mark Levison wrote:
                               

                              Thank you Paul - you've inspired me to write a blog post. A few points you've asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can you provide us with a reference to that effect? My experience and reading of the literature is that competition will destroy cooperation.


                              Paul if you think otherwise baseline the teams in your business, run a competition and measure the results. I'm not going to risk running this experiment with my clients.

                              Cheers
                              Mark
                              ____________ _________ _________ ___






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                            • Jussi Mononen
                              ... My 2 european cents ;-) we have an Innovation of the Month prize. Everyone is eligible, a single person or a team can receive this prize. The
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 7, 2010
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                                On 07/07/2010 09:10 PM, Steven Janvrin wrote:
                                >
                                > My two cents -
                                >
                                > I asked the team (of which I am the CSM) what they thought of a "Scrum
                                > team of the month award". Given that they are currently the only Scrum
                                > team in my business unit they thought the idea was great.
                                >
                                > I then went on to ask "how would you feel if there were multiple Scrum
                                > teams and you didn't win the award?" Their answer was "we'd be mad at
                                > them and wouldn't want to work with them."
                                >
                                > Not a scientific test, but in my mind a useful one. I remain opposed to
                                > the concept of a "best Scrum team" and any associated award.

                                My 2 european cents ;-)

                                we have an "Innovation of the Month" prize. Everyone is eligible, a
                                single person or a team can receive this prize.

                                The "innovation" can be anything, a tool that helps to automate
                                something previously manual, a new way of working, idea for a new
                                component/product and so forth. The prize is usually movie tickets,
                                lunch (paid by the firm) in a restaurant or a bottle of champagne.
                                Nothing big nor financially substantial. And of course the innovator is
                                mentioned in our monthly department meeting :-)

                                Few examples of rewarded "innovations"

                                * a new build script
                                * idea to start to organize team lunches
                                * finding an unknown and severe build issue
                                * pair working experiment within a team

                                The prize is still relatively new, but I can say that it has not caused
                                /any/ competition between teams or individuals. I personally feel it
                                works pretty well in encouraging the little things that make our daily
                                work a little better and easier.

                                Br,

                                --
                                - Agile Poodle
                                - http://www.jussimononen.info/
                                - http://www.twitter.com/agilepoodle
                              • Michael James
                                Here s one of the claims referenced by one of Pink s videos: • “In eight of the nine tasks we examined across the three experiments, higher incentives led
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 7, 2010
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                                  Here's one of the claims referenced by one of Pink's videos:

                                  • “In eight of the nine tasks we examined across the three experiments, higher incentives led to worse performance. In fact, we were surprised by the robustness of the effect;”
                                  • Dan Ariely, Uri Gneezy, George Loewenstein, and Nina Mazar (2005) “Large Stakes and Big Mistakes” Working Papers No. 5-011, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

                                  People may remember Dan Ariely as author of _Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions_. I believe the task where incentives led to higher performance was asking people to type the letters "b" and "v" in rapid succession.

                                  --mj

                                  On Jul 7, 2010, at 10:53 AM, Ilja Preuß wrote:

                                  > That paper is actually supporting Pink's position, as it shows, as Pink says, that rewards and competition work *for tasks that don't need a lot of creativity*.
                                  >
                                  > Take care, Ilja
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 2010/6/30 Paul Tiseo <paul_tiseo@...>
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Mark:
                                  >
                                  > I totally understand and empathize with your disagreement with me, as I once thought similarly. But, personal experience and emerging research has shown me otherwise and I've always prized myself as being agile of mind, not just method.
                                  >
                                  > As for reference, I feel like I am alone in an echo chamber. Did you not participate in the June thread on raises and promotions? (Link in my last email if you need a refresher.) Did you not get the copy of the research paper PDF I sent you personally?
                                  >
                                  > I look forward to your blog piece.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > On 6/30/2010 11:48 AM, Mark Levison wrote:
                                  >>
                                  >> Thank you Paul - you've inspired me to write a blog post. A few points you've asserted on several of occasions that Dan Pink is wrong. Can you provide us with a reference to that effect? My experience and reading of the literature is that competition will destroy cooperation.
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> Paul if you think otherwise baseline the teams in your business, run a competition and measure the results. I'm not going to risk running this experiment with my clients.
                                  >>
                                  >> Cheers
                                  >> Mark
                                  > _________________________________
                                  >
                                  > PAUL TISEO
                                  > paul_tiseo@...
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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