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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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