Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Peer Reviews with the Scrum Team Members

Expand Messages
  • sisraj1
    My team is fairly new to the Scrum framework and we are still trying to understand and deal with evaluating teams/individual members of the team. One of the
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 7, 2011

      My team is fairly new to the Scrum framework and we are still trying to understand and deal with evaluating teams/individual members of the team.  One of the ideas we were contemplating is the use of Peer Reviews for the members of the team.  This approach probably wouldn't be the only method used to try to evaluate the teams/individuals on the team.  It just might be part of the equation.

      I have seen numerous discussions related to individual performance reviews in this forum and I do not necessarily want to open up another dialogue on if they should be used.  Also, peer reviews within the Scrum Team members have been talked about to some extent.   However, I haven't seen any detailed discussions on them.

      I would like to know if anyone has any experience or guidance with regard to team members providing feedback on peer reviews anonymously.  Meaning, would it be better for the requestor of the information and the team if the feedback was named or anonymous?

      Bob

      sisraj1@...

       

    • Steve
      Hi Bob My advice - DO NOT DO ANONYMOUS PEER REVIEWS!! The Team memebers must grow to trust and respect each other so that they are motivated to support each
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 8, 2011
        Hi Bob

        My advice - DO NOT DO ANONYMOUS PEER REVIEWS!!

        The Team memebers must 'grow' to trust and respect each other so that they are motivated to support each other. Anonymous peer reviews have a very high risk of introducing doubt and mis-trust in the minds of some.

        I know you said you didn't want to start the 'should we do individual reviews or not' discussion again but what is the motivation for them?

        If it is for 'performance related pay' reasons then you do have a problem! I would try to find a 'Team performance related bonus' system instead.

        A small anecdote:

        In the early days of managed RAD a Team was assembled, trained, given a Vision and Objectives, a fixed end date and told to 'get on with it'.

        The money for this 'initiative' had already been allocated and when the Team came in on time, to all stakeholder satisfaction, there was some money left in the pot. This was 'given' to the Team as a bonus (in part to motivate others in the company to 'have a go'); the Team were told to distribute it as they saw fit.

        The Team agreed equal shares but one member said something like 'you guys 'carried me' for a week when my wife had a baby' and 'metaphorically' peeled of some of his share and put it back into the pot to be shared by the rest of the Team members!

        This is the sort of 'Team Spirit' that Agile is trying to foster and, indeed, cannot thrive without it. Anonymous peer review will almost undoubtedly destroy it.

        Steve
      • sisraj1
        Thanks for your comments Steve. The motivation for the reviews is not pay related. It is that our company HR department still requires yearly individual
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 8, 2011
          Thanks for your comments Steve.

          The motivation for the reviews is not pay related. It is that our company HR department still requires yearly individual reviews. Even though our development team is utilizing the Scrum framework most of the company is not. The administrative departments within the company may be utilizing technics and processes that are outdated. My team's actions are not going to change that.

          Bob

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <steve@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Bob
          >
          > My advice - DO NOT DO ANONYMOUS PEER REVIEWS!!
          >
          > The Team memebers must 'grow' to trust and respect each other so that they are motivated to support each other. Anonymous peer reviews have a very high risk of introducing doubt and mis-trust in the minds of some.
          >
          > I know you said you didn't want to start the 'should we do individual reviews or not' discussion again but what is the motivation for them?
          >
          > If it is for 'performance related pay' reasons then you do have a problem! I would try to find a 'Team performance related bonus' system instead.
          >
          > A small anecdote:
          >
          > In the early days of managed RAD a Team was assembled, trained, given a Vision and Objectives, a fixed end date and told to 'get on with it'.
          >
          > The money for this 'initiative' had already been allocated and when the Team came in on time, to all stakeholder satisfaction, there was some money left in the pot. This was 'given' to the Team as a bonus (in part to motivate others in the company to 'have a go'); the Team were told to distribute it as they saw fit.
          >
          > The Team agreed equal shares but one member said something like 'you guys 'carried me' for a week when my wife had a baby' and 'metaphorically' peeled of some of his share and put it back into the pot to be shared by the rest of the Team members!
          >
          > This is the sort of 'Team Spirit' that Agile is trying to foster and, indeed, cannot thrive without it. Anonymous peer review will almost undoubtedly destroy it.
          >
          > Steve
          >
        • Steve
          Hi Bob Good news that these annual reports are not pay-related! Your OP mentioned that the Team is yours ; are you the Team Members line Manager or are you
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 9, 2011
            Hi Bob

            Good news that these annual reports are not pay-related!

            Your OP mentioned that the Team is 'yours'; are you the Team Members line Manager or are you the Scrum Master?

            Have you (or has someone) devised the 'annual report process' for Scrum Team Members?

            Is the HR reporting process 'open' ie does the subject participate and can they see/agree/comment on the report?

            I only ask because I have seen it where the 'traditional' line manager has continued to write the reports but with 2 'extremes' of problems:

            a. The line manager hasn't realised that they have had less contact with the team member and gives a 'minimalist' report missing many of the important good and bad things that have happened throughout the year.

            b. The line manager is concientious but inadvertantly interferes with the cadence of the Team working.

            I always advise that the Scrum Master agrees a 'template' report for team members with all the line managers (not all Team members come from the 'IT Dept') and submit 'thumbnail' individual assessments at agreed intervals (once per Release or Project should be enough; but the individuals must see and agree any submitions.

            It is the Scrum Master that has a close 'watching brief' for the whole Team, including PO, and has the responsibility of addressing Blocks. That person is the one most suited to compile comments for a report and with their 'facilitating' responsibility has continuous (not just annual) professional development opportunities with individuals.

            Transparancy is paramount whichever process you adopt but Inspect and Adapt is hard if only done annually.


            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "sisraj1" <sisraj1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks for your comments Steve.
            >
            > The motivation for the reviews is not pay related. It is that our company HR department still requires yearly individual reviews. Even though our development team is utilizing the Scrum framework most of the company is not. The administrative departments within the company may be utilizing technics and processes that are outdated. My team's actions are not going to change that.
            >
            > Bob
            >
            > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <steve@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Bob
            > >
            > > My advice - DO NOT DO ANONYMOUS PEER REVIEWS!!
            > >
            > > The Team memebers must 'grow' to trust and respect each other so that they are motivated to support each other. Anonymous peer reviews have a very high risk of introducing doubt and mis-trust in the minds of some.
            > >
            > > I know you said you didn't want to start the 'should we do individual reviews or not' discussion again but what is the motivation for them?
            > >
            > > If it is for 'performance related pay' reasons then you do have a problem! I would try to find a 'Team performance related bonus' system instead.
            > >
            > > A small anecdote:
            > >
            > > In the early days of managed RAD a Team was assembled, trained, given a Vision and Objectives, a fixed end date and told to 'get on with it'.
            > >
            > > The money for this 'initiative' had already been allocated and when the Team came in on time, to all stakeholder satisfaction, there was some money left in the pot. This was 'given' to the Team as a bonus (in part to motivate others in the company to 'have a go'); the Team were told to distribute it as they saw fit.
            > >
            > > The Team agreed equal shares but one member said something like 'you guys 'carried me' for a week when my wife had a baby' and 'metaphorically' peeled of some of his share and put it back into the pot to be shared by the rest of the Team members!
            > >
            > > This is the sort of 'Team Spirit' that Agile is trying to foster and, indeed, cannot thrive without it. Anonymous peer review will almost undoubtedly destroy it.
            > >
            > > Steve
            > >
            >
          • Ron Jeffries
            Hello, sisraj1. On Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 12:11:39 PM, you ... Anonymous reviews are still not a good thing for team trust. Consider other ways of
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 9, 2011
              Hello, sisraj1. On Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 12:11:39 PM, you
              wrote:

              > The motivation for the reviews is not pay related. It is that
              > our company HR department still requires yearly individual
              > reviews. Even though our development team is utilizing the Scrum
              > framework most of the company is not. The administrative
              > departments within the company may be utilizing technics and
              > processes that are outdated. My team's actions are not going to change that.

              Anonymous reviews are still not a good thing for team trust.
              Consider other ways of meeting the HR requirement.

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              It is a bad plan that admits of no modifications. -- Publius Syrus (ca. 42 BCE)
            • sisraj1
              [Bob] Steve, see below for comments. ... line Manager or are you the Scrum Master? [Bob] Yes, I am the Scrum Master for the Team. ... Scrum Team Members? [Bob]
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 9, 2011

                [Bob] Steve, see below for comments.

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <steve@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Bob
                >
                > Good news that these annual reports are not pay-related!
                >
                > Your OP mentioned that the Team is 'yours'; are you the Team Members line Manager or are you the Scrum Master?

                [Bob] Yes, I am the Scrum Master for the Team.

                >
                > Have you (or has someone) devised the 'annual report process' for Scrum Team Members?

                [Bob] At this point, we are in the process of trying to work the report/review process out.  Nothing has be devised for the Scrum Team yet.  The thought is to still participate in the annual reviews required by HR.  However, as a team, use peer reviews after each Sprint (we use 4 week Sprints) and then individual or team reviews quarterly.  We are still trying to come up with the best approach (individual/team) for the more frequent, quarterly, reviews.   

                >
                > Is the HR reporting process 'open' ie does the subject participate and can they see/agree/comment on the report?

                [Bob] Our annual HR required reviews are open.  Individual provide input on their performance and managers provide input as well.  The managers and individuals get together and discuss the information.   


                >
                > I only ask because I have seen it where the 'traditional' line manager has continued to write the reports but with 2 'extremes' of problems:
                >
                > a. The line manager hasn't realised that they have had less contact with the team member and gives a 'minimalist' report missing many of the important good and bad things that have happened throughout the year.
                >
                > b. The line manager is concientious but inadvertantly interferes with the cadence of the Team working.
                >
                > I always advise that the Scrum Master agrees a 'template' report for team members with all the line managers (not all Team members come from the 'IT Dept') and submit 'thumbnail' individual assessments at agreed intervals (once per Release or Project should be enough; but the individuals must see and agree any submitions.
                >
                > It is the Scrum Master that has a close 'watching brief' for the whole Team, including PO, and has the responsibility of addressing Blocks. That person is the one most suited to compile comments for a report and with their 'facilitating' responsibility has continuous (not just annual) professional development opportunities with individuals.
                >
                > Transparancy is paramount whichever process you adopt but Inspect and Adapt is hard if only done annually.
                >
                >
                > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "sisraj1" sisraj1@ wrote:
                > >
                > > Thanks for your comments Steve.
                > >
                > > The motivation for the reviews is not pay related. It is that our company HR department still requires yearly individual reviews. Even though our development team is utilizing the Scrum framework most of the company is not. The administrative departments within the company may be utilizing technics and processes that are outdated. My team's actions are not going to change that.
                > >
                > > Bob
                > >
                > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <steve@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Bob
                > > >
                > > > My advice - DO NOT DO ANONYMOUS PEER REVIEWS!!
                > > >
                > > > The Team memebers must 'grow' to trust and respect each other so that they are motivated to support each other. Anonymous peer reviews have a very high risk of introducing doubt and mis-trust in the minds of some.
                > > >
                > > > I know you said you didn't want to start the 'should we do individual reviews or not' discussion again but what is the motivation for them?
                > > >
                > > > If it is for 'performance related pay' reasons then you do have a problem! I would try to find a 'Team performance related bonus' system instead.
                > > >
                > > > A small anecdote:
                > > >
                > > > In the early days of managed RAD a Team was assembled, trained, given a Vision and Objectives, a fixed end date and told to 'get on with it'.
                > > >
                > > > The money for this 'initiative' had already been allocated and when the Team came in on time, to all stakeholder satisfaction, there was some money left in the pot. This was 'given' to the Team as a bonus (in part to motivate others in the company to 'have a go'); the Team were told to distribute it as they saw fit.
                > > >
                > > > The Team agreed equal shares but one member said something like 'you guys 'carried me' for a week when my wife had a baby' and 'metaphorically' peeled of some of his share and put it back into the pot to be shared by the rest of the Team members!
                > > >
                > > > This is the sort of 'Team Spirit' that Agile is trying to foster and, indeed, cannot thrive without it. Anonymous peer review will almost undoubtedly destroy it.
                > > >
                > > > Steve
                > > >
                > >
                >

              • Steve
                Hi Bob Thanks for the clarifications. Who has the responsibility for submitting the annual reports? If it is someone other than yourself ie the individuals
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 10, 2011

                  Hi Bob

                  Thanks for the clarifications.

                  Who has the responsibility for submitting the annual reports?  If it is someone other than yourself ie the individuals' line managers, then you need to discuss with all of them what they require from you at what intervals.  I would suggest quarterly would be sufficient.

                  However, I suggest that the first step to devising a reporting process to fulfil the needs of your HR annual reports is to make sure that you, the Team Members and the line managers fully understand the intended value of the reports to both the company and the individual.

                  Then you can devise a 'template' of 'performance areas' in which to take notes to pass to line managers at the agreed intervals or to enable you to produce the annual reports; these notes can be passed to an individuals new Scrum Master if and when they change Teams.

                  As The Scrum Master it is probably the 'goals and ambitions' sections of the individual Team members' previous annual reports that you will need to focus on (given that such sections are a part of your HR annual reports).

                  I think that the Team peer reviews (as part of the retrospective I assume) are a great idea.

                  I am still a little unclear about how you see the individual quarterly reviews.  Are they one-to-one interviews?  Are they formally submitted to HR?

                  Your mention of quartely Team reviews is a little perplexing. Do HR require Team Reviews? if so, then the retrospectives are the prime source of material I would think.

                  Good to see the current openness of the  process but do not forget that some team members whilst 'relishing' the individual openness may not want some of their 'information' being shared with the rest of their Team Members;  I think it is important to ask individuals in their one-to-ones if they are happy that any information may become 'public' and make sure that you don't let slip any that they would prefer not to be.

                   

                  As to the format of the reports, I always suggest headed bullet points (one or two sentences) for each specific area over the 'essay' type report; it is easier to write and be understood by all.

                  The bottom line (as always) is to make sure everyone understands the value and devise the least wasteful process.

                • sisraj1
                  [Bob] See below. ... you ... you, ... take ... you ... of ... need ... [Bob] We are still discussing having either quarterly individual or team reviews. The
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 13, 2011

                    [Bob] See below.

                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <steve@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Hi Bob
                    >
                    > Thanks for the clarifications.
                    >
                    > Who has the responsibility for submitting the annual reports? If it is
                    > someone other than yourself ie the individuals' line managers, then you
                    > need to discuss with all of them what they require from you at what
                    > intervals. I would suggest quarterly would be sufficient.
                    >
                    > However, I suggest that the first step to devising a reporting process
                    > to fulfil the needs of your HR annual reports is to make sure that you,
                    > the Team Members and the line managers fully understand the intended
                    > value of the reports to both the company and the individual.
                    >
                    > Then you can devise a 'template' of 'performance areas' in which to take
                    > notes to pass to line managers at the agreed intervals or to enable you
                    > to produce the annual reports; these notes can be passed to an
                    > individuals new Scrum Master if and when they change Teams.
                    >
                    > As The Scrum Master it is probably the 'goals and ambitions' sections of
                    > the individual Team members' previous annual reports that you will need
                    > to focus on (given that such sections are a part of your HR annual
                    > reports).
                    >
                    > I think that the Team peer reviews (as part of the retrospective I
                    > assume) are a great idea.
                    >
                    > I am still a little unclear about how you see the individual quarterly
                    > reviews. Are they one-to-one interviews? Are they formally submitted
                    > to HR?

                    [Bob] We are still discussing having either quarterly individual or team reviews.  The quarterly reviews would not be required by HR.  They would be for our management and Team only.  We don't know if they would be one-on-one interviews (for individual reviews) or a Team meeting (for Team reviews) or someother format.  We just haven't got that far in the process. 
                    >
                    > Your mention of quartely Team reviews is a little perplexing. Do HR
                    > require Team Reviews? if so, then the retrospectives are the prime
                    > source of material I would think.
                    >
                    > Good to see the current openness of the process but do not forget that
                    > some team members whilst 'relishing' the individual openness may not
                    > want some of their 'information' being shared with the rest of their
                    > Team Members; I think it is important to ask individuals in their
                    > one-to-ones if they are happy that any information may become 'public'
                    > and make sure that you don't let slip any that they would prefer not to
                    > be.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > As to the format of the reports, I always suggest headed bullet points
                    > (one or two sentences) for each specific area over the 'essay' type
                    > report; it is easier to write and be understood by all.
                    >
                    > The bottom line (as always) is to make sure everyone understands the
                    > value and devise the least wasteful process.
                    >

                  • Steve
                    Hi Bob ... You have a Team Review every time you run a retospective so you just need to decide which ones you are going to capture for da management
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 14, 2011
                      Hi Bob

                      >
                      > [Bob] We are still discussing having either quarterly individual or team reviews. The quarterly reviews would not be required by HR. They would be for our management and Team only. We don't know if they would be one-on-one interviews (for individual reviews) or a Team meeting (for Team reviews) or someother format. We just haven't got that far in the
                      > process.

                      You have a Team Review every time you run a retospective so you just need to decide which ones you are going to 'capture' for 'da management' purposes.

                      Given that the annual HR individual report has a 'Things I wish To Achieve Next Year' section, I suggest quarterly one-to-ones to see 'how goes it' on the 'ambitions'.
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.