At Monday’s retrospective, my answer to the question, “What should we do differently”, was to "have more fun". We have been cranking out releases for 85 iterations and the new year seemed like a good time to try something fresh. One of my testers came up with Bug Bucks.
Although it violates several agile practices, we’re going to give it a try. Here’s how it works:
- Each programmer earns Buck Bucks equal to the magnitude of Features they code (e.g., a Feature with a magnitude (AKA complexity) of 13 would earn the programmer 13 Bug Bucks).
- Any tester, BA, or other programmer who finds a bug in said Feature, gets to take away a Bug Buck from the programmer who coded it. The programmer only loses the Bug Buck if the team decides to fix it.
- Bugs found in production subtract a Bug Buck from each team member (all testers, BAs, and programmers).
- We have various denominations of Bug Bucks to make change, and team members will pin them to their cubes as they acquire them.
So what can one do with a Bug Buck? We’re still working on that but pending budget approval, we will let them be exchanged for gifts, or more likely, one minute of personal time off, which should work out to a free day off per quarter for ambitious players!
There are several problems we are aware of; such as, will this discourage collaboration? Um…yes.
But will it really? In the big picture? We've already been collaborating on the rules. Anyway, our current approach is not to over-engineer this game, but to try to have some fun. If our velocity changes for the worst, we’ll pull the plug... just have to wait and see.
I'll report back.