At this week’s metric themed Atlanta Scrum User’s Group meetup, I asked the audience if they knew of any metrics (that could not be gamed) that could trigger rewards for development teams. The reaction was as if I had just praised Planned Parenthood at a Pro-life rally…everyone talking over each other to convince me I was wrong to even ask.
The facilitator later rewarded me with a door prize for the most controversial question. What?
Maybe my development team and I are on a different planet than the Agile-istas I encountered last night. Because we are currently doing what I proposed, and it doesn’t appear to be causing any harm.
Currently, if 135 story points are delivered in the prior month AND no showstopper production bugs were discovered, everyone on the team gets a free half-day-off to use as they see fit. We’ve achieved it twice in the past year. The most enthusiastic part of each retrospective is to observe the prior months metrics and determine if we reached our “stretch goal”. It’s…fun. Let me repeat that. It’s actually fun to reward yourself for extraordinary work.
Last night’s question was part of a quest I’ve been on to find a better reward trigger. Throughput and Quality is what we were aiming for. And I think we’ve gotten close. I would like to find a better metric than Velocity, however, because story point estimation is fuzzy. If I could easily measure “customer delight”, I would.
At the meeting, I learned about the Class of Service metric. And I’m mulling over the idea of suggesting a “Dev Forward” % stretch goal for a given time period.
But what is this nerve I keep touching about rewards for good work?
On weekends, when I perform an extraordinary task around the house like getting up on the roof to repair a leak, fixing an electrical issue, constructing built-in furniture to solve a space problem, finishing a particularly large batch of “Thank You” cards, or whatever…I like to reward myself with a beer, buying a new power tool, relaxing in front of the TV, taking a long hot shower, etc.
Rewards rock. What’s wrong with treating ourselves at work too?