Measuring Team Emotion

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Team EmotionToo many times, companies focus too much attention on metrics like Team Performance and Team Efficiency, while ignoring metrics like Team Emotion or Happiness.  This last week,  I worked with a company and team which did not make this mistake. At the  conclusion of the iteration, they held a retrospective.

As noted on a previous blog post,

a retrospective meeting is held at the end of a scheduled event or time interval. With the aid of a facilitator, a team discusses what went well and what could be improved during the next interval or prior to the next scheduled event.  The meeting is time-boxed to help ensure it doesn’t just turn into an out-of-control complaining session.  When properly facilitated, you come out of the meeting with an actionable list for improvement candidates.

At the conclusion of the team retrospective, it was time for the final task of the (2-week) iteration.  It was time to know how the team felt.

As you can see from this Cacoo drawing, the team was happy during iteration planning and the first week of the two-week iteration.  Things didn’t go so well during the  second week or the Iteration Review. I was there during that meeting and not surprised they voted as they did.  What is telling from this diagram was their feelings of the actual Retrospective meeting.  They were very happy.

During the Retrospective,  the team discussed how they could make the next iteration (and Review) better.  It was a really healthy and productive conversation.  There was no blaming.  It was all about “how can we as a team do better?”

In closing, find out how your team feels.  You may be surprised how team performance and efficiency improve when the team is happier.  If you want true process or team improvement (Kaizen), track your feelings as well.

 

8 Replies to “Measuring Team Emotion”

    1. It’s great to see a young team get so excited, show so much respect for each other, and really focus on making things better for themselves and the customer.  

  1. I have been tracking my team’s energy level, frustration level and source of frustration for about 5 weeks now and I can tell which week they are going to achieve their goals and which they are not based on these metrics much better predictor of reality.

    1. I love it!  Now to actually show management the results!  Working long days and weekends can equal frustration which can translate to low quality or not as much “productivity” as expected.  Normal working hours/conditions decided by the team can equal lower frustration levels which could translate to more focus and throughput. 

  2. Very nice indeed. I totally agree that team performance and efficiency improve once the team is happier. I worked on that with my testing team. We have to be happy, enjoy and suppor each other. How amazing the performance of the team went up especially after we moved to Agile testing.
    Thanks Derek.

    1. Amwar, 
      I think happiness is a powerful motivator.  It’s great to hear of the positive impact it had on your testing team.  As a result of this post, I am considering using the topic as a proposed session topic at the Agile DC conference

      Thank you for adding your experience! 

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