Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scrum Meeting – Punishment by collecting $ is it the right way ?

image One of the first rules of Scrum Meeting is to ensure that it is conducted at the same time every day at the same place. It also expects that the team members should come on time to the Scrum Meeting.

Typical practice is that, late comers to the Scrum Meetings should either wear a joker cap or pay a $ as punishment for arriving late. However many thought leaders share that these practices of punishment is bad and it is not going to improve the situation or change the behavior of the late comers. Worse, Thought Leaders proficient in Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation, believe that, over a period of time the extrinsic motivators(reward or punishment) actually reduces the intrinsic motivation.

image * So, what should we do in this situation ?
* How do we handle the late comers ?
* Should we ignore them ?
* How do we make the late comers for the Scrum meeting to come on time ?

The answer seems to be not easy. Researchers believe that there is no one formula that could be used to motivate every one. If some one is not coming on time to the Scrum meeting means either he/she is not interested or does not believe in these meetings and could be something else. One needs to identify the root cause of lack of intrinsic motivation and work on an individual basis rather than applying the same reward/punishment formula.

image Cognitive Evaluation Theory and FLOW seem to provide some insights to improve the Intrinsic motivation.


Unknown said...

I did the following (and with great success):
- Every team member who arrived on-time to the daily scrum earned one point for the team.
- Late comers lost ten points for the team.
- The current point score was displayed publicly next to the scrum board.
- For every x points, with x depending on the size of the team, the team earned a round of beer payed for by the company. (The team should be able to earn a round every week or so.)

This worked brillantly the one time I tried it so far. On the very first day, one person was late. On the following days no-one ever was late again.

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Brilliant, thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Punishing team member for arriving late is somewhat counter productive. What will happen is that people will spend the last half hour before the meeting watching their clocks instead of working.

Instead try to remind them that the time of the meeting has arrived. Ring a bell, blow a whistle, send a broadcast message on your IM system...

Unknown said...

Hi, think the "beer" method should work well as a soft motivation (without real punishment for the latecomers), based on group pressure and positive reinforcement. Also is a great thing to show on public (boards) the latecomers stats, because is a good reminder.

Finally for chronic latecomers the lead should take action and try to find the root cause, finally applying a proper corrective action. (