Celebrate your victories!

bananas-282319_1280A complaint that is sometimes heard about agile techniques such as Scrum and Kanban is that there is no relief for the developers – they are always sprinting, or there is always some task with top priority. Compared to a more traditional technique, this is true – we prefer to have a steady flow of things to do instead of increasing heaps of unfinished work when the deadline approaches.

But with continuous delivery in place and having a steady sustainable pace, you might miss something: the sense of accomplishment that comes from just making the deadline and the relief that follows, knowing that for a time, you will have the time to do all those tasks that you put off. If all goes well, you might even have cake. Or champagne. Or both.

There is no reason why you should not have a sense of accomplishment or cake (or champagne. or both.) when using an agile method! The problem might be to see when there proper occasion is for this. It is too easy to forget what you actually did two months back – sometimes you cannot even remember what happened a week ago.

My suggestion, and also how we implemented it in the Project, is to have it in association with the sprint review or demonstration meetings. Depending on your sprint length, it might also be a good idea to attach it to a special accomplishment meeting, where you review the accomplishments made (both developments in practices and in code). As a scrum master, this meeting is your responsibility. Set aside half-an-hour for this, and then have cake (or champagne. or both). Invite the Customer and/or the Product Owner to join!

If you, or anybody else, have trouble motivating this towards the Customer or the Product Owner or whoever pays for the time and the cake, mention that the cake is no cost compared to the improvement in morale the team will experience.