You know you’re on a good team when you have fun being with your teammates. To me, having fun at work is critical. I have worked on really difficult, not-fun projects but had a great time with my team in spite of crummy work. One team I worked with was in an especially tough spot. Constant, non-stop change, non-functioning environments and a leadership that didn’t understand the platform or Agile made for some not-at-all fun times. One day a team member wrote on the board “It’s like we’re trying to change a tire when the car is moving.”. The next thing you know, people started adding on to it and it went something like this:
It’s like we’re trying to change the tire while the car is moving
And we just found out the spare is flat
And, awesome!, it started to rain
And, there’s no cell reception so calling is not an option
Oh! There’s a sign: Next service station 200 miles
And, there hasn’t been a car on the road for the last 3 hours.
Some creative soul put it into pictures and it stayed on the board for a while. The team was able to poke fun at the situation collectively and, while it didn’t FIX anything it did serve to give a little levity to the situation. A good team can work well together and be glad to be in the same boat.
Another team I was on would randomly do things like all dress up like another team member or have a “talk like you’re in Marketing” day. I’ve also seen rotations of telling Chuck Norris jokes at stand up. Who knew there were so many! The BEST fun I have seen on a team was when a Team Member plugged her mouse into the developers dock next to her. He came in, started up and she pretended to be absorbed in her work – headphones on and everything – while making his pointer go crazy. He rebooted, got going again and, what do you know, the pointer was all over the place. He then started releasing (for him) expletives. He immediately shut down AGAIN. At this point, I dove under my desk b/c I was almost in tears. I stayed there as he frantically tried to figure out the problem. He unplugged everything and re-plugged it in. It was all connected. He was baffled and getting ready to call support when, finally, the team member rescued him from what was sure to have been a hilarious call.
All of these kinds of interaction go a long way towards team camaraderie or BA. This is what adds to the soul of a team. As a Scrum Master, it’s great to hear a team laughing and enjoying being around one another. It’s part of their hum and single entity identity. When people are having fun, they like being at work and will engage more. This only makes for a better end product. If your team isn’t having fun think of ways to get it going. Have a happy hour together, start going on walks, look for interactive and engaging (somewhat silly) team exercises, use the Chuck Norris idea. Ask the team what they would LIKE to do for fun.
I’d love to hear about your teams’ fun.