1. 8

    “…Each time someone wrote something they learned on the whiteboard, we toasted them. The team that left that room was utterly different to the one that entered it.”

    1. 12

      That is indeed a good bit, and I thought it was even better when I read it in full. It also resonated with my own experiences: I’ve been in a few rooms where somebody thought ‘let’s take the time to cheer all the things that went well’, and, well, it just felt good. Knowing you’re appreciated is one thing, but feeling appreciated (basking in appreciation?) is quite another, and a very nice high to get from time to time. (A little voice in my head is saying this sounds a lot like ‘happiness is mandatory’ culture. That little voice is confusing ‘saying it out loud doesn’t come naturally’ with ‘the feeling isn’t genuine’. They were nice companies, and nice people.)

      Anyway, here’s the bit I liked in full.

      […] the team spent three long days, and three long nights rebuilding the zone. Once it was done, they – and I – were dejected. Demoralized. Defeated. An amazing manager who was visiting our office realized I was down, and pointed out that we’d just learned more about our new storage stack in those three days, than we had in the previous three months. He reckoned a celebration was in order.

      I bought some cheap sparkling wine from the local supermarket, and with another manager, took over a big conference room for a few hours. Each time someone wrote something they learned on the whiteboard, we toasted them. The team that left that room was utterly different to the one that entered it.

      I also appreciated the bit about “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.

      </enthusing>

      1. 3

        This should be part of the sprint retrospectives (if doing scrum). At $job we often follow the pattern “Good, Bad, Angry”, we put post-its (yea post-its hell) on what’s been good, what’s been bad, and what made you angry. At the end, we aggregate, and discuss all the angry, and pick 2 from Good and 2 from Bad to discuss and find which effort should be continued and which one should be started.

        For example good can be:

        • We now have a test env per PR which makes it easier to test the deployment at each PR => We can then discuss what can be improved to be even better (and we obviously celebrate it)

        Bad can be:

        • Didn’t like how the last meeting ended, I find the conclusion unclear => How can we make sure that this doesn’t happen again?

        Angry can be:

        • I’m frustrated by how we resolved the last outage, I found myself struggling to help and it was panic everywhere. => Since it’s a “angry” point, we need to resolve it ASAP, and this is priority for the team to work well.

        We discuss all this as a team, and at every sprint, we have some allocated time to work on these. Everybody was skeptical about this, but after months, it’s the one “meeting” everybody look forward to go to.