Friday, May 23, 2014

SCRUM - How to deal with a team that doesn't talk

So you are the SCRUM Master and you are in a team that no one likes to talk or you have very shy people. How do you deal with this… here is a list of tools that can help:

  • Use voting with your hand when making decisions. The technique is called fist of five voting (click here for more info)
  • Setup one on one meeting with every team member to see how they are doing during the sprint. They might open up more when it is just the two of you.
  • During the SCRUM ask each person by name how they are doing or if they are stuck. Don’t use generic questions such as “Is anyone stuck?”
  • Don’t make decisions for the team – try to encourage discussion and consensus. Do this by asking questions to people by name. For example “Tom what do you think about this idea?” Use first of five to get the feedback from the group when you think you reached a consensus
  • Keep meeting with the group low-stress and fun so people don’t feel on the spot or stressed, bring snakes or make jokes to keep the mood light
  • Managers attending SCRUM can cause team members to speak less, worrying that they may look bad if they are stuck. In this case, work with the manager or team member and explain that they should not worry about speaking up or saying that they are stuck.

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