Working or learning

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Author: Philippe Launay
Source: Travailler ou apprendre
Date: August 14, 2011

Translator: Fabrice Aimetti
Date: August 14, 2011


This week
, I realized that the team had less energy. Perhaps, this is due to the holidays, the team is not complete so doesn't work as usual. Perhaps, this is due to the gloomy weather of the past two weeks, to the unfortunate who were on leave during this period and are back with us. Or maybe we are in a phase where a sense of control was established. During the last three sprints, the commitments have been met, the board on the wall tells us that everything is "Done". So all is well!
But now, an imperceptible feeling makes me think that the energy is down, and I fear that this will be followed by a drop in motivation.
Then came back from the depths of my memory, some bits of reading I made ​​a few weeks ago.

It is much more motivating for all of us to look at what we do on a daily basis through a positive prism.
So I decided to start a small experiment, which is still ongoing, but I give you the first results.
At the Daily standup this Wednesday, instead of the usual three questions: since the last standup I did, today I'll do, I have an impediment... when my turn came, I said:
  • Yesterday I learned...
  • Today, I hope I will learn...
  • Does anyone want to help me to further explore or to discover....
The result was first a big surprise, visible in the eyes of each member of the team (those present in this holiday period).
I said nothing more, and I waited patiently for the next day... the next Daily standup.

Surprise. At the next Standup, several team members seized the opportunity.
I heard: Yesterday, I learned how to make a diagram of..., or I learned yesterday that there was a class which... or l hope to learn how to publish a new version of the document... or Who wants to help me learn how to initialize a document review
And faces slight up, showing the pride of having learned something in addition to planned work.
Of course we do all work, of course we are happy to move our post-it meaning that we have advanced.
But being able to do the same thing while having learned new things, gives a different view on the work we have done.
Sharing of knowledge as well. Now, in addition to inform the rest of the team that the task is finished, we indicate that we have learned, so we can help anyone to learn the same thing, or that we now have a skill that can be useful for all the team.

The other surprise was seeing the faces of people who spoke of their learning. It's always with a smile. As if being able to present the same things, the same work done, took a value much greater when we talk in terms of learning. And of course, when there are smiles in a team, then the moral is fine and motivation as well. I was able to see the positive energy spread throughout the team.

The experiment continues
. I'll see what happens in the coming days, sprints, and retrospectives. Whatever happens, there have been an effect on the energy of a sprint, but I hope it will have more other effects....
Personally, I much prefer to talk about what I learned, it even forces me to do the exercise to think about what I do in terms of what I learned. It showed me for several days that we do not always take time to see what has been learned; we have done what we had to do, but we don't see necessarily what we had to do for that.

And how to share knowledge, if you have not taken the time to understand that you have acquired this skill?