Celebrate achievements publicly

To make the most of celebrating the wins and failures, share them with other teams and co-workers. It can increase morale and get your team the recognition they deserve.

Public "kudos" boards, where the entire organization can post, can be a great visual. Sharing challenges with the rest of your company may feel difficult, but the learning opportunity can help the entire organization.

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The first step of incorporating wins and failures into agile is creating a safe environment where all feedback will be encouraged and welcomed.

  • As for feedback, accept it gracefully, and use it to grow - even if it is difficult to hear. When you lead by example, your team will follow.
  • Banish blame. Don't point fingers when something goes wrong on your team. If the team is worried they'll be reprimanded, they will be less likely to take risks. Instead, reframe mistakes as learning opportunities.
  • Identify any threats to psychological safety and deal with them immediately. It takes one person to create a hostile and unsafe environment, for example, by yelling at or shaming people when they make mistakes.

When you celebrate wins and failures, your team should walk away with an actionable plan to change things moving forward.

Teams want to be left alone to do the work and be trusted that they can do it. If you desire this practice to lead to growth within your team, give them the autonomy to make those changes.

The agile framework

The agile framework is about optimizing performance. One way to inspire that improvement and help teams grow in the process is by celebrating wins and setbacks.

Addressing failures is about listening to your team members' challenges and then finding ways to remove the obstacles. It's about hearing what they need to do things right, then providing it.

For example, if your team missed a major deadline, ask more in-depth questions to determine where the bottleneck happened, such as communicating with other stakeholders. Consider tools that enable better communication and collaboration between teams.

  • Celebrating wins are important because they help keep the team's morale up. When teams move quickly from one project to another, it can feel like a joyless process without deliberate celebrations.
  • Success may occur on a new experiment, and the team might want to pour more effort into it in the future. Without celebration, these moments may pass unnoticed and unexploited.
  • Identifying woes is important because it allows teams to notice what's not working, allowing them to make the necessary changes.

... and celebrate them every few weeks.

The maximum time between these retrospectives should be three weeks. Any longer and people will start to forget the realities of the situation. Newer teams that are still finding their groove should schedule more frequent meetings.

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