Vacations – good period to verify your team

Summer time is a great time to relax and re-energize yourself. Overall output reduces a bit due to team members leave (good that it is temporary J).

There are various ways how teams decide to use their vacation:

  • Whole team goes for a vacation
  • Only part of the team goes for a vacation at a time

Not all managers accept first approach. And it’s a bit dangerous in case if team works on something sensitive that might require instant attention. I personally also think second approach is much better because:

  1. You still have a chance to solve accidents in case they occur, a bit of risk management
  2. Gives you (Scrum Master, team Member, Manager) a possibility to learn a lot about the team
    • And you can find out a lot of things during a relatively short period (2-3 weeks of vacation)

What we learned:

  1. Documentation and knowledge sharing must be improved
    • We identified that some team members have unique knowledge about some parts
    • It is not possible to find it out anywhere – no documentation or some hints at all
  2. Scrum Master can learn more about people and a team as a whole
    • It is very interesting to observe what people are really doing when there is a bit more spare time (no heavy load). Some people will spend time on learning, some on social media, others will go home earlier. It doesn’t mean that you must take actions, but this information can be a good insight in helping the team to improve

These are very obvious items (especially the documentation and knowledge sharing). But the best part about this is that all issues become more visible and obvious for team members. And it leads to team’s self-organization (maybe with some help of Scrum Master J) in order to solve these problems when everyone is back.

p.s. learning is not always very easy