Management 3.0 — Using Kudo cards in agile retrospectives

When we decided to use management 3.0 practices in the teams for transformation and empowerment, one of the fundamental points was to work trust between them. Looking for techniques to achieve this purpose, Me and Leila Almeida, we decided to use kudo’s in a different and embryonic way. We tried to turn the practice into a retrospective.

To encourage the initial discussions, we use ice breaker techniques to energize people and create a psychological security environment at the retrospective ceremony, we start with a technique called hi 5, where participants need to find 5 points in common to finish the game . Then we talked about the points of improvement in our retrospective, using the celebration grid, which I already talked about in another article in this series of articles.

After prioritizing the actions and discussing the improvement points, we distributed the cards to the team members so that they could deliver a card to those who most helped them in some challenge in that sprint.
We did not quite know how it would happen because it was the first time we’d done this kind of retrospective and we did not have the culture to recognize another person publicly at the time but … the result was spectacular! Posts like “thanks for the help with Jasper”, “thank you for having done well in the audit log” and so many others, that have made the team leave the retrospective reflecting on how they help themselves and for many times end up leaving gratitude aside. The result is documented in this photo! The gratitude of the people did not fit there.

After this event, we were implementing our first kudo wall, but I was not sure it would work, it was all a lot of experimentation for us back then. So we talked to the members of the retrospective if they were comfortable if they used their kudos from that retrospective ceremony to be part of our first kudo wall. It was a huge challenge. We put a kudobox at the front desk of the company in front of our kudo wall with the kudos from the retrospective.

I believe that this retrospective was the first step towards a series of improvements and empowerment that we later did on the teams. Since we are talking about kudo cards and recognition, I have my gratitude and credits to one of the most capable transformation agents I have ever worked with: Congratulations Leila Almeida. Thanks for always trying to make people’s work environment something that’s really worth it.

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