The Four things that have kept me sane during the new normal have been-
- Nutrition (Mind & Body)
Last sprint, I ran a few sprint ceremonies — Warmups & Retrospective.
1. Themed Warmups during Standup-
My team, like any other agile team, conducts stand ups every morning but we greet each other with short icebreakers called warmups. I put some thought to tie it with our new normal and made sure sure each day the team discussed something that would relate to these personal pillars of strength. As we spend most of our day together as a team, making sure we look out for each other as people as first thing in the morning is setting us up for success.
- What are you grateful for today?
Teammates go one by one and reflect on that day, in the moment, what are they grateful for? It might be possible that with the agitation of the situation, we are paying less & less attention to what we already have and be thankful, so this gave the team a very heartwarming approach first thing in the morning.
- What new skill has this time taught you?
With the new normal, one is bound to discover new facets of one’s personality and sometimes, the need of the hour bring out new skills that one never knew existed. In this warmup game, team shared the one new skill that they gained implicitly in the recent past.
- What was you breakfast today & share your favourite breakfast item
What we eat defines our health, mood and nutrition compass. Breakfast being the most important meal of the day, is good to be shared amongst the team and also gives an idea about everyone’s food choices (also if they’ve had food at all till the morning standup). Sharing the favourite breakfast item opened some drool-worthy tabs on all our browsers and opened cultural conversations!
- How do you like your coffee?
Or any other drink of your choice, really. Team mates discussed how they got introduced to their favourite beverage and are incorporating a routine into their lives.
Reflection & Teamwork:
- Which team mate would you call for _______?
Team mates were asked — If under a certain a situation, which team mate would they choose to call for help in that situation and why? eg- One of them mentioned, if I had to buy a new gadget I’d chose X because …..
This is not new to many, but playing it over with new team mates helps build rapport.
- Describe the most interesting interview question you were asked
Quite self-explanatory. Also, it was interesting to see how people answered those questions!
- Describe your most memorable birthday
Played as dedication to one of the team mates’ birthday, this opened up team’s minds to reflecting back to the pre-pandemic lives and introduced some laughs at the stand ups.
- Share your phone wallpaper & why you chose it
We generally would meet our co-located team mates and such little things would be a part of the routine, but since we are not — this game served as a breath of fresh air.
- What’s your favourite time of the day & why?
Since by now, all of the team mates are completely set into a stay-at-home routine that’s best for them, this gave a sneak peak into their general routine.
2. Retrospective Ice Breaker Game-
A sprint is incomplete without a retrospective (my love for retros is described here) and so this time, the team played a usual game but with a stay at home twist.
Team mates were asked to draw something that they think depicts their time in isolation till now.
The team got to upload their images on a team chat and explained their images. Team mates got quite descriptive about their experiences and explained their drawing with a lot of enthusiasm!
I’d be delighted to know what’s keeping your team happy and connected? Do you have ice-breakers that always are a hit or are you looking for new ones?
I hope this brought a new perspective to your routine and inspires your team to spend a few moments every now and then to bond during these times.
Until next time, happy reading!
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