Friday, November 19, 2010

French Fries! (important and fun team habits)

I work in a company that values work/life balance. This means that when people need to work from home for a good reason, they do. But this in turn means that they have to dial in for our standup and other meetings that day. Sometimes, it is hard to hear on the phone from home, especially when 3 people in the meeting room are looking at each other and talking over one another.


Yeah, that would probably get your attention if someone yelled it out in the middle of a meeting, wouldn't it? Well, that's the phrase that the team created for our standup to state... "hey guys, you are making it impossible for me to be an equal member of this discussion; or even follow along". This is typically caused by people talking at the projector screen instead of the phone (too quiet), but it has other good uses also.

It's a silly phrase. It might seem unprofessional to some... but it's part of our culture. (Don't ask how we came up with the phrase, I honestly don't remember.)

My point?

Have fun in your team. Find ways to help the chemistry of the group work. Make sure people respect each other, and provide ways for them to communicate feedback in a constructive way.

The other day, a higher level manager yelled French Fries in a meeting where most people in the room hadn't heard it before (not people in our standup). It made me laugh because it shows that the idea is effective and is spreading.

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