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Team Temperature – an easy way to measure your current state

By |2020-09-03T08:28:16+00:00November 7th, 2014|

Over the years I have worked on many process/org improvement initiatives with my internal teams and the client teams as a consultant. I have used a few tools/models/techniques to assess the current state. Of all things I have used, my

Team Temperature

Team Temperature technique for process engineering, team retrospectives etc.

favorite technique is a very simple one which gives me very good insights into the current state in about 15 minutes. It is a concept somewhat driven from Net Promoter Score (NPS) concept. I call it Team Temperature. I can’t take credit for the term as it has been used by other guys before me. Probably my variation and usage of the technique may give heartache to some who use it differently.

What is Team Temperature?

Average of the overall satisfaction scores with the current state on a scale of 0 to 10 given by all the team members (that are a part of the process value chain) accounting for everything that they have to do, use and deal with (process, tool, people, managers, etc).

How to do it?

Follow these steps if you are facilitating the process:

  • Give everyone a post-it for recording their score. Ask remote folks to send their score in an email or IM
  • On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 Absolutely loving it asks everyone to score their overall satisfaction with the current state Remind everyone that when scoring they should consider everything including process, tools, people, values, etc when giving a score.
  • Don’t let people share their score with each other to avoid anchoring
  • Give people a few minutes to think through it and score
  • Write the scores from remote folks on a post-it (one each), collect the scores from everyone in the room. Readout each score and put them on a board in two groups “ less than 8 and more than 8.
  • Do a quick math and calculate the average score and that’s your team temperature.
  • Explain the team members that a score of less than 8 implies not being fully satisfied with the current state the goal should be to improve the team temperature and to bring more people closer to 8 and above.

What do we do with it?

  • If you are the process owner/team manager/Coach/Scrum Master use team temperature as a key team metric that needs to be improved upon.
  • Right after going through the team temperature exercise go through the exercise on what’s working and what’s not working and create a heat map of themes. You may need more time after that to drill down further or you will pick up the critical themes and ideate with the team members to generate solution ideas.

How to make it effective?

  • Avoid Anchoring by letting people share their numbers with each other. Don’t allow any team discussions before the scoring.
  • Time box the voting to 2-3 minutes. Don’t let people over analyze.
  • Have a neutral facilitator from outside the team.
  • Set the context for scoring to avoid optimistic or pessimistic views. I use current process metrics/team feedback/customer feedback to bring in the outside perspective (mainly to avoid team denial etc). If the end metrics aren’t looking good, and the team feels everything is fine then you have got problems 🙂

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