Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Mountaintop Scale

Retrospectives, and meetings in general, only really have value when the people involved feel comfortable enough to share what is on his or her mind. That's why we start with a safety check.

Safety checks are typically on a scale of 1-5. The participants write down a number and anonymously put it into a hat. The runner of the retrospective then tallies the results and decides whether it's worthwhile to continue, or something needs to be done to bring up the safety level of the team.

At least, that's how it was until yesterday. Yesterday brought the introduction of the mountaintop scale. Arguably simpler, but undeniably more accurate, the mountaintop scale ranges from 1-6...with 4 being the highest. Here's an ASCII art picture for your enjoyment.

       /\ 5
    3 /  \
     /    \ 6
  2 /
1 /

As our iteration manager so eloquently put it:

It's easy. If you're between a 3 and a 4, you're a 5. If you're between a 2 and a 3, you're a 6.
Happy retrospecting!

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