Off-site with teams #2

Posted by Lena Barinova on November 5, 2014 Know-how

Some time ago I’ve shared with you my experiment of gathering all my teams together and having a fresh look at products we build. So this is a second try. Different time, different place, but the goal stays the same: share ideas, educate each other, team-building.


When you are pushing scrum into teams for a quite long time and it starts to work as expected, you usually get a non desirable side effect of it - teams become isolated, communicate less with each other, become too focused on a team goal and try to improve team performance. That’s why you need something that gathers different teams in one room and gives them a possibility to get to know each other again. For the second time I have tried gathering my teams for such extended knowledge sharing session.

In my opinion it worked just fine, we had various discussions on business and tech topics, reviewed what we achieved, thought about the future. Here a simplified agenda of our off-site.

  1. Product Owners presenting new products. 10 minutes for each product. What is it? Vision. Why? Benefits.
  2. Product Owners presenting current products. 10 minutes stories of the products with overview of recently released major features and further essential plans.
  3. Scrum Masters (or someone from the team) presenting products from tech perspective. 10 minutes technical overview of your products: how are/will they be developed, architecture overview, etc.
  4. Success stories. All teams (it could be anyone from the team) prepare a short  ~5-7 minutes overview on how you product succeeds in different countries, how the usage is changing, how much money it’s earning, etc. – anything you find interesting and exciting about you products.
  5. Remembering the promises from the last event. Watching recorded video followed with a short update of what was actually done from those promises – anyone from the teams.
  6. And then for 2 hours discuss within teams. Form team’s targets for future (3-6 months) and make new promises.

I tried to film every session and presentation and after some editing put it on company’s internal wiki for other teams to learn about what we do. Actually I find it very useful in may ways: for the team to step up out of daily routine and think about the future, for every attendee to learn about related teams, for teams outside the event - to learn about our products. And moreover, we use this filmed material for newcomers to teach them about teams, products, people.

If you have tried such events - I encourage to try it :) it fun and useful.