Team building gets a bad rap. While employers are open to implementing team building exercises into the workplace, they are often met with resistance. Employees sometimes see team building exercises as a waste of time that they can’t afford and won’t enjoy. This is especially true of team building exercises that occur over a weekend when employees are enjoying time off.
Team building exercises are meant to be productive, fun, and meaningful. Going into team building with a negative attitude negates a lot of the exercise’s benefits. This is a shame, considering the plethora of benefits team building exercises have including: improved communication, better interpersonal relationships, maximized profitability, improved morale, and shared learning.
If you manage a remote agile development team, these benefits are probably sounding very appealing. So what is a project manager to do when they want to improve cohesion in their agile development team? Team building exercises, of course. Employees do not have to be in the same office or even away on a weekend together to practice these exercise.
The activities outlined below can involve developers who work both on-site and remotely. All it takes is video chat capabilities and a block of time where you can all meet. These team building exercises are proven to help strengthen communication skills and team productivity! Considering they are all free and can be done in-office with remote workers, they are worth giving a shot.
Each person participating writes down their name, two things about them that are true, and one thing that is false. All three things should be relatively believable. As each person reads their two truths and a lie, the rest of the team has to figure out which facts are real, and what is the lie.
Developers are split into groups and must figure out a commonality that runs through each member. The first group to find the common thread wins.
This one is pretty much the same as the old school time activity. Each team member gets a day to bring something in that allows the rest to get to know them a little better. This can be a live demonstration, or it also works through the written word.
Split the group into small teams or pairs. Have one person blindfolded and the other team must instruct what the blindfolded member must draw, but they can only use abstract descriptions… nothing concrete. This is a great communication exercise perfect for long distance developers.
Have each member bring an item from their desk and instruct them to transform it into a new product for the company. Have each member give a two minute presentation “selling” the product to the rest of the group.
These team building exercises will help build trust, strengthen bonds, and enhance communication skills. They also work to get creativity flowing among team members and could result in new processes, projects, or products! Have you ever participated in, or run, a team building exercise that you found beneficial? We’d love to hear about it!
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