If you are a leader(with a title or without title), I am sure you must be thinking often on how to get your team together. How to juice productivity with visible vibrant energy and free-flowing passion across the team. You must be thinking of conducting some awesome team building activities, present(or receive) content of great help to your entire team so that they would feel that they are learning in some way. My mind is often occupied with such thoughts. Not just because I lead a team, but because I naturally love to push people to get their best, to grow together. And of course, I equally love to learn from the people around me.
Weekly Wednesday session is one of those many initiatives me and my team took as our efforts towards making the above possible. If you do not know what our weekly Wednesday session is about, you can get a glimpse of what exactly it is here. Ok, so I am not really going to directly tell you the ‘how to’ here as the title might have conveyed, but I am surely going to share few practical hints on ‘what can be done’. Wednesday is a fun day for us. It stays eventful and it stays productive. It acts well to burst away midweek blues if any. However, last few sessions were going bit unplanned and though we were having fun, the feeling was there that we can juice more productivity and fun if we plan it properly. Taking people together, engaging the audience is a skill. Content too has to be different.
Time was for me to get the matter in hand. I informed the team that I would be presenting throughout the session and have interesting things lined up for them. We usually meet for around two to two and a half hours every Wednesday, so I wanted to adhere to the schedule and still cover a lot of variety which I want all my team members to focus on too in future. I spent some 45 minutes to put my mind mined stuff into a PowerPoint presentation. Here is what all was there:
- Testing Trends:
I decided to start with something related to Testing. Need and challenge of any IT professional these days is to stay up to date with what is happening in the industry. The case with us, the testers is no different. What could have been a better choice than quick talk around State of Testing Survey 2017? Thanks to PractiTest and Tea-time with Testers for conducting this awesome survey with well defined and well-directed questions. The report talks about many things such as where the overall testing industry is heading, what tools they are using, how important now is to break the comfort zone and learn something new for testers, how the career shifts are happening and so on. If you haven’t had look at it yet, you can check it here.
- Farewell Speech:
No. Not mine. We have a tradition that a person has to speak in his/her last Wednesday session bout his/her experience of working with us, what advice he/she would like to give us and so on. Of course, we too talk about our testing partner. This time it was the last session of one of our Testing ninja Hamza.
- A glimpse of Digital world and testing challenges:
Here we quickly discussed the new Amazon Echo with touchscreen and camera. We also discussed the challenges in testing such AI based devices and also the security/privacy risks associated with it.
- Hack the Wellness:
OK, so the first thing I achieved here is I took them all to Twitter. A lot of them were not there. I believe Twitter has become a very good resource of knowledge and its algorithms precisely show what we are interested in. At least my experience is that way.
Coming back to the activity, I made them tweet one fitness resolution which they will achieve in 30 days. We have to understand the beauty in doing small things. We all want to hit the gym and get those six odd packs, but years pass on and most of us fail or lose the momentum. So why not to make a small resolution which can help us as stay healthy and which is very well achievable in short run.
(Ok, I ate cheese couple of times, but this dare just stopped me from doing it for rest of the days :p.Here is video recording of what #ZyQualSquad tweeted that day :))
Here is a video recording of what #ZyQualSquad tweeted that day :)) Click to play.
- Escape the Ordinary:
I believe in the philosophy that we have to re-fuel our inner spark on a timely basis to give our best to whatever we do. For doing so, what can be a better choice than taking on some adventure or starting some journey into the wild? But again, the problem with we humans is we wait for big things for way too long than focusing on small things as well. OK. We all want to go on that world tour or that big across nations road-trip but we are not ready. So what? We can always take some small escape from the routine from the ordinary right?
That’s what I tried telling my team and making them commit to that one small adventure they will be taking. There is no guaranty that they or I will do it for sure. But at least I got them to commit it publicly, got them thinking. So even if few of them do it, my efforts were worth it. Here is video recording of all the tweets we posted that day with our Adventure Dares 🙂
Here is a video recording of all the tweets we posted that day with our Adventure Dares 🙂 Click to play.
- Be confident, collaborate comfortably:
I had to bring some small team building game and I came across this. What caught my attention was Eye Contact game. It is very necessary face people and situation confidently being a tester. Testing involves heavy collaboration. Now only with developers but with fellow testers as well. So what I did is divided our entire team into pairs randomly and made them look into each other’s eyes for 30 seconds without looking away. Whoever looks away first loses. Believe me, it was fun and I hope it gave them all some confidence or made them bit more comfortable with each other 🙂
- Eat together, work together, grow together:
As we had last 30 minutes left from our session time, I took them to the canteen for Snacks and Tea. Couldn’t have ended in a better way.
Thanks for reading. Hope you found these ideas helpful to get your team together or got that motivation to try something new to get your team together.
PS: If you have noticed the logos on slides above and wondering what are those, stay tuned. Would write on them soon 🙂
Edit: Sometimes you just need to take that first step to see the continuous change. In our very next session, many of our #ZyQualSquad testers were ready to present something. It involved many topics like:
- Motivational session by Steffy which revolved around how to get the best out of your life
- Session on Server side/Database level testing by Priyanka
- Session on benefits of learning a new language by Bhavya
- Introductory sessions around couple of new features we built in one of our product by Shreya
- Awesome extract from the book ‘Who moved my cheese?’ by Trina
- Games by Funtertainers- Anima
And many more lined up 🙂