Some Experiences with Facilitation Cards

It's been a while since I'm using Martin proulx Facilitation Cards. I'm not using the cards alone I printed for each person in my team. The team receive the idea to use the facilitation cards very well and them we start using it.

The experiment was a attempt to improve the communication in the team and see how people react using this kind of visual sign on most diverse situations.

Cards like Yes, NO, Abstention we didn't use maybe because the team get used to talk and make quick calls about stuff that happed, I din't miss using this card but maybe I'm missing something here, anyway the team have all cards and nobody use this 3 ones so I think we're OK about it.

I can't say the same about the Question/Discussion cards like "I have a different topic", " I have a question" and "I would like to add something to add". This cards rock, I fell their help the team to improve the communication. I pay much more attention when someone wants talk or even better in what the person is talking about.

Sometimes we end up in kind of hard / verbal discussions and when someone rise the card its like we calm down, breath, thing and them listing much more what the person is talking about. I some the team using a lot this cards and improving a little bit the receptiveness during the meetings.

The Behavior(RED and YELLOW) was the ones that we used a lot. The team have rules about code quality and there're taxes that you must if you break that rules. We create two additional rules for this two cards, the yellow one means that you must pay R$ 0,50 and the RED one means that you must pay R$ 1,00.

I the beginning I was afraid doing that because folks may use without good sens but I trust may team and the result was awesome. This was more or less like giving power to all the team ,so everyone can screw everyone and that didn't happened. The team use that very wise only when some one really should get it, the good about the money is because we often use that money to pay or retrospectives(beer and food) on restaurants.

The cards are really simple and effective, I believe that is because visual things always work better and because everyone have their card on their desks so was very easy access and people use it naturally, amazing how this bound with people so smoothly.  Other thing that I realized was that folks how don't talk much during meetings started talking more and iterating more with the team, ultimately helps folks to get closer to the team and break barriers.

We use the card all the time, during daily meetings, design sessions, code reviews, planning sessions, all the time everyday, some days their are there in our desks and other in our hands, so it also serve as a thermometer because hen meetings are hot the cards are on people hands, this was a great sign to me calm things down or myself :-)

Diego Pacheco.

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