Kudo Card is something so simple yet not often used in companies. Maybe its importance is not enough highlighted. We use Kudo Cards at our clients´ projects as well as among ourselves at Oikosofy.
WHAT IS A KUDO CARD?
A Kudo Card is a written public recognition of a colleague for something he has contributed to the team. Kudo Cards are also called HERO awards, Rippas or Hugs.
We can even use it in Agile Retrospectives. Yes, Kudo Cards can be used as a single exercise in Retrospectives!
Now we´d like to explain you why they are so relevant and important.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO GET OUT OF THIS EXERCISE
In our society, it is quite common to reward people with money for good behavior. We believe this might quite wrong if not used carefully. We believe there are other and better ways to reward great behavior.
Jurgen Appelo, for example, says:
“There are many wrong ways to reward employees. A simple but effective approach is the use of kudo cards, which enables people to give each other small tokens of appreciation.”
Through the use of this exercise, you can expect team members to feel appreciated by each other. Often most of us are so busy with our daily activities that we forget to appreciate what others do for us or for the team.
WHEN YOU WOULD USE THIS EXERCISE
The great thing about this exercise is that we do not even need to consider the right time to do this exercise. This exercise can be done whenever the team wants.
It can be used in sprints where everything went well, or in sprints where everything went wrong. In the first occasion it will serve as an extra boost to the team’s motivation, in the second one it will serve as a reminder that even during difficult times, team members appreciate each other.
As an example we can bring up one of our clients that use this practice every sprint in every retrospective. You can do this exercise at the beginning of the Retrospective as a “Set the Stage” exercise, or at the end of the retrospective, aka the Closing Phase. It is really completely up to the team.
As a summary, this exercise can be used every sprint as a way of appreciating good behavior towards colleagues.
HOW TO DO IT
Believe or not, there is nothing simpler to do than running this kind of exercise! In the beginning or at the end of retrospectives (it’s your choice), you deliver Kudo cards to people that you want to thank for their behavior during the sprint.
In the end, you can just collect all the cards and post them on the Appreciation Wall like the team of our client did, as illustrated below:
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