Skedify team
Sat Jun 26 2021 ยท 6 min read

Teambuilding

Evaluating Value: A Game Changer Approach to Feedback

Perfection is unfeasible. But by chasing it, we can reach excellence. And excellence is more than enough to deliver results our customers will benefit from.

Results that move our business forward. But, as you know, great results don't happen overnight. They're a byproduct of innovation, persistence and collaboration. We're particularly interested in the latter - collaboration. Teamwork, cooperation, call it what you want. Working with someone to produce something valuable.

And collaboration is largely shaped by feedback, the importance of which really cannot be overstated. Employees crave it. They need it to improve. It's not a coincidence top-performing companies integrate feedback across all levels of their organization. It glues teams together. It promotes motivation, performance and continued learning.

Putting a Dent into the Alarming Figures

Ironically, research from Gallup reveals 26% of employees receive feedback on their performance less than once a year. This means one in four employees is deprived of the most valuable driver of success. In a way, it's understandable where these companies are coming from. Overlooking the value of feedback can be easy; if you're swarmed with your daily tasks, making room for one-to-one meetings and performance reviews can seem like a pointless way of stretching your already limited time.

But it's not pointless at all. And it doesn't have to be time-consuming either. On the contrary, you can hunt down great ideas together without the whole formal ordeal. You can replace negative feedback, flip it into positive guidance and start seeing positive results. Our team at Skedify knows this first-hand. We've adopted a set of protocols that support our pursuit of shared goals through collaboration and mutual commitment. We love the Core Protocols because they focus on problem-solving without beating around the bush. There's no negativity, time-wasting or pretending. The Perfection Game is among our favourite Protocols. You'll see us put it to use whenever we need quick, valuable input from our colleagues on anything we create. We strive to perfect everything we do, from a new feature to the very blog post you're reading.

Rating Each Other's Work: Perfection Game in Action

By playing the Perfection Game, we seek to eliminate the habit of keeping our lips sealed when there's a clear area of improvement in our colleagues' work. This ensures we freely and clearly explain how, in our view, their work could be better. Here's how it works, step-by-step:

  1. Ask for a Perfection Game. Present something you've created to a colleague (Perfecter). The game has to be accepted without argument.
  2. Get a Rating. The Perfecter rates your work on a scale from 1 to 10. Here's the most important part - the rating is based on the degree of value that could be added, not the personal liking of your work.
  3. Receive Feedback. Only positive ideas and suggestions are allowed. After all, the purpose of the game is to perfect each other's work, to improve, not discourage. The Perfecter justifies the score by saying: ''To make this a 10, here's what's missing.''
  4. Make Note of the Ideas. Take the advice into consideration. Ask questions if you need further clarification or simply disregard the ideas if you don't agree with them.

Perhaps we can't find any way to make the work of our colleagues better, and this is completely fine. Don't suggest improvements purely for the sake of doing it. If there's no value you can add to someone's work, in your eyes, it's flawless, a perfect 10 out of 10. But if you believe there's something missing to make their work twice better, rate it a 5 out of 10.

The something here is key. It's imperative you clearly state what it is that would double the value of your team member's work. The same goes with an idea that would triple, quadruple or even slightly improve someone else's effort - there's no point in keeping it to yourself. Rate the work but remember to also give reasons for your score. Say what's missing to make it perfect.

Christophe, the Head of Product at Skedify, explains: ''When the development team at Skedify is about to demo a product, they often present it to others asking for the Perfection Game. It gives the delivery team a chance to obtain valuable feedback bound to improve their demonstration. The same goes for individual work items such as presentations. I had a missing comma on one of my slides and received a 9 for it. Bit harsh if you ask me, but then again, it is called the Perfection Game for a reason.''

Feedback Made Easy

You can play the Perfection Game in a variety of settings. For example, use it to rate an iteration of a whole team during an agile retrospective; state what went well and what's missing to make their next iteration perfect. Invite and encourage your team members to play the Perfection Game before releasing any value to your users. Not only will you ignite teamwork and productivity, but you'll also be able to achieve excellence in everything you produce because you chased perfection in everything you worked on.