The performance of your team is driven by many different values. The results your team shall deliver are often at the far end of a longer process, making it difficult for you to countersteer if your team does not perform well. A team barometer periodically requests a given set of values from each team member and provides you with a snapshot of your team spirit. It allows you to detect trends and developments earlier and enables your team to deliver sustainable and stable performance.
The team barometer consists of a sinple set of statements. Each team member is periodically invited - i.e. weekly - to evaluate each single statement with his personal background on a scale of -2 (fully disagree) to +2 (fully agree).The statements can be:
Each statement shall be carefully worded. Relevant information shall be requested by the team member without the need to further explain a statement. In addition, statements shall not be changed after the team baroemter has been started, because trends developed by subsequent polls can then not be determined. A changed question is a new question.
Team members are automatically notified about new polls. Answering a poll takes only few seconds and can be done from any device, regardless if from your phone, a tablet or a any other internet device.
Team members can evaluate personal statements quickly and precisely. Statements targeting the entire project are more difficult to evaluate and would usually require the whole team for an objective opinion. In the team barometer, each team member answers to the best of his knowledge. This contradiction is a core part of the team barometer: With the personal, subjective evaluations, impressions and facts derived from other sources (e.g. from status reports or earned value analysis) can be supported or refuted, without weighting different opinions. Take a software development project: In the team barometer, the evaluation of a tester has the same weight as the one of the chief architect. Even more, the system should not allow any backtracking to the one who provided the evaluation.
As a team lead you should not only have an eye on the averages, but also look at the standard deviation in each statement. A large deviation stands for a team with very different evaluations, while a smaller one allows the conclusion that the team has a rather "safe" perception of the project. If you encounter statements with a larger deviation you need to check the single evaluations to get a more detailed picture.
Namelessness of team memmbers is a core pillar of team poll, as employees and team members otherwise lose trust in the system and tend to provide "politically correct" evaluations rather than personal ones. Teampoll does technically not allow to draw a relation from a set of answers to a team member or vice versa.
As a team lead you should focus on the development of mid-term trends. "Difficult" team members might evaluate a situation more pessimistic than outgoing ones. This might result in a high standard deviation right from the start, which needs to be handled differently than one that gets larger from poll to poll.