According to the urban dictionary a safe word is a term used in bondage play with one or more partners which lets the partners know that play needs to stop or slow down immediately. A safety word can be any word a person desires, all partners should know everyone’s safety words before starting play.
What has a safe word got to do with Agile, you may ask?
Well, recently when first introducing a new team to the daily scrum / stand-up I observed that it wasn’t clear to the participants that the daily had ended. What would happen was that after the team had synchronised their activities for the day, they would break into smaller groups (Pairs usually) to discuss further some of the issues raised in the stand-up. Others would generally stand around as they were not sure whether the stand-up had really ended.
As, readers of my blog may know, I love playing games at work and take every opportunity to bring an element of fun into everything we do. I truly believe that having fun at work increases productivity.
How could we explicitly demonstrate that the daily stand-up had finished?
I’m not sure why, but the idea of a safe word immediately sprang to mind! I proposed it to the team and they loved the idea – they decided that their safe word should be…….BANANA!
So, we have been using this safe word for a while now but it was only today that I discovered we were in good company and simply had to share this with the world (or the 2 readers of this blog – Hi Mum!):
It turns out that Kit Harrington uses the same word when filming fight scenes in Game of Thrones!