Hey! Irrespective of the process methodology followed many teams fall on burn out at the workplace these days. Did you know, Burn out gives the major contribution in lesser productivity and compromises in end quality? Here we are going to see about the causeway which is followed (in my team!) already in agile to eradicate burn out and some common and easy strategies to be followed to enhance productivity. For more information about CSM Certification please visit StarAgile site.

How burn out happens at the workplace?

Burn out at workplace happens because of multiple causes include personal problems, stress, heavy workload, wrong estimation, failing on deadlines, workplace politics, appraisal, etc. Does this resonate like your workplace? Here we are going to see how we can prevent us from wrong estimation and failing on deadlines. Other causes are self-explanatory and can be solved by individuals.


  • Planning Poker – An Agile estimating & planning technique
  • Green Sprints for better quality and productivity
  • Meetings held at regular intervals
  • Right tools for the right team
  • Awards and appreciations
  • Limiting and Sticking on Workhours
  • Work Breaks
  • Refreshing time in the pantry
  • Avoid Meaningless conversations

Planning Poker- An agile way estimation:

Planning poker is a game which is followed in agile teams for easy estimation and sprints. At the time of Sprint Planning meetings, this game makes sure that everyone in the agile team participates in the estimation and understand the scopes, deadline & self-role and then contributing their feedback, point of view and estimation.

There will be a person who will act as a moderator in the team who will read out the requirements or user stories and high-level documents which is the part of that particular sprint. Team members are given with the choice of understanding what is what. How it can be executed is the next part. To come up with the proper estimation rather than how part, what part gets the primary attention. Generally, Story points are in Fibonacci series yet not a mandatory one. So Story points are written in a set of cards or sticky notes and given to each member of the team, and they will be asked to choose their numbers as story points. Based on their estimation or understanding, they will loud out their story points to the team and scrum master. It gives the overall graph of the team members. Very low and very high story points will be taken out of the team’s points, and justification for why they have given those points and what is the understanding of them will be cleared out Scrum master. So based on the complexity, Scrum master will decide and take the story points. This will ensure that every one of the team has a deep understanding of the scope and high-level documents and user stories. It’s common that when multiple participants are in one conversation, there might be many opinions and variations. But in the end, the result will be properly estimated. This will not only enhance the business but also it eliminates the individual’s workspace burnout.

Green Sprint for better productivity:

Sprints are often referred to as Green Sprint or Red Sprint. This directly tells about the deadline. Though 2- 4 weeks of time is allowed for a sprint in agile, sometimes a deadline is not met. There may be many reasons behind it like excess workload, many mini backlogs, etc. However, it gives disappointment on customers which will again make stress on team members.

If you find a graph above, it shows one green line which indicates the deliverables delivered on time which is a green sprint and one Red line indicates the deadline is not met which makes Red sprint for the whole team. And this imposes the team member who is all the reason for failing deadlines and makes them crazy because of stress. Hence it is always good to have maximum story points and timelines rather than sticking on the short duration for sticking on timelines which will definitely have a prominent effect on productivity and customer satisfaction.

Meetings held at regular intervals:

A proper meeting should be held at the regular intervals to know the stopper and any other issues which makes lagging of the project in any aspect like designing lag, testing lag or any other issues or blocks or status of completed works.

Say for example, if one of the dev team members is on sick leave, and his work will be in pending which will give more stress on other team members. And it leads to Red sprint. So regular meetings helps in finding any issues a team met and helps for alternative arrangements. Typically almost all agile team will meet up on a daily basis.

Right tools for the right team:

It is necessary to choose the right tool for the implementation of any methodology, and the right team should be arranged based on their skills level.

Awards and appreciations:

Encouragement should be there in any job for better productivity. Appreciations make you achieve more for the hard work and time spent not the tears. Recognition is always the main part of the success story which will completely eradicate burn out.

Limiting and Sticking on Work hours:

Happy working hours strives more progression whereas overtime will always strive more stress and lesser productivity.

Work Breaks:

Starring on a computer and not paying attention to work breaks or rest breaks are not going to give you good result yet only will affect you in a negative way either physically or mentally or work wise. So Better have regular personal breaks to avoid burnouts.

Avoid Meaningless conversations:

Trust me having a meaningful conversation is an art and having it, will avoid many unnecessary problematic situations; hence results in better productivity.

Refreshing time in the pantry:

Investing in pantry sometime out of your stressed work will definitely stress. Stocked Pantry is always the best ways for productive result. Allow yourself a reasonable time for your relaxing too. Since your relaxing time is not beneficial for your personal burnout but also for your organization too.

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