Whole Team Incentives – Redeeming Features for Rewards

After VYC2.0 launched, I was asked who were the heroes in the group. The one or two people who deserved recognition for all of their hard work. I was hunting around for the email chain, but I’m pretty diligent about deleting emails. I wish sometimes I wasn’t so relentless at that, but I don’t have it. Essentially, I responded that calling out a couple of people creates competition, that everyone stepped up and deserves to be recognized. Management agreed, and everyone involved wound up with a Flip, and I was asked how we may be able to codify some whole team incentive.

My answer was pretty short in coming, as I have wanted to establish the proposed incentive program written about in the ground rules for one team I was working with doing kanban stuff.

The following is what was agreed upon by our senior management. Some things were changed, and quite drastically. For starters, credit will only be given for features/stories completed in one Sprint. When asked my opinion, I suggested this may lead to technical debt. It was also decided to have a showdown at the end of the year, and to recognize the team with the most redeemed tokens. I am afraid this is against the whole-team incentive, and once again fosters competition.

Here it is:

“Video Tokens” rewards

Team collects tokens (1) for every MMF/story that is developed & tested in 1 sprint



All Video Platform Teams


Selection criteria:

MMF/Story must meet acceptance criteria from Product Owner, must be tested and bug-free


Selection process:

At the end of each Sprint, Scrum Master will review Sprint deliverables and compliance w/ selection criteria. Tokens are awarded to a team.



End of each sprint



Finished features can be collected by the team and redeemed for rewards. Team can decide to either redeem their collected points or wait to accumulate more points for a higher reward


  • 10 = Beer and snacks for the next Review & Retrospective
  • 25 = Team Lunch
  • 50 = Movie passes
  • 100 = Day off


ALL tokens collected and/or redeemed are counted annually when team enters into Annual Token Standoff.


Program Facilitator

Scrum Master or Program Manager

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