I make photo avatars for everyone I work with. Photos are great for putting on team boards showing who is working a given task or story.
What makes a great avatar?
- Clearly identifiable passport style photo (no sunglasses, facing the camera, take in the last decade etc)
- Clear name
- Big. Avatars should be big enough to be read by anyone within three meters of the Team’s Board. Someone always asks me if their avatar could be smaller. My answer is that they could, but that they wouldn’t be fit for purpose
- Usually only three per team member to encourage them to limit Work In Progress
Why photos and not cartoon avatars?
- Great for learning new names
- Helps PO and other people temporarily with the team to address the team members by name
- Clear sign of ownership and pride
- When I am working across large numbers of teams it is easier to work out who people are without having to remember who Captain America, hulk, Flaming Skull and scores of others are.
Once I have avatars for the whole teams I pull them all together and make them into a document that I call the Team Sheet.
- One goes on the top of the Team’s Board.
- One goes on the program board for Scrum of Scrums
- The team take one with them to planning events, hackathons, anywhere they are representing as a Team
- One goes on the front page of the deck they make for Showcase
- Three more get printed for lamination and cutting up into avatars.
Link to avatar template in Word