What’s the next thing you do right after you finish your first sprint or release version. Well logically, it makes sense to start planning about the next sprint or start fixing those big bugs that are coming in from the market. It’s what we have been taught: deliver the MVP as fast as you can to the market, because if you don’t somebody else will, and then focus on improving it iteratively, fixing bugs as you go. Startups are all about hustling hard because that’s the only way to succeed, right? Wrong!

Last week, we had an internal launch of one of our applications. Sprint 1 was over and then, as conventional wisdom dictates, we started planning about features in the next sprint and fixing bugs in previous one. Within days, we got a list of new enhancements and bugs. I’m sure that’s how most of us function, but in all this rush we all miss thinking about one very important thing: our team.

Team is the most valuable asset 🏆

We often forget that our team worked really hard to complete that sprint. They need a break, and that after-sprint party doesn’t count. You can throw them a party, sure. And that helps for while, but they know they have to be there the next day, same place, same time. They know that it’s going to be the same routine all over again, fixing bugs and working on new features.

Stress leads to half-a** work, which is as good as no work.

We forget that the first achievement, before your product gets popular, is your team. I personally value my team more than anything. Ensuring their productivity is my job, first and foremost, because I know that when my team is stress-free and productive, the product we deliver will be top-notch.

I needed to make sure my team stayed productive in the next sprint as well. And how did I achieve that?

Well, I knew just the right thing to do!

Take your team on a trip, they deserve it 😊

As I started writing about Digital Detox, I started discovering that the amount of time we spend away from technology reduces our stress levels exponentially. Unfortunately, we are a tech company, so we can’t stay away from tech for long. What we can do, however, is strike a balance, and make sure each one of us understands the value of this balance.

So just like that, in the middle of our after-sprint party, I announced to my team, “Guys, can you arrive a little early tomorrow? Let’s hit the road and see the mountains nearby.”

You could instantly see the way their faces lit up. Discussion started right then — when to come, what to wear, what to see, who will bring what, you know the usual. Your team is half the reason you have that MVP in your hands, and believe me, they deserve a break!

So we all left for our roadtrip the next morning.

But why do you have to do it together? 🤝

Well, it was my very first time traveling with my team. Before that, I used to travel alone after sprints to reboot my mind. And that was great, but you need to understand that you have to come back to a place where nobody else has experienced what you did in the past few days. So when you come back from a solo trip, you will find that your team is still under the same pressure you left them with, possibly even more.

If even one team member is under stress, the whole team will share it, so pay attention.

When your whole team hits the road together, the combined positive vibe can ignite their productivity when you come back. No one will be left with stress, and everyone can start brainstorming for the next sprint with a fresh mind. Vacations have been proven to boost productivity, and you can read about it here.

Do some activity together 🧗🏻‍♀️

Another point of traveling together is to make the team’s bond stronger. They will be able to interact better and more openly in a non-professional environment. People are themselves when they are close to nature, and it helps them know each other better. I suggest doing some activity together. We chose to go hiking but you can do whatever you like as long as it’s fun and engaging. If your team in not into sports, maybe do some other activity like cleaning a park together. It’s a great team activity and it will help nature as well. The idea is to do some teamwork outside of the office.

Do remember to ditch your phones beforehand, or at least shut them down. You don’t want to spoil those precious moments with your team for a stupid notification, trust me.

Bring some good memories back

So that was the story of how I took my team on a stress-busting roadtrip. We all had a great time, and I got to discover a lot of new things about my teammates. New inside jokes were born, laughs were shared, and it was a good day. But the most important thing was that when we came back, everybody was happy, relaxed, and in a generally better mood. Next Monday, when they came back to office, I could immediately notice their cheerful demeanor.

“Ready for next sprint?” I asked them.

They all yelled, “Hell yeah!!!”

And that’s how you start the next sprint, my friend.

Speaking of great teams, if you’re a startup founder looking for a great team to help you build your MVP, you’re in the right place. Get in touch with us!

If you enjoyed this story, you can check out more like this on our publication The Skynox Blog. We write about product development, lifestyle, health & fitness, and more interesting stuff. We also run a global initiative for open-source development, Team XenoX. If you’re a developer, you can check out and contribute to our open-source projects by starting here.

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