If you’re interested in agile software development, just read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained : Embrace Change 1st edition. It’s only 200 pages, it was written in 1999, but it’s still tremendously relevent, and it’s got the highest ratio of information per page on the subject.
If you actually read it, you’ll notice that Kent emphasizes about having food at the office. He claims that it improves the moral and builds team cohesion.
As my company already provides free drinks, my first attempt was to asked for weekly fresh fruits baskets. They are currently experimenting regular self service fruit baskets deliveries in some offices. Unfortunately not in ours yet. Let’s hope it changes soon. Meanwhile, we decided to handle the thing ourselves.
Here comes the fruit basket lean startup !
First, let’s setup the simplest way it could possibly work
- Invest 10€
- Buy some fruits from the closest shop
- Put them in a basket next to my desk
- Let people buy them for 50c each
- Leave a plastic cup next to the basket to receive the money
- Hold the accounting public and visible in your wiki for example
- Repeat every monday
Then, verify that it is sustainable
It turns out it works fine !
… Until someone started to steal some money !
If we forgot to hide the money cup before we left in the evening, obvious isn’t it ? We tried the following, in that order :
- Setup an automatic reminder to hide the money before leaving … FAIL
- Setup a fake webcam and a warning notice … FAIL
- Only keep 1€ worth of change in the money cup, and repeatedly lock up the rest in a safe place … SUCCESS !
With just a bit of time, anyone, anywhere can setup a fresh fruit basket at work. It does improve the moral and build the team.