While working at a customer and I supported several teams.

Every time I switched teams, I got a new ‘avatar’ on the Scrum board.

It used to happen that Team One likes ‘southpark’ avatars whereas Team Two favours ‘The Simsons’.

So I stralled hours through the internets to find my perfect avatar.

Besides the fact that I do not watch nor favour any of those shows (seriously) I found the search totally annoying and a total waste of time.

Downsides

  • I need to search for it
  • I regularly forgot who is who on the board
  • Some of them look quite similar and are hard to distinguish I often heard “Who’s assigned to this issue? Me? No, him!” Aaaarg!
  • it is kind of insulting to be threaded as a cartoon character (depends on your culture probably)
  • the coolest avatars have been taken anyways :)

Even worse

People got upset when I used an avatar that “didn’t fit” into the team’s schema.

Upsides

  • Maybe there’s a kind of ‘fun’ attached I just don’t get
  • Helps people to ‘dissociate’ from their tasks which can help them to cope with responsibility

Bottom line

Ops life is hard enough.

Stop make it more confusing with artificial, ridiculous cartoon avatars.

Better use real photos and real names to communicate and to streamline communication.

Getting things done faster is much more fun in my opinion than having cartoons on the wall.

If you do like Avatars, I’d really like to hear your opinion on how they cheer you up.