Great Fun at the Second Agile Workout!

Text and video by Johan Vink

After a first successful Agile Workout we offered 50 plus another opportunity to improve their Agile shape.  At 17.00 we started de Agile workout with a drink and the opportunity to meet the participants. After a simple but nutritious Italian dinner the kick-off for the various workshops started. Each workshop leader was given the opportunity to give a brief introduction to his or her workshop. Then the participants were able to make their choice according to the “run for the money” principle. Below is brief impression of the different workshops. And some footage through this link:

2nd-agile-workoutvideo impression 2nd workout

Team Learning – Remi-Armand Collaris and Linda Dorlandt

During the workshop “Team learning” Linda and Remi-Armand gave a little insight in their book “Praktisch op weg naar teamresultaat “. During this workshop we examined the five steps to team performance. With the aid of a “thermometer” we determined whether a team needed extra attention in a specific step. For each step there are four techniques available which can contribute to improving the team performance. During the workshop we not only discussed the 5 step approach but we also practiced with a number of techniques.

All in all an interesting insight that aroused the curiosity of the participants!

Agile Leadership game – Jan-Sake Kruis and Maroen de Haan

The game is based on the Marshall Model which describes different levels of evolution at an organization. The game works with 60 statements that relate to this evolution levels. During the game, participants place the statements on a matrix board. The matrix board contains the axles “Have we (do not)” versus “we want to (not)”. By playing the game, participants get a good picture of the position of the organization in the model. But also gives an idea of the differences in understanding and possible improvement targets. The structure of the game makes it easy to designate those differences. The game helps to talk to each other about changing and improving an organization.

The game is highly recommended to use during a management meeting!

Impact Mapping – Ward Bergmans

Impact Mapping workshop started with a short introduction about Impact Mapping and in which situations you can use it. Ward, the facilitator, also shared some useful practical experiences.

After that the group was divided in two groups of 5 to 6 persons. Time to practice ourselves. The case was about a foundation which wanted to stimulate kids to read. They wanted to do that by creating a web shop for children’s books. Most participants realized that the goal and the solution didn’t match. But it was more difficult than you expected to define the actual goal of the foundation. In the real world stakeholders also can have different goals in mind when you start a project. It can take some sessions to get a shared understanding.

The next step was to define the first SMART milestone. After that we determined the persons who could contribute to reach the goal, the associated behavior and the actual actions the foundation has to take to get that done.

It was good to experience which problems you run into when you do Impact Mapping yourself.

Story Mapping – Mirjam Elast-Zeeders

Learning by doing, step by step adding and executing an aspect of story mapping. The workshop started with the famous ‘Discover your morning story’ game of Jeff Patton.

Gaining a first understanding of identifying tasks, telling a story and organize tasks into groups of functionality, the team quickly moved on to the more challenging part were choices have to be made and have to be agreed upon by the stakeholders/participants.

While doing, the group realized that the game also functioned as a good team building exercise. First of all because of the exchange of personal morning rituals. One of the powers of the game is that everybody can easily make a personal connection with the story. What to skip in your morning ritual when you just have 15 minutes, because you overslept, or even when you have just 5 minutes? This brings out real feelings of choice and conflicting interests and is in that way a good representation of the reality of decision making in what features to add or not to your release.

After the ‘Discover your morning story’ game, the team moved on to the ‘Food Finder’ Story Mapping game of Xebia. Learning about identifying and labeling releases, thinking about what is really needed and exploring alternatives. Experiencing a way to give clarity, focus and direction to choices in product management.

Both games made clear that Story Mappping gives a visual help of organizing and bringing out the good dialogs for moving towards a shared understanding and agreed upon decision of the right thing to build.

Conclusion: these 2 games are a highly recommended way of learning the story mapping basics

Thank you Mirjam for the excellent facilitation of this workshop!

Management 3.0 – Els Verkaik

The workshop started with a discussion on leadership and management to introduce the backgrounds of Management 3.0.

Next we discussed intrinsic motivators. Having an understanding about what motivates your coworkers can really help you, e.g. to find out how proposed changes in your organization will affect your team. Els talked us through some underlying theory on how knowing these motivators can help to change behavior (Identity Iceberg and NLP communication model). We played the Management 3.0 game “Moving Motivators” to share and compare our intrinsic motivators.

We also did the Calimero game on thinking in problems vs thinking in opportunities (supported by colorful posters). As always, when you have fun time flies, so we only had time for an introduction on Delegation Poker.

Conclusion: Nice workshop with deeper insights and fancy posters. Thank you Els 😉

Soap Factory – Manfred van Veghel & Harry Meijer

At the start of the workshop the facilitator divided the participants into three teams. Each team got a simple assignment: Form names by making letters out of soap. The goal was, as a group, to make as many names as possible.
Pretty soon everyone was running around melting soap, adding color and shouting letters left and right. A Product Owner made things even more difficult by adding new requirements when he saw fit. It won’t surprise anyone that this didn’t yield the best results. After a quick retrospective we appointed a Scrum Master, discussed lessons learned and decided on a common course of action. The next sprints improved greatly. We learned to share resources and help other teams when needed, for example by exchanging letters.

This workshop shows you how many Scrum Teams can work together to reach the best result for the entire organization. Besides the educational aspect it is also great fun! Thank you Manfred and Harry!

Closure of the evening

Both participants and work shop leaders indicate that this has been a successful agile workout. Therefore, we will next year organize a number of new Agile Workouts. Are you interested to join? Then keep track of the news on this website, then you do not miss out the public announcement for the third agile workout!

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