The goal of story telling is to communicate the selected message in a way that it could be easily consumed by participants. The message is presented as a metaphor (as opposed to being literal) and  could be understood on several levels. Participants are expected to engage in a conversation and respond in kind. There are two basic ways to respond, a) in support of a message and b) to confront and undermine the message. Both of these avenues shall be explored.

Such a communication required a definite skill and involves, first understanding what the message is and second, selecting the avenue to support the message or to undermine it. The wrong thing to do is to respond with an unrelated story. This will surely break the flow between both parties and make them stop communicating.

In a most common and practical scenario, software developers get together to relate stories about famous defects that "brough the building down". Participants in turn provide details of a specific related defects. Creating an organizational memory about famous defects is a great method to prevent such defects from future occurence.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The session leader initiates the process by seeding a team with an initial story.

The responding story is expected to be announced by a competing team after the timebox has expired at 7 minutes.

This starts the clock for the next team to respond with their story.

After five stories are told, all participants wordsmith a common message that is a fitting punch line for this experiental learning. 

Learning Outcome

It would be an apparent oversimplification to treat such a storytelling session as a pure communication execise. Folks are actually learning new angles of software development. From this perspective, story telling is a creative endevour rather than a communication vehicle.

Target Audience

Software Developers, Scrum Masters and Coaches

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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  • yasha f
    By yasha f  ~  2 years ago
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    i always wanted to learn storytelling from someone who does it professionally ... as I see Alex teaching computers science courses at Boston University and successfully using this technique that is a thousand years old