World is imperfect but we have a chance of making it better by innovating and using our creativity.

At last year's Agile Games, I shared my Agile Creativity game which enables problem solving, and the feedback from the audience was super positive. I've heard from several of participants that they are using this game to solve complex problems enabling agility in their enterprises throughout the year.

This year, I want to share an innovation game called "Bust the Mold" that has never been applied to Agile before. 

In this highly participatory workshop, we will co-create a new view on common Agile beliefs and challenge familiar concepts using the "Bust the Mold" technique. This innovative crowd-sourcing tool was first introduced by a pioneer in creative learning, Rob Cordova, and has not been applied in an Agile environment outside of Dun & Bradstreet where I work.

The workshop is facilitated in small groups without any limit of participants. It generates a lot of laughter, new ideas, and practical concepts that can be immediately used. Everyone has a chance to actively participate. Participants move around the room, constantly contribute new ideas, challenge stereotypes, and engage in building the shared vision.

During the workshop, participants will come up with experiments and new ideas to validate. Everyone leaves the workshop with a positive feeling of contributing to old concepts in a new, highly innovative way.

The workshop is relevant to any level of Agile experience - from beginners to most experienced participants because it is all about collaboration and innovation!


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

We are going to master the "Bust the Mold" in several iterations, resulting in the generation of practical new ideas, immediately applicable to our teams and organizations. We will take stereotypes and challenge every single concept while suggesting creative alternatives.

  1. For the first iteration, we will select an easy common concept, for example, a restaurant. What do we know about restaurants? These are buildings where people eat food sitting at the tables, served by waiters. What if we imagine a restaurant with no waiters? Actually, this has already happened. Owners of Eatsa, a server-less San Francisco restaurant, claim that this model is the future of dining. It may become an uber of restaurant industry in a few years.
  2. In the second iteration, we will select Agile, Scrum, or Lean concepts and challenge them. What if the teams are 3 people only? What if standups are not required daily? What if WIP limit should become WIP minimum instead? As a group, we will select concepts to question, and use the "Bust the Mold" technique to come up with actionable innovative ideas that disrupt the common way of thinking of or doing them in an Agile environment.
  1. Once teams come up with ideas during their brainstorming at tables and then around their visualization flipcharts, I will introduce an “innovation canvas” that allows them to rank their top 5 ideas by their degree of innovation, practicality, and value.
  2. After the teams rank their ideas, they will present their #1 idea to others, and we will use voting to select the winner, the idea that we find most innovative and practical, the one we would like to try out.
  3. Finally, we create a retrospective circle, and each participant will share what they are taking away from the workshop to try in their daily environment.

Learning Outcome

- master innovation technique which enables creative thinking

- come up with innovative ways to challenge Agile practices in participants' organizations

- aquire prioritization and decision techniques using Innovation Canvas

Target Audience

Anyone interested in Agile who would like to think innovatively and change their Agile adoption for the better

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

Public Feedback

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  • Tom Woundy
    By Tom Woundy  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Mariya.  I am not sure if you saw the message we sent a couple of weeks ago, but we had to adjust the program session lengths so we no longer have 90 minute sessions.  Do you have the ability to offer this session in either a 75 minute or 150 minute session instead?  

    • Mariya Breyter
      By Mariya Breyter  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thank you, Tom! I updated my proposals to cover 75 minutes.