Visual aids for your aid! - Everyday Agile

Our senses and ability to perceive and process information have made us one of the most successful inhabitants of planet Earth. Human Visual System (HVS) has remarkable ability to absorb the visual information and aid us in making intelligent decisions in fraction of seconds. Information radiation is one of the key aspects in agile way of working. Rather than talking about the purpose, the idea here is to list some of the visual aids and explain how they could be put into use in our everyday worklife to improve the effectiveness and fun levels with agile way of working.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

 

Problem area/Background:

Typically new teams embarking on agile journey will be used to traditional ways of working and would not be very well versed with courage, self organization and independent thinking. The teams will be often used to direction from Managers/Leads and would continue to look at them for direction and intervention. On the other hand Managers and Leads would find it difficult to let the teams be autonomous and pitch in their proposals and at times impact the way teams could potentially self organize and think independently. Visual aids come a long way in helping such emerging agile teams to communicate effectively and build a positive culture with all the members of the team.

Why Visual Aids Work?

Visual learning is identified as one of the effective ways of learning. Visuals aided with words help in better retention when compared to auditory learning. When actual models/objects/photographs are used, they help to register the purpose and can be repeated without substantial practice/effort. Anyone in the team can pick up these visual aids and use them effectively to obtain identical results. Further, Visuals form the non verbal rapid communication and does not translate as an interruption. Teams also tend to use it with more freedom without hesitation to communicate.

Visual aids in action:

In everyday agile, we can engage different information radiation techniques by using simple "Do It Yourself" tools in addition to good old Whiteboards. These tools will help to build a healthy culture within the teams and ease the communication without creating a rift or unfavourable situation and address the behavioural aspect of different roles participating in the standup meetings. Most of these tools were used primarily in daily standups and they could also be used in other ceremonies. The purpose of use and the outcome have been described below.

 

* Artificial Microphone –

During daily standups, some team members during their initial days of transformation journey tend to speak in a low tone (almost mumbling). A good way to help them talk in audible level is to bring to their attention that they are talking in a very low tone. During such situation, any team member who identifies this situation can indicate the audible levels by showing microphone. This has been a successful technique tried out in some of the teams.

A model will be shown during talk.

* Artificial Bat Ears –

Will be explained during the talk. A model will be shown during talk.

 

* Magic Wand -

Will be explained during the talk. A model will be shown during talk.

 * Train off track

Will be explained during the talk. A model will be shown during talk.

 * Traffic Lights

Will be explained during the talk.

* Whiteboard as information radiator

Sample whiteboard use case pictures will be shown.

- Representing task owners – Representing impediments, Representing regular tasks/stories - Representing miscellaneous stories - Representing Defects - Representing Urgent issues (Chillies) - Representing sizes (Bricks)

 Create Your own Visual Aids

- Learn how to make your own visual aids on need basis!

Learning Outcome

Visual aids help to communicate information faster in an effective way. This talk quickly lists some of the visual aids put into use in everyday agile which could be leverage by the audience to build some of their own to support them and their teams in the agile way of working.

Target Audience

Agile community

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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  • Sachin goel
    By Sachin goel  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi - White board has been a key part of agile processes. just curious to know if there are specifc / unique use cases you are going to highlight / emphasis in this talk. Do you have some sample white board templates which have worked well and may be good to walk through?  Thanks - Sachin

    • Joel Tosi
      By Joel Tosi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Agreed.  How does this session stay 'idea sharing' and share your own vs just telling?  What about the format, could you do anything there to make it more immersive? 

      The session to me is interesting, but with a simple idea I would like to quickly be able to explore and share with the other attendees.  How could we make that happen for this session?

      Best,

      Joel

      • Vijay CHandra
        By Vijay CHandra  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Joel,

        Thanks for your feedback.

        I have updated the outline section. I hope this will detail the purpose and also usage of the different visual aids that could be used in everyday agile. The idea I am trying to present in this brief talk is how simple tools can be used to bring in powerful and effective way of communication.

        Thanks,

        Vijay

    • Vijay CHandra
      By Vijay CHandra  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Sachin,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      In this session, I will be focussing more on non-whiteboard visual aids. Also, for whiteboard visual aids, I will be talking about sample use cases.

      Regards,

      Vijay


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