How can teams that have to deal with large, complex legacy systems get through planning and get to work? The title character of the classic American horror film, "The Exorcist" was a master at this..

Pecha Kucha Talk Summary:

  • Introduction: Creating understanding through conversation can be very difficult for teams dealing with complex, legacy systems.

  • Introducing Regan McNeil: Poor Regan McNeil was starting go insane, but a team of doctors and specialists in close, face-to-face collaboration, couldn't solve her problem.

  • The Exorcist: The Exorcist knew how to have just enough conversation to get to work, so his team could deliver the value everyone had been working and praying for.

  • Summary: "In life, understanding is the booby prize". Sometimes the quest for understanding can be an impediment to delivering value. Having faith in self-organization, sometimes its best just to get to work.
 
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Outline/structure of the Session

This is a Pecha Kucha-style presentation:  20 slides, projected for 20 second each with narration by the presenter.  It was presented as a 20 minute talk at Agile and Beyond in Detroit, Michigan, USA, in February 2014, and can also be presented in the longer format if requested.

 

 

Learning Outcome

The listeners should learn that attempting to obtain understanding through face-to-face conversation can sometimes actually be an impediment to delivering value. Sometimes, the most important thing to get to delivery is just to get to work.

Target Audience

Team Members, Scrum Master, Program Managers, anyone interested in effectively planning and getting to work!

Requirements

All that is needed is a projector, and a room with a PA/microphone system to support narration.  The room and seating arrangement can be in any format.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Jeff,

        I caught up on the video - very nice presentation style.  And you are correct, familiarity with the video isn't needed.

    Help me understand how the video goes from 6 minutes to a 20 minute presentation?

    I feel like the learning you are going for was almost there in the 6 minutes, but not quite. I didn't feel like it all came together.  How does that change with the extra time?

    Best,

    Joel

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Yeah - this is where the submission form kind of cofused me, because it didn't really specify what the parameters of a lightnig talk needed to be, and the minumum time for a talk was 20 minutes, so I chose that one.

      The video is in the form of a Pecha Kucha presentation prepared for the Scrum Gathering Phoenix next year.  Pecha Kucha is a prescribed format of 20 slides for 20 seconds each.

      I've given this same talk in a longer format (20 minutes is fine), that paints the whole picture better:

      *More examples of how good agile teams already use face-to-face communication

      *More detail on how simple face-to-face communication alone is sometimes insufficient for getting to work

      *A quick overview of Conway's Law of systems and communication

      *A longer discussion at the end of the concept of "just enough communication to get to work" can help a team break free of Conway's Law, and start delivering value quickly.

       

      Hope this helps!  Thank you for your feedback.

       

      • Joel Tosi
        By Joel Tosi  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        Thanks Jeff, that helps.  Is that deck you provided the one for the 20 minute / longer presentation?  Is that a fair assumption?

        Do you have examples of when you had teams just get started, why, and what the results were?  On the flip side, have you ever had teams just get started and it was the wrong decision?

        Best,

        Joel

        • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
          By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
          reply Reply

          That is correct - the deck is from the 20 minute version.

           

          I have examples, and a number of specific practices related to the whole realm of "just enough conversation", but they aren't suitable for a lightning talk.  They're in longer workshop called "Fast Conversations" that I presented at the Scrum Gathering 2013 in Las Vegas, but that I haven't chosen to submit to this conference.

           

          "Just getting started" isn't the right action - it's having "just enough conversation" is what to strive for.  I've had teams just get started, and that's very often not the smart thing to do.  There are a lot of practices I teach to help teams do that: visualizing the work, checking for commitment, timeboxing conversations, walking around the work, and others.  But again, this is a lightning talk to plant the seed about not relying on F2F conversation alone.

          • Ravi Kumar
            By Ravi Kumar  ~  2 years ago
            reply Reply

            Hi Jeff,

            Can you please update the duration to 20 min on the proposla. 

             

            Thanks,

             

            Ravi

  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Jeff,

        Is famliarity with the movie imperative for best understanding of the session / message?

    Best,

    Joel

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Joel - the presentation as designed does not assume any familiarity with the movie.  The presentation actually tells the story of the movie from a lean/agile perspective - from the possesion of the main character, the inability of doctors to solve the problem despite face-to-face interaction, and how The Exorcist solved the problem by having just enough up-front conversation to get to work.

      That said, I would love feedback on this point.  Please look at the YouTube video I linked on my submission - it's the Pecha Kucha version of this presenation.  Are you able to understand the story without having seen the movie first?

      • Joel Tosi
        By Joel Tosi  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Jeff,

             I chatted with the team and Naresh added a Pecha Kucha option - would you want to cutover to that?  You brought up something we were missing and want to try ;)

        Best,

        Joel

        • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
          By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
          reply Reply

          Absolutely!  I'll edit the presentation accordingly.

          However, I just noticed that the length options available are now 3 and 5 minutes.  A Pecha Kucha is by definition 20 slides for 20 seconds each, for a total of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. :-)

          Thanks!

          • Naresh Jain
            By Naresh Jain  ~  2 years ago
            reply Reply

            Hi Jeff, thanks for updating the proposal. The committee had a quick discussion and we feel that the 20 mins version might be more suited for the conference. Request you to please update it to 20 mins version. In addition, We can certainly block out a section of time during the conference for Pecha Kucha style talks.


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