A playful, often hilarious look at agility and innovation through the lens of continuous improvement. Improv games aren't just intended for team engagement and fun. They can often spark ideas that have a potential to generate revenue. Last year's session was standing room only. Now Scott returns with a remixed format and even more innovation-empowering improv games that have transformative value we can apply to the products we build, leading to powerful, groundbreaking new levels of user-centered capabilities.
Make improv work for you by exploring in the context of a real team during the session, and walk away having gone full circle on solving a real problem using it. During the session you'll be moved through the problem space in an enlightening way that enables you to take a meaningful approach to the solution space. You'll run through several short and medium-length interactive improv activities in your teams, coupled with the power of design thinking and inspect/adapt cycles, all with agility in mind.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
Note: session was delivered for Agile & Beyond, as well as a few meetups in the community. The session flow typically follows this format:
After brief introductions, we start with a problem-discovery game "The Struggle is Real" which serves to both align the audience on problems they encounter in life in a measurable way, and to gather audience suggestions as to the problem we should all solve with improv in the workshop together.
Attendees break into self-organized teams and introduce themselves to each other with a short game, then we cover a brief, high-level overview of the workshop with its primary objectives and end goal. Materials to help facilitate design thinking exercises will be handed out to groups as they are getting acquainted with each other.
We go through another quick warm up game called "Name Calling" which serves to break our teams out of a boxed-in way of thinking, and inspire more creativity in subsequent games and exercises.
===== 10 Minute Mark =====
We dive into the problem space and discuss some concepts surrounding optimizing team cadence around balanced discovery and delivery. We also explore collaborative ideation and engage in a humorous sketching game.
Attendees do some customer discovery with a divergent persona generation exercise to create user trading cards. They follow up by trading their cards and have a convergent discussion of those personas within their teams.
===== 20 Minute Mark =====
We give a quick overview of design thinking and how the practice can work in teams. Teams engage in a short ideation session to get a feel for the practice.
Teams play a game called "Listening"—an improv technique which can be useful to hypothesis generation during design sprints, as well as numerous other stages of product development.
Everyone takes 5 minutes to spend some time ideating divergently using the design thinking approach, then convergently in their teams.
===== 30 Minute Mark =====
Attendees play a few rounds of "Yes And" first staying in the problem space, then moving to solution space.
Teams spend another 5 minutes in divergent on convergent design thinking.
We iterate through a few more rounds of improv and innovation games with time for additional design thinking interspersed between games, working the concept of build-measure-learn and inspect-adapt into the mix.
===== 45 Minute Mark =====
Learn how to balance ongoing exploration, ideation and execution.
Learn how improv games can break down a team's "can't do" mentality.
Play games that spark generative contributions from the team & solve real problems.
Break the team free from boxed-in ways of thinking.
Ignite passion in unlively team members.
Harmonize your team's ability to cross-function in a dynamic way.
Rejuvenate the flow of discovery & collaboration with your stakeholders and users.
Add more "hard play" to your hard work, with the benefit of discovering new value.
People with Fun Bones in their Body: Facilitators, Change Agents, Agile Coaches, Leaders, Engineers, Product Managers, Scrum Masters, Designers.