location_city Toronto schedule Oct 30th 01:00 - 02:00 PM place 203 A/B people 5 Interested

Have you ever been part of a great team? A team where you loved to come to work every day, a team that encouraged to accomplish goals that you felt were nearly impossible?

Have you ever been on a team from hell? A team with constant conflict, disagreements and fear of speaking the truth?

In his book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, Peter Lencioni refers to trust as a foundational and key ingredient to high performing teams. Exercises in this workshop will allow individuals to become more self aware and increase their vulnerability to build a stronger bond of trust.

Many principles that actors live by are the same principles that a high performing agile team should live by as well. The session is all about focusing and strengthening those key skills needed by agile teams.

Many of us think we can’t do improv. We get stuck in our head and panic, afraid we might not know what to do or say. This workshop involves highly interactive group activities that are fun and fast paced designed to help communicate effectively and think on your feet. Games are intentionally ordered to focus first on creating safety for the groups before advancing to more complex topics as collaboration and risk taking.

Improv will make you think about your team, your organisation and yourself differently, in the context of your agile environment.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Session outline and sequence will be as follows:

The session uses accelerated learning techniques, and is highly interactive, based on the 4C’s approach described in Sharon Bowman’s Training from the Back of the Room.

Connection Activity (10 mins)

  • Participants in groups identify 3 or 4 key characteristics of a high performing team that they have been part of, either in a professional capacity or a sports team. What made this team high performing?
  • Debrief and summarise some key characteristics from the audience.

Concepts (10 mins)

  • Introduction into improv with focus on principles that improv actors live by aligned to the agile manifesto. (5 mins)
  • Audience will be asked to form groups of 8 (give or take) and encouraged to form groups with people whom they do not know. This helps simulate characteristics of a new forming team. (5 mins)

Concrete Practice (56 mins)

  • 8 improv games, with each improv activity lasting 4 mins each with 3 mins debrief. Improv activities are broken into the different categories with a specific focus on:
  • Safety
  • Listening
  • Collaboration
  • Risk taking

After each activity, participants will share their learnings (e.g. how did they feel, what made the activity awkward etc.). Thought provoking questions are provided by myself.

I will share how I have used each activity and the outcomes it for my teams that I have coached.

Conclusion (10 mins)

  • Participants in their groups discuss on how improv can support team dynamics in Scrum events and how and where improv can be used daily in their scrum ceremonies. (5 mins)
  • Questions and Answers ( 5mins)

Learning Outcome

  • You will take away games to make your workplace more fun
  • You will demonstrate how improvising the behaviours you would like to see in your agile teams using improv can encourage those behaviours?
  • You will learn techniques to encourage people to become team players
  • You will learn on how to apply improv to your scrum ceremonies to improve agility
  • You will learn how to coach others in your organisation to be a great team

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Executives, Managers, Scrum Teams or anyone looking to foster higher level of agility within their organisation.

Prerequisites for Attendees

Are you ready to come out of your comfort zone and walk away with a smile!!!


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

  • Melissa Boggs

    Melissa Boggs - Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol

    Melissa Boggs
    Melissa Boggs
    VP, Business Agility
    Sauce Labs
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins

    In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brene Brown shares her 10 Guideposts of Wholehearted Living. Number 7 on that list is “Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth”. This resonates strongly with the 8th agile principle about sustainable pace.

    In the world of Scrum software development, it is all too easy to get caught up in pumping out user stories and increasing velocity sprint after sprint, but what does that type of hamster wheel mentality do to us physically, mentally, and spiritually? For that matter, what impact does it have on our products? Are we building fast things, or the right things? Are we making time to dream up big, new ideas and/or to build a cohesive team around our mission?

    Work-life balance is a buzzword that we throw around, but how often does the culture of an organization support exactly the opposite? Hero culture is rewarded, and our output viewed as a measure of our worth on performance reviews. We set out to transform the world of work with agile and with Scrum, yet I’ve heard the Scrum sprint cycle described as a “hamster wheel”, an endless conveyor belt of backlog and sprint reviews that the developers cannot escape. This is not congruent with what we read in the agile values and principles.

    I’m interested in inspiring a discussion about the pitfalls of a competitive exhausted culture, and how we in the Scrum community, even with the best of intentions, could be “accidentally responsible” for continuing to spin the hamster wheel. Hero culture has been discussed before, but have we addressed our own potential culpability in creating it? We need to make sure that the principles and practices of Scrum are being used for good, not for evil. It all starts with a conversation.

    In this discussion, we will explore the dangers of exhaustion as a status symbol -- for our organizational culture, our teams, and ourselves. We will discuss the specific risks of inadvertently creating a competitive exhausted culture within an agile transformation, and the ways in which we can leverage the agile values and principles in order to mitigate those risks. Lastly, we will take a look inward to assess our own attitudes and views about work life balance.

  • Dave Sharrock

    Dave Sharrock / Melissa Boggs - Don’t Panic: Stories of Cultural Change

    60 Mins
    Don't underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems.
    -- Leroy Hood
    You can’t attend an agile conference these days without hearing about organizational culture. Cultural change is not optional for most organizations that want to become more agile. Agility requires a mindset that means many will have to change their traditions, habits, and behaviors.
    But culture is difficult to work with. It’s intimidating; We begin to panic, asking ourselves: “Why do I feel powerless to affect change in my organization? What does it say about me or my org? What does it say about the likelihood of me being able to make these positive shifts outside my team?” and ultimately we may talk ourselves out of any change at all.
    However, wecaninspire others to see the value in the change. Creating sustainable cultural change means creating a movement within your organization, and this is done one story, one experience at a time. Learn how to recognize your existing culture, identify the areas that require evolution, and create a movement that inspires change.
  • Kemmy  Raji
    Kemmy Raji
    Agile Coach
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Experience Report

    A scrum master's exhibits leadership style described in McGregor's theory X or Theory Y. The Scrum guide describes a Scrum Master as "responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide and they do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values"- A servant- Leader. Servant-leadership focuses on collaboration, trust, empathy and the usage of power ethically.

    Servant-leadership is something lots of Scrum Masters struggle to balance. For some, they take that literarily and will often run after their team, while some still have the command-and-control mindset.

    Does you Scrum Master encourages collaboration among the teams or act as a gate keeper? Or perhaps your scrum master is the type that usually brings round the coffee and biscuits. Which is your scrum master? A postman, Seagull or Scrum Mum?

  • Richard Dolman

    Richard Dolman - Mirror, Mirror on the wall, what are the worst Vanity Metrics of them all?

    90 Mins

    Let’s face it, Metrics are a staple of virtually every IT organization.

    Unfortunately, they are often poorly understood and horribly misused.

    But what are Metrics anyway? It’s just Data, right? Specifically, it’s empirical data. Learning from, and basing our decision-making on, empirical data is a good thing.

    The intent behind Metrics is to improve. A very Agile idea indeed. Ironically, rampant misuse tends to create more waste than value. Teams often don't understand or believe in them. Managers often misinterpret them or never really use them. NOT a very Agile idea.

    We can change this. It's not just a Fairy Tale.

    We can empower teams to take ownership of their data, including defining what data really helps them improve. We can educate management to better understand what to ask for and how to properly interpret the data. Thus, turning Vanity metrics into Valuable metrics, that can be used for good, not for evil.

    It starts by having an open conversation with genuine curiosity about what really matters and asking, "Is the data a real reflection of the truth?", "Can you consistently reproduce the same results (good or bad)?" and "What decisions can we make, or actions we can take, based on these metrics?" This workshop will explore these and other questions as well as provide a way to apply a well-known model to test for 'vanity'.

  • Sunny Dhillon

    Sunny Dhillon / Daniel M Lynn - Powerful Observational Techniques For Coaching Teams

    90 Mins

    Starting out as a new agile coach is difficult. Where do you go? How do you start? Learn to leverage a coaching approach that focuses on observations and to form insights and goals.

    You will uncover a structured approach to coaching which aims at improving team performance by providing clear guidance and structure to the coaches and scrum masters. Through a structured approach, coaches and scrum masters will be able to better target their efforts and create demonstrable improvement in teams.

    A structured coaching approach can be applied to, but is not limited to:

    • Agile, Lean, Scrum project practices: planning, tracking, improving.
    • Agile technical practices testing
    • Product management, business analysis, and Product Owner role
    • Scrum Master role (team leadership and project management)
    • Management and Leadership principles, skills, and practices
    • Effective agile process mechanics: iteration planning, reviews, retrospectives, daily stand-up
    • Building effective self-organized and empowered product teams
    • Evaluation of tools to assist in Agile Lean practices

    After an introduction to effective observation techniques, groups will be asked to collect observations from various scenarios drawn from real-life experience with teams and organizations.. Groups will then collaborate with others and draw insights from common behaviors and trends. From this, we will leverage the Coaching Card technique to plan possible coaching paths forward and identify ways that progress could be validated and demonstrated in practice.

    Attendees will leave this session with a structured approach to guide their ongoing coaching efforts and share those experiences with others in the organization.

  • David Sabine

    David Sabine - The Art of Agile Documentation

    90 Mins

    Myth: "Agile teams don't document."
    Truth: Some of the best documentation we've ever seen comes from Agile teams.

    Agile Engineering practices have revolutionized the ways in which documentation is treated and produced. In high-stakes environments with heavy compliance and audit requirements, a tendency toward exhaustive documentation is dangerously common. This workshop provides direct guidance and simple tools to help a document-heavy workplace think differently about documentation.

    I have developed this workshop to help an organization reframe their understanding of documentation with respect to knowledge work in complex environments so that they may eliminate unnecessary artifacts and simplify/automate others.

  • Kemmy  Raji

    Kemmy Raji - Daily Scrum as a success driver for product delivery

    Kemmy  Raji
    Kemmy Raji
    Agile Coach
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins

    How many times have you heard the Development team recite the 3 questions every morning and still fail to finish the sprint? . Daily Scrum is an avenue for the team to synchronise and not give status update. And when a team understands the value of the Daily Scrum, it can help drive the sprint’s success. During this session we will introduce participants to some tools to achieve this.

    Development teams new to Scrum are introduced to a number of routine meetings that come with the framework. One of these is the Daily Scrum, or often referred to as the Daily Standup or Standup in short - a 15 mins timeboxed meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to synchronize the status of the development team and to do this in a short and focused manner. Sadly, the Daily Scrum becomes more of a status update.

    The team answers three questions or similar variance;

    • What did I do yesterday?
    • What will I do today?
    • And any impediment?

    But when the focus is on an individual’s performance (which is what the 3 questions are about), the team depends on individual team member to execute the work. Also, Individuals are focused on their own tasks with their own concerns and have little focus on the bigger picture.

    However, by varying the questions asked and setting daily achievable goals, the daily scrum could be used to drive the success of the sprint but most importantly, product delivery.

    The topic was formulated based on data gathered from working with Development teams (new and mature) over a period of time. I will be sharing data of before and after coaching the team on how to restructure and make their daily scrum productive.