Using the game "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes", we'll explore and highlight teamwork, communication, developing shared language, creating a shared understanding, and so much more. This session will be an interactive session for a small group, with other observing; with multiple rounds, pretty much anyone and everyone who wants to participate will be able to, but no one will be forced to participate! This is a very practical team activity, which easily scales beyond the team, and works well in-person, but even better with distributed teams as we explore the ways we need to interact when not co-located.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Brief introduction to this session.

Brief introduction to the activity (most of the learning comes through the actual activity, which is one of the debrief points which will be explored).

Multiple rounds of the hands-on activity (multiple rounds, which allows this workshop a lot of flexibility in timing - anywhere between 60-120 minutes, especially with a larger group, has worked well in the past). Each round is 5-6 minutes, however it feels like to time at all. The debrief of each round can last from 2 to 20 minutes, however 10 is a quite typical average. The first rounds are usually shorter debriefs of observations as folks figure things out.

Closing debrief, and additional notes to facilitate this with your own team.

Learning Outcome

Communication

Teamwork

Working agreements

Impacts of fractional allocation

Specialization vs generalization

Silos and handoffs

Shared language

Overcoming communication overhead with distributed teams

And other stuff, too

Target Audience

This is a perfect session for anyone who works on a team, works with a team, leads a team, knows someone on a team, or knows how to spell team.

Prerequisites for Attendees

Just come with an open mind, thinking about what team dynamics you've seen in your experiences. We're going to see all of that, and more, and explore what we can do with it. And, while this workshop does involve participation, not everyone needs to participate, unless they want to.

schedule Submitted 6 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Lynn Winterboer
    By Lynn Winterboer  ~  6 months ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • Experiential, game-based, focused on good, healthy agile concepts

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • Clarifying what the game "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" is - how do people play it?  Is there a limit to the number of people who can participate?
    • Do you have videos of you facilitating a similar activity in the past?  Or references? 
    • Jeff Kosciejew
      By Jeff Kosciejew  ~  6 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for the feedback. 

      Hopefully the video attached provides a perspective into the engaging and energetic nature of our facilitation of conference sessions. While it's a different talk (the video link is to a talk I've given at Agile&Beyond, the Toronto Agile Community Conference, and Lee & I gave at PrDC Deliver), it hopefully provides the insight you're looking for.

      As far as I know, I've never been recorded delivering this workshop, but to be fair, I've only delivered it in the past for teams in organizations(Manulife/JohnHancock, Capital One), at MeetUps (ie: SystemsThinkingTO), and an Open Space un-conferences (ie: Agile Coach Camp Canada, and Play4Agile North America).

      The activity requires two active teams - the bomb diffuser and the bomb diffusion experts. Those two teams need to work together to solve a series of problems in a short timebox. Each round is 3-5 minutes, plus retrospective & debrief time, so that improvements can be made for the next round. In general, the people rotate between the two teams, and a third observer role. All roles are active in various ways. And the number of people on each team can change based on what the folks in the room want to do to improve their team performance.

      So while I'll sometimes start with a single person on each of the teams, it doesn't take long for teams to identify that having multiple people would be an improvement, which leads to all sorts of other issues. Sometimes, I've forced this by starting with more people on one of the teams. Or, when teams aren't successful, I'll play the role of the 'helpful manager' who assigns additional people ("resources") to help the teams deliver. And in one instance, the team was really struggling, so I forced the idea of providing status updates every 90 seconds, so the management (me) could help them achieve their goals. 

      The specifics of how this plays out really depends on the people in the room, and it requires solid facilitation to be able to take whatever happens, and whatever improvements the teams want to make, and tie them in to team dynamics that we see in our workplaces. 

      The rules are explicitly not provided in the session proposal. This is also a debrief point to discuss the fact that we're given work to do without always knowing everything about it ahead of time. So what are some of the tools and techniques we use to prop ourselves up when faced with this uncertainty? How do we develop, as a team, so that we can deliver? Is it reasonable for a team to be expected to deliver when they first come together? How do teams evolve how they work together when the work they're doing isn't in the Ordered domain?

      There's no specific limit to the number of people who can participate. However, in any one (3-5 minute) round, we'll generally have 2-12 people actively participating. Those people can, and do, change each round. Which is, in itself, a great debrief conversation!

      • Lynn Winterboer
        By Lynn Winterboer  ~  6 months ago
        reply Reply
        Thank you! 

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Jan 17, 2019, at 6:50 AM, Mile High Agile 2019 <info@confengine.com> wrote:

        Dear Lynn Winterboer,

        Please note that the proposal: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes! has received a new comment from Jeff Kosciejew

        Hi Lynn,

        Thanks for the feedback. 

        Hopefully the video attached provides a perspective into the engaging and energetic nature of our facilitation of conference sessions. While it's a different talk, it hopefully provides the insight you're looking for. As far as I know, I've never been recorded delivering this workshop, but to be fair, I've one delivered it in the past for teams, at MeetUps, and an Open Space un-conferences (ie: Agile Coach Camp Canada, and Play4Agile North America).

        The activity requires with two teams - the bomb diffuser and the bomb diffusion experts. Those two teams need to work together to solve a series of problems in a short timebox. Each round is 3-5 minutes, plus retrospective & debrief time, so that improvements can be made for the next round. In general, the people rotate between the two teams, and a third observer role. All roles are active in various ways. And the number of people on each team can change based on what the folks in the room want to do to improve their team performance.

        So while I'll sometimes start with a single person on each of the teams, it doesn't take long for teams to identify that having multiple people would be an improvement, which leads to all sorts of other issues. Sometimes, I've forced this by starting with more people on one of the teams. Or, when teams aren't successful, I'll play the role of the 'helpful manager' who assigns additional people ("resources") to help the teams deliver. And in one instance, the team was really struggling, so I forced the idea of providing status updates every 90 seconds, so the management (me) could help them achieve their goals. 

        The specifics of how this plays out really depends on the people in the room, and it requires a solid facilitator to be able to take whatever happens, and whatever improvements the teams want to make, and tie them in to team dynamics that we see in our workplaces. 

        The rules are explicitly not provided in the session proposal. This is also a debrief point to discuss the fact that we're given work to do without always knowing everything about it ahead of time. So what are some of the tools and techniques we use to prop ourselves up when faced with this uncertainty? How do we develop, as a team, so that we can deliver? Is it reasonable for a team to be expected to deliver when they first come together? How do teams evolve how they work together when the work they're doing isn't in the Ordered domain?

        There's no specific limit to the number of people who can participate. However, in any one (3-5 minute) round, we'll generally have 2-12 people actively participating. Those people can, and do, change each round. Which is, in itself, a great debrief conversation!


        Visit https://confengine.com/mile-high-agile-2019/proposal/8871#comments to respond to the comment OR simply reply to this email (Please make sure, you delete the previous comment's content from the email before replying.)

        Regards,
        Mile High Agile 2019 Team
        comment-11314@reply.confengine.com
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