What Can Agilists Learn From Super Hero Movies?

Is your Agile team struggling to vanquish the nemeses that are holding them back? Come take a page out of some of your favorite DC and Marvel super hero movies for tips on how to move your team forward.

In this session, we’ll examine a range of beginner topics applicable to Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Coaches, management, or anyone who interacts with a team. Among other topics, we’ll examine how various comic book heroes have dealt with difficult prioritization choices that villains have presented them with, and give models that your team can use for effective prioritization. We’ll talk about The Fool’s Choice and how a hero was able to improve his communication skills. We’ll watch a scene from the new Wonder Woman movie and learn important lessons for Agile teams as we witness her dealing with a German invasion. And most importantly, we’ll examine when we shouldn’t try to emulate our favorite comic book heroes.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

This talk has 16 key takeaways, labeled as "super powers" to match the theme of the talk. Before each takeaway, I play a short (<60 second) movie clip from a super hero movie that sets the scene from a super hero movie. After the clip, I talk about the lessons that Agilists can learn from that movie scene. I have given this talk at several Agile conferences including Innovate Virginia, Keep Austin Agile, and Southern Fried Agile.

The talk is mostly lecture style, though there is a 5 minute audience discussion section in the middle to break up the talk.

Learning Outcome

There are 16 takeaways that fall into 5 learning outcomes:

  1. Discussing "super hero syndrome" and why we shouldn't necessarily try to be super heroes.
  2. Reviewing different types of prioritization challenges that super heroes have faced and showing how they came to decisions.
  3. An assortment of lessons about team collaboration from super heroes.
  4. Discussing the "fool's choice" - a term popularized by the book "Crucial Conversations". This is mostly a team collaboration issue, but it has elements of a prioritization dilemma as well. There is a brief, 5 minute audience interaction period during this part.
  5. Discussing a specific scene in Wonder Woman that has a handful of lessons for Agilists about staying innovative and constantly improving. (You can see this section in action at https://vimeo.com/244943904)

Target Audience

Scrum masters, product owners, agile team members, and agile team leads.

Prerequisites for Attendees

None needed

schedule Submitted 9 months ago

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