Let’s travel to the Forbidden Island to learn how teams work together. On this island, a team of 3-4 people will be working together to collect valuable artifacts and then try to escape while the island sinks beneath them. Egad!

Successful cross-functional teams will learn to work together. Less successful ones will sink beneath the waves. Success is harder than you think as a bit of time pressure gets mixed in. What will you demystify as you execute and debrief this mission?

As Alistair Cockburn has said, software development is a cooperative game. By using a simple game simulation with cross-functional roles, we can see how various team dynamics play out. After running through this simulation, we’ll discuss what went well and didn’t and ways to set teams up for more success. The Forbidden Island serves as a perfect petri dish to see what team dynamics grow.

Whether you are a team member or manager, you will get valuable insights from this session.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Workshop

This session is entirely experiential; I have done this with no slides, but if I can project a slide of the summary of game play it can be helpful.

This session predominantly involves playing the game Forbidden Island under a tight timebox, retrospecting, then debriefing. I have asked for 90 minutes. I CAN do this in 60 minutes, and the learning is good; I can get deeper into some dysfunctions management can accidentally introduce with the longer session. Teams play in groups of 4 and I assign 1-2 observers to each team. They become instrumental to the retro and debrief.

Here is how a 90 minute session would look:

5 minutes introduction and describing the game rules.

10 minutes to let teams set-up to play and discuss how they want to work together.

12 minute timebox to play. (I toy with this time length on occasion, but have never gone shorter than 10 minutes.)

5 minutes to retrospect on what they would do different this time.

15 minutes debrief.

(If you only give me 60 minutes, this is where we stop generally - the debrief gets a little longer as I'll ask what-ifs that usually occur if I get to run through it a second time and of course there is Q&A.)

10 minutes to reset and replan.

12 minute timebox to play.*

5 minutes to retrospect.

15 minutes debrief.

Remaining time - Q&A and things you can do with this.

* In the second round I generally do things managers sometimes do to teams like - "I need this expert on this other project." or "You seem to need this expert, not the one you have." This is very powerful to managers in realizing the unintentional ill-effects they cause.

Learning Outcome

People realize the importance of a good launch and the value of working agreements.

People also see how acting in a cross-functional manner produces better results.

Managers begin to see how their best intentions can deteriorate a team's performance.

Target Audience

Anyone interested in improving team performance

Prerequisites for Attendees

It's helpful, but unnecessary, for people to understand the concept of iterations and cross-functional roles.

schedule Submitted 4 months ago

  • Steve Pereira
    Steve Pereira
    CEO
    Visible
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    How can you make time for real innovation and improvement? How do you know what to automate or invest in? How do you escape process prison? How can you get everyone aligned to make a difference? How can you start to drive revenue from tech?

    This talk introduces the one technique I’ve always returned to when I need to answer those questions and drastically improve teams I’ve joined and led. You can use it right away to understand, communicate and improve your work, team or organization - whether you’re a leader or new recruit.

    Lean Value Stream Mapping (LVSM) is a software and tech focused version of a classic technique you can use right now, with materials you already have to discover opportunities, build and share your vision and save hours of toil every week so you can invest in what’s next.

    Sprinkle it on your:
    - Delivery/Data/Testing/Analytics/Logging Pipeline
    - Developer/Customer Onboarding
    - Environment Provisioning
    - Failure Recovery/Incident Management/Support Triage
    - SDLC
    - Toil/Process of choice, you get it :)
    …and start spending more time on what’s next

    I’ve come to love and use Value Stream Maps after years of struggling to find time for innovation, rally buy-in and communicate ideas, issues and risks. They’ve helped me many times go from tearing my hair out (and I have the baldness to prove it!) to knowing exactly how to level up.

  • Liked Paul Boos
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Paul Boos - Your Agile Leadership Journey: Leading People, Managing Paradoxes

    Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    When the people of an organization embark on their quest for increased agility, they are essentially begin working on the opposite side of a paradox that has been ignored. Often times, though as they take their journey, they begin experiencing the downside of now ignoring the the traditional, control-based approach and there is an outcry to revert. A dilemma is created.

    What are these paradoxes? Well, the first four you encounter are described in the Agile Manifesto’s values. If one could have both sides of the “over” statements easily, we’d take them. Successfully maximizing the appropriate upsides of each side of these values while minimizing the downsides becomes a swinging pendulum to manage. This becomes key to leading others in your organization. If you are a manager, team leader, or executive trying help your organization get traction, then this session will provide some new insights into how to balance change with stability.

    These four values are just the start of the paradoxes that will emerge as you take your journey. This workshop will help you use a technique called Polarity Management to help manage the upsides and downsides of this balancing act so that you can lead people effectively. Once out in the open, dilemmas created with a swing one way or another become easier to handle and perhaps can even be avoided.

  • Liked Chris Chapman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Chapman / Robert Pragai - Leading Transformations that Matter: Agility Is Not the Point

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    What is the goal of an agile transformation? How do we define success? What changes? What stays the same? What assumptions have we made about why we need to transform and how we go about it? What if, in our consideration of these questions, we discover that agility isn’t the point, but something deeper? What if we’re focused on changing the wrong things first?

    For the past several years, respondents to the State of Agile Survey have consistently identified their respective organizational culture as a major impediment to the adoption of agile practices. Accordingly, if we accept the well-established observation that culture follows structure, transformation efforts need to begin with re-examining our thinking about how we lead and manage organizations.

    In this session, participants will engage in an idealized redesign exercise to examine the thinking and theory that shape transformations while revealing the changes that can be made by senior leadership in cooperation with their people that will encourage agile-like behaviours to emerge at all levels of the organization and improve the quality of their transformation efforts.

  • Liked Kemmy  Raji
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Kemmy Raji / Yasmeen Baig - Liberating Structures- rejuvenate your meetings

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Do you want people to feel part of a group/team or part of an activity? Then ensure that they are included and engaged. Do you find facilitating a large group of people unmanageable, people disengage? Try Liberating Structures with your teams and organization.

    Liberating Structures, created by Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz, covers a set of easy to learn, yet powerful ways to collaborate as a team. It makes it possible to build the kind of meeting that everybody looks forward to attending and participating. Liberating Structures encompass microstructures that promotes collaboration and trust. It is known to foster lively participation in groups of any size, making it possible to truly include and unleash everyone.

    Participants learn how to use these microstructures to simplify scrum meeting outcomes, help teams collaborate and become more productive.

  • Liked thomasjeffrey
    keyboard_arrow_down

    thomasjeffrey / Sean Deschamps - Facilitating Agile Organizational Design With Full Stack Poker

    60 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    The traditional approach to organizational design is a barrier if you want to grow an organization where smart people make amazing decisions that delight customers and enrich their careers.

    This session aims to provides leaders at all levels of the organization with an introduction to a set of design tools that can help them create organizational structures that promote agility rather than interfere with it.

    Using a game I call Full Stack Poker, I’ll facilitate a highly interactive dialogue where attendees will play the role of various organizational stake holders tasked with getting the right skills into teams responsible for delivering value.

    Loosely based on the planning poker game, attendees will collaboratively select from a number of Team Engagement Patterns, collectively agreeing on an engagement model that lays out how teams can engage with support functions and other teams. Participants will also be able to estimate the amount of organizational complexity their teams will incur based on the Team Engagement Patterns chosen.

    The session is aimed at teaching attendees basic concepts behind defining agile organizational structure through a highly engaging / hands on session.

  • Liked David Sabine
    keyboard_arrow_down

    David Sabine - The Agile Art of Documentation

    60 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    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 dangerous tendency toward exhaustive documentation is 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.

  • Liked Mishkin Berteig
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mishkin Berteig - JIRA is the Worst Possible Choice

    Mishkin Berteig
    Mishkin Berteig
    President
    Berteig Consulting Inc.
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    A rant, with evidence, on why electronic tools in general, and JIRA in particular, are anti-Agile. Participants will use the Agile Manifesto to evaluate the electronic tools they are currently familiar with. JIRA is used as a case study.

    NOTE: Scrum asks us to have courage. The Agile Manifesto asks us to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. I hope the organizing committee will consider this proposal despite the risk that it might offend some tool vendors. If we can't speak freely about our experiences with tools, we will fail as a community.

  • Liked Ellen Grove
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ellen Grove - 2 Minutes (or less!) to Better Meetings and Workshops

    60 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    It doesn’t take a lot of time to set the stage to improve participation in workshops and other team events - in less than 2 minutes you can energize and focus participants to help them succeed at the work they will be doing together. In the same amount of time at the end of an event you can also deploy simple activities to help increase alignment and commitment to follow-up.

    In this very interactive workshop we will explore why and how to start and close all kinds of meetings effectively. We’ll experiment with a number of activities that will accelerate learning and engagement. You will leave this workshop with several easy-to-try ideas that you can use to jumpstart meetings and improve closings in order to reinforce alignment and commitment to action.

  • Liked Teri Christian
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Teri Christian - Digital Product Mastery - Optimize Your System

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    The move away from traditional ways of working and thinking to digitization leads to change in the way we work, learn and measure. It is important to understand how the digital economy has shifted our ways of working in a digital organization from strategy to execution.

    Join us in game play where we will explore Digital Product Management and the Critical Success Factors, Events and Skills needed to create value flow to customers. We will look at the skills needed for a company to move from being descriptive to one that can respond to emergent needs. Applying this knowledge will help organisations transform their operating model have a competitive edge in a VUCA economy. Plan to Win!

  • Liked Sunny Dhillon
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sunny Dhillon - COACHING KATAS: PRACTICING SELF-AWARENESS THROUGH COACHING STANCES

    Sunny Dhillon
    Sunny Dhillon
    agile42
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Your mind is like this water my friend, when it is agitated it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.

    Master Oogway (Kung-Fu Panda)

    When should you coach? When should you teach? And when should you mentor? It’s not always easy to recognize that you probably play different roles with your teams, let alone knowing when and how to switch between them purposefully.

    In this session, we will help you consciously recognize the various coaching stances and which stance is appropriate for a given situation. You will practice stepping into the stances and moving between them using coaching katas that model situations you probably see all the time in your companies.

    Attendees will leave this session with greater self-awareness of their coaching style, practice working within the various stances, and techniques they can practice to further enhance the agility of their coaching. This focus on understanding our internal thinking leads perfectly into the next session that focuses further outwards on making observations, separating out what we see versus how we interpret what we see.

  • Liked Joanne Stone
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Joanne Stone - Courageous Agile - Making the Elephant Visible

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    How much of what we do requires courage to ask for what we need? How many times are you asked to make a team agile and the team or leadership is not ready? What stops teams from speaking up about what is upsetting them? Who has the courage in the room to speak up what needs to be said and to do what needs to be done?

    Having the courage can be made easier once you have tools and are willing to be vulnerable to take that first step. Teams that can step into this courage are more successful and more productive.

    In this talk, Joanne will explore what is needed in our teams and ourselves to bring the elephant onto the table and into the light for all to see. Once we make the elephant visible it can be addressed.

    Using a variety of techniques such as team happiness, team agreement, safety checks, assumptions, clean language, retrospectives and self awareness (conscious leadership) you are able to take that step more courageously.

    Courage will start with you and can make a difference to our lives and our teams. Do you want to explore more? Join Joanne.

  • Liked Martin Aziz
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Martin Aziz - Why are the right skills never available when you need them? Beyond Cross-functional teams.

    Martin Aziz
    Martin Aziz
    Principal Consultant
    SquirrelNorth
    schedule 3 months ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In our current business climate, organizations increasingly need to deal with a volatile and changing market. Changing needs, require rapidly shifting skills needs - in short high skill liquidity. Various techniques have been used to address skill liquidity challenges including specialization, multi-skilled individuals and cross-functional teams. This session will classify and introduce new approaches to deal with skill liquidity. It will also suggest which approaches are most appropriate to your organization, based on your organization's culture and process maturity. This model is called the Skill Liquidity Maturity Model or SLiMM.

  • Liked Sameh Zeid
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sameh Zeid - Hands-on Activity: Managers are the 'real' Transformation Coaches using Kata Thinking

    Sameh Zeid
    Sameh Zeid
    Agile Coach
    Ford Motors via Ciber
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Transformation programs usually happen periodically and years apart. They introduce new processes and require organizational restructuring, while they often do not create organizational behavior change. They often ignore the inherent behaviors that have led to the unsatisfying status quo in the first place. These programs separate “the work” from “how we improve the work”.

    Rather than having transformation programs every few years, can we embrace change and experimentation as the daily way of work? We can, when managers act as coaches for their teams on experimentation as the way of work. Meaning, when teams experiment they enable delivery, improvements and innovation.

    This is an activity-based session that demonstrates the non-ending organizational journey towards growth and innovation. We will follow transformation approach based on Kata Thinking Pattern(KTP) to explain how teams experimentally introduce improvements guided by a universal model.

    With minimum lecturing and focus on doing, you would experience first hand the KTP mindset for on-going transformation where managers are coaches. We will use Improvement Cards that are based on industry case studies for digital transformation

    We will be organized into teams each has 4-6 people.

    This session can be relevant to you, if you are interested in Agile Transformation and Lean Management.

  • Liked Sam Zahreddine
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sam Zahreddine - A Systems Thinking Approach To Project Delivery

    40 Mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner

    Project delivery is complex and subject to numerous sources of delay and risks. In this talk we explore why software delivery struggles due to technical constraints between a web of teams. Most importantly, what techniques can be applied to simplify delivery and improve time to market. This includes a real world case study where System Thinking techniques are utilized to achieve amazing customer outcomes.

  • Liked Teri Christian
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Teri Christian - Case Study: Transform 4500 people with 8 coaches - impossible?

    40 Mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    This is a case study discussion to share how we are transforming the 2nd largest bank in Australia with a core enterprise team of 3 people and an extended coaching team of 8 professional coaches. We not only transitioned ways of working but also helped with organizational design, transitioned job titles (from over 150 to 7) and workflow management. We are using a model that helps teams change incrementally with weekly measures and understood results. We have been able to have remarkable success using a distributed coaching model, introducing new ways of learning and developing a learning organization.

  • Liked Fernando Cuenca
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Fernando Cuenca - Agile Dependencies: Improving the Interactions Between Agile (and non-Agile) Teams

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Small, cross-functional teams have become a staple in Agile environments. However, for a variety of reasons, those teams usually find themselves needing to interact with other teams in the organization, which creates the problem of "dependency management". Suddenly, making individual teams "agile" is not enough: the whole web of dependencies needs to increase its agility.

    This talk will explore the problem of intra-team dependencies, its impact in Customer flow, and practical strategies team-level leaders (as well as system-level leaders) can apply to help make the whole system more responsive, fit-for-purpose, and agile.

  • Liked Kiron Bondale
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Kiron Bondale - Story mapping - the missing link between product visions and product backlogs

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Have you ever struggled to take your product owner's vision and translate that into a product backlog?

    This workshop will provide you with hands-on experience in taking a simulated product from a high level vision down to a product backlog ensuring that nothing is missed and the negotiation process around release scope is collaborative rather than being destructive.

  • Liked Jerilyn Edginton
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jerilyn Edginton - Outcome-based Agility: How a focus on outcomes can supercharge your team's problem solving

    Jerilyn Edginton
    Jerilyn Edginton
    Product Owner
    Microdea Inc.
    schedule 3 months ago
    Sold Out!
    40 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Are you noticing any resistance to Agile within your organization? Adopting Agile, or Scrum, or SAFe has become the new goal - so why aren't we experiencing all the outcomes that Agile has promised? This session will help you to communicate, clarify your reasons for, and set a laser-focus on the specific outcomes you want to achieve. Once your teams is motivated by outcomes instead of goals, they'll astound you with their creativity and problem solving skills.

  • Liked Fernando Cuenca
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Fernando Cuenca - Kanban in The Land of Scrum: Choose your Own Scrumban Story

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Kanban is often described as something you layer "on top" of your existing process in order to stimulate improvement. So, what would that look like if your existing process is Scrum?

    The term "Scrumban" has been used to describe this kind of combination, but it's much more than simply "Scrum with WIP limits". It's not about picking and choosing "the best of both", but the full application of the Kanban Method to a challenged Scrum implementation, to help it move beyond what's currently causing it to stall.

    Kanban is "a way of seeing"; in this session we will "see" Scrum through the lens of Kanban, and explore how those insights can be used to re-ignite the inspect-&-adapt cycle to create a highly customized process that is better suited for your particular context.

  • Liked Shahin Sheidaei
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Shahin Sheidaei / Carlos Oliveira - Innovation Through Customer Co-creation

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Learn how to co-create with your customers using modern collaboration techniques

    To be successful at innovating for your customer, teams need a solid understanding of how to engage and collaborate with their customers and users. It is only then that teams can deliver high impact projects/products that are important to their user base. Embark on a journey and with the latest set of techniques that help teams discover insights sooner and delight their customers faster. Take part in our latest workshop and learn everything you need to know at succeeding in collaborating with your customers. After all, innovation is best served when co-discovered with customers.

    Our interactive and fast-paced workshop is based on design thinking, lean startup, and lean UX principles. It is designed to help you uncover better ways of working with your customers and boosting collaboration and creativity on your team. After many iterations and essential feedback, we’ve developed a fun and thought-provoking workshop where you will learn by doing and engaging with real people, working on challenges that will enrich your learning experience.