It’s not common for me to talk about something unrelated to code. But this is a great example how I learned that delivering value can be totally unrelated to code. Let me explain:
When I was living in Australia and working as a consultant in a local company, we have lots of good cases of agile delivery transformation. Also, I was working helping, but also learning with the team. In one scenario we had to completely change our mindset: we did some feature planning sessions, the code coverage of our codebase was increased from 8% to 80% (only this case can be other post by itself, but let’s focus on our case) and changing the state where we were scheduling deploys every 2 months for the one where now we are deploying our microservice ecosystem every week, looking forward to a scenario with continuous deployment.
But we had to change, and thinking in making this activity more productive and disruptive was when I had the idea to create a different ice-breaker called “Pandora box”. The mechanics is really simple and you will need:
- pencil or sharpies;
- post it’s;
- people :);
The idea is for each person to be with a pencil and a post it and try to draw the best drawing they’ve ever made…but with the hand that you don’t usually use to write or draw. For example: if you use the right hand to write normally, you have to switch and use the left one. Do that in less than 1 minute!
These are the steps to make it happen:
- Pass your drawing clockwise.
- Choose who will be the first person to start the activity, then that person will describe what they understand the drawing is.
- Repeat until all have explained the drawing.
The reactions in the room were really interesting as some could describe exactly what the other person wanted to express, while others told a funny story out of it. In the end I explained to them the idea behind this ice-breaker which is to reflect on “how hard it is to think out-of-the-box”, move to the unknown or the unexplored and change your perspective. After that we did our meeting and as usual, we asked for feedback using the mood monitor (which I will describe in another post) to collect feedback and try to evolve the ceremony.
So, as you can see this was a small action from which we had good benefits as shown in the picture above: in a range between 1 to 5 all our team members added 4…for the first time!
That’s it. It was a really amazing experience creating an ice-breaker and seeing it’s results. The good outcome was a result of focusing in preparing the environment related with our objective: be disruptive.