Attending a workshop for LEGO Serious Play has been on my to do list for some time. I was fortunate to be able to attend a session today at Agile Dev East Better Software Conference in Orlando, Florida that gave an introduction to some ideas using a team working agreement exercise.
The facilitator for the session, Paul Wynia, started with some ideas from Project Aristotle, the research project at Google that tried to define the essence of high performing teams. From the study, the best performing teams had three characteristics:
- Equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking
- Social sensitivity
- Interpersonal trust
No matter where teams are on the Tuckman Model, they could use some refinement of these concepts. Moreover, this is not a linear model, and teams tend to bounce back and forth, particularly as new projects begin or team members change.
We conducted an exercise to answer the question: What is important to your team? The intended outcome was to develop a list of shared values to form a working agreement. I have launch many teams and created working agreements with them, but this provided an awesome way to define and tell a story around values that are important to team members.
After some warmup builds, we did three timed rounds of modeling a value, labeling it, and then telling the story. Then we dot voted in our teams of four, and generated a team working agreement poster to reflect these values. I cannot wait to try this on some agile teams!
Until the Next Iteration . . .