Agile Wall Street

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Time: 60 minutes for 5 people

Requirements: a stopwatch, sticky notes and flip-chart paper

Agile Wall Street preperation

Introduction

This Game is inspired by the ‘Give- and Take Matrix’ mentioned in the book ‘Game Storming’ and was initially inspired by techniques used in engineering, chemistry and design.
Agile Wall Street works for TeamBuilding, motivation, diagnostic of flow and energizing your Team.

I adapted it a little bit to my requirements and it can be used for TeamBuilding, Motivation in Teams and also for Retrospectives. I just call it ‘Agile Wall Street’. It is a diagnostic tool and helps players explore value flows through the Team or a Group.

Agile Wall Street Agenda

Creating the Matrix

Create a Matrix as shown in the following Picture. Make sure you have the same count of rows and columns – one row and one column for each Participant.

Let every Participant write down her Name on a large StickyNote, two times and put them on the Matrix as shown. Make sure to post the Names vertical and horizontal in the same order!

Agile Wall Street - the Matrix

Write down the personal Motivation

Now, ask all Participants to write down their Motivation of beeing in the current Team on a large StickyNote, take a new colour for that.

Let Participants post their Motivation-Note along the diagonal, where every Individual intersect with themselves.
In addition, call the vertical ‘Give’ and the horizontal ‘Take’.

Agile Wall Street - the Matrix - motivation

Open the Agile Wall Street

Give Participants a short moment to choose the first TeamColleague they want to start with. Each Participant can start with any other TeamColleague she would like to start.

Ask the Participants to write down a short statement about the Person they have choosen regarding the question: ‘what could I contribute to this Person, how could I support her or what could I offer to her?’

Give a Timebox of 5 minutes!

After finishing for the first TeamMember, ask the Participants to continue with the next TeamColleague, answering the same question on a StickyNote. Again provide a TimeBox of 5 minutes. Let Participants repeat until everybody has an personal offer for all other TeamMembers.

Let Participants put their StickNote-offers on the Matrix, everybody puts her notes in a horizontal row at the intersection according to the names:

Agile Wall Street - the full Matrix

The Stock Exchange

When the Matrix is completed ask Participants to have a seat.

Now you start to facilitate the ‘Wall Street’ offers. Start with the first TeamMember from the horizontal. This Person should listen carefully what her TeamColleagues want to offer, without commenting. Ask all other Participants, one after another, what they want to offer to this Person and let them shortly explain what they have written down.

After all offers are explained to a Person, ask her how she feels right now. Probably this Person will have a smile on her face and just feels good.

Repeat this until all TeamMembers have introduced and explained what they would like to offer to their TeamColleagues.

After this exercise the whole Team will be enrgized and TeamMembers will follow up to the offers they received self organized. If the Team agrees you can put the Matrix somewhere in the Team room.

Agile Speed Dating

3 Comments

Time: 70 minutes for 6 participants

Requirements: IndexCards, felt-pens and a flip-chart

First, all Participants need a Topic they would like to improve or a Problem which need to be solved, their personal improvement Topic for this Retrospective.

Give Participants 5 Minutes to write down up to 5 KeyWords/Sentences on an IndexCard which helps them describing their Topic they want to improve or Problem to be solved. (5 min)

Afterwards you ask Participants to flip the IndexCard and give them again 5 Minutes to draw a Picture, a Metaphor, for their Topic which helps them describing their Topic in a best way. No prizes for Artwork and nobody else will see their Picture, it’s just a reminder for themselves. (5 min)

Start the amazing Speed Dating

Agile Speed Dating exerciseAfter this first exercise, which takes about 10 Minutes, you have all Participants in the right flow and mood for a discussion about their Topic. You have activated both sides of their brain, the left side for rational thinking by writing down the 5 KeyWords/Sentences. And the right side of their brain, the creative part, by drawing a Picture. This is the best starting Point for what is coming next.

Let Participants pair and give them a strict TimeBox. Every Pair has exactly 10 Minutes. First 5 Minutes to discuss the Topic of Person A and finding possible Solutions or Improvements – write them down on your IndexCard – if needed take a new Card.

After 5 Minutes the Pairs change, what means that now Person B will discuss her Topic and write down possible Solutions or Improvements.

After 10 Minutes you build new Pairs and start the exercise again, first Person has 5 Minutes and Person B has 5 Minutes as well. Build new Pairs and repeat until every Participant has talken exactly once to all other Participants!

Debriefing

Agile Speed Dating Debriefing

  • how does it felt, how do you feel right now?
  • what was different?
  • what outcome have you created?
  • can we improve this Process?

Action Planning

Agile Speed Dating - Action Planning

After the Debriefing we start the Action Planning. Every Participant should have at least one IndexCard with possible Solutions or Improvements for her personal Topic.

Ask every Participant to choose just one Action she would like to adress in the next Sprint, choose the most powerful Action and write them down on a FlipChart – Topic, Responsible and due Date.

Variations

If you have an odd count of Participants just invite another Stakeholder or a TeamMember of a different Team. This Person has no own Topic to discuss but can contribute, comment and add Value from a complete neutral point of view!

Instead of doing Speed Dating with pairs you can also ‘pair’ with three people if you have some more participants. In that case you can call the exercise ‘Agile Swinger Dating’… lol

Draw the Problem / Draw the Challenge

4 Comments

Time: 90 minutes

Requirements: IndexCards, felt-pens, tape, sticky notes and a flip-chart

Create a loose atmosphere

Every Retrospective I start with a short warm up game to create a loose atmosphere and interconnect left and right half of the brain. Today I did ‘Finger Tag’ from Erich Ziegler’s ‘das australische Schwebholz’. (5 min)

Start the Retrospective ‘Draw the Problem’

Let participants sit around a table and give everybody a large IndexCard and a felt-pen.

Ask the participants to think about a problem or challenge which occoured during the sprint and they are still puzzled about. What problem would you like to solve today?

Ask them to find their personal topic and write it down. In addition, everybody should create a list of 5 items which helps them to describe the problem.  (5 min)

Now, ask the participants to flip over the index card and let them draw a picture – a metaphor – of the problem which helps them to describe their topic to the team. It’s not about drawing an artwork or creating a very beautiful picture. The drawing simply should help explaining the problem. (have different coloured felt-pens available) (5 min)

Teams draw their ChallengeAsk everybody to post their index card on the wall with the picture at the front and name them.

Let participants stand in a semi circle around the picture wall. Every peer has now max 3 minutes to describe her problem-metaphor to the team and create a common understanding what it is about. Questions from the team are allowed. (15 – 21 min)

After creating a common understanding for every problem, ask the team to sit down again and have sticky notes available. Everybody should write down one possible solution or action item on a sticky note for every single problem. (5 min)

draw the picture - StoryBoardLet them post their solutions around the index cards and again stand in a smie circle around the ‘problem wall’.

Now, every indexs card owner read aloud the solutions given by the team and let the initiator of the solution explain if necessary.

Let them discuss the solutions and create concrete action items which the facilitator writes down on a flip chart.

This takes the most time as the team need to decide what needs to be done to solve each problem. (35 – 45 min)

Write down every Action Item, referred to a teammember with a due date.

action items Matrix

Wrap up the retrospective and ask if everybody is fine with the outcome. Ask for feedback.

Take over the Action Items to the process Backlog of the Team.

Idea by Gamestorming ‘Draw the Problem’ which I adapted to my purpose of having a Sprint Retrospective

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