As testers we care just as much about our projects and products as our Product Owners and Developers. With a history of being the people at the end of the chain (no longer the case as we know), we tend to see the communication issues and impending risk and somehow always feel inclined or voluntarily willing to help solve those problems and yes, it always means our lives become easier! Win win!
So how can we help teach and build up a solid channel of communication with our peers (whom all have different behaviours and characters), to help them stop, zoom out and avoid the rabbit hole?
One of the best ways to build an individual’s or a team’s skills and understanding can often be through the method of games, metaphors and stories. Abstracting the problem and playing through potential solutions can make it easier to identify how to deal with situations. Lessons are easier taken on board if the learning is also fun, and if the risk discussion uses a Jenga tower (hint hint) rather than a risk register.
The Game Plan
Our workshop session will comprise of the following techniques and games (at a minimum), to cover a various range of scenarios and role plays for both individuals and teams to take away and use daily within their own teams.
- The stand up circle: Communicating short & snappy doses of useful information.
- Building mental structures: Visualising concepts and problems using Lego
- Modelling project risks: Learning about the impacts of decision making using Jenga.
- Role playing requirements: Learning the impact of games & sketches on the effectiveness and success of projects.
- Collaborative Round up: Improvising communication in a world of changing variables.
The games we’ll teach and play have direct practical uses to bring teams together to work more productively and reduce communication difficulties. These are games that can prove a point in as little as 5 mins, or work through relatively complicated risk mitigation solutions in under an hour.
We want you to leave with at least one technique that you can try the very next day at work, helping kick start identification of the root causes of problems. We also want you to equip yourself by learning about different methods that lead to tangible results around dealing with communication and team dynamics as well as understanding how to share these games with your teams in a fun and collaborative way.
- As Benjamin Franklin once said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”
- At least one game that attendees could replicate with their team (without props) on their next day in the office.
- Frameworks within which attendees can create their own games to help their teams work through challenges.