On top of that I get to present not one but 2 talks!! My topics are
“The What, When & How of Test Automation” 45 mins
In this I will talk about preparing robust automation strategies. Agile means pace and agile means change. With frequent time boxed releases and flexible requirements, test automation faces numerous challenges. Haven’t we all asked what to automate and how to go about the daily tasks with the automation cloud looming over our heads. Here we’ll discuss answers to some of these questions and try to outline a number of approaches that agile teams can take in their selection of what to automate, how to go about their automation and whom to involve, and when to schedule these tasks so that the releases are debt free and of best quality.
“Gamify your Agile workplace” 15 mins
In this I’ll present live some innovation games and have audience volunteers engage and play games based on known scenarios. Let’s Play and learn some useful Innovation Games that can help you gamify your agile team and workplace, making the team meetings shorter and communication more fun!
Both these topics are close to my heart and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with a wider audience.
I am also excited to meet all the awesome speakers at the event , as well as get to know the fantastic team of organizers behind this event!
Here we have for you another Innovation Game centered around prioritization. It is a visual and crisp way to chart out and understand priorities of upcoming tasks , features or stories.
Game : 20/20 Vision
Aim : To chart out the RELATIVE priorities of the tasks at hand
Method: The 20/20 game elaborates the prioritization of each task in relation to a benchmark task of medium priority and complexity.
Just like a visit to the Optometrist, where he makes you compare the various lenses to find the best suitable for your sight, in this game we make the team compare all stories / requirements / tasks and find the right place for them on the chart of priority in relation to the one benchmark level.
Description: Write down all stories on post-its. With the team’s consensus and decision, decide on one story which is of medium level and put in on the board in the middle.
Now the team goes through each story one by one, and places the story on the board as higher or lower priority in relation to the benchmark story. At the end of the exercise, we arrive at a visual representation of the story or task prioritization, giving us a clear road-map for future!
This game takes almost 15-30 minutes only depending on the number of tasks at hand, as compared to long planning meetings.
Hope you are enjoying our series on Innovation Games, and learning some new techniques to engage your Agile team. In Part 1 and Part 2 we discussed some really fun and interesting Agile Innovation games.
In this part we shall discuss a really unique Innovation Game which helps the team and stakeholders to gather a broader perspective on the product or project they are working on. While working on small components and intricacies of the project, it is possible for us to loose perspective and be confined in a narrow zone.Our game helps us to ‘Zoom-Out’ periodically and get a bird’s eye view of the project, its future and the road-map ahead. It is called –
Prune The Product Tree –
To identify the most important features, aspects of the product as per the stakeholders and to elicit feedback from the customers.
Draw a big tree on the chart and draw its branches. The thick branches represent the major functionalities of your system. The smaller branches are the functionalities within each branch.
Participants place the index cards in their respective branches after writing the new expected features.
We may also add apples for functionalities that will be very useful for next releases, and flowers for the good-to-have features that may wow customers!
This will give an overview of the future direction of the product and gives visual representation on which branch of the product tree is expanding the most.
Try this out with your team , and you shall see the benefits soon! 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the first part of our series on “Innovation Games”!
The next Innovation Game in our series is “Speed Boat”. This is a fun way to do retrospectives and feedback meetings where there is need for all team members to voice their opinions in an open and anonymous way. This method reduces the duration of the meeting to almost one half and gets better results which may indeed be very useful for the improvement of the agile team.
To find the impeding and the helping factors in achieving any goal. It can be used as a fun way of doing retrospectives, as it engages the team and brings out the concern areas.
Let’s take one iteration or sprint for retrospective. Draw a boat with a Sail on front end and Anchors pulling it down at the back end.
All participants are given post-its to write down the factors that they think helped them move faster and post them on the sails; the factors that impeded their speed in that iteration and post them on the anchors.
We may also look for the desired factors which may help more in future and label them as the wind.
This feedback may be saved by just keeping a picture of this chart for revisit in the next sprint , or by saving the post-its as notes.The take-away would be to keep checking in the next sprints that we—
Minimize the anchors
Maximize the Sailing factors
Try and bring in the wind factors in the next iterations
This is a very useful tool to bring in better results from our retrospective meetings , give it a try in your agile team and let us know how it worked out!
As promised, I am now beginning the series on learning the most popular Innovation Games, some of which I also featured in my Session at UNICOM World Business Summit.
The first one we take up is “Mitch Lacey Team Prioritization”
Objective: The objective of this game is to prioritize the items in our ever-increasing backlog, which if not tracked can prove paralyzing for the agile team.
Method:Draw a chart with x axis as Size (small to Large) and y axis as the priority (lower to higher). The graph is divided into three columns for easier segregation.
Start out by handing out post-its having each backlog item listed, and the team places each item in the corresponding area as per their perception and discussion.
This is how your chart must look like:
Top-left corner of the graph will be the items with high priority and low effort, so automatically be the first items to be picked.
Top-right corner, on the other hand, will be items with high priority and high complexity, so will be picked next.
By placing the ideas in the 2D space, it gives a clear visual representation of the next logical steps for the team, and also answers the vital question —“What should we do that will generate maximum value with minimum effort and complexity?”