At the Scrum Gathering in Orlando a while back, Jake Calabrese (@jcalabrese) proposed an Agile and Improv session during the Open Space. Aside from being my teammate (which would make this an obvious choice), I never can resist a good opportunity for practicing my improv skills.
One of the exercises he shared was very simple: He drew a pretend line. He stepped on the other side and indicated this was the “stage”. He then said “I’m a PO, I shouldn’t have to make a business decision regarding priority”. Then he stepped off the stage. Someone else stepped onto the stage and said “I”m a PO, I don’t attend Sprint Planning.” And so on. Then someone added “I’m a ScrumMaster, …” and so forth.
This definitely created an environment where people were able to release some frustration regarding bad behaviors within their teams. This also helped you to think quickly about what you can add and build onto what the last person stated. As much as I laughed, I’m not sure this would be a great exercise to do within a team. I could see it going off the rails with someone feeling attacked or maybe even someone intentionally passive aggressively attacking. However, the lead off could be “I’m a PO, I give feedback to the team.” Almost as a way to appreciate specific behaviors within the team.
Hmmm…thinking I might experiment with this in my next public training 🙂
How might you use this Improv exercise?