(this exercise was co-created as part of a collaboration day between myself and Geoff Watts)
Unspecified, but allow up to 20-30 mins for balloon making and debrief
Download and print the attached for one or more of the balloon animal shaping instructions.
Large bag of coloured modelling balloons, with hand pump
People works in pairs.
One of the pair plays the customer, one plays the worker. The worker must follow the customers instructions.
Variation 1: The customer can only use the written instructions. The worker can not look at the instructions.
Now give the customer a different animal sheet.
Variation 2: The customer can only use the picture instructions. The worker can look at the instructions and work collaboratively with the customer.
(You can switch the customer and worker around if you wish, and there are numerous interpretations you can tinker with too: distributed customers (back to back chairs), distracted customers (give separate problems to customers))
Proving that lengthy written requirements are less useful than simple mock-ups. Real time collaboration (pairing customers with developers) is better than blind feedback (without seeing the product). Time efforts using the stopwatch and compare results.
Paul is the founder of Agilify, has been an active Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) since 2006, and also became only the fourth UK-based Certified Scrum Coach (CSC) in 2011.
From developer to ScrumMaster, and from ScrumMaster to Agile Coach he has been working with agile development teams since 2000.
Paul was part of the coaching team which took on one of the largest agile transformations to date in a major UK telecoms company in 2003 and since then has been training and coaching other organizations, teams and individuals across the UK and Europe.