(this exercise was co-created as part of a collaboration day between myself and Geoff Watts)
Timings: 8 mins exercise, 5 min debrief
Materials: 8 Musical Hand Bells per team, 4-12 people in each team. If the bells have sticky numbers on them, it’s best to remove those (or any other reference to bell order) before the exercise begins.
Each team is given a simple brief to start the exercise. The team must recreate and play a simple 10-20 second “tune” using the bells which must adhere to the following criteria:
- All bells must be rung at least once
- All team members must play a bell at least once
- The tune must be recognisable to the course tutor
- The tune must be “easy on the ear”
- a clear and understood vision (choosing a song/nursery rhyme that the whole team knows and the tutor will recognise)
- continuous and early testing – repeating the tune over and over to help find the right and wrong notes early and often.
- collaboration – people have to be prepared to adjust their plans and performance based on other team members contributions
- people are too afraid to ring a bell themselves – fear of failure, lack of mutual respect in newly formed teams, everyone “thinks” they are tone deaf when in actual fact the tune can still be recognisable even from an imperfect performance.
- lack of progess through failing to decide on a simple vision
- team members not calling out a lack of quality from other team members
- not everyone plays a bell – lack of buy in to team goal
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.