Improvisation for Agile Teams

Improvisation for Agile Teams
Buenos Aires, 28 January 2010

Cuándo: 28 de enero 2010. El curso es de 9 a 17 hs, pero traten de estar entre 8:30 y 8:45, para que podamos empezar a horario.
Dónde: Perú 375, 1er piso (Southworks)
Costo: usd 220 + IVA

Este evento es organizado por Agiles Argentina y Agilar Argentina

The skill of teamwork is complex, multi-faceted, and sometimes paradoxical. Team members need to create for themselves environments that are both safe and challenging, both structured and flexible. A good team member should be able to respect organization and embrace chaos; be part of the team, yet able to have the courage of their own, individual convictions; be able to plot a steady course and be willing to stray from it. Team members need to be present; they need to be dynamic; they need compassion and empathy - and they need to be agile.  

This is a tall order, and it is often easy and comforting to slip into safe, formulaic ways of working, to wait for someone else to take the lead and tell you what to do. It takes courage to push your edge, but to fail in doing so is to miss many important opportunities for personal and team growth.  Teams need to work in highly collaborative ways, and to do so the individuals need to learn the necessary skills for collaboration.

There are many skills that contribute to a team member's toolkit. One that has been found to be especially useful by many is that of theatrical improvisation (improv). Essentially creating software is very aligned with theatrical improvisation: both are about making things up as you go along.  But it goes deeper than that.  Improv has the potential to raise an individual's self-awareness, and to provide the skills necessary to continually "think on one's feet".  Improv can create exciting growth opportunities, and provide new ways of looking at old problems.  Learning the powerful collaboration techniques found in the world of improvisation will send a team rocketing into a new dimension of creativity and productivity.

Improv is very much a conscious, kinesthetic application of complexity theory to the creative process. The exercises illuminate the things individuals may do to halt the creative process and forward motion of the team. The exercises offer new, simple methods of basic communication that help to overcome these behaviors, and keep the future limitless. The exercises heighten a person's sense of "permission" to be absolutely available to the project and the group. And they provide a template for moving a project relentlessly forward in increments small and thorough enough to bring the whole group along.

The facilitators Tobias Mayer and Alan Cyment have both trained in improv skills and use them regularly on their Scrum training courses.  Tobias has facilitated improv sessions at Agile2007 and Agile2008 together with Jim York, and also co-taught with the well-known Seattle improvisor Matt Smith.  The workshop will be a day of lively, on-your-feet, challenging exercises aimed at pushing your edge and taking you to new realms of discovery.