Today the LEGO Foundation started its 2015 Idea Conference. I will tweet some interesting learning points using hashtag #ideaconf15. You may also follow the keynote speeches live via the Idea Conference website. Enjoy!
Some time ago Carlos Hernandez of Dos Abrazos – dosabrazos.com and I did a Demo with a client here in Madrid, Spain and the flow of the whole meeting illustrates perfectly the power of the Lego Serious Play Methodology.
- We met the HR contact and he brought us straight to a small meeting room
- While we were still doing the niceties and the small talk, I took out the small exploration bags of Lego, opened them and put them on the table
- Without having previously talked about the the methodology and while still doing the small talk, our contact started playing with the bricks and launched straight into the building of a model so we stopped talking and watched
- When finished building he intuitively started to explain what he had built. It was a specific metaphor for a work situation
- We instinctively asked questions about the model, he provided feedback and along the way he made some changes to the model.
by Stan Kurkovsky, firstname.lastname@example.org, @SKurkovsky
Scrum is an agile iterative software development methodology in which a team of software developers works in well defined increments (sprints). Each sprint typically results in adding new features to the software product. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY has been successfully adapted both for team building and as a tool for conducting sprint retrospectives in Scrum software development projects. A retrospective is a meeting of the entire development team facilitated by the Scrum Master and conducted at the end of each sprint, during which the team reflects on the past sprint and answers two key questions: what went well and what can be improved during the next sprint? If applied properly, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY can make sprint retrospectives more productive by getting people to discuss their experiences in the last sprint more openly and communicate their ideas in a more constructive way.
It is relatively easy to make the development team members to communicate with each other since they all work on the same project on the daily basis, and they most likely share a similar background and experience in various aspects of software development. However, ensuring clear communication between the Scrum team and the product owner is not always an easy goal to achieve. A product owner is typically a lead user of the software being developed. The main responsibility of the product owner is to establish a clear vision for the product being built, which is accomplished by writing project specification in the form of prioritized user stories. In practice, a product owner does not always understand the problems the developers may be facing in order to build what the product owner wants. And vice versa, the developers may not always have a clear idea of what the product owner really needs. This situation is perfectly illustrated in this infamous comic.
Upcoming event with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY by I am Anti Bully #iamantibully – Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PST) Vancouver, BC. Register here.
Looking to embrace your creative genius?
Here’s a challenge for you – show your commitment as an anti-bully through building with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®! Form a team of 4 with your family and friends, or sign up as an individual to join a team, and enjoy an afternoon of fun playing with LEGO® bricks. Ticket price includes light refreshments, LEGO® materials to build with at the event and your very own LEGO® hero keychain to keep and take home!
by Stan Kurkovsky, email@example.com, @SKurkovsky
Software engineering courses at the post-secondary level usually integrate students’ programming skills with their knowledge in many other areas of computing, such as databases, security, or computer networks. Software engineering, however, is much more than simply putting existing knowledge and skills to practice. There are many important principles and concepts that are central to the practice of modern software engineering, such as requirements engineering, emergent properties, socio-technical systems, etc. Given the engineering nature of the discipline, one of the best ways to learn these principles is usually to apply them in a practical context, such as a case study.
Recently, we began using LEGO SERIOUS PLAY as a foundation for hands-on case studies to teach the core concepts of software engineering to senior (4th year) students at a university. As with all LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshops, students were first introduced to LEGO SERIOUS PLAY by participating in a skill building session, which took an entire 75-minute period. All of our case studies went beyond building individual models and included building either a shared, a landscape model, or both, which promotes team building and creating of shared understanding. These two kinds of models force students to compare their thoughts and views on the same concept, which helps each student correct any possible misconceptions and crystallize their understanding of that concept. We piloted several LSP-based case studies, one of which is described below.