I facilitated a Sprint Planning Empowerment Extravaganza with a group of brilliant engineers in Fremont, CA today. I helped the team with making assumptions for each User Story, identifying specific things that they need/want and dependencies that they need to manage with other teams. I encouraged them to think out loud and talk about their feelings. Feelings? "We talk about feelings at work?" I said, "Oh my yes, indeed! How does this user story make you feel based on the assumptions you made?" Some felt sunny, others partly cloudy, one yelled "Sky is falling!" We all laughed and asked a lot of "WHYs?" to get to the bottom of what was contributing the antigravity for the sky to fall. Turns out, this engineer was depended on someone in another team to finish his part of the task. Some uttered " Why don't you meet with so and so and so and so together, I know they are working on this piece and that piece and that could help you solve your jigsaw puzzle. " Sun came out. Eyes twinkled. Gravity restored. Sky was saved.
Techniques used: I created the Empowered Team Sprint Planning Extravaganza experience, utilizing and combining Empathy Map with Experience Mapping and Service Blueprints with a sprinkle of improv.
Long live DESIGN THINKING AND IMPROV. Once again, it is proven that when work and play tangles, magic happens.