Tag Archives: workshop

The Pirate Ship – Growing a great crew: a workshop facilitation guide

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The Pirate Ship is a workshop format that will help you grow amazing teams. It is “speed boat” on steroids. I have now been using it for a couple of years, and the time have come to share this useful and productive format.

I do a lot of workshops with teams. Very often the workshops are about the teams themselves. It can be anything from getting a newly started team up and running to helping a mature and stable team find new inspiration and challenges.

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Facilitating from the Back of the Room at Spotify

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Last week Jimmy Janlén and I held a shortened version of our course Training from the Back of the Room for our former colleagues at Spotify. Actually it is not “our” course, but Sharon Bowmans. It’s based on her books about how create a more engaging learning experience in the class room, especially when training adults.

“I really liked the whole setup of this course – a really well organised and inspiring day. Wow :-)”

Jimmy and I are certified trainers of this course. We use the techniques when we do training. But we have also experienced how useful they are in other coaching and facilitation situations, such as workshops and retrospectives. Almost any meeting can be made more engaging and with longer lasting result with the set of tools TBR provides.

We have chosen to call the shortened training Facilitating from the Back of the Room, since that is what we agile coaches do most. 16 persons from the Spotify Agile Guild showed up this beautiful day in a corner room on the 17:th floor in High Tech building with amazing views over Stockholm city. We have to admit we were a little nervous at first. Would this actually make sense to coaches? It did.

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Learning flow with the Lean Dot Game

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Yesterday we had one of our regularly occurring so called Agile Lunch & Learn in the tribe at Spotify I currently work. We wanted to make the lunch about why it is often better not to work and focus on flow than to maximize your work and focus on resource efficiency. I searched for something in the Crisp bag of games. Pass the pennies – more about big batches. Kanban  tothpicks – to many rounds and variables. Folding envelopes – again more batches. Eventually I found the Lean Dot game.

Result board from a round of the Lean Dot Game

Result board from a round of the Lean Dot Game

What a find! This game will be with me for a long time. The best flow game there is, with extremply simple props: post-it notes and colored dots. You can run it  in an hour and get tons of experiences and stuff to discuss, such as:

  • Why it’s better to slow down
  • Adapt to bottlenecks
  • Batch sizes
  • Little’s law illustrated
  • Waste and inventory
  • Customer collaboration
  • In process testing
  • And more, and more, and more…

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Crisp consensus model 2.1

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Our consensus signs, by Jimmy Janlén

Our consensus and meeting signs, by Jimmy Janlén

At Crisp we try to use consensus when making important decisions. Why do we do that?

Crisp is a very flat company. Most of us have no boss and report to no one. Basically you can be part of Crisp in two ways: either you have your own firm and have a partner contract with Crisp (all consultants have this) or you are employed by Crisp (administrative personnel). Crisp is owned by most (but not all) of the members/partners. The owners have, however, renounced their right to run the company (from all but legal necessities). This means that the company is run by all partners and employees with an equal vote each. We no longer have a CEO and we elect our board. This means we have to have good ways of making decisions together. And consensus is a very good way of making decision in a flat group like ours.

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Delagardrivet och upplevelsebaserat lärande

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I juni kommer min kollega Jimmy Janlén och jag hålla kurs i deltagardrivet och upplevelsebaserat lärande. Vill vi hjälpa andra att upptäcka och praktisera sätt att skapa sant engagerande och lärande undervisning, presentationer och workshops. Kanske slipper ni då mina egen långa resa bort från katedern.

Kort med verktyg och upplägg från Training from the Back of the Room

Kort med verktyg och upplägg från Training from the Back of the Room

Så vitt jag minns det var jag 24, kanske 25 år. Jag och min vän Göran hade blivit inbjudna att hålla föredrag inför en större samling människor. Det hade jag aldrig gjort förut. Visst var jag van att prata inför andra människor, från seminarierna på universitetet till redaktionsmötena på vår lilla tidsskrift, men inte att hålla tal. Jag gjorde det som kändes säkrast. Jag skrev ett tal och läste sedan upp det.

Förutom att det tog jättelång tid att skriva talet, så kändes det inte bra att stå där och läsa rakt upp och ner. Visst försökte jag läsa med inlevelse och dramatik, ungefär som när man läser högt för barnen, men det kändes ändå inte bra. Höll inte åhörarna på att somna? Lärde de sig alls något? Det går att trollbinda en publik med högläsning, om man berättar en riktigt bra historia. Göran var bra på det, men inte jag. Något behövde jag göra annorlunda.

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Some Gotchas for Java Developers Learning JavaFX

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In an earlier post, I had attached slides from a presentation on JavaFX that contained some code examples. I discovered that at least one of them, the ball game, stopped working when I switched to JavaFX 1.3.

I would say it is a quite subtle difference.

What happened was that the onKeyPressed and onKeyReleased were not called. My immediate reaction was that it was due to some bug in JavaFX but yesterday I realized what had happened.

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