I had the opportunity a few months ago to facilitate a workshop on Scrum with a wonderful group, the Abrojos Collective. The Abrojos organization from the province of Tucumán in Argentina works along several strategic lines tied around Human Rights and Children Rights, from the point of view of Popular Education. They produce radio programs, facilitate workshops and operate a popular library and a communitiy telecenter in the Raco village, 50km from the capital of Tucumán.
It was an amazing experience for me, in particular because I had never run a scrum training outside the software development community, and both the differences and similarities I found, between the work they do and the work we software developers do, turned out to be fascinating.
We worked mostly around physical activities oriented towards understanding the ways of collaboration and complexity, mixed with some short talks to present the Artful Making and Scrum frameworks. The challenges I expected were:
* The group usually facilitates workshop on communication, human and children’s rights, community radio shows and the like, so I considered they might already be familiar with some of the activities I usually use, so I tried to choose activities they would find new and attractive.
* That the group might not share many terms we take for granted in software development, and some terms we share tend to have slightly different meanings (e.g. goals).
* That the role of the Product Owner, or the presence of the business leader might not appeal to them.
I could not have been more mistaken. Most of my preconceptions where dead wrong, and I imagine now that even what I considered engineering oriented activities like the Pajarraco Rasti/Lego building game would work perfectly (I have since learned that Alan Cyment, Astrid Astiz and Veronica Sack have used the game with non software development teams). The group enjoyed both the discussions and the activities, including some techniques I had to use to keep the workshop in track (for instance, I had to teach them to use the talking stick because they would interrupt each other frequently and some discussions seemed never-ending). It was for me a great opportunity for joined reflection on facilitation, the responsibilities of preparing yourself for each activity and the ways in which we try for valuable results in our group dynamics.
Here is a picture of the beautiful natural setting in which the workshop took place:
I would like to hear of your own experiences, thanks,