What I enjoy about my work is the autonomy I get to try new things and the support that I get from ripplerock (whatever the outcome).  I guess that much of what us Agile coaches do is experimentation and then inspecting and adapting from there. Ultimately this gives us patterns which we can re-use.

My latest little experimentation was a collaboration with Mark Summers and Stuart Young on what we called the ‘Week of Fun’. Ultimately it was a series of training events where we ran a Certified Lean Kanban Foundation Course and/or Certified ScrumMaster, combined with a free day of visual artistry.

All right, so the first two aren’t new, but the visual artistry workshop certainly was!

I met Stuart some time ago through a mutual friend at a meet up group and I was pretty impressed with his illustrations and his work ethic.  From that point collaboration with him became a regular thing, and so when Mark and I wanted to do something a little different and creative, we gave him a call.

Our experiment was. Is there value in having a graphic recorder at the Certified Courses and would anyone sign up for a free ‘Learn to draw’ class? and maybe even pay?

Over my two Kanban days Stuart set about recording my training with the following output. Overall it was a massive success and we had many comments on the feedback forms for how it helped people remember and learn concepts in a fun way.

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The free visual artistry day was also a massive success. I actually attended this class as a learner for myself as I have hid away from drawing images, but always envied those beautiful posters I see people create at conferences.

I rated my drawing ability as zero and I am pleased to say I am already much more confident. On a recent company day I even did it as my show and tell item. Check me out !

So I started the day looking a little something like this  (imagine the Tony Hart gallery music playing in the background)


and by the end of the session I was busting out these, which have much improved since i have been practicing them. It is all about building a bank of images and practice, practice, practice!

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ok, ok, so I am not going to be giving Stuart a run for his money or quitting my job, but it actually made me really happy Smile and something that I can use and get value from.

One of the most fun parts had to have been the graphic jam. We brainstormed a group of words in the literal, abstract and agile space, and then we all picked one and had to race to draw an image. This demonstrated many of us think the same way and speed to be able to do this at pace in practice. Some totally stumped me, and one particular image by Mark made me cry with laughter. You do not want to know what Mr Blobby was doing to the stick man !!

Final Thoughts

Experimentation is good. You might succeed or you might fail, but you certainly learn along the way and that is what helps is grow. Many of the worlds multi millionaires went bankrupt many times before they achieved their success. Keep pushing to learn something new and inspect and adapt from there.

I also learnt, I can draw and that visual artistry is cool!

Naturally with all this learning, came much reflecting. Here is us reflecting hard….Cocktails’ always help us think Smile

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I will try not to leave it so long next time before my next blog (Thank you Sarah for poking me into action). Coming up I have an exciting key note, conference, talk at BCS Agile day and new one day workshop offering on the Art of Retrospection, so watch this space for more of my ramblings and my successes and failures along the way.